Wednesday, September 8, 2010

happy tears

I have hesitated to share some of our personal/spiritual experiences concerning Ben's condition for several reasons: 1) many of our experiences are so sacred and personal that they can't possibly be communicated in words; 2) although I want to record an account of our experience, I can't bring myself to revisit such an emotionally painful experience; and, 3) I worry that I may "jinx" myself by committing words to paper. As uneasy as I am to relate our personal experiences, after many powerful spiritual experiences in the hospital, I made a sacred promise to my Heavenly Father that I would offer myself as an instrument in His hands to further His work and I would be terribly ungrateful if I did not share the true miracle that has happened in our lives...

April 15th, 2010: Ben is moaning pathetically, writhing helplessly, struggling for each breath. With his heart racing over 250 beats per minute and his temperature reaching 105 degrees, Ben is examined by the doctor and his eyes are found to be fixed and dilated. We are told that the eyes become fixed and dilated upon "death or pre-death." I am frantic with fear and despair. I cry.

April 15-30ish, 2010: Ben slips into a coma, fails to respond to even painful stimilus, and his eyes are fixed, dilated, and completely unresponsive to light. I am shocked and unfeeling. I cry.

April 30thish, 2010: Ben's right eyelid cracks open for the very first time. I am relieved but unsure. I cry.

June 1stish, 2010: Ben's right eyelid is cracked open, but is too swollen to raise beyond the midpoint. The right eye is still fixed and dilated. The left eye cracks open for the first time. The left eye is fixed, dilated, extropic, and disconjugate. Ben's eyes beat with nystagmus. My heart is heavy with grief, sorrow, and pain. I cry.

June 3rdish, 2010: Ben's eyes are both still fixed, dilated, and unresponsive to light. The left eye opens more and more but his gaze is extropic and discongujate. The right eyelid does not open past midpoint. I am discouraged. I cry.

June 5thish, 2010: Ben keeps his eyes open for almost 45 minutes! Oh the joy in the smallest of accomplishments! I cry.

June 7thish, 2010: Ben's eyes show the most faint response to natural sunlight! Another small step. I cry.

June 14thish, 2010: Ben's left pupil shows a slight constriction. I cry.

June 20thish, 2010: A coordinating relationship between Ben's eyes is detected; when the left pupil is stimulated with light, a response is observed in the right pupil. I cry.

June 30thish, 2010: Ben is seen by an opthamologist. We learn that Ben's eyes are healthy but it is unclear whether or not Ben has or will have vision. Frustrated. Angry. Scared. I cry.

July 15thish, 2010: Ben's gaze is fixed to the left and any motion to the right causes strain and nystagmus. I cry.

July 23rd, 2010: Ben is seen by a specialist. We are told that Ben has no vision out of the right side of his eyes and that the vision that he does have from his periphery is measured at 20x800. Completely broken. Devastated. I cry.

August 18th, 2010: Ben is seen by a vision therapest. We are taught exercizes that may stimilate Ben's vestibular system and told that Ben's vision measures 20x400. I feel disbelief and guarded hope. I cry.

August 25ish, 2010: After extensive visual therapy, Ben visually tracks a toy for the first time. My heart soars with pride. I cry.

TODAY: We revisited the vision therapest and Ben's vision is measured at 20x100 (considered within the normal range for his age)! Ben tracks objects in both directions! Ben is able to move his eyes to both left and right! Although Ben still has a significant visual impairment and visual delay, the doctor tells us that Ben has great potential and instructs us to perform home-therapy exercizes with Ben to improve his occular-motor coordination. I am so filled with hope and joy that I cry!

I know that Ben has a long way to go in his recovery, but I cannot deny that we have felt the hand of the Lord in Ben's steady progress. Just as we taught the children in primary last month, I know that Jesus Christ is a God of miracles. We studied in primary the accounts from the Bible of Jesus restoring sight to the blind, and I have watched for myself as my son has gone from being positively blind to having sight! A true miracle!

I know that in Christ, all things are possible. I pray for Ben to be healed. pray. PRAY! pray. I don't know what is in store for Ben and his eyes, but I know that if it is the Lord's will, Ben will have sight. Some days are really hard. Some days I feel fear and grief. I pray for an increase of faith and I am filled with peace. I feel peace in my knowledge that the Lord hears my prayers and has a plan for my special son.

Today I cry because I know that Christ can and does perform miracles.


kathy said...

Amen! God is good.

Lauralee said...

happy tears for sure. what a miracle.

The Farmer Family said...

I've cried with ya Court and today I cry for your miracle! Yeah for Ben! God loves us! Isn't that great!?

Lou Ellen said...

Thanks. I am on old friend/roommate of Sue's - I've followed Ben Z's story - thanks for all of this. Putting it all down in one entry helps us to see the miracles of patience and faith and work - keep writing, love to read your blog.

Jill said...

oh that made me cry too. Love you so much Court. Thanks for your faith and testimony. Ben is truly a miracle!

carrie said...

Wow! Amazing. Really, truly. You have gone through so much with this sweet babe. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings and your testimony, Courtney. God is wonderful!

greatbon said...

Ben is the most amazing baby. I have never heard of one so young being so close to death and coming back step by step. Your family and Ben continue to be an inspiration for so many. You rock Ben!

Stephanie & Jim said...

You dont know me. I married Jim Wilde. We had a baby 4 months ago.
I cant imagine what you have/ are going through. You inspire me and strengthen my testimony. You make me a better a mother. Every night I hug my baby girl a little tighter and give just one more extra kiss. I appreciate every moment I have with her, fussy times and all because of your story. Thank you for that. Thank you for sharing.

Pam, Rick, and Amy said...

I want you to know how much I love you and the rest of the family. I am so glad for what Ben has and has done and what he will do. My prayers will always be with you. You faith and strength is a great example for me. I do not know if I would be able to do all you have done and the faith to do it. I love you and thank you for the example.

Kelli Radmall said...

Wow Court, that is amazing! Thank you for sharing with us. What an amazing and difficult journey. I am so glad Ben's eyes are getting better and better! You are so strong.