"For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!"
Today Cullen got his cast and pin removed. Our appointment was early, 10 am. But he also had to get x-rays, which meant we needed to be there around 9:45. My mom went with me and we needed to leave the house around 8:45. We got out late, not leaving until almost 9.
We did not get far down the expressway when the traffic slowed and almost came to a stop. The cars were bumper to bumper as far as I could see and we had JUST passed an exit. So, there was no hoping to get off and get up to Michigan another way. I was trying very hard to not be angry. My mom reminded me that there is a reason for everything and perhaps in those 10 minutes of us leaving the house late, we were spared from the accident we were sure was up ahead. We crawled along for about 10 minutes. When we finally got up to the accident site, the cars were pulled along the other side of the road and the traffic moving South was also backed up as far as we could see. It looked bad, but once past, we all got moving along at 70 mph.
We got to Mott's at 10 am. I checked us in and Cullen got his x-rays. He did great, not much squirming and he did not have to have any of the x-rays retaken.
We checked into the Ortho office and waited. They were busy! We got taken back into one of the rooms and they told us they would have to cut off the cast this time. This was a first for us and I was totally unprepared. Every other cast he had had just unraveled off. They let me hold Cullen and he did a good job sitting, really just interested in the loud noise and cutter. About the last 2 inches he decided to really wiggle and start crying - he was done being held still!
They pulled off the cast and the cotton. Dr. Li took a pair of pliers and just slide the pin out of his foot. It was as smooth as a hot knife through butter. And Cullen didn't cry or bleed! I was amazed. But it only lasted about 30 seconds. Then you could see the pain creep into his face and that baby just wailed. He cried and squirmed and tried to move, like he was trying to get away from the pain. I just held him and rocked him, and tried to soothe him as Dr. Li explained the exercises for his foot, and some things to expect in the upcoming weeks.
We left to go down to orthotics to get Cullen's Ponsetti bar. A Ponsetti bar as two little boots, with straps, to strap the child's foot into and then a bar that hooks the two boots together. Cullen will have to wear this every night until this entire process is over, about a year from now.
We got down to their office (AAAALLLL the way on the other side of the hospital) and we were waiting behind a couple. They had a beautiful little girl in a stroller and Cullen was mesmerized by her! My mom started talking with them and we learned that this little girl had had quite the battle from birth. Her mother had been on prescriptions during her pregnancy, so when the girl was born she had to detox from the meds, but in addition to that, she was lactose intolerant, but the hospital couldn't figure that out and so she had spent many days in the NICU struggling to eat and keep her weight up. She was also born with hip dysplasia. When her mother said that it was like being electrocuted I don't know how else to explain it. My inside quivered. My mother and I looked at each other and she said, "Should we tell them the story?" So, we proceeded to tell them about Janice and her daughter Aubree and the salvation Janice experienced and the healing Aubree experienced on the day of Cullen's surgery. The couple was amazed. We asked to pray with them and they were very happy to let us. I prayed for them and for their daughter's healing. We talked with them for a long time. Yes, they were saved. Yes, they believed that God could heal. They had seen God heal the mom's uncle (?) from brain cancer. He went in for surgery, after being prayed for, and they scanned him one last time and found that the tumor was not there, but instead a large cavity of fluid. They drained the fluid and he is fine. We exchanged information and they left. I was amazed and in awe of again how God's timing had prevailed. Being late (like on surgery day) had allowed us to meet up with this family. Again I thanked Him for things outside of what I am normally thankful for.
Cullen got called in. I was shown how to put the little boots on his feet and then how attach and remove the bar. He did not like it. He again cried. The orthotics person told me to leave him in them for a couple hours to be sure his skin did not break out and to "condition" him before putting him in them over night.
We walked out of the room and stopped as a boy and his grandmother were waiting to check in. The boy had a scar similar to Cullen's and he asked what had happened to Cullen. I told them a brief story about castings and surgery. He smiled and his grandmother said that her grandson had something different wrong with his feet, but had just endured a very similar process. I don't remember how we got to talking about Jesus, funny how the Holy Spirit sometimes just speaks through you and gets you into a conversation, but we ended up finding out this young man (probably 15 or 16) felt called to be a lawyer who represented children who were religiously persecuted in public school. This young man was on fire for Jesus. Loved Him. We talked with them for a long time. Heard some of their story and again exchanged information, promising to pray for each other.
I am sitting here in awe, rereading what happened to us. God is so so good to remind me that even in this very hard and painful situation, it has beauty and glory woven into it. This precious child He has given me to care for is bringing awareness to God's goodness, His healing power, His mercy, His grace, and His salvation. How much he loves me and cares for me to show me over and over and over again that this is His plan and not an accident or just some chromosomes not doing the right thing.
Praise the Lord!