Monday, August 10, 2009


Today's post is just a brief update--one more small step on the long journey of progress that Ben has been on since this past December. [To avoid repetition, I am assuming that most of you who may read this already are aware of Ben's lengthy hospitalization that was precipitated by a severe staph infection.]

This morning, I took him for a "surveillance" appointment with "Dr. Green Bay," the orthopedic trauma surgeon who opened up Ben's knee and left the impressive "war wound" scar. During that surgery, it was discovered that Ben had significant infection inside the cavity of his right femur; bacteria had been tirelessly mounting an assault that led to the infection being under pressure. As a result, about two dozen small holes had to be drilled into the bone, and some bone removed, in order to relieve the pressure; apparently the layman's term for this is "Swiss-cheesing"--well, at least that helped us to understand the surgery a little better.

Today's x-ray showed that not only have all the holes filled in completely, but a "callous" of new bone tissue has formed on the inward side of the knee. Ben's growth plates are not quite closed up, giving him a small ray of hope that he may gain a little more stature before he is completely done growing...and birthday #18 comes up next week!

All of this is cause for much gratitude on our parts--not only to the Great Physician, but also to the many who prayed so faithfully for Ben's healing.

More surprising to the doctor and physician's assistant was the news that Ben has been on no insulin at all for about 10 days now. [His type 1 diabetes diagnosis came the first week of January.] His glucometer reading this evening was 93.

Dr. GB: "Wow, that is just amazing...*head shake*...Ben that is are a lucky guy. You guys made my whole day."

Well, we always like to be of service...but we know that Someone else is behind all that has happened to Ben.

At this point, Ben seems to think that the expired need for insulin is due to his pancreas "just rebooting itself," since the diabetes seems to have been precipitated by the MSSA infection. That is one way to look at it.

But, I heard myself telling a friend on the phone a couple of days ago, that if the end result of this odyssey is Ben (and the rest of us) seeing, undeniably, God's involvement in his life, it will have been worth it all. OK, that's easy to say.

Yet, I really believe that.

I try to more consistently take the eternal perspective on everything.

Anything that leads to a person's authentic surrender to Christ, at whatever cost, is worth it. I say this to Ben, and at nearly 18 years old, that is too much of a stretch for him. [Although, unlike many of his peers, as a result of his illness, I think he knows he is not invincible.]

But it's only the truth. This life is a vapor...what we do in mortal life really matters. What we do with Christ determines our ultimate destination.

But I try to keep in mind that it's the prelude.

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