Thursday, November 26, 2009

Meanwhile, back at the Knitternall ranch . . .

I've noticed times when favorite blogs go silent for awhile. Sometimes it's a week. Often it's longer. I always understood that life happens and blogs aren't always a top priority for their authors.

Which is the case for this blog.

Life has most definitely happened, culminating in another hospitalization for our teen. Earlier abdominal surgeries for Crohn's complications resulted in scarring in the lower intestine. We saw a steady increase in pain and flareups, then a complete blockage of his digestive tract.  He spent a week in that most wonderful hospital, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, at the same time as his surgeon and primary gastroentorologist had hospital rounds. The good news is he had the care of the specialists who know him best and he avoided surgery this time. The bad news is that the stricture remains. He handled the purgatory of stomach pain, NG tube, picc line, and other tortures with grace, occasional cursing, and more patience than I would have had in his place.

A neighbor sent me a wonderful missive focusing on the "thanksgiving" in the bad things that happen to all of us at one time or another. In the same spirit, I offer thanks as well:

Thanks to God for being with our family through this ordeal.
Thanks that our family is home, together, for this holiday weekend.

Thanks that the good people of Dunwoody Nature Center's Board and staff weathered my prolonged absence with kindness and a can-do spirit.

Thanks that Phil the Youth Minister Guy could pray for food and have it appear . . . twice! when the teen was finally allowed to eat after a 6-day fast.
Thanks for DHS Latin students and Mock Trial team mates, fellow Troop 764 Scouts, our extended family, and good friends who rallied around our teen, reminded him that he matters, prayed for his recovery, and shared best wishes when he needed them.
Thanks that our daughter is flexible, kind-hearted, and self-reliant. It isn't easy being the sibling of a chronically ill kid.
Thanks for laughter. When Scoutmaster LaRose told our teen he didn't really have to throw himself so completely into research for his Eagle project, he got a huge roar from everyone. (He's collecting handheld Nintendo and Sony game systems, games, and power packs/accessories for Children's, so Volunteer Services can loan them to bedbound tweens and teens during their hospitalizations. He knows, as well as they do, that distraction is a great way to deal with pain. Coloring books and crayons are great for little ones, but older kids need something a bit more . . . advanced.)
Thanks for knitting. I made two pairs of felted slippers, eleven dishcloths, and worked out a sock design for my mom while listening to IV alarms, vitals monitors, distant pages, and a steady stream of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.  Knitting kept me calm, centered, and alert to our son's needs.
Thanks for NetFlix and wireless internet.  For hours at a time, the teen could forget a bit about the NG tube and enjoy some "transforming" entertainment, update his Facebook friends, play games, journal his Eagle project status, and read uplifting emails.
Thanks that we chose Dunwoody as our home a decade ago, little knowing how much we'd need the hospital campus just 15 minutes from our house.
Thanks that research into Crohn's and its treatment has advanced so much in our teen's lifetime.
Some of the most giving people around our family are now enduring or have suffered their own challenges and losses. Thanks for compassion that springs from the most God-centered part of our souls.

This is truly a Thanksgiving Day for the Knitternall family. Whatever comes next, we are together and we are blessed.

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