Our Monday appointment went far better than the Sunday fiasco. My regular doctor and all his great nurses were on the clock and they helped make the best of a bad situation. Despite a few days on steroid treatments, Ty's still junky cough earned him a series of chest x-rays. Maybe pneumonia, the pediatrician said. Awesome, I thought.
While Ty went with the nurse to get x-rays, we took a look to see if McKay's ears had made any progress on the new antibiotic. They were still infected, but had stopped pussing. I piped right up and said after talking to so many people whose children have tubes in their ears, I was convinced we should go forward and relieve my little guy of at least this one battle. My normal smiley pediatrician then pulled back and got very serious. McKay is not every kid, he said. This is a huge decision for him. If there is absolutely any alternative to tubes, we must pursue it. He then said he wanted to give Mac the last round of shots and an additional two weeks to see if his body could clear the infection. If not, then we would consider the tubes. So two more weeks it is. I may need a second opinion in the interim.
By the time Mac's shots were being drawn, Ty's x-rays were back and thankfully they showed no signs of pneumonia. However, his still reactive airway was begging for some additional assistance. Ty, too, was put on a two week trial with a twice-a-day inhaler. He's almost done with his oral steroid pill and it can come none too soon for Matt and me. The drug turns Ty into a whirling dervish. I cannot imagine him being more active or chatty than if he had just downed a candy bar and a Coke. One more dose. Just one more dose.
So it's more of the same here. Waiting. Hoping. Doing what we can. And praying.
I've done a lot of thinking this week on the word Spirit. The Christmas Spirit. The Holy Spirit. The spirit that resides in our home. They are all gifts. But they are not gifts that are so much given as they are received. No one can give you the Christmas spirit. No one can award you the companionship of the Holy Spirit. And no outsider can impose a permanent change of spirit in your home, your life, your heart. No; the spirit in which you live, rely on, and trust is determined solely by what you are willing to receive.
And, as you know from my last rant, I have not been willing to receive much of anything these days. My shield has been up, my sword drawn. And yet I was fooling no one. I was helpless to defend my brood from what felt like vicious, unwarranted attacks. And finally I was defeated. My cry to the Lord was to make it stop. It should have been to help me understand.
I received an answer to my prayers this week, strangely, in the form of a phrase that has been playing like a broken record in my head for about three days now. I want to think it's from a poem I've read somewhere, but something tells me it was written just for me:
To live life in this body was more than He could ask,
That's why I volunteered in a life already passed.
No, I usually don't receive answers to my prayers in prose. But this particular little couplet has been a reoccuring thought I cannot explain. As I search for answers as to why McKay (or any child) must come to this life in an imperfect body, or why our little ones must suffer at all, the more I am convinced it is more about us and less about them. We have much to learn, and they have much to teach. And for some reason, as part of a plan that is far bigger than I can understand, they proved their allegiance to our Savior through the ultimate act of love--they volunteered to accept a calling less glamorous or easy than we were willing to take. I strongly believe they were not compelled or sentenced or made to accept the life they were given. Instead, they gave freely and accepted a role that requires only the most brave and most pure volunteers.
The reality is that Mac is a perfect innocent who has experienced more pain in his 16 months on the planet than many of us will (or could) endure in our lifetimes. And yet he smiles. And yet he loves. And yet he trusts.
It's that last part, the trusting, that's growing increasingly harder. I want to see the plan in all this. I want to trust doctors and nurses and all the people that surround us and make decisions about our life. I want to trust that they see US. Not our case. Not our bill. Not our situation. I want them to see US. We are a family that's fighting to stay together. We are a family that loves each other. We are PEOPLE. And lately, I felt treated, but not seen. That makes it hard to trust.
Lately the Lord's lessons have come in torrents and floods, they have involved my children, and often leave me in tears. But I am trying to learn and I am trying to trust. Because they are far wiser and far better than I. Both God and my sons. And the spirit in which these trials are given is one of love and growth, but mostly love. I know my Savior loves me. I know he is closer to my children than I can possibly imagine. And that's the spirit in which I need to receive what He has to give.