Friday, September 26, 2014


Yesterday we were told to call the surgery center at 8:30am to get a surgery time. They call me at 7:10 asking if we could be there at 11:00.  Ummmm no. We couldn't. It's a 3.5 h drive plus we had 10 children still sleeping.  We are good...but...not that good ;)

We got on the road and arrive around 1.

When we checked in, they didn't even let us sit down, but called us back to be prepped for surgery.

The senior resident plastic surgeon talked to us first. He looked in his mouth, showed no alarm (clearly he didn't inhale...) and said "likely we will just remove a bit of decay, sew it up and move forward, It's unlikely he will need another bone graft".

Then the attending surgeon came in.  He did not look in his mouth.  He spoke very confidently and we had a good talk. I told him...please...don't go conservative.  How does it help us if you take a bit out but the rest has to come out next week. He said "after looking at Azlan's medical file, seeing the photos and hearing about the smell...this is urgent. I won't be conservative...if the 'bug' (infection) is's all coming out otherwise we risk the infection getting to his real bone (jaw) and then we have serious problems."

 Surgery was about 1.5 hours.  The surgeon came and met with me.

He said 100% had to be removed and "it was an awful lot of bone they had implanted in there. A LOT of bone. His cleft is massive. WOW.  The gap by his nose is so huge, so much bone...but the infection was absolutely throughout and that is what you were smelling".  We talked for a while. I was very open about our feelings about the surgeon telling us this was doable with a qtip in the office.  He stammered and looked away.  Then said "well,... I"m not him so you should ask him".  Hmm.  I asked more questions and he said "There's no way he saw the photos I saw and heard about the smell...b/c when I did...there was no doubt we were dealing with something serious".  Problem: He did. He claims to anyway.  He said "you need to ask him what he was thinking because I'm with you...that doesn't add up. At all".

He tried to cover for him at the end and said "we had a talk last night and he knew my feelings about urgent surgery and he agreed with me" :)

He said you don't ever sew up an infected area. Infection heals better open.  But...once he saw the huge cleft...he said "I knew we had a big decision to make.  There was no way we could leave that open. It was crazy. Plus his jaw would be exposed and at risk. So we sewed it up but left holes for drainage".

He said the next 2 weeks are very critical when it comes to healing from this infection.  Then we need another 4-5 weeks for solid healing and then....a

This is 9 days post op.  The surgery that went so well. It was intense but...his recovery was amazing.  A gift.  No pain. Ever.  And a fierce infection.

When did it all start? Well the smell started on day 3.  It worsened daily.  But...he had none of the signs of infection that we were told to watch for. No swelling. No redness. No pain. No fever. No fatigue.  No irritability.  Nothing. He had a horrid smell that I hope to never smell again in my lifetime...and it did not look right in his mouth.

Now we know what we were seeing.  The gums literally were gone.  He said when there's an infection in the body, the body will do everything to expel.  So it did. The gums totally were gone.  I mean...crazy. And yes...we were viewing the actual bone that was implanted.  And it was rotting. And that smell...

91%. He kept focusing on 91%.  91% of this surgery is a total success.  9%...infection.

91% is great. Except when you are the 9%.

Today...Azlan is the 9%.

Yet not a statistic.

No...never a statistic.


So much more.

Next time...what are the 'odds'?  9% that this will happen again. When I asked about what he's experienced, he said "I've never had to do it more than 3 times in a child".

I think that was supposed to give me hope...

It left me...feeling otherwise.


I left feeling defeated.

I woke feeling defeated.

We have a child limping from a huge piece of bone being removed,...and in Azlan's words "it's just in the garbage somewhere.".


He will heal from this only to repeat it all again. Limp for another month from the other hip.  Eating mush for another 10 weeks. Another 6 weeks of no running, no bikes, no ball.

In quietly in the back of my brain, somewhere deep inside I hear it start to rise..

You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it's hopeless
That's when He reminds You...
That you're an overcomer
You're an overcomer

Not defeated. 

The night before the second surgery ... the..."surgery of defeat"....

I opened my Bible...then closed it.  Then...I grabbed it and clutched it to my chest.  No words. No prayer coming.  Not sure I wanted to hear what He had to say.  Sad. Pathetically sad.  True.  Raw and true.  

I sat still on the edge of my mind numb.  

Where is my hope? Where is my strength?  I'm not amazing.  I'm not gifted in how to handle defeat.  I've cried, I've sobbed...I've asked "where are you??" in my not so lovely voice.   

But I felt compelled to open it up.  Just open the Book.

But now...this is what the Lord says.
He who created YOU, O Jacob.
He who formed YOU, O Israel;
Fear not, for I have redeemed YOU;
I have summoned YOU by name;
When you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will NOT sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, 
you will NOT be burned;
the flames will NOT set you ablaze.
FOR...I am the Lord, YOUR God,
the Holy One of Israel, YOUR Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in yours stead. 
Since YOU are precious and honored in MY sight,
and because I LOVE YOU,
I will give men in exchanged  for YOU
and people in exchange for YOUR life.
Do not be afraid, for I AM WITH YOU,
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north "give them up!"
and to the south "do not hold them back"
Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth
everyone who is called by my name, 
Whom I created for MY glory, whom I formed and made.

Isaiah 43.

Do I need more than that?

No.  That...that is enough. 

I will take what comes. I will not ask WHY. I know WHO. I am His.  And when I can't do it...He can.  When I feel defeated...He's not.  When I'm done...Oh...He's never done.

You are precious and honored in my sight...and because I love you.

One of the most beautiful things I've ever...ever read.  And it's from God. To Me.

Through Him...I'm an overcomer.  I might be down for a moment...but it's definitely not over.

It's a new day.  Today is a new day.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Janice for being so real and transparent. You are an encourager and an inspiration. Praying for you and your amazing Azlan!