Well, I remember sitting at St. Jude 3 years ago watching fireworks on TV while you tried to sleep. I remember being so upset as I watched local news and fireworks into the night and wondered how could so many be celebrating when we knew you didn’t have much time left. Yet there your dad and I sat, alone in that room with you with our glow bracelets.
Tomorrow will be another hard day without you. I can’t explain my heart to anyone. I pray for Jesus to come back everyday so my heart will be whole again. And we’ll be a family again. I know God has so many things to do before that time.
I’ve read so many books and talked to so many preachers about you in heaven. I’ve received so many different answers and I really have conflicting thoughts on what the bible says. Hebrews 12:1 talks about “a great cloud of witnesses” and in a book I read by Randy Alcorn, he seems to think you can see me. If you can, you would see how sad I am. I remember when you broke down with me twice and both times it was because you were worried about us after you were gone. I guess you had a right to worry even though I told you not to worry.
I just didn’t know what we were going to face. Now I’m trying to help others and be honest with them and prepare them before their children leave them. It’s a nightmare buddy. A dream I wish you would walk in and wake me up from. Instead, I just don’t get much sleep at all.
Since the last time I wrote, we have a new church family. We are at Central now and Collin has spread his wings. We needed this. I miss our GBC friends, but buddy, we are being loved and they are crying with us and you are still there. I’ve been saying for months, it doesn’t matter where you worship, we are all one body of Christ. We’ll ALL be in heaven together one day!
Remember how I laid next to you in bed and whispered about all our vacations, well we went back to Hawaii. I saw you in everything. I hope in that deep sleep before you went to Jesus you heard everything I whispered to you because I couldn’t take it if you didn’t know just how much I love you and was going to miss you.
Tomorrow, when we sing The Stand, my mind will go back to so many times I watched you worship with your hands in the air in praise to God. My promise is that during worship I will be one with God and you in praise as we sing 10,000 Reasons, The Stand, and prayers for Anna Wakefield as she sings your request for your celebration Your Great Name at GBC tomorrow.
When asked in Hawaii on a tour if there was one person I could have dinner with who would it be…I said you.
“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” From Wicked, your favorite Broadway musical. I wish everyone would have been able to know your tender, true heart for the Lord and the love for your family and friends. I’ve been changed because I knew you, my son.
Four months. Four long months of battling morning sickness nausea, but no baby. It hits the same time every morning between 8 and 9 a.m. I’ve been living on Zofran for four months each day. One month I thought it was from a leftover upper respiratory infection, along with the cough. Then I began to think it might be my hormone and called my gynecologist. She said no and sent me to a gastroenterologist. “Sure, I’m only leaving for Hawaii in TWO WEEKS!”
I had not been eating and noticed my clothes were getting a little looser. I had a check up with my neurologist and they asked all the normal questions and I told him of this unexplained nausea and cough. He immediately said, I think you probably have Gastroparesis. Gastro what? He told me it can be from over narcotic use in migraine sufferers. (I thought, oh great, another reason to put on my medical record if I need to go to the ER.) I still wasn’t comprehending what he was telling me. I told him I already had an appointment with my gastro doctor and would fill him in when I heard something.
I saw WONDERFUL Dr. Farooq at Gastro One the day before we left for Hawaii and without doing the endoscopy, he told me the same thing. “It’s either Gastroparesis or and ulcer, and they sometimes present the same way.” I was scheduled for an endoscopy after Hawaii and realized I had lost about 10 pounds and was not feeling “Hawaii bound” even after a bag of IV fluids. That night Jay asked, “Do you still want to go?”
If you have seen my Hawaii pictures, there was one of me in the hotel room in the bed. Jay snapped this after a rough morning of trying to eat (oatmeal) and unfortunately seeing my food again. I had not thrown up to this point with this stuff. And we were about to get on a BOAT! Praise the Lord, He saw me through the rest of our journey without any vomiting! But when we returned, my endoscopy did not end well.
What in the world is Gastroparesis? I’m talking about this because 1) I need information from people I trust, and 2) I can always use your prayers. Here is the information I have learned:
Web MD states “Gastroparesis is a condition in which your stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion. It is caused by damage to the vagus nerve, which regulates the digestive system. A damaged vagus nerve prevents the muscles in the stomach and intestine from functioning, preventing food from moving through the digestive system properly.” Just like with a limb which has paralysis due to nerve and muscle damage, there is no cure for Gastroparesis. Gastroparesis patients have to rely on symptom management alone to aid in managing their Gastroparesis symptoms.
Gastroparesis symptoms are on a day-by-day basis. Gastroparesis can severely affect the quality of life of the person suffering from it. Frequent trips to the emergency room and doctor’s office visits become a normal routine. Due to a lack of medical research and awareness, it’s a common misconception that Gastroparesis is a rare condition. Gastroparesis symptoms include Early Satiety (feeling full after just a few bites), heartburn, weight loss, weight gain, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, erratic blood glucose levels (mainly in diabetes), lack of appetite, gastric reflux, spasms of the stomach wall, malnutrition, chronic nausea, vomiting (often of undigested food), and an inability to tolerate dietary fats. Luckily, Jay knew of Gastroparesis when I was diagnosed because of his diabetic patients he transports.
As stated by the Mayo Clinic “There is no cure for Gastroparesis. Making changes to your diet may help you cope with Gastroparesis signs and symptoms, but that’s not always enough. Gastroparesis medications may offer some relief, but some can cause serious side effects.” There are only 3 oral medications currently for the treatment of Gastroparesis and those are Domperidone, Reglan, and erythromycin. Domperidone is a non-FDA approved drug in the United States and side-effects include lactation, a rapid heart rate that can sometimes lead to sudden death, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. Reglan is sold in the United States but crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes Tardive Dyskinesia (an incurable disease that causes jerky movements to the limbs, head, tongue, and face similar to that of Parkinson’s disease). Dr. Farooq warned me about this and I have already had a few tremors with the Reglan. Erythromycin is a low does antibiotic that is sometimes used to treat Gastroparesis but few doctors prescribe it because its side-effect include the very symptoms that Gastroparesis patients try to get rid of – NAUSEA. I have not been able to take Emycin for years and is on every doctors list of medications in which I am allergic.
Gastroparesis is a long-term chronic illness that affects the way those with Gastroparesis live their lives. A NORMAL healthy diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, food that’s high in fiber and a good amount of exercise. Those with Gastroparesis however, CANNOT digest foods that are high in fiber or high in fat because Gastroparesis causes a delay in how the stomach functions. When food that’s difficult for the body to digest is eaten (such as fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and food that’s high in fat) it slows down gastric motility. When someone with Gastroparesis eats foods that are high in fiber and high in fat it furthers the delay in Gastric motility and can cause serious food masses, food poising (due to food rotting in the intestines). I have endoscopy pictures to prove it. Think of this – no more salads. Lettuce is one of the hardest foods for your stomach to digest. Eating specific foods and some forms of herbal treatments without consulting a GI physician can be dangerous and can lead to deadly consequences. Many of those with Gastroparesis don’t just struggle to digest food, but they struggle to digest liquids as well and end up having to resort to feeding tubes or TPN (intravenously fed through the blood stream). Oh, remember TPN? That was Trey’s favorite. You’d have to tie me down before you put me on TPN!
So here I am. Left with a specific and very limited diet, medication that makes me feel like a slug, but at least I have an answer. I am thankful for a very, very understanding and wonderful, knowledgeable husband. Just to think that God blessed me so many years ago with this Godly man and knew that he would go into the medical profession and how I would need his tender heart. I am overwhelmed. This also might be a blessing in disguise because it might cause both of us to eat healthier foods but in a different manner than most families. Fiber and fats are not my friends. I covet your prayers for my new lifestyle, my frustrations, and that of my family.