Friday, December 18, 2009

The Low-Down

We're home and unpacked and very weary, but so thankful to God for his blessings and his answers to many prayers.

Here's where things stand with the Boy. After three days of appointments and lots of tests including an echocardiogram and lung function, the Mayo Clinic pulmonologist determined that our son's otherwise good health and the positive outcomes of his previous lung collapses (pneumothoraxes) bode well for him in the future.

The surgeries being considered--fusing the lining of the lung to the lung itself and removing small cysts on the lungs--would be very painful for Boy and perhaps ultimately unnecessary. Yes, he might continue to have lung collapses, but the doctor expects they will be relatively minor and that he might even grow out of them. Very specific genetic tests have been done, including a skin biopsy netting two sutures (battle wounds ;-). The results, due in several weeks, will guide doctors in reconsidering surgery. In other words, if the Boy isn't going to outgrow these collapses, then we'll know so and will have better information to decide the best course of action. In the meantime, if he has a significant lung collapse, we'll know beyond doubt that we need to move forward. The pulmonologist suspects the previous pneumos might be the result of rapid height gain outpacing lung development.

We feel great about the results of our trip. And while we love our doctors here, we feel things were heading too fast toward a decision for surgery before all the facts were in. It is a tremendous blessing to have worked with a team of doctors (here and at the Mayo), who were willing to consult together for our Boy's long term best interest.

All that being said, I will not and cannot downplay the power of prayer--many faith-filled people have prayed for healing and for a positive outcome without surgery. In one way or another, God has answered those prayers.

Thank you for keeping up with us and for your love and support.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Quick update. Docs have decided surgery would not be in Caleb's best interest at this time. We will wait for genetic testing results which will take several weeks, but current tests look really good. We're trying to hit the road asap and get to Kansas tonight in the hopes of beating the icy roads due from here through Iowa tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers--God is good all the time!

More later.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good Gifts

We found out this afternoon that we have an early appointment on Thursday with the pulmonologist who will review Caleb's tests with us and make a final determination regarding surgery. We're praying for wisdom and, if everything seems good, quick action and a trip home. The earliest surgery we can hope for seems to be Friday.

Thank you for the many expressions of love and concern. Thank you especially for your prayers. All good gifts come from God.

We're very blessed to be staying in the Ronald McDonald House--another gift. It often takes days or weeks to get in; we got in the day we arrived. We've met a couple of families and find everyone here to be rooting for each other and for one another's kids. There are many sad stories, many heartwarming. We had dinner in the community room tonight, enjoying a meal brought in by one of the local grocery stores. The Mayo Clinic itself is a fascinating small city worthy of its own blogpost. But we're tired and the alarm will go off early, so I'll close out here.

Love and hugs.

Hurry Up and Wait

Boy had an echocardiogram, blood tests, and a skin biopsy this morning . . . the last two for genetic testing. We're just hanging out now, waiting to hear about the surgeries. Waiting, waiting, waiting . . .


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Adventure Boy

I haven't written on this blogsite in quite a while, but if this isn't a journey, I don't know what is.

First of all, I must say that we are so grateful for our situation. We know that many deal with much more difficult medical issues. Nevertheless, I've definitely invoked God's promise in Philippians 4:6-7--"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." And I have to say, He has been more than faithful.

To recap, our 15-year-old son has had three lung collapses in the past 4 months for no apparent reason. The last collapse just over a week ago convinced his doctors he needed one or two procedures to prevent future and more life-threatening lung collapses. Easy, except that Adventure Boy has also been diagnosed with a genetic connective tissue disorder that could impact healing. Hence, we are at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN where they specialize in dealing with kids like him (you know . . . the superhero variety ;-).

Today we had appointments with a pulmonologist, a surgeon, and a geneticist. The short version is that we have more questions than we started with regarding Boy's connective tissue disorder (more genetic tests have been ordered), but positive news that he is a good candidate for the lung surgeries he needs. We are also glad to report that he feels good and healthy--except when his lung pops. :)

He's scheduled for an echocardiogram on Wednesday morning. If his heart looks healthy, then he is to have two procedures done on each lung later this week (we hope). Fairly simple, though we're promised recovery will be painful. These procedures should eliminate the risk of the very bad kind of lung collapse and diminish the risk for other collapses in general. After a night in the hospital, he should be free to leave. The 1,000-mile car trip home will be interesting. Praise God our daughter arrived here today after moving all her finals to yesterday and depleting her savings to buy an airline ticket. Of course she did these things before telling us, but we're so thankful for her help and her generous, sweet heart.

We appreciate your prayers, concerns, advice and encouragement far more than you can possibly know. Thank you, loved ones. I'll update as often as possible.