When the Phone Call Comes

We went to bed last night with the full expectation that today would be the final day in the hospital. Jackie had one more round of steroids, a visit from the physical therapist, a visit from her neurologist, and the wait until the hospitalist (a term with which I have only recently come to learn) signed the dismissal form…oh, and the two hour wait to actually get out the door. We made it through and got Jackie back to her humble abode where she is napping peacefully – perhaps for the first time since she plopped on that hospital bed.

Her next appointment with the neurologist is scheduled for Wednesday. We were informed that we might have to wait that long to get back all the lab reports on her lumbar puncture. Sometime in the midst of our waiting around in the room, the phone rang. When I answered it, I discovered it was Dr. Hudgens. He was calling with the report. His words were simple: “It came back positive.” We asked a few clarifying questions, but he had said all that really needed to be said. The test was positive for multiple sclerosis, and he was all but certain that the diagnosis of tumefactive MS was correct.

The words caused a plunging feeling inside me, but we were all grateful for some solid news upon which we could base decisions moving forward. Jackie even expressed a sense of relief to know something concrete and is determined to get on with life. Once more, we want to let each of you know that we are confident that with the proper medications, Jackie will live a normal, full, healthy and productive life. There will be setbacks here and there, we are sure, but we have a great confidence in her resiliency and the more-than-enough strength of the Lord. The two things she’ll have to avoid are hot tubs (shouldn’t be a problem) and very hot showers (could be a smidgen of an issue).

We all want to express our appreciation once more (as I am sure we will do again many times) to all of you who have prayed, called, sent messages, sent flowers, and have shown love and concern. We’ll hang around with our little girl for another day – more if needed. As we get more information, we’ll share it.

Many of you are well aware of how a phone call can change life. It certainly has ours. Admittedly, ours is relatively small compared to the calls some of you have received. When the call comes, however, I pray you also know the sustaining power of the Lord to carry you when you find it too hard to carry on.

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