Recently (one reason I have not posted lately) my family and I were faced with a situation which required us to truly be strong and have courage. My son, who is just a couple of months short of 12 years of age has been having difficulties with his digestive and disposal systems off and on for the past two years. He has been to the doctor on numerous occasions with complaints about how often and long he visits the bathroom. Recently, he began complaining of pain, losing weight and looking very drawn in his face with dark circles under his eyes. I knew whatever was going on was getting worse.
So, off to the doctor we go...again. This time, however, the doctor decides my son needs to return to the GI doctor who schedules him for a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. I was amazed as I watched him being prepped for the procedures in the hospital... not one word of fear out of his mouth, but he did watch everything they did to him very closely.
We were shaken to the core when the doctor came out. She showed us photographs that were taken during his procedures (which she couldn't complete because he was so inflamed that she was afraid she would harm him). Her diagnosis was ulcerative colitis. I had been thinking that he most likely had irritable bowel syndrome, but this was worse; much worse. The photographs made me shake and her advice to begin him on steroids made me ill.
I told her that I didn't want to put him on steroids and asked if there were any other methods of treatment or if there was some way we could treat him naturally. Her only other suggestion was some kind of extreme diet where he was fed like baby food (I forget the exact name of the diet). She also said that he was "incurable" and would have this the rest of his life, and that it could lead to surgery, a colostomy and even cancer in the future.
My son is a beautiful boy. I can still hear him at three/four saying, "When I grow up mommy, I am going to be a righteous man of God". He has a heart for God, and I know for sure that I can claim Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
On top of that, my son is smart (tests "gifted" at school), good looking, an extrovert, a leader and very courageous.
The week before the procedures, he went to church camp. As we were driving there, the poor kid is holding his stomach and asking, "oh, mom, why do I have to be this way?" I told him I'd take him home and asked if that's what he wanted. He assured me it wasn't and told me that "God will get me through this". He asked me if I knew how many times a day he asked God to help him get through and I told him I didn't know and asked how many. "Lots", he said. I asked him if God did help him through, and he said, yes, mom; all the time".
When I picked him up from camp, the counselors told me he had had a rough week but that he was a great kid and a pleasure to have in camp and a great leader of other kids.
My husband and I both take prescription drugs and we hate them. I am constantly looking for things to do which might allow my body to heal so that I can stop taking this last drug. The thought of our son being on steroids for the rest of his life made us both sick. As I thought about whether or not to agree to having my son take these drugs, I thought about God and how He created our bodies to heal. He put the systems in place in our bodies so that when optimal conditions are present, the body will heal itself, and I don't buy that diseases are "incurable" or "unhealable". So, we decided to pray for God's healing, God's leading and God's protection for our son. We also decided to take him to a holistic medical clinic for advice from medical doctors who treat holistically.
In the mean time, family members starting telling me that my son's life was in my hands and that he was trusting me to make the right decision and that he needs to be on the steroids because he was miserable and that something terrible could happen to him (surgery, colostomy, cancer and/or death, I suppose), and I felt myself begin to waiver, and because it's my husband's family, he begins to feel "the pressure" to conform to mainstream medical treatment. I went to the computer and looked up steroids and had him read about them and asked him if he wanted to subject our son to that. His answer was "no". So I told him we had to have each other's back in this and support each other 100%. I told him we had to be strong, have courage for our son's sake and trust God to take care of him.
Last Sunday I left for North Carolina with my son. It's a 7 hour drive and he slept a lot of the way down so I had plenty of time to ponder and pray. What God showed me will be the subject of my next post.