Friday, February 19, 2010


I'm going to go ahead and be up front with y'all; I'm in a really bad mood. Frustrated. Sad. Angry. Bitter. I'm also sleep-deprived, although I plan to fix that with an early bedtime tonight.

It has been almost 7 weeks since Ethan's hand surgery and I've been in tears since Wednesday, wondering if we made a mistake. We have reason to believe that Ethan does not have any feeling in his left index finger (and maybe even the middle one, as well). As if me pinching him as hard as I could didn't give it away, it's painfully obvious by the bloody, lack of skin on the tip of that finger. Why, you ask? Well, because he's been gnawing on it like a chew toy. He seriously bites it SO hard that chunks of skin come off and it bleeds and bleeds and bleeds.

Yesterday, Jeramie made a super padded wrap for it and that did the trick, until we took it off this evening. Not five minutes after we unwrapped his finger, Ethan had it back in his mouth and, this time, he bit so hard that his fingernail is coming off. I'm not even kidding. It's barely hanging on, so I'm sure he'll lose it soon.

I'm so frustrated.

As if he doesn't have enough to deal with, now let's add a numb, fingernail-less finger to the mix. Can we get a freakin' break, please?? We've spent the past 3 weekends in some sort of ER/hospital/after-hours urgent care facility, and it looks like this weekend won't be an exception to that. I can't even explain how angry that makes me.

I'm so sad.

I can't shake this looming feeling that we've made some horrible mistake. Sending Ethan into the operating room for two life-saving heart surgeries wasn't an option. Sending him in for a pacemaker: not an option. Going in for a Broviac or the Nissen/G-tube? Not optional. Putting him under to have his arm corrected, however, was very optional.

Granted, there was a window of time in which the surgery should have been completed, but did it need to happen at all? Would Ethan have learned to function just fine with his arm the way it was? Did we really need to put him through this? Maybe he would be crawling by now if we had just left him alone. He definitely wouldn't have a bloody, skin-less, numb finger, or a scar that looks like baseball stitching going down half of his arm. He would still have 10 fingers and would probably be doing just fine.

That makes me so incredibly sad. I hate the way I feel when I think about all of that; it makes me sick to my stomach to think I may have caused my son some sort of unnecessary harm.

I'm beginning to feel bitter, and I really hate that.

I thought I was past the "why us?", "why not them?" stage, but this situation has brought all of those thoughts and feelings to the forefront.

I would really appreciate it if you guys would say some prayers for us. Pray that feeling would be restored to Ethan's finger (best case is that this is just a side effect of the healing process). Pray that Jeramie and I would have the knowledge and skill set to care for his hand in the meantime. Pray that I would find peace and encouragement as I deal with such a hard, frustrating time in my life. Pray for my heart, that it won't become hardened as a result of these recent trials.

Pray for us. We need it in a major way right now.


Tania said...

I think we (moms) are always beating ourselves up with the decisions we make and the effects they have in our kids. I do it all the time and I have never had to make such hard decisions as you have. Try to concentrate on all the wondeful things Ethan IS and HAS, and let go of the others you can't control. I wish we could fix all of your pain and aliviate your frustrations. Not many of us can really understand all you have gone through, but we do know you love your child. You have made great decisions to make his life a GOOD life. Keep loving him!

Jean Johnson said...

Bless your heart..I can't imagine how you must be hurting. Turn it over to Jesus, like all the other burdens you've had to lately. He can handle this hurt and question too. Know that we love you guys and you are in my prayers.

Scott and Kristen said...

Praying for you all!

Anonymous said...

Oh Joye-- just like the others have said, we as parents will ALWAYS ask ourselves "Did I do the right thing" "What if..." on any given situation. You two have been blessed with a wonderful, beautiful, happy baby. No matter what, you are always on his side and willing to do whatever it takes for his best interest (but may doubt yourself from time to time). That just shows you are a great mom. You are always a loving mom, and always wanting to give him the best chance in any situation. I am sending up a big prayer for you and hope you find some peace and assurance and knowledge that you are the best. :o) --Lois

Genia said...

Oh jojo. I sat here and cried as I read your latest blog. I cannot imagine what you are feeling right now. I pray that this numbness is just a side effect. You and Jeramie made this decision after much prayer. I even think that God made it easy to make the decision to go ahead with the surgery with allowing Dr I to be on call the day of his surgery. You and Jeramie have endured what many of us will never know. However, he has led your beautiful family this far. We are getting ready to celebrate your little miracle's first birthday! Continue to trust in Him and our family will continue to pray for peace and healing. Love more than words can ever say, GiGi

Jen said...

Joye, I'm so sorry you're having a rough time these days. And it's okay to wonder "Why me?" But in the words of the very wise Coach Kay Yow, "If you wallow in self-pity, you are going to drown. Just swish your feet."

So, swish those feet and then step out of the puddle. Hug your wonderful boys and keep looking forward.

We will be praying for all 3 of you.

Stefenie said...

Nothing about this journey with our precious kiddos is easy and we've all had those days where we have worried whether or not we have made the best decisions. You can't punish yourself for what has happened Joye. I am sure this is not the outcome that anyone had anticipated so please don't beat yourself up anymore.

Keep pushing those docs and if they don't come up with a better solution then search out someone who will. I know it is hard when we are overwhelmed and scared about the future but sometimes we have to push that aside to fight.

You are doing such a great job as his mommy, protector and guardian. Don't allow yourself to feel that you are any less than that!

Hang in there!!! {{{HUG}}}

Stef, Ryan, Wyatt and Logan

Anonymous said...

Talk to the docs - I bet they can reassure you. From what I know, I'm guessing that they will tell you that it's temporary and that you are an awesome mom for giving him the opportunity to gain functionality and normalcy. He likely will never remember his arm being numb. A mom's heart takes longer to heal. My thoughts are with you.

traci said...

Dear Jesus, Please have your peace, the kind that passes understanding, wash over Jeramie and Joye and Ethan today. They need you in this moment. Show them yourself clearly in the midst of the pain and uncertainty. Amen

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