So much for that last update . . .

So the doctors have decided to postpone the biopsy for a bit — the kidney seems to be healthy enough that they can push back the date to confirm it. Mostly, until they get to the bottom of the edema thing, they’d rather not take any chances with Machen’s over all health and why do something that could cause bleeding when we’re not sure what’s going on with his blood.

Essentially, they’re taking a “don’t poke the bear” approach. Which, while frustrating, is understandable. Honestly, Machen’s mother and I would prefer a “find out what kind of bear it is and get rid of it” approach. But that’s not on the table for the moment.

Meanwhile, his edema is looking great. Not because they’ve figured anything out, or because of the med tweak (it was as effective as they expected). But because he came home with a cold Thursday, and has been pretty much laid up with it all weekend. Personally, I think there’s a pretty big diagnostic clue there, but I’m not Gregory House (I’m not even Lawrence Kutner, for that matter), so I’ll leave that to the professionals.

Given his weakened immune system, we’ve got to keep a close eye on simple things like colds, because they can turn into something else pretty quickly, as I was reminded a couple of times last week by his doctor’s nurse. Even before he came home sick. So, we were on pretty high alert Friday when he developed a fever — that thankfully went away. And then came back a day later, and didn’t go away as quickly.

Actually, it got worse. Which led to a phone call with the on-call nephrologist, which led to us hanging out in the ER for a couple of hours last night while they could run a basic blood test and do some tests for strep and influenza. Everything came back looking fine — but we can’t be too careful.

Mostly, we spent the time being bored. He just laid in the bed, and his mother and I killed time playing with filters on our cameras. He didn’t find this nearly as diverting as we did and kept insisting we owed him a modeling fee for every shot we kept (nothing outrageous, I think the grand total might have been $10).

All in all, a slow night. So far the cultures they took have come back as clean as the original tests — and the fever dropped right about the time we got into the ER last night. So . . . probably much ado about nothing, but you never know.

We’ve got a clinic visit tomorrow, so I might be backtracking all of this. Or not — I don’t know. As soon as there’s something to report, I will.


A Decade of Mercy

I’m about to head to bed and by the time I wake up, this little dude’s odometer will have turned, and he’ll be in double digits.

Sure, my youngest hitting the decade mark makes me feel older than any of my own birthdays could. But the important — and mind-blowing — thing is that this one has made it this far in pretty good health and spirits. Sure, there’ve been more hospitalizations for him than the rest of my little family combined (more than double, actually) — but none have been truly worrisome, really they’ve mostly been expensive annoyances.

We don’t owe this to his own strength and perseverance (which he has in spades), to the care of his wonderful mother, his passable father, his supportive siblings (who are really his most devoted caretakers when it counts), the grandparents and extended family who are always ready to drop everything and help, his two excellent doctors, or anything else merely human.

It’s the mercy and care of Our Lord, who by His providence has given him better health, greater strength, and better kidney function than anyone could’ve expected. But this covenant child, recipient of the promise of God is seeing His God’s hand at work in his life. He, more than many his age, can see that (in the words of Thomas Watson) “We are kept alive by a wonderful-working Providence. Providence makes our clothes to warm us, and our food to nourish us. We are fed every day out of the alms-basket of God’s providence. That we are in health, that we have an estate, is not by our diligence—but God’s providence.”

So tonight we celebrated the anniversary of his birth. We celebrated the time we’ve had with him, and the time we look forward to. But most of all, consciously or not, we celebrated the Triune God’s care for him.

Gracious Lord, I thank you for our little Machen, and beg Your continued care for his health as I plead for You to draw him to a saving knowledge of You.

And son? Happy birthday, and Lord willing, many happy returns.

Just had to Share this One

This is one of those, I have to write down so I’ll remember it in the years to come.

Machen and his sister went camping and fishing with my parents this last weekend–because of the rain, “camping” is loosely defined as sleeping in sleeping bags on the living room floor. Which explains all the grass underneath Machen’s feet in this picture.

Of course, since they were camping, they had a cookout or two, and roasted marshmallows. Towards the end of the roasting, Machen declares that he’s making one for his dad, which probably elicited it’s share of chuckles, and they tried to move on. But he’s got this way about him that makes his parents do things they normally wouldn’t do–making Grammy very susceptible to his whims. So, she wraps it in a piece of wax paper and plastic wrap.

And he kept it.

Sunday when he came home, I was given this clump of plastic wrap around something. I could tell he thought he was being thoughtful and generous when he presented it to me, so I thanked him and hoped he’d explain.

No such luck–apparently the nature of the clump should’ve been obvious, so I thanked him, and he glowed. Thankfully, Grammy was still around to explain what I’d been given.

How thoughtful is that, really? Only time anyone’s ever bothered to make me a roasted marshmallow and then keep it for a day.

Incidentally, it tasted great, still had some of that fresh off the stick smokey taste to it, too. đŸ™‚

Three Years Down…

Wow…three years already. Machen, my boy, Calvin and Owen have taught me just about everything I know about being a dad (Owen by being first, Calvin by being totally different than Owen), but you’ve taught me a lot more about life than just about anything and anyone else. I learned what fear can really feel and taste like when you went back to the hospital on Day 3–I learned how to hold on by faith to our Shepherd’s rod and staff from that, too. And in the aftermath, I learned how tenuous our grip on life really is–and how precious life can be. Now, as a result of that, I’ve treated you with kid-gloves, and let you get away with things that your siblings never would’ve. You and I will pay the price for that in years to come, but I’m not going to change my approach. (I have, however, started saving for your therapists)

But ’til then, you are the gentlest, the sweetest person I’ve ever met. I am a better person because of your presence in my life. God has truly blessed me through you, and I pray those blessings keep coming for many, many years. I love you, little buddy. Happy birthday.

He was being insufferably cute last weekend, so some bonus pics:

really not sure how this got to be his “super happy smile,” but am learning that when I get this I’ve done very good đŸ™‚