Tuesday afternoon was like any other. Jackson napping, Clayton watching a Gaither video as he rested after therapy. At 3:00, Clayton was fine and dandy. By 4:30, he was wretching from nausea and white as a ghost. Since Clayton can't actually throw up because of his nissen fundoplication, he never gets that relief that vomiting can give you if you are extremely nauseated. So the nausea just lingers and lingers . . . my problem was trying to figure out what actually brought this sudden change on in just a matter of minutes. In the meantime, he got to where he couldn't even keep his eyes open and he wanted me to hold him--a classic sign that he just plain doesn't feel good! My thoughts immediately went to his shunt and wondering if it was malfunctioning. We are no strangers to shunt malfunctions, and all of these symptoms are classic signs. By the time Brian got home at 5, Clayton was in bad shape, lethargic and dry heaving constantly. We knew it was time to pack our bags. Yes, it might have been a stomach bug, but we just didn't want to chance waiting too long. Our dilemma these days with shunt issues is the fact that we do not want the neurosurgeon at ACH to operate on Clayton. Simply put: we don't trust him and don't appreciate his lack of bedside manner. We made the decision to drive to Memphis to see his neurosurgeon at LeBonheur Children's Hospital. Meanwhile, I let prayer warriors know that intercession on Clayton's behalf was needed. Through the power of the internet and cell phones, word spread quickly that Clayton needed prayer. I have no doubt that the doors of Heaven were nearly knocked over with the prayers of the righteous!
Christians are never to stop praying, particularly for each other. We should never hesitate to turn to our fellow believers with our prayer requests and needs, nor should we neglect to pray for them regularly. James 5:16 (NIV)
Clayton slept most of the way to Memphis, waking up only a few times to try and vomit. I sat in the backseat, holding him as I prayed. My prayers are not those of an eloquent preacher. They are the simple prayers of a desperate mother: "PLEASE LORD, FIX THIS! WHATEVER IT IS, JUST LET HIS BODY FUNCTION NORMALLY! PLEASE HELP HIM! PROTECT HIM!" God hears all prayers--it doesn't have to sound like a well-rehearsed sonnet to fall on the Lord's ears! As I prayed, I knew people all around the country were calling out to God on Clayton's behalf. What an absolute humbling thought! To know that Christians everywhere have dropped to their knees in prayer for my baby boy! Such a blessing!!!!
From the moment we walked into the hospital, Clayton's condition began to improve. After suffering through x-rays and a CT scan, he was literally back to his old self. His CT scans were basically like his MRI back in July when he was completely well. The doctor tapped his shunt to check the fluid and mechanism and all was fine on that front as well. We stayed overnight for good measure (didn't want to have to drive all that way more than once!) and Clayton seemed even better after a good nap on Wednesday.
Why did Clayton get so sick, so fast? We have no idea! Was it a shunt malfunction? Who knows?! All I know is he was really sick--borderline scary sick, and once the prayer warriors started petitioning Heaven, his symptoms were gone! We would be completely remiss if we did not give God the glory for this! I admit that in the past, His answers to our prayers have not always been to my liking. It seems he usually likes to do the roundabout, back door answers to prayer in our lives . . . but in this case, he answered quickly and very specifically! Praise the Lord!
We don't want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. We felt like we'd been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he's the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don't want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (The Message)