Friday, August 16, 2013
It was a bit of a "tricky business"
You can pretty much count on it. When attacked by a cold or a flu bug you get lots of rest, eat some chicken soup, and after a few days you feel better. When you accidentally cut your finger with a knife while chopping lettuce for the salad you wash it off, put a bandaid on it, and within a few days your finger is as good as new. The same is true when your child falls down and skins his knee (kisses seem to work best in this case) or when those seasonal allergies flare up again. We expect it. Life is full of viruses, bumps, and bruises. Our bodies seem to have an amazing capacity to heal from those everyday scrapes and sniffles.
That is why it is especially frustrating when our bodies fail us. Sometimes the illness or accident is of a more serious nature. Sometimes it is a reflection of advancing age or problems with the immune system, but when you have something that just won't heal it can stretch your patience and really be discouraging. Healing can sometimes be somewhat of a "tricky business."
Christopher's holes were stubborn. They weren't cooperating in the least. It seemed like no matter how much time and care we gave them, those holes were blissfully content to stay just as they had been for the last 16 years. The leaking was pretty much constant although some days seemed to be better than others. There were actually days that it seemed like we were turning a corner, but the leaking would always start back up again. The skin around the holes looked horrible. The redness, irritation, and total breakdown of the skin was spreading. Infection was a certainty if the situation wasn't controlled.
I tried several different remedies. We did constant gauze changes to keep it dry. In fact I think we wiped out the supply of gauze at our local drugstore for weeks on end. We applied Neosporin to keep the possibility of any infection at bay. We tried different products to try to create a barrier between the leaking stomach acids and Christopher's sensitive skin. A layer of Petroleum Jelly didn't work, and Desitin was no match. This was definitely going to be a tricky situation with no easy fix.
Then I remembered a product that we had tried when Christopher was a baby. When he first got his feeding tubes they used to leak a lot until the skin grew in tight around them. I remembered that a nurse had given me a product to try to help protect his tender baby skin from the harsh acids that leaked out around the tubes. What was the name of that stuff? We used it for years on end, so why couldn't I remember the name of it? Back to the drug store I went.
Luckily, the pharmacist had a better memory than I did. Calmoseptine was what we needed. Unfortunately, they didn't have any. After multiple calls and multiple visits to several different drug stores (honestly, it's never easy...always seems to work out that way) I stood victorious before Christopher holding the answer to all his skin irritation issues.
Desperate for relief, he grabbed the tube and opened it. He looked up at me with a sense of recognition. It is amazing how different smells are connected to memories. Thanksgiving smells like turkey. Christmas smells like a pine tree. Roses smell like my grandma. You get the picture. With one whiff of the Calmoseptine, Christopher was transported back to those early, leaking tube days. He actually remembered exactly what that stuff was and just how great it used to work. A glimpse of hope flashed across his face. Apparently in this case, healing smells like Calmoseptine.
I added the inventor and maker of Calmoseptine to my prayer list that very night. It worked great. Within a couple of days, the redness and irritation subsided, and we were left with just leaking holes. Nothing a few BOXES of gauze couldn't handle.
In the midst of gauze, Calmoseptine, Neosporin, and a very stressed out teenager I had to keep reminding myself of one thing. The bad news was that the holes were a big wet mess. The good news was that Christopher was eating! God had blessed Christopher with an instant healing miracle. God's miracle hadn't changed. It was just a little leaky.
Over the next few weeks the system we had came up with worked. The skin around the holes went from total breakdown to totally healed. The holes, however, remained steadfast and determined. The holes might refuse to budge, but I knew God would not leave this detail undone. I kept reminding myself of what He had taught me earlier. God has His own timing, plans, and methods. What this situation needed most was prayer. God had already answered our prayers for a miracle healing of Christopher's GI tract. As God would have it, prayer turned out to be the only "true salve" that ultimately would make His miracle complete.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: