We have a diagnosis for Max. What an answer to prayer.
We noticed the new lump on his jaw line growing consistently after our last appointment and happened to be at the hospital so we stopped in to the paediatric clinics. The nurses noticed significant growth as well and booked him in to see the surgeon asap.
On our way into see him last week, Max pointed to his neck and asked, “Ne!? Ne!?” Yes, Max, we’re here to look at your neck… again.
This time, however, instead of pokes, prods, a kind smile and out the door, we got our answer; and while it was one of the scary words we were sort of dreading… hearing them wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.
No one suited up in infectious disease rocket suits this time because Atypical TB is not contagious from person to person like the “standard” sort of TB you hear about in prisons or developing nations. Its found in many places and comes from dirt, contaminated water, and certain bird poo… mmm… yummy.
You know how some moms freak out if their kid accidentally eats a bit of dirt? Apparently I should’ve been that mom because that’s probably what happened. Max just happens to be one of the 1 in xxxx number of kids who got the raw end of that deal.
You’re welcome to all our mom and dad friends out there for taking the statistical bullet! 😉 I’m well aware the next time we see your child drop an apple slice on the ground we have lost all authority to say, “Just let him eat it.”
During our long morning at the hospital, we learned that surgery is the best way to get rid of this TB because it is notoriously resistant to drugs.
We also learned that the infection has spread through several glands already (its normally in just 1 or 2) and as we all know, is continuing to grow. The problem is, they seem to be all lined up perfectly right along this long, u-shaped nerve that happens to control the right side of his mouth and the lower right side of his face. The surgeon told us in no uncertain terms that we need to get rid of the infection but that he is not confident he will be able to do it without damaging that nerve, leaving our son paralyzed forever.
We opted to have a go with some really aggressive antibiotics. We were warned they could take quite a toll on his little body, but now several days in, he has only had some sluggishness, fever and diarrhoea – all within the “normal” range of his body growing accustomed to the drugs and closely monitored by our favourite paediatric nurses. Another answer to prayer.
Our hope is obviously that the infection recedes quickly. Our surgeon has warned us that he will most likely recommend surgery if there is not marked improvement in three weeks, as the risk of it spreading and causing more damage is too high.
I won’t lie. Even though we know other parents face much more difficult circumstances, the thought of surgery and potential paralysis was very, very confronting for us. At the same time, as we deal with those emotions before the Lord, He has been so gracious and kind to us, reminding us that it does not matter what Max looks like or what physical abilities or disabilities he may have – his destiny and purpose and value in life remains the same.
He has also reminded us that His heart is that none of us have sickness or suffering. I wonder if sometimes we see it so much junk in this world that we forget its not His ultimate plan or our ultimate future.
All along, God has spoken to us not to worry. As others have begun to pray for us and with us, this seems to be main theme.
And you know what?
We feel wise, aware, sad, grateful, disappointed, compassionate, and so many other things… but we are genuinely not worried. That whole peace that passes all understanding thing really is amazing.
Will you join us in praying for our boy? That his body would continue to accept the drugs well, that the infectious lumps would dissipate completely and that he would be healed and well? Would you pray that we continue to have peace and also the wisdom to know how to care for Max under these unusual circumstances?
And will you thank Jesus with us? For bringing this issue to light? For a surgeon who has speculated this is what it was all along and has made Max a priority as a result? For the kind community that surrounds us and reminds us of truth?
We have a LOT to be grateful for and one sweet little man to care for.