So, where on earth do I even begin?
Firstly let me say that I am so very grateful for the many e-mails I have received checking in on us and making sure that everything was okay. I appreciate it so much.
Our journey back to our home in the Rockies was long. Getting a shaky start didn’t help things much. The night before our departure we were driving home and got a huge metal pipe through one of the brand new tires on our van. Lovely! It took AAA until 2 a.m. just to come and change the tire to the spare (in the pouring rain) so that we could get a new one in the morning. It was almost lunchtime before we managed to get on the road after getting a new tire fitted the next day. We were way off schedule.
Oh my goodness–seven kids, two tired parents, a moving truck, a passenger van, and a dog…crazy!
We had a very welcome break in the middle of our trip, though. We were able to spend two wonderful days with new friends in a church in Illinois. They totally embraced all of us and made us feel like we had been friends forever. I love how God does that. We shared our story in their wonderful church on Sunday and by the time we left on Monday morning we knew that we had made friends for life. Sweet blessings along the way.
Unfortunately, though, Anthony got a very nasty bacteria or virus just a few days before we left the east coast. By the time we got to Indianapolis the poor guy was feeling so miserable. I had no idea how in the world he was even managing to drive the long distances we were putting in daily. In sheer desperation he got an antibiotic from an urgent care center and started taking it immediately. It did absolutely nothing to help his symptoms. The bug was (and still is) so stubborn.
As we headed farther west we noticed that Hailee and Harper, too, seemed to be coming down with the same awful flu. Harper started getting the dreaded croup (which lands us in the ER every time). With the help of her nebulizer we thankfully avoided a midnight run to the ER. But by the time we reached our home in the mountains both girls very clearly were not doing well.
Last Friday we noticed that the virus seemed to be more in their chests than anything. I took them to our local urgent care center to be checked out. As soon as they measured their oxygen levels, the doctor immediately ordered the girls to be transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital with a pediatric unit (about 45 minutes away). Oh my! The respiratory bug had caused their oxygen levels to drop pretty low and pneumonia was a concern.
In record time, me and my baby girls were strapped into the ambulance and heading down the mountain. We spent a few hours there where they monitored them, tested for various nasties, and in the early hours of Saturday morning we were discharged with an oxygen tank for both girls. The prescription? “Continuous oxygen.”
“Really?” I asked, knowing all too well what lay ahead.
I am sure that any of you who have ever had a child over six months old on “continuous oxygen” can totally relate when I say that it is humanly impossible to keep that cannula in their little noses! Harper has actually done pretty well–she can go with most things and once she got used to having the foreign object on her little face, she accepted that it had to be there. Easy enough.
Houdini Hailee on the other hand? Not on your life! Girlfriend can get out of a straight jacket. I kid you not! Our little 25 pounder (yes, she has lost a sizable amount of weight with this flu) is as tough as nails. There is no way on God’s green earth that she will even consider leaving the cannula where it is meant to be. Five years of hell on earth in a heinous orphanage sure has made her a fighter–a survivor–and that means that if there is something she doesn’t like, we know ALL about it. First question my friends who know Hailee in real life asked me was, “How in the world are you going to keep that thing on Hailee?” Yeah, seriously impossible!
Needless to say, after being told by the nurse that we had to keep them on oxygen continuously–or have them go into organ failure (yikes!), I became a mother on a mission! Sleep became a distant memory. Anthony and I dragged our weary bodies into bed at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning. We were done! As we lay there, one of the oxygen canisters started making a loud squeaking sound and simply would not stop. Ugh…really loud–like the horn of an ocean liner. I lay in bed and got the giggles. “What next, Lord?” I asked.
Next morning I rushed out and bought one of those gadgets that measures oxygen levels. And so ensued a ridiculous frenzy of checking that their levels never dropped a single point…like every five minutes. With the possibility of organ failure at the forefront of my mind, yeah, I became completely OCD.
Goodness gracious. By the time Sunday rolled around I was exhausted! Wiped out. Thank the Lord I have a few good friends who are nurses and so I started seeking advice. I desperately needed another opinion. Hailee would NOT keep the cannula in her nose. She was completely miserable. She is one determined little girl, even when she’s sick. They all put my mind at rest and told me that their O2 levels really were not that awful…and assured me that my girl’s organs were absolutely not going to go into any kind of failure. Whew!
Over the next couple of days Hailee started to look better and her oxygen levels began to stabilize. Harpy, on the other hand, not so much. I am so thankful for an amazing doctor up here. When I got the girls to him he was so surprised that Harper had double ear infections which had not been treated by neither the urgent care nor the ER! Crazy! On top of that the poor little darling has bronchitis and something viral/bacterial. No wonder she has been feeling so yucky. She is on a course of antibiotics and should hopefully start to feel better in the next few days. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for my dear hubby who is still fighting this persistent something that just will not go away. Two and a half weeks and counting.
Just to make life even more interesting, while all of this was going on, we arrived home to discover that the washer/dryer we had ordered online a week prior to arriving was not available and could not be delivered for another ten days to two weeks. Nice! A family of nine with three weeks worth of dirty clothes…you just have no idea. The moving truck was unpacked and the boxes stood almost as high as the washing pile.
And through it all….grace! His amazing grace.
Through this crazy season of our lives I have, once again, been so reminded of God’s grace. The last three weeks have been so, so insane. But there are always lessons to be learned in the valley, aren’t there? Mine have been all about learning complete and absolute dependence on my Father. Using a Scripture in Luke which I studied many years ago, He has gently reminded me of one truth, one thing that I can always depend on. I’ll share more on that soon.
Today the little lovies are doing so much better. Hailee’s oxygen levels have been in the normal range all day today and she is visibly feeling better. Harper is also doing better and her body is starting to heal, but she still has a ways to go. We are so thankful that they are improving daily.
We’re pressing in and pressing on toward the finish line. We’re trusting Him to fling the doors before us wide open and show us the way to walk. We’re being still and listening to His voice say, “This is the way, walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21.
Jesus truly is all we will ever need.
Blessing the name of the LORD!