By: Cheri Fuller
"Prayer, even prayer for what God desires, releases
power by the operation of a deep spiritual law;
and to offer up what one loves may release still more."
Dread tied my stomach in knots before I ever opened my eyes that September Sunday morning. Even in deep sleep I listened for the sound that sparked fear in me. The rattling sound was all the scarier because it emanated from the chest of my six-year-old son, Justin.
His skin was pale and drawn; his chest heaved as he gasped for a breath. I looked into his blue eyes and saw a reflection of my own fears. Scrambling out of bed, I ran for his inhaler. Asthma had accelerated my worry that had even grown to anxiety. I’d tried so hard to protect my children, giving them nutritious meals and vitamins, hovering over them like a quail with her covey. My husband, Holmes, thought I was being overprotective, and I knew I was. But how could I explain the horrible dread that welled up in me, especially when our firstborn was so sick we had to take him to the emergency room?
When asthma hit Justin at age four, it hadn’t been a simple case of wheezing. His first attack had been full-blown status asthmaticus, that took days in a hospital to bring his breathing back to normal. That’s what I hated most about asthma—I was powerless to control it. An attack could hit any moment, changing our plans. This chronic illness had stolen my joy and overtaken our life. It had even curtailed our holiday travel to the grandparents’ ranch in Texas because we’d surely wind up in a hospital due to the climate change.
Just as we always did, we consulted with the doctor on the phone that day, gave Justin all his medicine, and made sure he used his inhaler and rested. But this time nothing worked. Even with careful nursing, as the day grew longer, his wheezing worsened. So by 10 p.m. that night, we dropped our two younger children at a neighbor’s and sped to the hospital emergency room in the rain. After several injections of adrenaline and IV medications didn’t snap him out of the attack, the ER doctor called our pediatrician. When I saw him strike down the long, gray hall, I breathed a sigh of relief. I just know he can get Justin’s asthma attack under control. He always has before.
“Raise the level of aminophylline and cortisone. Give him another Adrenalin injection,” he ordered the ER nurses. “An asthma attack is like a ball rolling down a hill,” Dr. Spencer told us in the hall. “We’ve got to stop it with the biggest guns available before it gets any closer to the bottom. Don’t worry—you’ll probably be home in a few hours.” He turned on his heels and disappeared down the hall. But at 2 a.m. the nurse called Holmes and me out of the cubicle. “Your son is not responding as well as he should be. We’ll have to admit him to the hospital. If you’ll just go down the hall to Admitting and sign the papers, we’ll get him upstairs to a room.”
© 2015 by Back to the Bible.
“From Replacing Worry for Wonder, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.”