June 27, 2012

Before he goes.....

I just handed Garrett over to a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, and some nurses.  It all happened much more quickly than I had anticipated because the doctor was running early.  When does that happen??

I made significant eye contact with every surgeon and nurse that will have their hands on him.  Staring everyone down so that my face is seared in their brain as they make that first incision.

This is my baby boy, who is clearly not a baby anymore, but as long as I live he will always be my baby boy.  He is funny and quirky and happy-go-lucky.  He loves his family and is happiest with a homemade meal and a table that isn't missing a single one of his people.  

He loves Jesus and believes that God answers prayer.  He isn't perfect but he loves without prejudice.  He likes to know stuff.....stuff no one else cares about.  He is amazing with little kids.  He wants to see the Rangers win the World Series.

He wants to see more of this world, he wants to learn how to drive, he wants to be a better guitarist.  He wants to grow up and get married and have kids of his own.  He wants to see the new Spiderman movie and play his new xBox game.  

This patient on your gurney is my son.  My sweet boy.  Be alert, do your job well.  Take out what doesn't belong and return him to me whole....he has a big life yet to live.

Somehow I don't think they got all of that in my one simple stare down.  I think they got more of a "crazy mom" vibe.

My prayers for today:

The surgery involves them cutting his ear and pulling it forward to get behind the bone where the inner ear bones are.  He lost two of those bones in the last surgery and they were replaced with titanium.  This tumor has grown over the titanium so they have to take it out and clean it and then replace it.  My prayer is that he doesn't lose the third inner ear bone and that the titanium is replaced correctly so he doesn't lose any more of his hearing.

I am praying protection all around the facial nerve that runs so close to where the surgery is happening.

I am praying the doctor is 100% focused on what he's doing.

I am praying that Garrett doesn't have any reaction to the anesthesia and recovers quickly.

I am praying for a lot of things but those are the biggies right now.

And then there's my imagination where I envision all the doctors having a fight or discussing a love triangle just before something goes wrong and that's when I realize that I shouldn't base all my medical assumptions on what I've seen on Gray's Anatomy.

June 21, 2012

Going for a long run.....

I have no business writing Facebook posts.

I don't know if it's a need for character development, a love of details, an attempt to insert wit, or caving to my tendency to over-communicate.  My updates quickly become long paragraph messages that can create some "lost in translation" situations.

Yesterday I posted that we received bad news about a tumor in Garrett's ear.  I managed to keep that post relatively short and was extremely proud of myself considering how many details are involved.  I was overwhelmed by the sweet responses and immediate prayers being offered on our behalf.

The next couple of hours involved me crying, talking to my mom, Scot and I having good conversation, Scot and I being irritated at each other, Scot and I being nice again, a trip to Home Depot and Chick-fil-A for friends, a trip to Whataburger for my boys, and a haircut for Garrett.

Needless to say, by the time we got home, I was a tad frazzled (and bloated) and anxious to get on the phone to find out why we didn't have an appt with Garrett's doctor yet.  My conversation with the nurse was frustrating until we finally had a breakthrough that involved a cancellation allowing us an appointment with the doctor today.

I was thrilled and decided to post the good news about getting the appt on Facebook.

And then I thought I'd throw in something witty just to show that I was actually handling all of this ok.  Here is the post:

Was on the phone with the doctor's office regarding Garrett....getting frustrated because the doctor was trying to schedule surgery and I want to talk to him first but there are no appointments for that when "all of a sudden" they had a cancellation for 10:30 tomorrow morning. Huge answer to prayer because Scot can go. Next prayer? The doctor tells us he was having a bad ENT day and looked at the wrong scan and there is no tumor. Believing BIG!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the love and prayers!

What I should have done was end the thing after my "Huge answer to prayer because Scot can go" comment.

But noooooo..........

I started getting a few "Praise God" responses which were sweet.  Then a few texts about what a miracle the whole thing was.

Trust me, I was thrilled that we got the doctor's appt but was a little mystified at it actually being a miracle.

Then a few more messages about a huge answer to prayer and I really started to think that I clearly did not give God enough credit for how amazing eveyone seemed to think it was that we were able to get a doctor's appt.

It was the text message from a friend telling me that she would never trust a doctor who had bad ENT days and couldn't even read a CT scan that I realized that what I meant to be a flippant commentary on a prayer request was being read as fact.

And then there was mass confusion among 58 people.

The real story is that there was no mistake in scans.  Our miraculous doctor's appointment was this morning and all four Jenkins were stuffed in a small exam room where all the boys got an excercise in self-control by resisting the temptation to push lots of buttons and race around on wheeled chairs.

The doctor came in and told us that what we had hoped was just scar tissue after last year's CT scan had actually grown in size to 6mm and needed to be removed immediately before Garrett was in danger of losing the last of his three inner ear bones.

For those of you scratching your heads wondering what in the world I am talking about......here is the post I wrote in 2009 when we went through all of this for the first time.

He won't be able to swim for 2 months and can't fly for 3 weeks after surgery.  All our plans for a trip to California to visit friends and family, swimming, a flight home early for Garrett to go to Boy Scout camp in Thailand....all of it out the window.

But it's ok.  It's ok because it isn't cancer.  Garrett's life is not in danger.  We have a wonderful house to stay in all summer and incredibly supportive family and friends.  It's ok.

Then another miracle happened in the form of a cancelled appointment and we were able to schedule the surgery for this next Wednesday.  Scot will still be in town and that is a big, big deal for both Scot and Garrett.

Just prior to leaving Singapore I went crazy for 4 minutes and decided to join a running club that was started by a friend of mine.  I joined not because I love running....in fact, I despise running which doesn't work well for someone joining a running club.  I joined because they look like they have so much fun together and I always like the idea of a good challenge.

I know that I need to be able to run 4 miles by the time I get back in Singapore so as soon as I landed in Texas and went to Chuy's, I started strapping on my tennis shoes and hitting the trails.  Every other day I run and it has gotten easier and easier and I despise it just slightly less now than I did 2 weeks ago.

It makes me think of the verse in Hebrews 12:

......and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.....

Every difficult situation, tough day, depressing moment.....every time we have a chance to choose God, we are running.  It might be a short run, it might be a long run, but every time we choose Him over our temptation to be anxious and worry and melt down.....we are training to have the endurance and preseverance to run the race marked out for us. 

Our little family has had a lot of training over the years.  We aren't perfect and there is much more to learn, but this particular race we can run.  

I can't thank you all enough for cheering us on to the finish line.  

I'll be the one in the back wearing a sports bra, big t-shirt, and long shorts (so my thighs don't rub together) limping across the finish line.....but I will finish.

June 05, 2012

Let's see how close I really get.....

Our plane leaves Singapore in 8 hours.

Have I packed?   No

Have I slept?  Not in the last couple of days

Have I done random tasks like cleaning packets of Kleenex and tons of hair accessories out of every purse and bag I own?  Definitely

Because that is going to make a HUGE difference in preparing me to leave Singapore for nine weeks.

And now I am hanging out on my computer updating the blog for the seven....I mean zero.....people that are sitting on the edge of their seats wondering if I will actually get packed in time to leave.

Oh!  I did find my missing Chuy's gift card from a good friend who happens to be the same good friend picking me up from the airport and taking me straight to Chuys.  I found it while cleaning out the random junk drawer in our desk.  The gift card is now safely in my purse.  A purse that is void of loose change, extra hair clips, and Kleenex packs.

I packed the boy's stuff which took about 5 minutes since they each have very few clothing items that actually still fit.

I worked my way through a stack of papers that have been sitting here for 3 months and filed everything away.

I peeled the extra glue off my eyelids left over from the false eyelashes I was sporting last night for a fun Indian dinner celebrating a friend.

I went and got my nails done because that is very important.  Not.

I completely forgot a doctor's appointment for Garrett to get a form signed for a camp he's attending this summer.  After some begging and pleading the nurse allowed us to come but refused to look at me or speak to me when I got there.  And I may or may not have stolen someone's taxi in our rush to make the appointment where I was ignored and shunned.

I found out that Garrett is over 5'7" and I immediately ordered him to stop growing.

I met up with friends for a last hoorah and fought back loads of emotion with the last round of good-byes.

I finished my 10th load of laundry today.  I would do laundry any day of the week over packing.
Any.  Day.

I sorted through all the random socks that have piled up for a year and after much contemplation, I threw away all the ones that don't have a partner.  It had to be done.

I've moved all my Singapore stuff out of my wallet and moved all my American stuff in.  American money, driver's license, and frequent shopper cards for 194 stores.  

I bought some plants for my apartment from a neighbor that is moving to California and quickly realized there was no way they could be moved without super human strength.  Then ensued a strategy meeting of dates and times and schedules of movers......revealing where our hidden key is, the promise from a friend to water the plants and figuring out where in the world I was going to put them.  The glitz and glamour of condo life!

I looked through Nathan's yearbook clinging to every moment of elementary school-dom that I can.  He is absolutely not allowed to grow up either.

I cleaned out my produce drawer since there's no way Scot is eating a bag of carrots, lettuce, 3 tomatoes, and some questionable bananas between now and when he leaves for a business trip on Sunday.

I spent some time wishing I had stopped eating cookies 97 days ago.

I actually put my suitcase in my room.  Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.

I spent time during my quiet time trying to come up with something inspiring to write as another year comes to a close in Singapore.

I've got nothing.  I wish I did, but nope.  Nothing.

I will say this.....I love Jesus and I really need to pack.

The end.

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