This has been a hard week.
After a full weekend with Brian’s family, we were geared up for one last day of activity. On the morning of the Fourth of July, Hunter woke up with a small reddish area at the site of his tick bite from a week ago. We didn’t get overly concerned as this was, according to the internet, a fairly common reaction. But as the day wore on, he got increasingly more uncomfortable and the small red area grew larger and turned purple. Still, he played even through fireworks late Monday night. Tuesday morning he was in so much pain that I could not even pick him up and carry him without causing him pain. We quickly brought him in and he was diagnosed with cellulitis. We got him on “gorilla strength” antibiotics and have been doing our best to keep him comfortable.
He can’t really walk without extreme pain so I carry him, very very gingerly, everywhere he needs to go.
He can’t sit up due to the location of the infection.
His sleep is not sound and he needs comfort several times in the night.
He hates the taste of his meds and giving it to him is awful.
He screams any time he has his diaper changed (normally he doesn’t wear one, but given the nature of what he is dealing with and the side-effects of his medication it is necessary). It takes two of us to even manage it.
He hasn’t played in two full days.
He hasn’t run through the house in two full days.
He hasn’t made a silly face to make us laugh in two full days.
I’m going to be honest – tonight I’m struggling.
I’m struggling to trust that the medication is working. The doctor warned me that it would take some time. And yet I’m just worried.
I’m struggling to remember even what day it is because I have spent all of the last several days being glued to his side. He won’t let me leave him and asks for me repeatedly. And even though there is no where I would rather be…I’m just tired. After two days of sitting on the floor beside his perch on the couch, all of time seems one big blur.
I’m struggling to be patient with my other two kiddos who have needs as well. I feel utterly spent and that is ridiculous because I am not actually doing anything other than sitting on the floor, begging my little boy to drink, and feeding him bites of food. My energy is gone.
I’m struggling to reject the voice of the enemy who wants me to believe that maybe this is worse than what the doctor said it was. Struggling to not listen to the worry that the diagnosis was wrong. Struggling to ignore the worry that maybe I didn’t get all of the tick out when I know I checked so specifically to make sure that I had.
I flip flop between great moments of peace and comfort and hope to moments of fear and worry and anxiety.
There’s no neat-and-tidy bow on this one. There’s just this – a valley. When your three year old screams in pain every time you gently carry him, that’s a valley.
Maybe its not necessarily the shadow of death that I fear here. But the weight of suffering and the agony of waiting press in around me. How long, Oh Lord?
I am working to dig deep and to find that Job-like faith that says, “even so…”
It could certainly be worse. But that’s not the brave face I put on in my prayers. In my murmured pleadings it is always this – it could certainly be better. Please let it get better. Please let him get better.
So here’s where I find my only comfort tonight – that I speak all these honest broken prayers to a Father who watched His own Son suffer mightily.
It would be hard, if not impossible, for me to pray to a God who hadn’t felt and experienced and lived through the agony and victory of the cross. How could I trust Him to feel my pain, to feel any pain at all, if He’d never watched His Beloved suffer and die? What’s more, how could I pray to a God, love a God, trust in a God who didn’t recognize the incredible pain of loss enough to reverse it with an empty tomb.
He hates pain. He hates suffering. He hates sicknesses, and hatred, and death, and oppression, and cancer, and AIDs, and malaria, and hunger. He hates cellulitis in little three year old boys who should be running through the house.
He hates it all and someday He will erase and reverse it.
But for tonight, He holds me as I kneel and cry and pray for the little boy in the room down the hall.