Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Strong in the Spirit

The last few days have been rough on Daniel. He's struggled with a fever and a few other symptoms suggestive of some type of infection. One of his colleagues ordered some tests yesterday. The chest x-ray indicated a possible slight pneumonia, but it was difficult to be sure due to the nodules that are also present. To be safe, he was started on an antibiotic. The fever waned throughout the night, but Daniel never really felt better. In fact, by this morning, he felt really bad, his mouth pain was worse, and the mucus was still persistent.

We were scheduled to see Dr. Gilbert today as well as the orthopedic surgeon (for surgery follow-up and stitch removal). What we had expected to be a normal office visit with Dr. Gilbert quickly turned into something altogether different. While Daniel's vitals were being checked and just before we would have been taken to a patient room, I noticed that his right pupil was extremely dilated (the left one appeared normal). When I say extremely, I mean there was very little blue left. I told the nursing assistant that we needed to see someone right away. The nurse came quickly and looked at Daniel's eyes. She could not hide her worry. Dr. Gilbert came out next, examined his eyes, and told the nurse to set up a CT and an MRI immediately. Her fears, too, were apparent. We were then taken to a room where Dr. Gilbert explained that there could be a tumor behind Daniel's eye or perhaps a blood clot. Always positive, she said it was also possible that he had touched his scopolamine patch (used for mucus control) and then rubbed his eye. I must admit I feared this was just a glimmer of hope to help us get through the tests. Not that she's dishonest. She truly meant that was a possibility; I just didn't believe she thought that would be the case.

As soon as the tests were ordered, the nurse wheeled Daniel to radiology. Actually, she sprinted. Even with my long legs, I had trouble keeping up without jogging! Of course, her sense of urgency worried me more. Daniel made it through both tests, but his pain was moderate to severe. Lying flat on a table for a scan doesn't go well with a mouth full of mucus. We returned to the cancer clinic to hear the results. The CT results were in first and did not show any problems. Praise the Lord! While we waited for the MRI results, Dr. Gilbert sent Daniel to the infusion clinic to receive fluids and a few medications. Soon, she came by to report that the MRI was also negative. Another praise! She stated, though, that the problem was still present and she needed to find out its cause. Daniel had already told Dr. Gilbert earlier today that he needed to be admitted; she agreed and said she would have someone from neurology see him while he's inpatient.

For now, Daniel is resting. His pain is controlled at the moment. It's so good to see him sleep. On that note, I know all of you who can would like to visit Daniel while he's in the hospital, but this time, he just needs to rest. He will look forward to seeing all of you again when he has had time to recover.

Daniel hasn't been able to talk much lately, so I've had to be his voice. I knew on a couple of occasions that if he could speak he would ask some of his caregivers if they knew Christ. I can't say I've always been as bold as my brother in that regard, but I'm learning from him. Anyway, when I felt that I should, I asked for him. While Daniel was getting a chest x-ray tonight, I had a few minutes to speak to the nurse about the Lord. When I told Daniel she was a believer, he raised his hands to heaven in praise. His body is weak, but he is strong in the Spirit. If you know Daniel, you know that none of this is new for him.

God bless you for your prayers.

Doug

" . . . the joy of the Lord is your strength." -Nehemiah 8:10

11 comments:

Richard said...

Hi Doug,

Daniel and your family are in my prayers. What strong faith and sense of purpose Daniel has. He has truly humbled the cancer that is in his body by both his faith and his actions; praise the Lord!

All the best from the Barnabas Group from Macedonia Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.

All praise and glory to the Lord.

Yours in Christ,

Richard Bishop

Anonymous said...

The Forest Hills Choir is praying for you, Daniel, Doug and all of your family. May God heal you is our constant prayer. Even in your fragile health, Daniel, you are the fragrance of life to those who are spiritually dying around you. God is being exalted and lifted up as you share your faith and witness. "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."- 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Wayne Causey

Rachel said...

I'm carrying you in my thoughts and prayers all day today. I pray that your pain will decrease and the answers that are needed will come.
Rachel McRae

Meg Shifrin said...

Daniel, we're thinking about you and praying for you friend. Your life is such a testimony to those around you.

Leah said...

Hi Daniel (and Doug), I am praying for you and your family daily. Thank you for the update and for continuing to help us know how to pray for Daniel. I know that even in his discomfort Daniel still lifts the spirits of everyone who is around him. Love you Daniel!!

Leah McRae

Tammy said...

Doug,
Thank you for being a great brother and a "voice" for Daniel! You have all been in our prayers constantly. We can only praise HIM for the negative results on the CT and MRI. I am so thankful that he is sleeping some. I know that has been slim for him for some time now. He needs physical rest. I know he is stronger than all of us in the Spirit! He is such a warrior. You will all remain in our prayers. When you can tell Daniel his MS family is in deep prayer for him and all of the family.

In Him
Tammy and your MS family!

Stacey said...

Daniel,

We're praying here in San Francisco. We are interceding strongly and asking God to care deeply for you and your family in this time. We love you, friend. We love you.

Stacey, Elijah and Olivia

Lynnette White said...

Doug,
Thank you for keeping us posted...I know your strength is tested daily as well and I lift you and your family up in prayer daily. Praise God for the results of the tests, I know that was a very trying moment that felt like an eternity. I will continue to look to God for His presence in this chaos... I know his hands are working. Send Daniel my love... I will be praying.
Love, Lynnett

Tiffany Madish said...

Daniel, I am continually praying for your recovery and for relief from your pain. I pray that the Lord lift you up and you feel His presence.
Doug, I am also praying for you and your family during this time, as well.
In Him,
Tiffany Madish

Kim and Robert Marascalco said...

Daniel, we love you, and pray for you always. You have become such a crucial part of our daily world and you have inspired both Robert and I to be stronger in our faith and and to lead our boys closer to the lord. We love you Daniel and even though we have never physically meet , we have known each other for a long while. May God ease your pain and discomfort and lift you in his hands to give you peace. We are remembering your family with our prayers and love. God bless you Daniel and praise be to him that he has brought us together. We love you Kim and Robert Marascalco

t said...

Hey, D,
You are still so strong and solid. I'm praying for you constantly. Love you, T