We watched and waited (while talking with doctors by phone), daily examining her symptoms. As you probably know, concussions typically require just rest, but in some cases can be much more serious.
Typically we would have had her at the doctor immediately, but with no insurance, we are instead required to seek wisdom and pause - just another way we have been taught to walk by faith these past 6 years.
Doctors reassured us daily that her symptoms seemed mostly normal and ok for home care. The fact though that she was unable to walk without extreme dizziness did cause concern. So, when she began to feel pressure in her head instead of simply headaches we headed for help... and then vomiting began...it was time for a CT scan. All outward symptoms began to indicate that she had a brain bleed, which is deadly.
We first took her to urgent care as instructed and immediately after examination they sent us to Childrens ER. We opted out of the ambulance as we were only blocks away. By the time we arrived at the ER she was vomiting every few minutes. There was no waiting room for us, instead we were whisked in past the crowded room of those also awaiting treatment (her in a wheelchair pushed by Savannah) and with lightening speed taken to the CT scan facilities. While the scanner spun around her head I stood next to her covered in my radiation protective apron. I sang "Always". The doctors were readying themselves to open her skull to alleviate the perceived bleeding. We had to prepare Savannah for what might be ahead. These were hard moments.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." - Jesus
What I knew in that span of time was that Peyton needed to see Doug, Savannah and I surrounding her with faith, love and the laughter that she has come to see as our normal. This type of concussion is called the "talk and die" scenario because the patient doesn't feel the severity of the symptoms. As I sat next to her hospital bed and she talked with us about school, friends, Duck Dynasty and typical teenage topics, my mind raced back and forth between Joshua 1:9 and "talk and die". I felt the Lord leaning over me whispering as I leaned over her.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms [of My hands];” Isaiah 49-15-16
Think back to a time when one of your children was really sick. Possibly battling a illness or physical difficulty, or maybe something even more severe. When you have a sick child in your home (or in the hospital), where is the majority of your attention? Who are your eyes glued to? Where is your heart’s love and concern? Our immediate attention favors the child in need. We are focused on the child in need. God is the same towards us.
I was calmed in that hospital room by the fact that my God also favors the child in need. Not because He has favorites, but because He is a loving Father. In that moment I understood His closeness to our family. His leaning over me allowed me (through my concern and the fear threatening me) to look into Peytons eyes and show her faith.
She was watching me so closely (I assume to see how serious matters were) that the second my fear struggle became intense she saw it and asked me if she was going to be ok. As tears rolled down my face I assured her that regardless she was going to be ok, the Lord was holding her, was holding us as a family, and was a very present help. She then closed her eyes and rested.
To the doctors dismay, the CT scan was clear. Apparently the movement to get Peyton to the ER was what caused the onset of the vomiting. So, without internal bleeding, after a few hours, they sent her home for more rest. Surgery was called off. She has since gained energy and the headaches have diminished from a pain scale of 9 to a 2. She is able to walk freely. We thank the Lord over and over for this.
As if that wasnt enough for the day, the night we arrived home from the hospital a notice was placed on our door that our landlord had begun eviction proceedings, asking us to be out in 3 days. Because we have paid rent through the end of the month and have not violated our lease in any way, we contested ...and his attempts at strong arming us to leave early were wholly defeated. (This is the final month of our two year lease here and he is angry that we are not buying the home as was originally discussed and has become very vindictive). He is fearful he will lose the home to the bank because he can no longer afford the mortgage and has no new tenants. We understand that his harsh behaviors are driven by that fear. This is behavior we have dealt with for two years. We are so thankful for kind attorneys and contract negotiators who have helped us in this process these past days. As a dear friend said this past week, the enemy roars but the battle is already won.
I did pack the house (because we didnt know how quickly the lease matters would be resolved) while taking care of Peyton and we are now ready to go. Doug continues to tutor, do his business consulting and table making and pray Exodus 33:15-16 over us just as he did when we came here. He will begin his fundraising for his new missions job in December. As far as a place to live, we had signed our portion of a lease on a new home but that all fell through this weekend due to our needing to move in December 1 and the owner requiring it be Nov 15. We simply have not been Provided with funds to pay rent two places this month so we are are assuming the Lord has other Plans. We wait, trust and remember.
It always blows me away that our God has such a compassionate, loving heart. He counts each of our tears, keeps a record of our heartaches, knows our battles, and cares deeply for all of our hurts. Not only does God love those who face trials, but He favors them.
When we are struggling financially and don’t know how our family will make it through, God is favoring us, because we need His special attention and care.
When we are hungry (physically, emotionally, or spiritually), God is waiting to bless us, because as a good Father, He wants to meet our needs and care for us.
When we are weeping, God is weeping with us and He is anticipating the day when we will laugh again.
When our hearts are broken, God’s eyes are focusing in on us.
I counsel my heart to not become overwhelmed and consumed by fear in the midst of our difficulty, but remember that God is favoring His broken children. He will not forget us. His eyes are focused on us.