Papa Dave checking in...
It’s 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and I feel great. Elijah is sleeping at home for the first time in 23 days, and he just enjoyed about 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which means 11 hours of sleep for the rest of the Ramiri in the home. All four of us under the same roof... I’m not surprised at how grateful I feel.
Cheri, Elijah’s loving nurse, is back with us again and she has the medicinal side of life well under control. The boy is continuing to receive total nutrition through a tube pouring into his aorta (the big artery closest to the heart) with no food in his tummy. The TPN feed will continue to diminishing degrees for the next month, as we slowly bring him back to the world of digested foods. For those of you wondering, the aorta line, or central line, isn’t causing him much pain at all, but we’re keeping the Tylanol close just in case.
Thank you to everyone who prayed for Elijah these past three weeks. I know that so many of you asked if you could do anything for us during the ordeal, and I want to continually stress the importance of prayer above all other needs. There’s always a way to get our hands on more food or clothes or X-Box games, but when Elijah is suffering and we can’t figure out why, our sole recourse is to ask Jesus to intervene. It’s part of the process that we are left feeling both completely helpless and greatly empowered by these situations where God, and only God, is able to control the outcome.
Here’s a not-so-quick list of continuing prayer requests:
- Pray for Elijah in a kind of general way, with gratitude and sincere faith, as God continues to keep him in His will and protect him from / subject him to those plans which He deems best.
- Pray that Elijah feel as little pain as possible. His intestines are traumatized, perhaps scarred, from a few weeks of C. diff and some dreadful secondary virus. He’s also been jabbed, sliced and prodded about 100 times over the past three weeks, and that’s not including the incision in his chest for the central line, NOR the major skull surgery he’s still recovering from. It’s a testament to his resolve that he demands to be entertained and encouraged to laugh and play.
- Pray that Elijah continue to gain weight at a rapid pace. He was approaching 13 pounds after the skull surgery on Jan. 28, but he’s closer to 11 lb. 4 oz. today. That’s bad news considering the major surgeries still in store for him in 2008, starting with the wrist centralizations in May.
- Pray for wisdom for Elijah’s caretakers, especially his parents and day-nurse. He’ll also begin again with the parade of therapists, who sadly have not been able to maintain their progress with Elijah for close to a month. That means physical therapy, occupational therapy (development and positional bracing), speech pathology (speaking as well as eating), and off-and-on vision and hearing therapy. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but this kid is up for anything.
- Please say a prayer for our extended family, the Groves and the East Coast Ramiri, who have been traveling great distances to see Elijah and give his parents opportunities to rest. Also pray for those blessed local family members, the Reeds and the Ayers, for devoting something close to 40 hours each week to Eli’s care including caring for big sister Sophia. I’d like to promise we’ll give them some downtime, but it ain’t gonna happen.
- Pray for my precious daughter Sophia, who is five-years-old and being forced to grow up way too quickly. She demonstrates a wisdom and patience beyond her years, as she withstands Elijah’s trials right along with the rest of us, but we’d much rather see her goofing off at home and not dwelling on such deep questions. As with everything, God is keeping Sophia in the palm of His hand, and she will grow into the young lady she is meant to be. But my prayer is that she be protected from the daily drama. That’s okay to ask, right?
A special thank you to everyone who visited us at the hospital and brought us food, snacks, flowers, or an hour of adult conversation when I needed it most. This includes the staff and class members of FBC Tulsa and FBC Sapulpa, who never let a day go by without a visit, and especially Amber Van Meter. Amber is a friend of ours from way back in our New Beginnings (FBC Tulsa) class days, and she’s also a nurse at the Saint Francis PICU. In addition to providing me with homemade chocolate, potato chips and smiles when we needed it most, she also requested a rotation as Elijah’s nurse at a rather critical juncture. Good for you, Amber.
Please don’t let the fact that we are back home stop you from giving me cheddar-flavored Pringles by the truckload. It’s the little things in life...
With sincere gratitude,