Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Factor 13

When our second son, Jason, was a little baby, we were getting desperate to own our own home.  We found a nice, unique A frame home in Lynden for a reasonable price.  We had no saved money, so we asked to borrow money from a relative (I'm not even sure anymore if it was my parents or my grandmother), and they agreed to help us come up with our earnest money and a down payment.  We put in our bid for the home and it was accepted.

Not long afterwards Jeremy became very sick.  Jeremy had been experiencing bouts of crying uncontrollably that ended up with him vomiting and the sleeping for a long time.  These bouts happened up to 4 or 5 times a month, but we had no idea what was causing them.  This time though, he just couldn't stop throwing up, plus he was suffering from diarrhea as well.  He was a very sick little guy.

When Jeremy became listless and I couldn't get him to drink anything without it coming right back up I knew it was time to get him to the doctor's office.  We lived so close that I took him there in his stroller.  The doctor looked him over and pinched the skin on the back of his hand.  He explained that when a child is properly hydrated the skin will bounce back.  Jeremy's stayed sticking up looking like some invisible hand was still pinching the skin.  He also looked at his eyes and explained that when a child gets dehydrated his eyes will look glassy - Jeremy's eyes were definitely glassy.  The doctor was very concerned for Jeremy's health and recommended, no, he urged me to get him to the hospital right away.

This was a shock to me, and presented many challenges as well.  My husband, Daryl, had left for the entire day to go to a car show with one of my nephews.  He wouldn't be back until close to midnight.  I had a little baby that I was nursing and no transportation.  I called Daryl's parents and they helped me get to the hospital and took Jason home to stay with them.

Having your child in the hospital for the first time is very traumatic.  The worst part is getting an IV into a dehydrated child.  It took a long time and I stayed by his side for most of it, but in the end they suggested I take a little walk to get some fresh air (I probably looked like I was close to fainting dead away) and go to the patient's kitchen and get something to drink.  I cried harder than I had ever cried before in my life.  Finally Daryl arrived with Jason. He had come home to an empty house and a note to call his parents.  He called and got caught up on everything and came straight down to be with me and bring Jason so he could nurse.  It was late before he was finally settled in his own room, sleeping from sheer exhaustion.  Then Daryl went home with Jason and got some much needed sleep.

The next 3 days were a jumble of tests and more tests.  He got hydrated by his electrolite were still low so they changed what he was getting through the IV.  His vomiting subsided with the IV but then the diarrhea got worse.  Then they were concerned about how much he was bleeding when they took blood samples so they test his blood.

The results were not good.  It showed that he was missing one or more clotting factor.  The doctor took me aside and told me about hemophiliac disease, how Jeremy would never be able to ride a bike or participate in sports like normal children.  That his life would be one of getting clotting factors, daily blood tests and worse.  He was so compassionate, and told me he would be running some more tests to know exactly what factors he was missing. but I went back to Jeremy's room devastated.  I cried out to God that this would not be true.  I called Daryl and told him the news and we talked over some of the changes this would make in our lives.  

The next day we talked with the doctor again and he told us how relieved he was after seeing the results of the blood work.  The factor that Jeremy was missing was factor 13.  He told us the factor 13 deficiency was not a problem, that factor 13 was not directly involved in blood clotting and that by only missing that factor, he would not fact the problems of all other hemophiliacs.  He also shared with us that it is the most rare for of hemophilia, and that there had only been a few known cases in the world in all of medical history.  He asked if he could send Jeremy's information down to the University of Washington so they could have record of this in case they ever did any studies on factor 13 deficiency.  Wow, we were amazed, shocked and so thankful!

We were able to take him home that day, and he slowly recovered.  He continued to have these bouts, but the doctor prescribed a medication to give him in the future that would stop the vomiting before it got that bad.  The medicine did the trick and kept him from ever having to be hospitalized for that again.

With in a month, we got the bill for Jeremy's hospitalization.  We had no insurance.  We also had some other bills hanging over our heads as well.  It became very clear to us that God was shutting the door to purchasing that beautiful A frame home.  What a let down. 

We contacted the sellers, and I met with them over lunch.  I shared with them what had transpired and told them that we would have to back out of our earnest agreement.  I knew that our earnest money was history.  But, surprise, the couple had such compassion on us that they refunded our earnest money in full.  My parents said I didn't have to pay them back, and we were able to use the funds to pay off all our bills and the hospital bill.  

God met our needs.  He always does.  Even when things seem darkest, God is there with us and will light our way.  We never purchased a home in Lynden, and I'm glad we didn't.  God had other plans for us (more about that later), and if we had forced our way through with that purchase, I am sure we would have lost that home as our financial situation did not improve much over the next few years, in fact it got worse.  But God always met our needs, and we were never without a roof over our heads.