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Friday the 13th

Yes, it was Friday the 13th when our nightmare began.  The blisters did indeed grow overnight and we knew she needed immediate care.  Long story short, she was admitted to the emergency room that morning and given the worst case diagnosis.  It was Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a devastating syndrome that would make her skin separate and sluff off.  Once the reaction was started it would need to run its course.  Typically up to 30% of her body would be affected.  She would need hospitalization in the burn unit.  Only in a few cases was this diagnosis fatal, but our local hospital was simply not equipped to handle this type of problem, so she would need to be flown to a larger hospital for treatment.

We were given the option of flying to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City.  We immediately requested Vegas because I had family there.  Arrangements were made and I began to prepare to travel to Vegas.  In the midst of those preparations the hospital called.  They had been rejected by the Vegas hospital because they were full.  Her only option now was Salt Lake City, 5 hours away from us.  It was an emergency situation, so we did what was needed.

By that night it became apparent that it was again divine intervention that the Las Vegas Hospital was unable to take her.  During transport her situation again worsened and spread to more than 30% of her skin.  This lead to her having another classification.  She suddenly no loner had Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) but TENS – all of her skin inside and out was becoming toxic. (Look it up at your own risk,  it is stomach turning.)  Her risk of complications and even death had just skyrocketed.  Had she arrived in Vegas under those conditions there is a good chance they would have preferred to have her moved to Salt Lake anyway.  The hospital here in Salt Lake has a large Burn Unit and is especially well prepared to handle this severe of a case.  Upon arrival Katie was immediately assigned to one of the best burn doctors available, and scheduled for life saving, emergency surgery.  Even while waiting for her operation she continued to worsen.  Finally she was in surgery where 70%+ of her skin was removed to prevent widespread, fatal infections from overcoming her.  I won’t go into all the details, but here are the miracles of this terrible day.

  • Divine intervention put her exactly where she needed to be.
  • Divine intervention put her in the care she needed at exactly the time when it was most critical that she be there.  Her operation shouldn’t have been one minute sooner or later than it was for the best possible outcome.
  • Miracles of medical knowledge, technology, and faith combined that night to save a young girl’s life. Even a few years ago she may not have survived this.

Tomorrow I will cover the even greater miracle given to us on this day.

Heart

I was up bright and early this morning to go with my son to his EKG.  It is not every morning you get to peer into a live heart.  Rather cool actually.  It sort of reminded me of when I would hear my unborn baby’s heartbeat for the first time.  It is simply a magical experience.  Grown up hearts are quite different, but still amazing.  It looks like a rather skittish thing actually, but it just goes and goes and goes.  The day it stops, everything else stops with it.  Talk about something that knows how to endure to the end. 🙂

 

Expecting Miracles

Yesterday we watched parts of the Rootstech conference.  One statistic I had actually heard before, but they reviewed it.  I realized they are expecting the impossible, and expecting a miracle, – step one to receiving one.

Indexing is the process of making collected records searchable via computer.  Indexing has revolutionized family history work, and billions of records are now available with the click of a button.  However, we have so many records to index, it is a nearly impossible project.  At current rates, to index just the records that the LDS church has already collected will take 300 years.  Wow.  That does not include records not yet collected, nor any records from Africa or most of Asia.  That said, their goal is to get everything indexed within 20-30 years.  I have no doubt that they can reach their goal.  They are on a mission, they are pursuing a good work, and they are actively working on solutions.  They expect to do their part and they also expect God to do his part.  Even if they reach their goal, there will be many more records to work on, but what a great example of expecting a miracle!

 

Healing of Minds

My daughter has been on her new medication for over a month now.  It is wonderful to report that she is doing well.  I feel so blessed that she is responding so positively to the first medication she has tried.  I would say she is a new person, but she is actually just closer to being herself.  When I ask the doctors about her treatment they can give some basic answers like there are some chemicals that are over or under produced, and there are synapses connections that are over active or under active, that need blocking or rerouting.  When you really get down to it though, despite some basic principles, our brains are so complex we really do NOT understand how all the medications work.  We have no idea what “normal” levels of any of the brain chemicals are.  I am amazed that life altering treatments are available when we don’t even completely understand what we are working with.

Medical Advances Pt 2

Some friends of ours have had some much more major medical issues than us going on.  I have no idea what would have happened to their boys 20 years ago, but as of this year one of their boys has a titanium jaw, and the other one has stainless steel rib cage support.  Wow.

Gratitude #2

Today I am grateful for metalworking and everyday tools.  It is so simple, and I take it so for granted.

Last week my son did something he was told not to do and ended up with a leg full of splinters from a rotting board.  I am still in the process of pulling well over 100 splinters out of his leg.  I am grateful that I have the medical understanding to prevent infection from the bad wood, and today I am equally grateful that I had easy and immediate access to a needle, tweezers, good lighting and even corrected eyesight.   I have no idea how people lived without even those most basic tools.  Probably many of the smaller splinters would have just festered and who knows what may have happened to his leg, and I would have been powerless to do anything.

Cell Phones & Televisions

My newly 16 year old daughter got a cell phone for her birthday and my life just got easier.  Today I am grateful for the miracles of technology and cell phones.  No more being left at school, or not being able to adjust to changes in extracurricular activities.  Hooray!  We can’t afford anything but bare bones for the phone, but hey, at least we can communicate when we need to.

As excited as we are for another cell phone in the family, we also decided to unplug the televisions.  It seems to be a never-ending struggle to keep up with technology and to make sure that it is being used appropriately.  We listened to a talk from a few years back about how far the television industry has pushed the boundaries of decency, and realized that it has escalated exponentially even since then.  Can’t justify even sitting through the commercials anymore.  Why waste any more time being slowly convinced that family, God and decency don’t really matter anymore?  I don’t really want my kids to grow up thinking that life is all about murder, violence, sex and materialism.  We only even watch a handful of programming anymore, and even those are not what I would consider faith promoting or family building.  Anyhow, that’s where we are today.

Overlooked Blessings

More technology today.  Our printer died and we were having a difficult time living without one.  Yesterday we broke down and got the cheapest thing we could find.  (okay, the second cheapest)   I will say that printers have come a long way since our last printer purchase.  A little bragging, but its extra cool the things it can do.  It can print documents, photos, all of the basics.  It can scan, copy, fax, and feed multiple documents.  It can store numbers, reduce, enlarge, print on different media, and double side print.  As if that were not enough, it will talk to almost every wireless device in our home, and once I get the right software on my phone, I can print from my phone, even if I am out of state.  This particular model doesn’t send things via e-mail for me, but for bottom of the line I can deal with that.

Anyhow, it is easy to focus on the fact that the printer and the DVD went out the same day and say how frustrating that is.  Reality is that not only do we live like kings and queens every day of our lives, but today even the less wealthy among us live like the wealthy did a few years back.  I can remember when I never thought I would be able to afford anything in my home that would adequately print my own photos, I’d never own an expensive fax machine or copier, and I definitely wouldn’t care if it could talk to my phone.  I was just happy if I could get the dial up and fax options to not mess up my answering machine.  Today I’m blessed beyond my expectations, and my first thought was that I still need a DVD player.  I will work on that.

Electronics?

Several months ago one of my electronic devices stopped working.  I finally got it to work as long as the power cord was constantly plugged in.  Although it would recharge to 100% it would power off the instant the cord came out.  After trying to get it working several times, I finally decided I could only use it next to my bed, plugged in with its 2 ft charger.  Last night I was too lazy to turn it off, and pulled the plug out to power down.  I have turned it off this way several times (I know I shouldn’t really.)  Last night, however, it stayed on!  Since then I have powered up and down without the cord in and it is again working properly.  For now anyway.  🙂