Thank you so much for your prayers for Joeli and our family. On Day 12 post-surgery she turned a corner! On days 9 and 10, she was still in so much pain and we realized her meds were not touching her back spasms. We did not know the solution, but sometimes a parent just knows something is NOT right and the pain is more than it should be. After research and getting several others involved, we got her meds changed and another added, and we finally got the combination that ended up working. She still hurt, but she started going longer without meds and began to get healing sleep. (Prior to the new meds, she was awake for 22 hours and after could only sleep in small increments!)
Anyway, on Day 12 things got much better. She could move her arms easier, she wanted to walk longer, and she could get herself in and out of bed. She adjusted herself into new sleeping positions. She began to want to play with her sister and brother; wanted to color, wanted to make bracelets. It was a complete change!
She’s still hurting some. She woke last night with spasms, but she’s tough as nails. Now we have to ask if she is hurting. She silently hurts. And we massage a lot! She still has rib pain and sharp pains with deep breaths (on the side with the growth rod). Hoping that will go away soon. She still tires VERY easily.
Joeli has been able to do one outing per day the past three days (including church today!). The outings exhaust her, but they’ve been good. One day we went to see “Miracles from Heaven” (great conversation for our family; I cried throughout watching the girl in pain), the next day she went to an Easter Egg hunt at a partnering church. Since she can’t bend down or run, I was her partner; she was concerned and I said, “No fears dear, your mama is competitive! I’ll get you eggs! At the egg hunt we connected to a staunch Hindu family from Delhi who just moved to Chattanooga so we were able to start a relationship. And today we went to church.
She won’t go back to school for a couple of weeks probably and I’ll attend with her at first so she doesn’t overdo it. We are behind on work, so Monday I start catching her up. Thankfully we have an awesome teacher helping us out! J (Thanks, Ms. Camp!)
Anyway, thank you for praying. We attached some pictures so you can see that she has started to feel better.
We don’t know what God intends to do with this life of Joeli’s. But we do know as a family we are constantly talking about C.S. Lewis’ quote, “Hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary life.”
Her pain was a trauma I hope to never witness again. Her pain led to anxiety which led to more pain and on and on it went.
Phoebe and Eden survived the turmoil beautifully. Family came and helped so much (Thank you – Nana/Pops, CiCi/Papa, Allison, Ashlee, Grandmother and Papaw)! Without them, we couldn’t have done it. Friends offered many days of housing (Thank you – Nowlins!) Friends organized meals in Bham and Chattanooga (Thank you – Gina McNelly, Curt Stokes, and Kristy Parrott and others we may not know about)! Partnering churches prayed and helped out (Thank you – Mountain Brook Baptist and Burks United Methodist!). Friends and family sent gifts, posters, balloons, and cards, videos, snacks for hospital, etc. Little girls visited Joeli. (Shawn, in my 5-day vigil at Joeli’s bedside at the hospital the peppermint patties were a great help; glad Rob didn’t get to them first this time!).
Chad and I are pretty ragged right now in several areas. Joeli is on the mend; now for us to mend! J
We love you, friends!
Leslie and Chad (and Joeli)
A Few Extra Blessings (because of your prayers these happened and meant so much to me!):
- Leslie was able to get to Eden’s first baseball game of his life and watch him hit the ball, run the bases and score a run. Soon after, Nana called to say, “Joeli’s in pain and needs you.” But I got to see his first at-bat! (The deal was I’d go if Nana would honestly tell me if I needed to come back!)
- Leslie was able to go to Eden’s Easter party at school. Before I arrived he told his teacher, “My mommy is coming if Joeli isn’t hurting too badly. But Joeli must be hurting so that’s why she’s not here.” In I walked, and his smile lit up the room.