Monday, December 3, 2007

Elijah Update (December 3)

For new readers to this blog, the following update is about a strong and brave little guy named Elijah, born February 6, 2007. His mom and I worked together at Rift Valley Academy in 1996-1999. Elijah has Hemophilia B, but more importantly, he has a worldwide prayer support team! Since my initial post about Elijah and his mom's initial update the very next day, posting updates from Elijah's parents on this blog is a small way I can give support from far away and generate much-needed prayer for Elijah's continued growth and healing. So please, join the praying!

Dear Friends,

I was just looking over past e-mails and realized that over a month has passed since we sent out an Elijah Update. What a wonderful feeling we have when we realize that there haven't been any major, or minor, medical events in Elijah's life for over a month. God has truly blessed us and our little boy.

We did have a scheduled clinic visit with the hemophilia team in mid-November, but I don't call it an "event". It is just something we will have to do every year. As Elijah gets older the clinic team will check his joints for range of motion, they will check his bumps and bruises and his blood will be checked for inhibitors and other things that can be dangerous for people with hemophilia. All of Elijah's reports came back great, and Dr. W was "astounded". We pray that someday he will stand in awe of The One who healed our little boy, but until then we pray that God will continue to impress and amaze.

While we were at the clinic we received a visit from Dr. P. We hadn't seen her since the day we left Children's Mercy Hospital eight months ago. We were excited for her to see Elijah and know firsthand of his great health. After talking with us and watching Elijah, Dr. P said she was never so glad to be so wrong. We too are glad.

The rest of the month of November has been filled with "firsts" for our family: Elijah's first family Christmas photo, Elijah's first Christmas tree, Elijah's first non-hospital snow and, of course, Elijah's first Thanksgiving. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving Grams, Papa, Judy, Elijah and I drove about 30 miles to a Christmas tree farm to pick out our family tree. Snow was on the ground as we tramped through the field looking for that special tree. We found just the right one, cut it down and headed back to the barn for some hot chocolate. It was a fun outing with good memories. Judy and I decorated the tree that night while Elijah was asleep. It is a
beautiful tree with lots of fun decorations -- again, more good memories.

Judy speaks:
When it seems that we are heading toward a mountain top we get hit again with something new. Joel was working at the Funeral Home trying to get a casket out of the van. He knew it was heavy but thought, "Let me give it one more try." POP. Something happened to his back. To make a long story short, an ambulance came, he spent two nights in the hospital, I drove him to Hays for an MRI and then drove him back to the hospital. Praise the Lord it was not worse. The injury can be treated with therapy, so now the work begins. One week later and he is still hurting. Every day he would say, "I think I'm going to go to work today," but then he would be hurting so much he would go back to bed and forget it. Elijah and I had to walk around quietly, taking care of Daddy and playing quietly. Joel isn't allowed to pick up Elijah and was told that he cannot pick up anything heavier than a phone. He is doing a very good job of following that rule and can tell when something may be too heavy. Elijah is handling it well and smiles at his daddy whenever he sees him. He even played quietly in his chair next to his daddy who was asleep on the couch. My muscles are going to get stronger during these next months as I do the lifting and carrying Joel used to do for us. Please pray with us for Joel's back, that the Lord would completely heal him and that we would both learn the lessons He has for us in this trial.

Joel again:
During this experience, God has been good to us. As Judy wrote, the injury could have been much more debilitating. However, it seems I injured my back just enough to make me slow down and take a few days off, and over time therapy and exercise will mend the injury. Since the end of October my dad, who is 78 years old, and I have been the delivery boys for the furniture store, and it has been a busy, tiring month. Because one person just cannot deliver a refrigerator, my dad hasn't had to lift and deliver since my accident. So God is allowing both of us to relax and allow our bodies to mend. We are thankful that God has kept the funeral work to a minimum this week and the furniture store has kept busy without the need for deliveries.

These few days at home have also allowed me to see all the work Judy does with Elijah, for the house, for the flower shop and for me. She is an amazing woman. Please pray for her strength and endurance while I recover.

We pray that everyone has a wonderful Christmas and that the Lord will shine brightly in your family celebrations. Praise the Lord with us for Elijah's life and his first Christmas.

Joel, Judy, and Elijah

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