Sorry guys, I haven’t blogged in forever.
**((warning, graphic pictures included))**
We were on vacation, we’ve had house guests, kids are home all day… plus my husband took over my little office space because he had to get some work done on his office. So I’ve been mostly kicked out with no decent place to write.
Topics I want to write about tend to swirl around in my head for two days, max. If I don’t write within that window, the thoughts tend to expire. So this is, unfortunately, going to be a jumbled up mess of all the things I’ve wanted to blog about for the past month.
First off, Gabe has been doing SO much better. We were really worried we were going to have to cancel our vacation plans. He was basically covered in staph-infected wounds over about 40% of his body. But a couple of new treatments, and a lot of prayer, and he is doing really well.
We were worried about how he would handle vacation but he actually got better with the clean and super humid lake air.
He’s really continued to improve since then. He’s made crazy progress since this spring when he was in really, really bad shape.
Sorry, I know it looks terrible. But this is what we were living with. Round after round of antibiotics failed to clear it. Doctors were at a loss. He supposedly was negative for MRSA- but what else is staph that won’t respond to all the antibiotics thrown at it?
For anyone struggling with MRSA, eczema, psoriasis, etc. what we did that helped was using smart skin spray for a month to kill the staph overgrowth and then mother dirt probiotic spray to replenish his stores of good bacteria on his skin.
He’s made so much progress but Gabe is definitely a highly sensitive person if I’ve ever met one. This whole thing has not been easy on him. It’s been traumatic. He very much is still stuck with a “sick person” frame of mind. He is scared to push against his limits. Scared to try new things. Even scared to wear a t-shirt. Through this whole thing I’ve had to rock a mix of good cop/bad cop mothering. Like knowing when he had outgrown a certain need. Like needing to be carried to the tub in the morning (ow! My back!) or needing to have his skin covered 24/7.
So, I forced him to wear a t-shirt yesterday. He fought me on it and cried and hid in his room for like an hour. His little neighborhood friend was waiting for him to come down to play with her and she assured him that she didn’t care if his arms were red. His older brother talked to him. His dad talked to him. Everyone talked to him! It was a huge deal when he pushed past his fear and came downstairs, in a t-shirt, for the first time in well over a year. It was a huge mental step for him. He even went to Target and realized that no one stared or recoiled in horror. He willingly put on a t-shirt again today. Good thing, because MN summers can be pretty brutal. Today it got up to 95 degrees F and his refusal to wear t-shirts has had him very limited in how much time he can spend outside.
The saga continues. He still has a ways to go. We know it’s very likely that he’ll flare again in the fall when allergens are bad again. But we are definitely enjoying the progress and healing he has experienced!
This past month I got to spend a lot of time with my siblings. Since we are spread out and most of us have kids, we really haven’t spent time all together like that in nearly a decade. It was really great, of course. But there was definitely an undercurrent of sadness. Life can be hard and I think we all share a strong natural melancholy aka depression- that we all cope with in different ways.
Through this thing we’ve been going through with Gabe…and more than that; through my own struggles with depression stemming from genetics (fosho) and childhood trauma… I’ve definitely struggled in my relationship with God.
There’s been times where I didn’t know how or what to pray. I just didn’t have the words or the faith. But even then I knew God was with me. I would open my mouth and sorrowful prayer language would emerge, maybe too Holy for human ears to decipher. I would know, in my soul, that the Spirit was there and interceding for me in that moment.
I recently read through the book Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It’s really an incredible book. Ayaan was a girl born into Islamic tribal culture in Somalia. When she described the barbaric process of FGM that she was forced to undergo, I felt such waves of shock and revulsion rolling over me that I had to put the book down for a couple of days. The abuse women are subjected to in the name of Islam is beyond words. But for me, the saddest part of the book was that she had thrown herself into Islam, looking for answers. She said her 5 daily prayers. She was good and obedient and submitted. But she never encountered the presence of God. She became an atheist.
It makes me more thankful, more aware; of how near God has always been to me. He’s never demanded outrageous sacrifice of me. He’s only been there, trying to lead me, when I would let him. Religion, like Ayaan experience, is hideously ugly. It is so tainted by all things human and wrong. That’s why Jesus had to come to save us from ourselves. He doesn’t demand, he leads. He is everything we could never be on our own and he offers everything he has to us, freely.