Sunday, July 19, 2009

Update on Emily

I haven't posted about Emily's health for a while for a couple of reasons:

1.) I discovered that by being public about her trials and tribulations and decisions and occasional improvements, there were people who prayed for us and encouraged us, but unfortunately there were also people who felt like they owned a piece of her story and therefore had the right to ask too many questions and tell us what to do. In good times I might be able to handle this and brush it off, but when you have lots of raw exposed nerve endings, it works better to retreat.

2.) I was afraid/superstitious that if I said she's doing better, she would immediately start doing worse.

But now I think I maybe have the courage to say it: She. . .is. . . doing. . . better.

(What's the spiritual/Christian equivalent of knocking on wood?)

When I was in Colorado in May, I felt like I was up against the Red Sea. Emily was doing horribly, and I didn't know what on earth to do.

I have since discovered a number of things about the Red Seas in the original story and in our lives. Such as: it feels like God has abandoned you; it feels like there are no options; it feels like purely an accident of fate that landed you here; and you second-guess every decision that led you to this point.

The truth is the Red Sea wasn't an accident for the Israelites. God had it all planned out. It isn't an accident for us, either. But it sure feels like it.

God didn't rip the sea open and escort me through, but he did nudge me toward this decision, and then that one, and then another one. And by the end of the week I had moved Emz into a different house, (close to Knepps, where she also started eating suppers), she had quit working at the thrift store, and she was taking a nutritional powder called Reliv.

I hesitate to admit that last one, because I always made fun of people who were into Shaklee and Herbalife and such, but the fact was she needed nutrition and she was willing to take this.

Well. Within a few days of her move she wasn't feeling as horrible any more. Then she had days of feeling actually pretty good. And more such days. And more. She started going on more walks. She did a few fun things with people. A month passed. A MONTH!!! And more weeks.

Right at the two-month mark she had a couple of bad days again, and of course I knew it had all been too good to be true, etc. etc, but what do you know, she got better again.

Jenny told me this story, which tells me how far Emily's come: While Emily was still at home, Jenny saw her trying to lift a textbook off the table, and she was having a hard time, so Jenny picked it up for her. It was a bit heavy but certainly not THAT heavy. And then during this last visit, the girls were eating supper and Emily reached across the table and lifted the iced tea pitcher with ONE HAND and merrily hauled it back across. Jenny was amazed and so am I.

I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have this burden lifted of feeling like I am trying to keep Emily alive. Every day. Mostly over the phone.

I do not know what the future holds. I am always braced for calamity and regression and bad news. But these last two months have tasted very very sweet.

Quote of the Day:
So we are driving along in the van, our family plus Jenny's cousin/almost-twin Alli, and up ahead is a trailer with two horses.
Jenny: Look at those horses!
Alli: Cooool!!!
[further squealed exclamations]
Jenny: They look like paint horses!
Alli: Paint horses???! They're real!


  1. Let's not forget the iced tea! Sounds like that may deserve some credit also!

  2. Oh, the ups and downs of having a sick child! So glad to hear that Emily is doing well. ~Priscilla

  3. I think the Christian equivalent for knocking on wood is a resounding "Praise the Lord!" Thank you for sharing such a good report!

  4. Your update got me all excited for you!! PTL!!!

  5. PTL, indeed!!

  6. It sounds like God is using this Red Sea not only to work in Emily's life, but also in the lives of those close to her. I rejoice to see His grace at work in you all, and trust that His gentle shepherding will continue as you walk forward, looking up into His face. ~Dustin

  7. "Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah!" I can't tell you how thrilled I am to know that Emily is improving. Moms just ache when their children have to suffer! - A mom (PC in VA)

  8. Oh, dear, now I feel very "not religious" after all the ^^^ PTL's. I really am thanking God with you; but I wanted to say that apparently the "christian" equivalent of knocking on wood is crossing your fingers. I know. I know. I haven't looked it up to see if it's true; but my truly ancient and very wise cranial osteopath once told me that people began crossing their fingers b/c it's the closest sign of the cross you can create with one hand (Catholic origin, maybe?). Of course he also said that knocking on wood was b/c the cross was made of wood and in our knocking on wood we are imploring Jesus ..... hmmm. I'm quite sure I've heard other reasons for that one.
    On another note, do they make reliv for babies?

  9. I'm so happy to hear this good report! Partially because I was so hoping Emily would get good results with Reliv, as I also can testify after having been on it for 4 mo.

  10. So good to hear Emily is doing better! I'm sure a daily dose of Knepp warmth/hospitality helps. Kay is such a nurturing person! Reliv..., hmmm. My niece in Maine is an avid salesperson. I usually listen politely to people raving about it and go on my way. Sounds like another person has been helped!

  11. A post from the heart. God bless you.

  12. I appreciate your honesty. I must say you're different from many Christians in that you don't always put a happy face on your struggles. It frees others up to do the same.

    Blessings on you and your work...

  13. Thanks for the comments, everyone.
    Michelle--I think Reliv in small doses is ok for babies. You'd have to ask a distributor--email me if you want a referral.
    Just fyi, I don't give Reliv all the credit. I think it was a combination of factors including of course, iced tea.

  14. Umm, how am I missing the email link. Never mind I'll get you on fb

  15. Hi. Just wanted to tell you how I (as well as my family) enjoy reading your posts! Very interesting and humorous. =) So glad things are going better for Emily. I got her book and enjoyed it too! We're still struggling with health issues as well. Just need to trust that God knows what He's doing! =)

  16. D- You know how I said earlier that it makes a mom's heart ache when her children have to suffer? Since then, my son was in a construstion accident where they were trying to set up a huge new wall they had just built. When they saw they weren't going to be able to do it , they tried to let it back down, & WHOOSH, an estimated ton of wall fell & pinned Rick underneath. The other 4 guys escaped. He landed on his side, so the shoulders took the brunt of it. They thought he was dying when he passed out. Would you belive, he was wheeled back out of the ER w/ only a broken collarbone & a slight concussion? PTL!! But now he is suffering, which is so hard to watch. He celebrated his 19th BD Sunday. We are SO blessed! -PC in VA

  17. Oh Pam I am so sorry about your son's injuries but so very relieved his life was a thread it sounds like. Much mercy to all of you during this time, especially to you as the mom.

  18. Thank you! PC in VA