Saturday, November 3, 2007

God is good, all the time

God is good, all the time...

Today's post is a bit of a departure from finances, though they are mentioned...

Sometimes it's hard to see the blessings…

Yesterday we spent almost 8 hours doing doctor's appointment related stuff. I left the house with our three youngest children about 9:20 in the morning. I returned home with all 4 kids about 4:30. It was a very long day.

Our youngest is 3.5 months old. He weighs a whopping 7lbs 11oz at the moment. He was born in July – 30 days before his due date. He weighed 6lbs 6oz at birth. Over the next 12 days or so he did fine – his weight checks were good, etc. However, that next week I began to notice that it wasn't quite right and, sure enough, when we stopped at the Women's Center for a weight check, he was down to 5lbs 11oz at 19 days. Since then it has been a struggle to keep him going in the right direction.

Two weeks ago he was 8lbs 2oz. Last week, he'd lost an ounce. This week, he was down 6 more. Six weeks ago, they'd finally assigned us a home health nurse to weigh him at home instead of continually going to the doctor's office [do you know what weekly doctor's visits will do to your budget when you're not expecting them?! Or even when you are?] However, after the weight loss this week, the doc's office called and wanted us to come in yesterday, so we did.

I loaded up two girls – ages 2 and 4 – and one little boy and headed out. Matt, unexpectedly, was able to meet us there. It's a good thing he was able to.

They were running about 45 minutes late. Mid appointment, we got a call from our oldest daughter's school – she had thrown up at recess. Matt took the older two and headed to pick her up.

Before he left however, the pediatric nurse practitioner we've been seeing had told us that the other PNP and one of the doctors in the office wanted to put him in the hospital, but that she and the other doctor decided to try a few other things first. We did two heel sticks [the first one coagulated or something so it wasn't good enough to run tests on] and a urine test [he didn't pee until the bag had been on him for an hour and a half].

The good news? The blood tests came back much better than they had anticipated. No urinary tract infection. No hospital for now.

The bad news? If he hasn't gained at least 4oz by next Friday, he will be in the hospital. If he doesn't gain at least 6-7oz he may end up in the hospital.

They gave him another medicine that should help keep him from spitting up as much – that alone should help a lot.

The rest of the good news? Well, we have no more consumer debt. I called about 2 weeks ago and just paid the hospital bills from last summer [an ER visit for me, an ER visit for our 6 year old, his birth and hospital stay]. We have insurance. We've met all of our deductibles so even if he does end up in the hospital, it won't cost us anything out of pocket. I had seriously increased the food budget in light of the lack of debt and medical bills and it was no problem to pull enough out of it for a copay or two. In August, when I'd budgeted for 2 doc visits and ended up with 7-8, I couldn't have taken it out of the food budget because that budget was already so tight. We don't have the specter of debt hanging over us as well as our son's lack of weight gain.

We still don't know what's wrong with him. We don't know if it's something metabolic or if my milk just isn't rich enough anymore – four kids close together and all nursed can do that – or what it is. But we have a wonderful, supportive doctor's office, prayer warriors in our Sunday School class and among the rest of our family and friends, and a God who is good, all the time.

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