Sunday, July 4, 2010

Only for a Time (Keandre's story)

I have been avoiding this post for days now.  This one is a bit harder to write.  You see, we don't easily forget that Keandre is only ours for a time.  Keandre has life-threatening food allergies to dairy, eggs, and tree nuts, and has had two serious and potentially deadly reactions already, along with countless other less serious reactions.  We have to be very vigilant to keep him safe.

Keandre's first year was rough.  He struggled with asthma, reflux, and severe eczema.  We discovered his food allergies when at 3 - 4 months old he couldn't keep his formula down, and we couldn't find any formula on the market that he could tolerate -- even the prescription hypoallergenic ones.  Miraculously, he was able to drink donated breastmilk, and six amazing women who heard of our struggles offered to be on a special allergen-free diet in order to keep our sweetie fed.  

Keandre is doing much better now, having mostly outgrown his asthma and reflux.  But I liken the life-threatening food allergies to living with an unfenced swimming pool in your living room.  You know your child can swim, and that he knows to avoid unnecessary risks, but the danger is always there, and it is a part of your daily life.  That is just our reality, and we never know when the risks may change.   When Keandre was about two years old he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance after eating scrambled eggs at someone else's house.  He had not tested positive to an egg allergy, which made his reaction even scarier!

Beyond all of that....  When Keandre was nine months old, he came down with a stomach bug.  At least that is what we thought it was.  He was an easy-going kiddo, and we did not think much of it when he threw up off and on all day and was not interested in eating or drinking.  We loved on him and went on about our day.  But late that evening, I hesitated just a bit.  Keandre was usually better by evening when his tummy was upset and his reflux acted up, but he was not improving.  I decided to call the pediatrician, since he was not eating or drinking yet and I was concerned he could get dehydrated.  When I mentioned his puke was greenish, they said to take him straight to the emergency room. 

It still scares me to think that I assumed they were just playing it safe.  I really didn't want to go in....what if I hadn't?  I wanted to cuddle my baby at home and focus on slipping teaspoons of liquid into him.  I was sure he'd be much better by morning.  Thankfully, I took him in, just in case.  Just hours later, he had emergency surgery, which saved his life.  Keandre and I lived at the children's hospital for the next 5+ days while he recovered from intussesception.  Incredibly, he had shown no signs of pain beforehand, which is usually the reason a parent takes their child to the emergency room in time to prevent serious complications or death.  I was scared of his high pain tolerance after that...afraid we would miss signs of something else serious.  (It was not uncommon for me to take him in for a well check and find he had double ear infections!)  We were also reminded that it was only by God's grace that our son had survived.

Rarely does a day go by that I am not aware of what a gift this sweet little boy's presence is in our life.  He is amazing, and such a character.  A class clown in the making!  Delightful.  Thank you, Lord, for Keandre's presence in our family.  And thank you for every day he is with us.  Please continue to keep him safe, and give us the courage to trust You with his future.


Sarah 'Bekah said...

What a sweet picture of him! And what a brave, and precious boy Keandre is. We love that little guy!

. said...

Just wanted to say I loved this post and so many of your others....I cannot often comment (no time!) but do check in on you often and really am always very blessed when I do. Your family is beautiful and the Lord has been so faithful to you! This story especially really brings our blessings as well as the Lord's sovereignty into focus. Thanks, dear sister!
Shan from the IU group

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