"For everything there is an appointed time,
and an appropriate time for every activity on earth:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to search, and a time to give something up as lost;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to rip, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace."
It is time, dear family, to rejoice!
It is with eyes full of tears and a heart full of joy that I frantically search for the right words to put in this blog. We have so much to say and so little words that properly fit the amount of praise we are carrying in our spirits.
Last week I was told that before we could get Zachary in for a biopsy we had to 'cause a reaction' so that the tissue in his body would be inflamed at the time of testing. Nathaniel and I decided to give Zachary some pears as he had just reacted to them three weeks prior and we knew he liked them. That way, he could enjoy the few bites we were forced to give him in order to hopefully get some answers. (See previous blog)
All week I prayed long and hard over those few bites. I laid my hands on Zachary and prayed for healing and I recruited friends and family to pray intently for Zachary during the week. It was an emotional roller coaster for me as I battled with God on why this all was happening to our poor son.
So as I slowly let go and fed my son 4 bites of pears on Wednesday, I braced myself for the days and weeks to follow. Wednesday night we had no reaction. It's typical for Zachary to respond two, three, and even four days later so I just decided to give him a different food on Thursday and to make sure he got a lot of it so that our reaction could kick in before our Friday appointment. Thursday morning I gave him 6 bites of rice cereal (back in February Zachary reacted within hours of 1 bite of rice cereal).
By Thursday afternoon we still had a happy boy. I called our Nurse at Children's to ask her what we should do if his reaction hadn't set in by Friday morning, she gave us a number to call so that we could reschedule. Thursday night he slept great and showed no signs of any issues, so Nathaniel went in to work and I rescheduled our Appointment for Tuesday.
You have to understand how shocking this all is for us. We have seen reactions with every food Zachary has tried over the last 4 months. We literally watched the clock, hour by hour, waiting for his reaction to set in, but nothing happened.
I actually got a little frustrated thinking that Zachary was going to react Friday afternoon and we'd have to keep feeding him all weekend to ensure his reaction would still be active come Tuesday morning. But Friday evening things were still great. We continued to feed him pears, about 5 bites a day, on Friday and Saturday and had not a single symptom of even the tiniest reaction. On Sunday, he had half a jar of pears, and still nothing!
Could this possibly be that we now have a food that our little boy can eat?? One that, just three and a half weeks ago, caused a week long reaction to a single bite?? Pears are what pushed us to call Children's again in the first place. But now, with the flip of a switch, we could feed him multiple bites for 6 straight days and not see the tiniest response? If you don't believe in miracles, explain that one to me.
Well, Monday afternoon I gladly cancelled our biopsy without rescheduling it. Today is officially day 8 of pears and Zachary is as happy as ever. He doesn't like rice cereal, even mixed with pears, so we're just going to move on from that. But it's time to get serious about starting over with our trials. He's showing so many signs that he feels better overall. He is seriously happy. He is learning to digest this different food now which, we've noticed, makes him a little uncomfortable at times, but other than that he's doing great. We have hope that pears is food number one of a long list of foods we'll find that he can tolerate.
I do believe in miracles. I believe in the hand of God and His power to heal. I believe that for everything there is a time. And I believe that this is Zachary's time... a time for us to rejoice! We have trusted God every step of this journey, we just can't praise Him enough for a glimmer of hope that this could all be behind us.
There is no guarantee that any other food will pass a trial, but we are thankful to have just one. Just to know that things are getting better and that we are on the right track. What a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders! Again, there are just no words to describe how we are feeling right now. I look forward to the (hopefully) many positive updates that are to come over the next couple months. We are no longer on the "Active Patient" list at Children's. Oh how deeply I have pressed into God during the last 8 months to get us to this point.
Thank you all for your prayers. For your love, for your support, for the few of you that have called and prayed with me and for the many of you that have spent your own time lifting Zachary up. Thank you for your Bible verses, your thoughts and ideas from personal experience with kids who have allergies or food sensitivities, your recipes, your cookbooks, and your empathy. We have been so blessed and our friendships and bonds with all of you have changed because of this journey.
Now, it is time to rejoice, to sing, to dance, and to praise.