[Guest post by Jenee Day: About a month ago, Jenee shared with us why she was writing to distract herself. Here is an update on her son Bud’s health and how she is fighting for him.]
Some of the most difficult times in my life as a mother are when my children are sick. The emotions that come along with nurturing our little ones are various and deep. Helplessness, sadness, confusion, hope and determination are just a few of the feelings my husband and I have experienced recently.
As Bud was admitted to the hospital again last week, we held on to each other and to our faith.
I have a tank top that I wear to the gym that says “Lover Not a Fighter” on the front of it. That’s me in a nutshell. I don’t like to argue and avoid confrontation at all costs. In fact, my dad’s nickname for me as a child was “Peacemaker.”
In the last few months, however, I have fought like a champion boxer.
I have fought to get my son seen by a good doctor, fought for someone to believe that something was wrong, fought to get tests run. I have fought doctors about his treatment and fought nurses over torturous procedures. My heart has been ripped apart, watching him scream and wail in pain, then plead with anyone who would listen to “please stop it. Please stop hurting me.”
The “Rocky” films are some of my favorite movies of all time. I enjoy the underdog and hero story, the man with so much heart who fights against the odds and emerges victorious. As a matter of fact, when Bud was born, my husband gave me a card and signed it, “Yo, we did it!”
If I am Rocky in this scenario, then God is my trainer, my Mickey. He can see the whole fight and he helps me navigate each attack. He coaches me, teaches me, corrects my form and sometimes shouts at me to focus and keep moving forward.
Honestly, there is no other time in my life that I remember being in the ring so much. I feel like I have gone from pacifist to competing in the World Heavyweight Championship, with no preparation or training in between. Thankfully, God is using this battle for my good and his glory. How do I know? First, his word says so. [Romans 8:28] Beyond that, I know quite simply because I am still standing. That would not be possible if not for God and his presence during all of this.
During his five days in the hospital, Bud endured several IV insertions, countless painful blood draws (and unfortunately many failed attempts), an EKG, an MRI, and even a spinal tap. Waiting to see him after the spinal tap procedure, I fought the urge to panic, fought to have faith that God’s might hand was on my boy.
In this time of waiting and suffering, I fought with mighty effort the urge to weep. I fought to keep Bud calm and I fought my own fears and doubts. I fought (and lost a few times) the temptation to lash out at loved ones asking for information. Round after round, I fought.
Most of the time I sat in Bud’s hospital bed with him, watching cartoons or napping. My sweet husband was with us whenever his work schedule allowed it, sleeping in the uncomfortable non-reclining recliner to my right. I took advantage of his being there, making the short drive home to shower and pick up anything Bud might need.
When I was alone in the car, I prayed. Not with words as much as with tears, but I did the best I could. I offered my heart to God, gave him my pain and anxiety, begged for restoration and healing. Then I dried my eyes, drove to the hospital, and steeled myself for the next round of tests.
Currently, we do not have a solid diagnosis. We are working with an oncologist who has done research into mitochondrial and metabolic disorders. Right now, his best guess is something called Pyruvate Carboxylase Deficiency. If I had to explain it, I would fail. All we know so far are the basics: it is genetic, it is rare, and while possibly treatable, it is not curable. (Again, this is not a firm diagnosis.)
At the end of a boxing match, a loud bell rings, signaling to fighters and spectators that the fight has ended. We still have not heard our bell. The time for fighting is not over. In this time of hardship, we are training and being taught by our creator to endure and to rely on him.
I do not feel prepared, and most days I do not want to get into the ring again. However I am encouraged by the truth that the enemy can never knock me out, and by the promise that this will work out for my good and his glory. I am honored to be God’s prize fighter.
Romans 8:28 [NASB] And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.
Jenee Day is a freelance writer and researcher and published poet. A member of the Spiritual Writer’s Association, she has written for textbroker.com and various regional publications. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two kids, and her heart belongs to Jesus.