Tuesday, June 5, 2012

There is a season . . .


A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,  
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil?   I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.    He has made everything beautiful in its time.    He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.    I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.   That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.    I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.   Ecc 3:1-14

A few weeks ago was Hannah AND Henry's birthday.  Yes you heard that right, they share the same birthday exactly five years apart.   Hannah wanted to take this picture of the "Birthday Twins," as she affectionately refers to her bond with Henry.   Hannah turned eight and Henry turned three.  I cannot begin to tell you the joy and thankfulness in my heart as I look at little Henry today.  I wish I could have shown this picture to my former self, sitting in the hospital with Henry when he was eight months old, crying the day that he came home with his G-tube, wondering if he would ever be able to eat or drink by mouth.  I wished I could have told myself. . . he is going to be okay.

Even after overcoming our challenges with aspiration; Henry continued to have major intolerance's to the proteins in foods.   After being diagnosed with FPIES,  we took Henry off of many foods but he continued to have diarrhea, sometimes bloody.  He also had chronic abdominal pain and lack of growth.   Finally  in November of 2011 we embarked upon the GAPS diet in an attempt to heal Henry's body from the inside out.

It was a huge change for us, even though we had been gluten free for months.  We took all processed foods out of his diet and started him on bone broth and then added in specific vegetables from the various broth--fish, chicken, beef, lamb.    In a few days his chronic diarrhea stopped.   We moved fairly quickly through the different stages of the GAPS diet following the book by Dr. Natasha.   I know many others whose children's have FPIES have not been able to move forward this quickly and for his progress I am grateful.  He did have some weird rashes, many respiratory and even GI illnesses along the way, but we just keep pushing forward.   He slowly started to add to his weight, which was something he had not been able to do consistently since birth.  I noticed that when he was sick, he did not loose weight as drastically as he previously had before GAPS, his immune system seemed to be stronger.

Last week Henry had his three year old well check.   He weighed 27.5 lbs and was 36 inches tall!  He is now in the 10th percentile for his weight.  Prior to GAPS Henry was UNDER the third percentile, and he is in the 25th percentile for his height, which is where he was at birth.  He has not been this tall since he was six months old and all his breathing and swallowing problems began.

We only have raw, grass fed unpasteurized delicious milk in our house.  Never-the-less, Henry has never been able to tolerate milk.   I remember vividly putting it in his G-tube when the Dr's told me to add more calories; but he instantly started violently retching and also had diarrhea at the same time.   A month and a half ago Henry grabbed some of Hannah's milk when I was in the other room and drank an entire cup.  I fearfully waited for the results.   NOTHING.   And that was the end of Henry's issues with milk.  Now he eats raw cheese, homemade ice cream,  yogurt, any really any milk product. 

 Nothing is what it was. It is as if the past has been erased, it is a new beginning. When I look at Henry today, it is sometimes hard to remember the darkness of the days before. It like entering the promise land after forty years in the wilderness, I never imagined this land flowing with milk and honey--literally!    Today Henry went to his second swimming lesson, there is a little scar where his old G-tube site is, that scare is the only thing to remind me of what was. During the day he is a dancing, happy, healthy little boy. 

I remember reading the above scripture a few years ago when Henry was anemic, not growing, and had his G-tube placed and yet continued to not grow or tolerate foods.    I wondered why things had to be so hard, I wondered why Henry had to endure so much pain, I wondered why God was allowing this in my life, I wondered if it would ever change.    The more scripture I read, the more I realized that I didn't  know the answer to the why?    I started to ask a different question.  What?  What do you want from me Lord?    What should I do?    And I started crying out to Him for help.    "He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."   I don't know that I understand God any more than before.  But  I have found that as I face trials, I do long more for eternity, I do long for a time when God will answer, when I will see Him face to face, when all of us will be perfectly healed by his grace and love.   I long for a deeper relationship with the only One who can help me through these times on this earth.

 I cannot thank and praise God enough for choosing to heal Henry, as I know that He did not have too, but He did.   While I do believe that God lead us to the GAPS diet, I believe it was God who healed Henry not the diet alone.   While I am so thankful, it has taken me a long time to post our progress because I am so deeply burdened by the pains of others whose children God has not healed yet.  While I rejoice for Henry, I continue to weep and pray for you.   I cannot tell you why you are suffering, and my heart breaks for you.  I know the heart of God is tender towards those who are suffering.   He is near to the broken hearted, He is the one who binds up their wounds.    I have found comfort reading the psalms and seeing David's heart for God during his trials.   I have found encouragement from friends and sisters who have helped me believe when otherwise I was struggling to keep hope.  I thank all of you who have traveled this journey with me.    I am in a season of dancing, and also a season of introspection, trying to gather all that I have learned over the past years and store it up to be prepared for the next season, whatever that might be.