This past week and a half has been harder than I would care to admit. When I don't write, it is because I simply don't know what to say, or maybe because I don't know how to say it all. Having a kid go through any illness is hard, having them go through a surgery is (to me) on a whole different level. They both require faith, but seeing the intense pain on Gavin's face brought me to tears. I may sound a bit calloused when I say that the medical procedures usually don't evoke tears, but that is because I go through the motions to help Gavin get through it. But I broke, like something so deep in my heart simply wept.
I didn't expect it when we first discussed the surgery. I was almost excited to have it behind us (and I am), but as the days approached I could feel my fears closing in on me. Fear of something going wrong, fear of the absolute worst, fear of another hospital stay, fear of losing it myself. Jason thinks it was this bad before his other procedures, and maybe it was, but I just don't remember it being that way.
So all that being said, we are on the other side and I am thrilled! Through all of the fears, we saw God's mighty hands working. The time during surgery seemed to go faster than I was thinking it would, and we were surrounded by our wonderful family. Gavin looked so much better post-surgery than I was expecting and I was able to hold him only a couple hours after surgery.
Things I don't want to forget about our experience:
- Gavin's sweet spirit - even in pain. He made sure to tell the nurses/doctors/lab workers "thank-you" even after sticking him, poking at him, and doing vitals. While he may now be significantly more wary of medical professionals, he never lost his politeness.
- Cuddle was the word of the week (still is). When pain would hit, he would want to cuddle. He will be two in December, so we are coming to the end of the "cuddle phase", so I cuddled with every fiber of my being.
- Morphine strangely made Gavin a little genius. If you ask Gavin what color something is, he will answer "orange". He may not have even looked at the object in question - but it is "orange" to him. Well on morphine (and many other drugs) he knew blue, green, red, and yellow. He also normally can "count", but skips a few numbers. Well on morphine he counted 1-10 without skipping a beat! Lets not tell him about this when he gets older.
- Gavin made a few new friends - most notably, the "x-ray transport guy" named Dave. Gavin instantly said "papa". Well this man hardly looked like papa - aside from grey hair. He had tattoos up each arm and not a very talkative man. The ride down was made in silence. The ride back was full of chatting - he asked how long Gavin has been there and if he had been a patient before (yes...a number of times). He said he would never forget Gavin, and that we should be proud of the boy we have. That we are!
- The generosity of others.
- We started attending a new church this past May, so we have a limited 'circle' of friends so far. That circle grew as a call was put out by our sweet pastor's wife, simply asking if anyone wanted to help during this time. The night before surgery (when I was at my lowest), they arrived carrying a basket overflowing with LOVE in the form of food, magazines, toys for Gavin, gift cards and financial support. I am still overwhelmed by it all. In less than a week people who didn't even know us (or our circumstances) blessed us for a lifetime. I couldn't help but think of the body of Christ described in 1 Corinthians 12. They loved us as a part of the body, in a beautiful way.
- Friends and church family who brought meals, both to the hospital and to our home.
- The sweet gifts for Gavin - so many new things to play with here at home. He is so blessed!
- Generosity of prayers and support. We have felt so loved through this whole experience. When we didn't know what to pray, others were praying on our behalf. When we felt overwhelmed, we were carried by words of encouragement. While we waited on the Lord to heal, we were able to see the body of Christ coming together around one sweet boy - Gavin Lee. The son that God has entrusted to us for a time.
|First night home|
|It snowed (a ton) so we had to make due with an indoor snowman|
|Lots of high chair playtime|
My mind may want to forget so many things about this experience, but I know that it is shaping our journey. His body tells a story. Like a map of God's faithfulness - laid out in scars. The most recent is quite large, but it most largely shows God's healing power. We are praying this is the final surgery, but we know whatever comes in this life that God holds us.