So, what does the Fox say? This is a popular question these days. And while many of you think the Fox says, “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding” or “Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoffhe”, you may have been deceived. He actually said, “belly hurt, belly hurt, kiss it”. And that was a life-saving phrase for our little Fox. Skip to the cute picture at the end if you’re not interested in medically-themed posts. Or just watch the video, apparently 230 million folks have. We’re probably responsible for about 500 of those. Yikes!
As many of you are aware, we have just surfaced from our most intense parenting experience thus far. “Belly hurt, belly hurt” went from “oh that’s just gas pains” to “well maybe he’s getting a little bug” to “he’s throwing up blood, it’s time to go to the doctor”. In God’s providence one of our embassy friends had given us the number of a reputable pediatrician months before. Fox is generally pretty healthy, so we just figured we’d save it until we needed it. When we finally navigated nearly an hour of traffic, hoping the taxi driver wouldn’t kick us out because of an obviously sick baby, we arrived at Dr. Patricia’s office.
She started the typical doctor questions about symptoms and family history, until she was interrupted with more blood vomiting. “I think you need to go to the hospital. Now!” she said. The panic in her voice didn’t compare to what we experienced, running a couple of miles holding a boy who’s barely with it, in need of fluids and a diagnosis. Things had gone down hill fast.
Once we finally arrived and got Fox hooked up to some fluids, the serious prodding and poking began. Watching our son undergo some horrific procedures was really gut-wrenching. After about 12 hours of this, we got the word that his appendix look inflamed and surgery was going to be vital. The catch, however, was that the surgeon was going in not really sure what she would find. Scary. Outcome 1 and 2 were really complicated, requiring open incisions and future, follow-up surgeries. Outcome 3, was by far the best possible diagnosis, appendicitis with a local infection.
And so we prayed, “God you love our son more than we do. Take care of him. Help him not to be scared. Give us outcome 3”. It was around 11 that night when the surgeon entered the room beaming. Appendicitis, local infection, all cleaned up and ready to heal. Rejoicing. God had spared our son.
He spent three nights in the ICU recovering and battling the remaining infection. If you ask Laura Kate, she would tell you this was the hardest because we weren’t allowed to stay with him past 8pm. Little man was coming off surgery, with no mom and dad, in a room of nurses who only spoke Spanish. Frankly, I had a hard time being in there. He looked so engorged by the fluids and swelling, hooked up to all kinds of wires and tubes, barely able to open his eyes, I couldn’t be in there without feeling like I would weep uncontrollably at any moment.
Parents should never have to watch their children go through things like this, and worse. What a wicked perversion of God’s good story. What a treasure to serve a God who “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” in order to fix all this mess that’s been made. What a loving sacrifice to watch your own son endure a more horrifying experience, to save people who don’t deserve it and can’t fully appreciate it.
Days went by, Fox improved, and we were able to move from the ICU to a more normal hospital room. Laura Kate showed off her freakish mom powers by spending the night on a board-like bed while six months pregnant. Tolerating food and moving muscles that haven’t moved in a week was quite the task, but these little critters are so resilient. I thought, “there’s no way he’ll be able to walk on those limp little legs anytime soon”. Sure enough, the next day he was running, with us precariously wheeling his neck-port-IV-thingy behind him. Amazing.
After ten days, we were allowed to vamos, to go home and finish recovery there. We’re really thankful for the folks who prayed for us during this crazy time. For the Bogotá visitors, for the US visitor (LK’s mom), for the cards and stuffed animals, for the meals from our teammates here, for the dear nurses and doctors who patiently endured our non-medical Spanish and loved our little boy. We are thankful for those of you who support us financially, because you enable us to have the type of insurance that allows us access to excellent medical care here. So, what does the Fox say? Or I guess what else does the Fox say? He says with us, “Thank You!”.