A few weeks ago, Matthew and I penciled, no, more like cemented, this week into our calendar as our vacation week. Unbeknownst to us, God had a reason for that.
This vacation finds us in the hospital with IV steroids pumping into Matthew’s body. Wednesday night, close to midnight, his airways started to get worse. We hopped into the van and started driving to the ER. About ten minutes into the drive, Matthew mouthed the word “faster” to me and so I put the petal to the metal and accepted the challenge of driving as fast as I could without one worry of being pulled over. Escorted, perhaps, but not given a speeding ticket. I’ve never felt life hanging in the balance so palpably before, and I prayed my heavy foot would outweigh the looming reality that death was hovering. God’s presence strengthened my shaking hands and churning stomach.
We made it and were whisked right into the ER where he was given a breathing treatment and steroids. Four hours later, he was admitted. Our first hospital vacation that doesn’t involve having a baby, began. After having a CT scan of his neck, seeing a pulmonary specialist, ENT specialist and Rheumatologist, it is evident that our dear old friend Wegener’s Granulomatosis has said hello again. Rarely does it move to the throat, but Matthew is a rare guy so it seems fitting. Currently, he is on high doses of IV steroids to calm down the inflammation in the subglottic region of his throat (right under his vocal chords). Technically, he has what is called subglottical stenosis , which is a lot of inflammation under his vocal chords, leading to obstructed airways. It explains the loss of voice, steady worsening of symptoms, and hard-to-diagnose reason for his difficultly breathing. There are a variety of treatment options, and we are currently working with the rheumatologist to decide which route to take. It is not a quick and easy fix. Hopefully he can be released soon to continue treatment at home, but for now we’ll enjoy the gentle beeping of hospital machines, the untimely drawing of blood and plastic dome-covered dinners.
Throughout this experience, we’ve been overwhelmed by the love of family and friends.
Matthew encouraged me yesterday with Psalm 46 and these thoughts:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. To the extent we suffer trouble, we experience God’s help. We can not know God’s help unless we experience trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.