(pictures of Jackman smiling, on his bed)
Well, it's been a quiet few days here since Monday. It looks like things will remain quiet until at least early next week. Jackman is completely sedated, and on medication which causes him to be paralyzed. It's a necessary evil to prevent him from working the stitches loose that are stretching the ends of his esophagus toward each other. Even with all that, he still fights it. The nurses are surprised to see him still twitching on all the medication, but that's the kind of thing that makes him a Harper.
Even still, Jackman is perfectly motionless, night and day, except for the slight movement of his chest when he breathes. It's very awkward for us. We feel somewhat obligated to stay there for a certain amount of time because we are used to visiting with Jackman for so long. But at the same time it's weird sitting there just looking at him, not to mention we are in the way of the nurses who are monitoring him so closely. Even when he was just a couple of days old, we could hold him, and he would look right into our eyes, but we don't even have that now. We can't even pick him up... all we can do is look.
Today was a tough day... for Jackman. Sometime this morning his left lung collapsed. No one is real sure how it happened, but it is obviously due to being sedated and on the ventilator. They called us and let us know what happened, and what they were doing to get him fixed up. When we got to the hospital tonight, they felt pretty certain that his lung had already popped back up. We hung around and got to talk to one of the surgeons, and he explained to us better what Jackman is going through right now, and what to expect over the coming days.
It's pretty amazing really... the course of action the surgeons are taking. It is obviously tedious, and painstaking work. The stitches they did internally come out a port on Jackman's back-right side. Each day the surgeon comes by and uses some special forceps, and tighten on the stitches just slightly. When he does it, he adds a little metal clamp to keep the stitches from pulling back in. So there is a little metal clamp on each of the stitches, and for each time they stretch them. So far, after three times, they have gained one centimeter, judging by the little clamps. So right now the plan it to do his 6th endoscopy early next week to make sure the stitches are holding, and to assess the growth.
I know everyone's heart is breaking for him right now, and us too I imagine. It would be very easy for us to slip into feeling down over the whole situation, especially after the past couple of days. But God has a way of showing us we need to be especially thankful during these times.
Tonight, while I was sitting there looking at our motionless baby, and on the verge of crying, I got an email on my phone. Some of you may have gotten it too. A person we know is collecting cards for an 8 year old boy who loves to get letters. He only has a month to live. That news immediately changed my attitude tonight. It makes our situation look like a picnic. I felt like a heel for ever even being just a little bit down in the first place. I have too much to be thankful for. My heart hurts for that family. God give them Your grace and peace.
I guess that's it for now. I hope you will remember that 8 year old boy and his family when you pray. Be thankful to God, especially when you don't want to be. Think about this: if you're reading this on your computer screen, you are probably better off than approximately 6,327,030,277 other people in the world, and you know you have more than a computer to be thankful for.