The last full week of July has arrived – can you believe it? Please pardon my absence over the past 10 days, but some rather big issues arose, taking us on an emotional roller-coaster of ups and downs.
It began two Saturdays ago, on July 18th, when my husband Dave and I enjoyed attending one of our favorite annual events, the Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth, Maine. This year happened to be the 50th event, from its origin in 1965. It’s a 3-day event every third weekend in July featuring food vendors (especially with seafood like clams and lobsters, as well as favorites like fried dough!), carnival rides, entertainment, and nearly 200 arts and crafts booths (my favorite part!)
After that nice time away, early in the evening, I discovered one of our beautiful cats, Smokey, lying between the wall and the washing machine after he had used the litter box. He was very lethargic, his eyes looked really bizarre, and he just didn’t seem right. As far as we knew, he was fine that morning and had joined the other cats at their normal feeding time. The cat we saw that evening was drastically different and looked very sick.
We called the emergency vet clinic and they told us to bring him in right away, because it could be a urinary blockage — something that could be fatal, especially for male cats. We had to borrow money from Dave’s dad to cover the charges for the emergency visit and procedure. Fortunately, we caught the problem in its early stages, and the vet was able to unblock Smokey and void his bladder with a catheter.
We saved money by taking him home and watching him ourselves, instead of leaving him there for observation. Dave stayed up with Smokey on Saturday night, and then I stayed up on Sunday night so Dave could get a good night’s sleep before a work day. We brought him to our regular vet on Monday (a week ago), and got a good report there that Smokey was already recovering well and had not reblocked. Each day he got a little better and back to normal, and a few days ago, he finally started eating and successfully using the litter box. So glad God even cares about our fur babies!
In the middle of nursing our sick kitty back to health, a much more serious life and death issue was going on as my dear friend Debbie’s 7-year-old grandson Drew was undergoing emergency surgery. Drew was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago. Back on July 20, while he and his family (Debbie’s daughter and son-in-law, and three children) were on vacation, Drew got sick with a lung infection, and the family had to cut their vacation short to get him back to their state’s children’s hospital and medical team familiar with Drew’s medical conditions. The sad reality was summed up in Drew’s dad’s words when he said Drew woke up in a hotel bed at the resort, and ended with him in a bed in the pediatric ICU.
One explanation from a family friend provided a summary back on the 20th for concerned family and friends: “Because Drew has a severely diminished immune system, this potentially life-threatening lung condition has, among other things, made his temperature skyrocket (104) and made it incredibly difficult for the poor little guy to breathe. His condition is continuing to decline and doctors are still struggling to determine what, exactly, is wrong. He will likely undergo a relatively risky surgical procedure in the next 24 hours in an effort to determine the cause of his condition.”
Drew underwent a bronchoscopy and lung biopsy – a complicated surgery that lasted over four hours – back on the 21st. He is now listed as critical (up from very critical) and stable, but still has machines keeping him alive, especially a *ventilator doing the breathing. He has remained heavily sedated, but occasionally rouses enough to open his eyes and look around, and communicate with his parents and others–precious moments, for sure! *[UPDATE: As of today, 7/27, Drew just came off the ventilator and is on a bipap machine now!]
The medical team is still reviewing results from tests and the biopsy to determine exactly what’s happening in his lungs and how best to treat Drew. While there has been some progress, please pray that God will heal this precious little boy, comfort and strengthen his parents, siblings, and other family members and friends–and give the medical team wisdom to ascertain the problem and the treatment.
There is a GoFundMe page set up to help the family cover the extraordinary medical costs associated with this event: Support the Woods. If you are on Facebook, look for the hash tag #PrayForDrew and you’ll get an idea of the amazing outpouring of love and support for this precious little boy and his family.
Special note to help my son Andrew out: He has recently published another book, entitled Flash Stories For Anytime. Here’s an excerpt from a review: “Flash Stories For Anytime will entertain and stimulate you as you touch on several characters in key events of their personal journeys. Buried inside are also snippets and references to some very well known folklore and classic novels that will pleasantly surprise many readers. Perfect for the coffee table or a long trip, you can read one story or all of them (if you’re flying international), and they’re timeless enough to be enjoyed again and again.” (N. Hodgdon)
It’s available at Amazon for only $8.99, or FREE for those with Kindle Unlimited! I know I’m biased, but after proofreading books for him–he really does write well and is very creative in his story-crafting skills!