Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



Acute. Raw. Fragile. Painful. Frightening. Impairing. Unbelievable. Wounded.

I look at this photo of Ashley Kate's foot and I instantly hurt inside. The severity of the injury takes my breath away. Still I stared at it for a long period of time and it dawned on me that its a great representation of the condition Dave and I have found our hearts to be in.

We sat across from each other last night and came to the conclusion that we still have more questions than answers. Even together we remain unsure of what the future holds. Apart we hurt... together we still hurt. The distance between us, whether it be 700 miles or 55 miles, has not changed the fact that we are still oozing and bleeding on the inside.

At the end of the evening as we drove back toward the hospital that all 3 of our children were sitting in I said out loud, "We have got to figure out how to make this more about eternity and less about today. If we fail to do that, then we have failed period. There is no other way to get through this."

Its true. Like it or not. This is not about us. Its not about our family. Its about something bigger than that. I've been honest and I'll continue to be, I don't like this. I DON'T. But guess what? He doesn't have to check with me first. He just doesn't. He is God and I am not. He was not created to perform as my personal "genie in a bottle". No, in fact, I was created for Him. His glory. His purpose. As was my husband, my son, my oldest daughter, and my youngest.

What is the purpose in her suffering? Is there one? I have to believe that there must be. Do I think He did this to her? To us? NO, I don't think He did. Do I believe with every part of my being that He COULD stop this from happening? In an instant? In one thought, one word, one breath? Yes, I do. Has He? Not yet. Is He going to? I can only hope and pray that He is going to perform a miracle, but still I know that He may choose not to.

Questions? We have them. You had better believe that her mommy and her daddy are questioning a lot of things at this point, but do we still believe He is God? Yes, we do. We still believe that in some way or another His purpose must be fulfilled and He must get the glory in this situation. Even when it hurts, and I can promise you that we have never hurt so much in all of our lives. We are injured. It is still very, very, acute. It bleeds. It oozes. It impairs.

Ashley Kate has been off of the vent for close to 10 hours now. Its not easy. She is struggling, but yet she is still maintaining stability. Her throat is very sore and still swollen making her breathing very, very loud and scary. Her numbers are good though. Its the numbers on her monitor that we are following for now. She is still on a fentanyl and a ver sed drip. Along with scheduled methadone and ativan. These drugs are allowing her to sleep and rest. She does wake up, is coherent, and signs. These are very good signs. The night will be long. As will tomorrow as we wait to see how this will play out. We need for the stridors to stop and for her throat to begin healing making breathing come easier for her. We are not stimulating her in any way. Skipping most cares and just allowing her to be still as her body does the work of healing. Our hope is for her to make it through the next 36 hours vent free. At 48 hours we will know for sure if she has done it or not. Again, her lungs are not sick. They are functioning very, very well. The issue is her swollen and traumatized throat. Your prayers during this time are greatly appreciated.

Dave and the kids have gone home to Longview. It is once again Ash and I on our own. If things go the way we would like they won't have to come here to visit us again, but rather Ash and I will make our homecoming toward the middle or end of the week. Not sure if its a real possibility or just a dream at this point, but it remains the goal.

Its been a good weekend. It really has. It held some precious moments for our family. Some laughter, less tears, a little baseball, and lots of hanging out. We are grateful. We truly are, and yes we can still say with tear stained cheeks and wounds that haven't yet healed that God is good.


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