On this beautiful Lord’s Day, I’m here at home with my girl, Sophia. Glenn and the kids have left for church, but Sophia hasn’t been feeling well.
She’s been coughing and crackling for about a week now. Nothing serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. But in the last couple of years, when she has a respiratory virus, involving extended periods of coughing, she has tended to wind up with pleurisy. Pleurisy is inflammation of the pleural lining around the lungs. Inflammation can occur due to excessive and extreme coughing, usually associated with a virus, of course. I’m not sure, but maybe she is susceptible to it more now than when she was little because she coughs harder. The first time it happened, I didn’t realize what was going on. I think it was Colleen who suggested pleurisy. The doctor agreed after an examination, and since then, we treat her preventatively a few days into a virus. The cure is simple – Ibuprofin.
Last night I turned in bed and woke up. Within a few seconds, I heard Sophi breathing loudly and sighing over the monitor. Then she said, “I need you, Mommy. Can you come here, please.” I hurried upstairs, but I figured it was going to be chest pain, since she’d had a little off and on the last few days. Sure enough, it was. It wasn’t too terrible at this point, and after a dose of Ibuprofin and a breathing treatment, I read to her and she fell asleep.
Having a child with special medical needs can be a little overwhelming at times. Especially when she was a baby, and we had so much to learn about her. We spent much of her first few years in the hospital. She’s had many surgeries and illnesses and although she’s so much stronger now at 10 than she ever has been, she is still considered medically fragile. Her pulmonologist and other doctors say they don’t know of other children like Sophia. She’s unique! So it’s hard for them to predict what her needs or issues may be in the future.
But we’re not afraid of her future. We trust that the merciful God Who created her in such a special way, and has taken miraculous care of her all her life, will continue to do so.
Recently we learned that a friend of a friend has a terminal form of cancer. The girls are making cards to send to her. I read Sophia’s last night. It caused such a swell of gratitude in me! Gratitude for how God has been teaching her empathy and compassion for others that comes from her own experiences of pain and illness, and knowing the Lord’s compassion herself.
She wrote sweet encouraging words of comfort and hope.
“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul.
Like a weaned child with its mother.
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
I pray your Lord’s Day today is full of refreshment and gratitude.