Monday, October 14, 2013

The Diagnosis

As the tests began to come back and the idea of an infection in his blood was proven negative,  I began to realize that this would not be just a couple of days extension.  Sending out tests and getting back results can take weeks.  As I was quickly to learn,  hospitals do not run on my schedule.  On the weekends no testing occurs.  Holidays are out,  and in the midst of waiting for answers,  a large snow storm hit Cleveland.  Who would have thought that would have delayed everything,  but it did.  Even though it was only a few days,  it seemed like an eternity when all we wanted to do was bring our little boy home.

 Family began to come in town to visit and we all began to pray for Caleb's healing.  Here is where my faith in God became tricky.  For the only reason that I could imagine that Caleb would be born sick, was so that God could heal him, and show everyone how mighty He is.  I was willing to be part of that plan,  because how much time could it take God to heal him?  I didn't figure very long.   And then we would have an amazing story to tell.  Unfortunately, this wasn't God's plan. 

At the two week mark,  the doctor informed us that they had found a diagnosis for Caleb.  The news was not good, for with this diagnosis, Caleb would be on a ventilator 24 hours a day for the rest of his life.  We were heartbroken , but even as my heart cried out in grief,  my mind reminded me that I serve a big God, and  the miracle would just be that much more amazing. This struggle within myself, to live through the grief, but also hold onto my faith, would continue for the next 2 years. 

 At the time that we received the diagnosis,  the doctor  gave us the option of having Caleb disconnected from the ventilator and letting him peacefully pass away in his sleep. I was both shocked, that we had been offered this choice, and sickened by the thought of choosing to end my child's life. The fact that God was going to heal Caleb,  made the decision a mute point. Bob and I looked at each other and instantly made the decision to move forward with life and to implement whatever interventions would be necessary. 

Although we did not make the decision to have Caleb disconnected from the ventilator,  I am aware of families that have chosen that path.  At one time I may have passed judgement,  but no more.  For in choosing the path we did,  we committed to making sure Caleb's needs are met for the rest of our earthly lives.  We did not know the magnitude of this at the time,  but perhaps some families do and realize their own limitation. Or perhaps they feel removing medical interventions will be best for their child.  With all of the ways that doctors can save lives,  this decision is more and more placed into the hands of  families.  No mother or father wants to have to make the decision that will end the life of their child,  but I respect and honor each and every decision and the doctors that offer these choices.   Just 40 years ago,  these choices would not have had to be made because many or our children wouldn't have survived.  I am not saying that wouldn';t have brought its own horrible grief and pain,  but at least the parents wouldn't have felt the weight of having made that decision.  As medical advances continue,  this struggle between saving life at all costs and choosing when to let a child pass,  will continue.  If you ever have opportunity to walk through these choices with a family,  please extend support and grace,  because regardless of the path they choose, they will forever feel the weight of the decision they have made.

1 comment:

  1. I was just thinking when I woke up, that maybe I could read a new blog entry today....I cannot tell you enough how amazing I think you are, you will never know how you have impacted my life. You are the truest of friends and I thank God every single day for the gift of your friendship.....I pray the Lord brings the people that need the example of this journey you are so humbly sharing to these very selfless. Thank you for being you! ♥ u!!