I have been delayed in posting because it has been a very eventful couple of weeks around our house. I am not going to bore you with most of the details because I want this to remain Abbie’s site and not the Vara Family Soap Opera. But, I will share with you the events involving Abbie, because I have decided that to not write about them would be like hiding her candle, and I never want to do that!
After a challenging week our family was very excited last Saturday to escape to the UH football home opener. If you’ve read Abbie’s website for long you know that UH football has been an oasis for us during this journey, a time to be with our boys and forget how different our life is for a while. It was a great game, and at one point I even turned to Ray and said proudly, “I am really here, in the moment – I am not worried about anything.” That turned out to be a short time-out, because it all changed once we arrived home. I walked into Abbie’s room to find her caregiver crying so hysterically she couldn’t say anything, and could only point at Abbie’s left leg. I worried that it has been dislocated or broken, but as I got closer I saw an enormous burn on the outside of her leg, from just above the knee to an inch above her ankle. Most of the skin had already blistered and was hanging.
Her caregiver has known Abbie since before she was hurt, and was completely devastated both by her initial injury and now by the burn. Actually, having her so upset probably helped me because I had to focus not only on the burn but also on calming her down. I just said, “Hang on – we can fix this!” and ran to get the Biomodulator. I made her watch me treat Abbie for about 30 minutes, during which time we saw noticeable improvement. That comforted her enough to allow her to drive home. I continued to treat Abbie for about 4 hours, until I could not longer stay awake. I was very pleased, though, with how much better it looked in the morning. As best we can tell our bathtub malfunctioned while Abbie was having her bath, and the sauna jets turned on, sending shots of steam directly onto Abbie’s leg. The burn would’ve happened no matter who was bathing her that night.
Fortunately, the plastic surgeon who runs the burn unit at one of Ray’s hospitals lives right up the street and kindly stopped by on Sunday to check the burn. He said, “Yep, that’s a good second degree burn. It’s lucky it’s not third or we would have to graft something that large. The good news is it will heal in 7-10 days, the bad news is that this is the most painful kind of burn.” He came back later in the day, bringing the supplies I would need to do the twice-daily dressing changes. Caring for this burn has been the most emotionally-challenging thing I’ve had to do for Abbie since her initial injury. With every dressing change I have to scrape the burn, which is 9”x3”, all the while just imagining how much that would hurt if someone were doing it to me. She is such a trooper though, and handles it much better than I would.
In true Romans 8:28 fashion, God has used this for good. Ray and I have been praying fervently lately about what the priority list for Abbie should look like. There are so many things we want to do for her, and it’s hard to figure out what should come first. Abbie’s burn brought immediate clarity. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is very good for healing burns, and was on our priority list. So, we did our first session (“dive”) last Thursday, the second on Saturday and the third yesterday. It has made an enormous difference with the burn, which is healing very nicely. Please, though, pray for quick and complete healing and for ever-decreasing pain. I am also hopeful that HBOT will make a difference with her brain injury.
I must yet again be a billboard for small group ministry. I sent out an email to our small group detailing the battles we’ve been through lately, and when they came over on Wednesday we skipped our usual study and prayed instead. We prayed over our house, over Abbie, over every situation that has come up lately. In essence, we reclaimed our peace. I don’t know how we would travel this path without our precious “La Familia” (we call ourselves that in spite of being a half Asian, half caucasian group…go figure.)
As we were praying it hit me…all these events were not random, but an attack. And, strung together they appeared to be the attack of a desperate enemy, one final assault. That just made me think one thing, victory is very, very near. With that realization I began thinking, “Is that all you’ve got? Do you think these things, as difficult as they are, will make us quit now? We have trudged for too long, through waters too deep to turn back now. If that is the best you’ve got…you LOSE!”