For the month of June, we will launch a new series. We'll cover the book of 2 Corinthians, as we discuss what kind of reflection we are! Some of us reflect like a rear view mirror (objects are closer than they appear), while others reflect like a carnival mirror in the fun house. Don't miss it.
After the hail storms a few weeks back, we had a ton of roofers descend on our neighborhood. They began knocking on my door – because they’d looked at my roof through binoculars while inspecting my neighbor’s roof!
Of course, I needed a new roof, and some other very expensive repairs (according to them). So I called my insurance company, like many of you. According to them, I needed some housing repairs, but no new roof. Who do I believe?
Of course, we may jump to the conclusion to believe the roofers. The insurance company has a vested interest in our NOT needing a new roof. Now, I have had my share of struggles with an insurance adjuster. But if I am suspicious of my insurance company, why do I pay them every year for my homeowners insurance? Why would I trust the opinion of a roofer who is only in town to make some money, and then leaves? If I am that suspicious of my insurance company, I must not be too intelligent to pay them all that money!
So, instead of jumping to conclusions about the company, I called an independent third party who had a good reference. They helped clear it all up.
It seems so easy in life to believe the person we know less about. We hear part of the truth, and we run with it. It happens in businesses. A work associate of yours has been let go. Of course he had no idea it was coming. He’d been performing above average for years. The big, bad boss let him go, for no reason. Really? Oh, yeah, and come to find out, this was the third time.
It happens in our neighborhoods, and in our families, and with our friends. We find it easier to be angry with the people that are closer to us, than with someone we don't really know, and shouldn't trust. Of course, our friends can be in the wrong. But we should probably start with the premise that the person we know has his own view of the story. It would probably be the "polite" thing to call them and ask. And biblical. Always be objective. It’ll save you a ton of heartache.
The other night, John and I were getting his clothes out for the next day. I pulled out a pair of shorts, and asked where the matching shirt was hiding. He said, “they cut it off after the golf cart wreck.” Ouch.
My first thought was some regret, some pain. I was hoping that it wouldn’t cause him to have any bad dreams, or be afraid. But why do we go to the negative so quickly on reminders? I should have remembered how far he has come, how blessed we have been with his recovery, how fortunate I am to have so many people care.
In the Bible, God sets up reminders so that we can remember what He has done. There are feasts that commemorate God’s working – see the Passover. There are physical memorials that are used to spur our memory of what God has done. There’s the Lord’s Supper that we use to remember Jesus' death and proclaim it until He comes again.
God knows we forget the good stuff sometimes. Anytime a memory creeps into your consciousness that causes fear or anxiety, try to find something good that came out of it. Then thank God for how far you’ve come.
Well, today we had 2 swallow studies – both went great. The first was at 8:00. This was the FEES (fiber optic endoscopy, or snake camera up the nose). They give him some pudding, etc., to swallow and watch it go down. While extreeeemely abnormal, it is functional. It is slow, and requires quite a bit of fluid, but it went down.
At 10:00 he had a VSS (video swallow study). He swallows pudding, nectar, and an oreo, all with barium mixed in. An x-ray machine watches it go down. It definitely gets hung up in the back of his throat. However, he does protect his airway, and the food makes it to his stomach eventually.
So now, we are treading water, just watching what happens. I’ll give a more extensive update next week. Thanks for praying. Pretty cool things happening!
WHY DO YOU FEEL LIKE I’M YELLING AT YOU RIGHT NOW!!!
There was no point to that, but I thought it was funny…
Anyway, the scope went incredibly well. We waited our allotted 2 hours for all of the pre-op information. John picked “grape” flavor for his laughing gas. In about 7 seconds, he was out like a light.
John was under anesthesia for about 20 minutes, while they took a look-see. While he still has only a 50% opening in his throat, the scar tissue had not grown. They did not do anything other than take a look.
The lung wash went fine, and his lungs looked great. This is an indication that his swallowing is going well.
So, for now we’ll come back in 6-12 months to monitor his progress. The doctor’s were very pleased, as were we. While there may still be some other surgeries in the future (especially as he hits puberty), things are going well right now.
Tomorrow we have a couple of swallowing studies, and then we’ll head back home.
One interesting thing of note: We were talking with John’s doctor before the procedure. He mentioned that if John had been in Cincinnati initially following the accident, things would have been different. There would definitely have been a tracheotomy, as well as the reconstructive surgery. It would have obviously been a more intense environment with all of that going on. As we met with the pulmonologist, he also commented on how amazing it was that John has never had a trach.
Yeah, pretty amazing. All I can say is, thanks for praying.
We started the morning with breakfast at the hospital cafeteria. This is an honor that John has not been able to enjoy. It seems that every time we are here he is heading for surgery, so the fine dining at the hospital is unavailable.
We checked in with the nurse for his voice study. She was having trouble locating our chart, and asked if we had been there before (smile). After we told her this was John, she said “Oh, you’re John, Dr. Rutter’s special patient. You’re famous.” Needless to say John was beaming.
The voice team conducting the study was pretty stout. It included: 2 Ph. D.’s in speech; 2 other speech pathologists; 1 doctor from John’s medical team; 1 nurse. John did some voice exercises, then a rigid scope (with a camera on the end), was stuck through his mouth to look down his throat. Just imagine taking your finger and trying to touch your tonsils. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
John did gag a little bit, which was good. In the past he didn’t have enough sensation in the back of his throat to warrant a response. However, with the scar tissue involved, this particular procedure was not very revealing about John's vocal chords.
Then another snake tube camera was sent through his nose to examine his vocal folds in action. This particular camera can weave through the scar tissue. His vocal folds were working properly. It just seems that the scar tissue is inhibiting the sound coming up through his mouth and sinuses.
So, tomorrow they take a better look at the scar tissue. It’s possible the doctor could remove some scar tissue to improve his voice. The risk would be to his swallowing, which we are not willing to risk. There is still a lot up in the air. We check in at 11 in the morning, and then John will go to the operating room early afternoon for the scope.
The pulmonologist will also perform a lung wash. This will determine if any food is finding its way into John’s lungs.
Please pray for wisdom for the doctor’s, and a smooth procedure. I’ll keep you updated tomorrow.
We made it safely to Cincinnati last night. This morning John has some vocal chord testing. That is one thing that we haven’t done yet, as the doctors have been focused on his breathing and swallowing – rather important issues.
Please continue to pray for John and these next few days. Tomorrow is the scope, as well as a lung wash. This will give us an idea of any scar tissue build up. The lung wash will determine if he is aspirating when he eats. We are optimistic, but you never know what you find!
We head out for Cincinnati tomorrow to see John’s specialist. On Tuesday he’ll have some vocal chord diagnostics done. On Wednesday he’ll have a scope, on the prowl for scar tissue. Hopefully, nothing has changed. On Thursday a couple of swallow studies.
Please pray for him and that things are progressing well. I’ll keep you posted.
Glad you're visiting - please know these are my opinions and may not reflect the views of Stonecreek Church, my wife, my kids, my dog, my neighbors, my friends, my enemies, my bike - or anyone/anything else that I value.