A Clean Bill of Health

Michelle and Gabrielle during the 24 hour video-EEG

2020-03-11 | Carlan
There is a special kind of concern that a parent has for a child, especially an infant. Certainly it is protective. Certainly it is providential. He cares for her helplessness but there is a special compassion for the child’s naïveté. It is as if there is a kind of purity, simplicity of experience that will be marred by suffering and pain. Age and entropy attrite innocence even as they accrete wisdom. We long to preserve that character if only for its transience. Like the fragrance of the blossom, it is as precious as it is ephemeral.

When we looked up the potential causes of Gabrielle’s spasms, my heart sank, like an anvil in a lake. She might have a devastating neurological malady without ready remedy. Even before she was born, Michelle and I would pray for her husband and children, for her ministry and education. In an hour of research, all of those dreams seemed to sublimate and I despaired — for a few hours. I’m not a philosopher or a poet, but I am a Christian, and it was a conviction of the heart deeper even than my loftiest aspirations for my daughter that anchored my thoughts henceforth.

God is kind. God is in control. He is sovereign and good…not just generally, but specifically. To Michelle and to me, God is generous and gracious. He defines right, noble, and benevolent. Moreover, He is intimately acquainted with every event that occurs in our life. Not just that, He is able to order all circumstances for our benefit and His ends. Beyond even this, He has ordained each and every situation such that His glory advances and never retreats, no matter how things appear.

We just spent 24 hours hospitalized at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. We were surrounded by kids suffering from indescribable illnesses and parents in ineffable anguish. We were discharged today with a clean bill of health for Gabrielle after continuous EEG monitoring showed no trace of abnormal electrical activity in her brain. Either it was a false alarm (the specialist-professors disagree on that), a medication side effect from her malaria prophylaxis (not previously described in the literature), or God spared her. I tend to think it was that last option, that God healed Gabrielle, but it may require restarting the Malarone to further confirm.

You have prayed with us and cared for us so well during this saga. Thank you. We were cleared to return to Burundi by the pediatric seizure doctors at CHLA with no additional workup necessary. As far as medicine can be sure, Gabrielle does not have West Syndrome or any kind of epilepsy. I know that tomorrow or even later today another, different pressing need will appear from another corner of your world and I want you to pray for and care for that, but would you grant a humbled, grateful papa one small request? Before you close out the saga of Gabrielle’s spasms in your heart, would you please pray one more time for her and for us? Would you pray that God would use our family and especially our daughter to transform children’s hurt to healing?

Getting the EEG placed
Right before discharge from the hospital!