Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Arianna and more...

Many of you know the scary weekend we had at the end of September, that ended up being less of a headliner than at first expected (Thank God). Perhaps, some of you do not, so read on. We had blood-work done on Arianna near the end of last month because she was not gaining weight as quickly as the doctors would like. Her alkaline phosphate numbers were high, so they scheduled another draw. We received the results the 28th of Friday.

Our pediatrician called us and started the conversation with the words, "I wish I had better news..." Immediately my heart sank, because they had mentioned to me these raised numbers can indicate kidney disease, liver disease, and cancer. She went on to let me know that it was probably not liver or kidney disease because no other numbers were raised that should have been if it were one of those conditions. She mentioned (at my asking) that it is probably tumor, and that Shands was expecting us.

We were pulling into Ocala Eye for an eye appointment scheduled for Celia and immediately turned around and jetted down the interstate to the pediatrics ward of Shands in Gainesville. The emotions of horror that followed can not be explained, so I won't try. I'll just say everything got surreal very fast. I was awakened out of my "stupor" at the sound of Celia crying in the back seat (she was feeding Arianna in the car seat). I don't recall that we had even said a word to each other...though I'm sure we did. But we were both so deep in thought, that I don't think we wanted to talk at the moment. However, when I heard her sniffing, my heart was so overcome within me that I could not contain my emotions, so we both had a little cry-fest there in the car. Then I called a few people to ask them to get prayer-chains started and probably cried my way through all that.

On I-75, we had our defining moment... I think. Looking back, I THINK this was what the Lord had in mind in purposing this all to happen. For a while (with our departure to the DR drawing near), I had been getting more anxious every day when considering the dangers that were about to become Arianna's on a daily basis. God, my Father, wanted to show me that she is in His hands. We lifted our hearts to the Lord in prayer, and though we had done this before, we offered Arianna to the Lord similar to Hannah in her dedication of Samuel (1 Sam. 1:11). We acknowledged our praise to the Lord despite the outcome of our hospital visit, which I honestly thought would go on for weeks and result in Arianna not leaving there alive. I know that sounds extreme, but cancer is extreme. But God used our prayer to fill us with His Spirit, which resulted in a confidence and peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:6). And that prayer, coupled with the whole event, assured us that dangers exist everywhere; and that our trust should not be in where we are or where we are living, but rather that it should be in the Lord all Mighty (Ps. 20:7). Look at where trusting in circumstances got us with Arianna- a trip to Shands!

Now, I don't think that our prayer of faith "cured" Arianna, but it is true that things went from "bad" to "better" pretty quick upon our arrival. At first it was, "probably tumor"; after initial tests and talking to us, it was, "might not be tumor"; then after further tests (10 tubes of blood, 2 x-rays, 1 ultra sound, and the usual things) it was, "probably not tumor." 2 days later we finally got the diagnosis: Benign Transient Alkaline Hyperphosphatesemia or something like that. It is a rare condition in under 5% of children with those raised numbers (the alkaline phosphatates), where they rise for "no apparent reason" as the doctors explained to us. There probably are reasons in some of those 5% cases where "minor" things cause the numbers to rise, but nothing could be found to be wrong with Arianna...nothing!

Wow, praise God! And with regards to the weight-gain issue, the dietician basically said we need to just out-feed her. No one thought anything was wrong or could at least identify it. So, sitting here on my dad's computer, with little Ari sleeping in the back room, I can say that there was nothing found to be wrong with Arianna. She was ordered blood tests to be done every month just to keep an eye on that particular number, however. Please keep her in your prayers though...and for that matter, please keep us all in your prayers! We hope to be leaving later this month! I just got back from Orlando where we mailed off our first round boxes of belongings to the DR. Kind of a good feeling. Thanks everyone. We love and appreciate you.