Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sign of the Times

Every time Benjamin has to go in for surgery or a bronchoscopy, we always have to starve him for several hours before he is put under anesthesia. Now that he's a bit older he's starting to learn how to put his sign language to good use. After an hour in the waiting room this morning, Ben had enough and began pulling out all the stops in order to get a little food. Since his signs were falling on the blind eyes of his parents, he began to work on the nurses in the room. By the time he had finished his routine of squeezing his fingers together and rubbing his chest to say "milk pleeeease" followed by his most pathetic frowny face and a few tears down the cheek, the nurses had melted into puddles on the floor. I'm pretty sure if Adrienne and I were not in the room, Ben would've had himself some milk and a steak dinner if he knew the sign for it.

Once they finally knocked Ben out, Dr. Digoy was able to see some good progress with Ben's vocal cords. One side of Ben's airway had opened up so well, that the doctor decided to use a laser to clear out the last little bit of tissue that was blocking that area. There's still a considerable blockage on the other side of Ben's airway around the vocal cords, but Dr. Digoy is now hopeful that this blockage may also recede like the other tissue did.

He told us that he did not feel comfortable doing the surgery that Ben was originally scheduled for because he had done several similar procedures on other kids in recent weeks and was not satisfied with the results. The surgery is pretty painful, and he didn't think it would open up Ben's airway wide enough for him to take out the trach. So we'll probably head down to OKC again in two or three weeks to see how Ben has progressed and figure out what's next.

Thank you all as always for your prayers and thoughtfulness,
Whit, Adrienne, and the Benjamite

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Hear You

This afternoon Adrienne received a phone call from Dr. Digoy out of the blue. He said that he's been having second thoughts about performing this surgery on Ben. Instead of going through with the procedure tomorrow, we're just going to take Ben down to OKC to let the doctor see how the healing of his airway is progressing. Wouldn't it be fantastic if the airway had opened up on its own? I'll let you know what the doctor says when we get back home tomorrow evening. It's nice when God gives us a gentle nudge when we're heading in the wrong direction.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Talk to Me

Sometimes I'm not exactly sure what I'm expecting from God when I pray. Some people say that God speaks to them or directly specifies which way they should go. Others say that God gives them a peace about the decision they're making. And others say that they pray for God simply to guide them through the wisdom and logic he has given to them.

This far on my journey in life, I've never had God speak to me directly (though I've had several instances where God has seemed to hit me over the head with a ton of bricks as I have read and been convicted by his Word.) And I guess there have been times, especially during Ben's first month in the hospital, that I felt God providing me with extra measure of his peace. For the most part though in my experience, God appears to act more subtly through a combination of different people and situations.

We have decided to go with the option to widen Ben's airway by grafting a piece of Ben's rib cartilage into the ring of cartilage around the voice box. The procedure will be done on Tuesday, April 29th and will take about 6 hours. They expect Ben to be in the hospital for about a week to make sure that the cartilage fuses properly and doesn't slip out of place. God hasn't told us to make this decision, and I don't really feel a peace about it either. Is it possible to say that you trust God will work things out even if you don't feel a peace about a decision you are asking him to help you with? Some might say that silence on God's part means that you should just wait for God to act and make things clear. I think Proverbs 20:24 sums it up pretty well, "
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?"

Well, that's enough of that for an evening. On with the Benjamin videos!