The past week was reasonably quiet. Normal, inasmuch as life is ever 'normal' for us now. The 'new' normal. Yes, that's it: The current new normal. All three older kids went to school each day as scheduled. Brady was feeling much better and assumed a semblance of a normal sleeping schedule. (Though he still doesn't come close to sleeping through the night. But that's a whole 'nother bag of kibble!)
As far as Mr. Logan goes, we decided this week that he needed to work harder on upping his physical activity level. And I don't want to say that the effort backfired, per se, but it definitely didn't go well. Since the issue with his spine popped up, he's become largely sedentary, refusing to walk or even get up unless absolutely necessary. Though this has meant that his fine motor skills have improved dramatically (which is wonderful), it also means that his little legs are stick-thin and lack muscle tone. And the act of making him exert himself physically is a major point of contention. I made him walk part of the way home from Abby's school a few days ago and he cried and screamed the entire time, complaining that his legs were tired and hurt. Every time we've made him walk on his own this past week, he responded in like fashion, with great consternation. And it's hard; it's hard because I know his little legs are weak and that they probably are tired. After all, they are grossly underdeveloped. But at the same time, he has to work on it. Anyway, he's also started limping at times, which is frustrating since we don't know if the change is rooted in the increased physical activity or something else. Obviously our prayer is that it's from the former. So please pray for that, if you will.
He's still on Decadron. Until this week, he'd managed to avoid developing the so-called 'moon face' associated with long-term steroid use, but no longer: His cheeks are so puffed and stretched that he hardly looks like himself anymore. It's heart-rending for me to see his beautiful face so badly distorted. I know it's just physical and that after he finishes his course, he'll slowly return to normal. But I can only imagine how horribly uncomfortable it is for him to be so, so swollen. One of the worst things about all of this is wanting so much to make it better, but being unable to push a button or flip a switch to make it so. It's just so unfair. So infuriating.
Anyway, as long as we don't see a marked change in his gait tomorrow, the dosage will drop to one pill two times a day, down from the current dose of two twice a day. So please pray over that as well.
And how am I? It's a mixed bag, really. People ask me that question every single day. I vowed a few years ago to always tell the truth when asked, so I don't shy away from pausing to think and then giving an honest answer. On one hand, I'm extraordinarily grateful that we are where we are. That I can call Logan a survivor. That I've had the chance to experience Christ in this way, to experience faith in this way, and to really rely on God. I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to witness to all of you; that God has given me the chance to speak to you and to share what's on my heart, even when it's not necessarily pretty. Sometimes, it's all about that tiny mustard seed. Anyone with a mustard seed's worth of faith can move mountains, I think.
On the other hand, I'm tired. I still worry, though I know I shouldn't. Part of this process has been learning to live like the other shoe
isn't going to drop. In fact, as I reflected to a friend yesterday, it's about living like there isn't another shoe at all. It's about resisting the temptation to abandon faith and embrace worry. It's about recognizing when evil tries to plant a seed of doubt in my heart and refusing to allow it to grow. Forgive me for waxing philosophical for a moment, but this analogy's been on my heart for a few days now so I want to share it. I hope it'll mean something for at least one of you. Doubt and worry aren't of God. If you feel them, nip them in the bud. Don't allow evil to water that seed in you. If you do give in to bad feelings and worries, the tiny seed will grow into a vine that will choke you from the inside out, wrapping its arms around your heart, your mind, your soul, everything. So when you feel worries trying to sneak into and take root, cast them out immediately. It's what I try to do when I feel them taking hold.
See? I should really just write more often so I can create more pointed, succinct entries. But it hasn't been my recent mode, so you have my apologies. As far as prayers go, please do continue to pray for our family. Please pray for Logan's continued, complete and sustained healing. Pray for the reality of Mark 11:22 to be burned into my heart, our hearts. Pray for faith, hope, belief and perseverance. Pray for comfort for Logan as he deals with the side effects of the medications.
I want to close with something random that touched me. Abby and I visited the local Spirit Halloween shop today to search for a costume. The boys had already selected their wares last week (in case you're interested, Logan will be Finn McMissile from Cars 2, Isaac will be Lightning McQueen and Brady? A little dragon) and she was itching to get hers. She picked out an outfit (a glow in the dark fairy), and as we stood in the checkout line, I scanned the wall behind the register. Spirit sponsors a Halloween program at CHO, and they were soliciting donations. Logan was an inpatient last year at this time, so I can tell you exactly what's done with the funds collected: Each child receives a gift bag including sundries like pencils, rings, and the like, as well as a brand new costume. Last year Logan was on contact precautions and was unable to leave his room, but the child life specialist brought in a few options and he chose a doctor costume. The kids truly are thrilled to receive these gifts. Anyway, as I stood there today looking at the wall of donation cards, my eyes happened upon one that read 'In Honor of Logan'. I tell you, I almost started crying right then and there. I had to work to hold it together as I stepped forward to pay. Of course, there's no guarantee that it's MY Logan, but I'm pretty darn confident that it is; after all, it's our hometown. So if that was you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know it's just a name on a card, but it meant a lot. And your donation to the kids means much, much more than you could ever imagine.
Thank you for being a part of Logan's team. Have a blessed Sunday. Mark 11:22!