Operation Iron Man: The Surgery…”Squirrel!”

Ok, so this post is supposed to be all about Herb’s surgery yesterday, but since I currently have the attention span of a nervous puppy (hence the “Up” reference), you get this…

Satan is an ass.

Sorry if that is too bold, but it is true. I have been noticing how easy it is to blame God or ask God, “Why?” when things get hard, but rarely do we notice Satan’s handiwork. He’s a jerk, a bully, and a liar. He LOVES to frustrate Christ-followers!

WELL NOT TODAY, JERK-FACE! Jesus came to set the captives free and I’m FREE indeed! I’m a blood-bought child of the Most High God and you have no power here!

Wow, that felt good! When you feel like you can’t handle even one more thing, SHOUT the name of Jesus and the enemy HAS to flee!

So here’s what happened…

I was sitting here, mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed when my phone rang. It was my son’s pediatrician’s office. The conversation went something like this…

Nurse: “Hi, I’m calling with the results of D’s allergy testing. It went well, he’s only allergic to wheat. He just needs to stay away from wheat and anything made with wheat.

Me: [dumbfounded silence]
Also Me: Oh great (sarcasm)! I was hoping it would be anything but that. I send him to school with a sandwich everyday.

Nurse: Well, you should try white bread.

Me: But that’s made with wheat.

Nurse: But it’s better than “real” wheat. Ok, have a nice day!


To say I was stunned by her comment that somehow the chemically-laden, highly-processed, sludge that passes for “bread” is somehow superior to whole-grain bread still has me shaking my head. I do my best to feed my kids whole foods. This is going to add a level of complexity that I REALLY don’t have time for right now.

But that’s the thing. It is never a good time for a diagnosis. I’ve been here before with all my kiddos. There is the sudden shock that what you’ve been doing (or thinking) is all going to change. Even for “seasoned” parents of special-needs kids, a new diagnosis can be overwhelming. My first thought was, “How am I going to do this when my husband just had major surgery and I’m slapping PB&J sandwiches together for school lunches. Not to mention the cereal and granola bars that are a staple of our household?!”

Well, I had my 3.9 minutes of freaking out. Then some deep breathing. Then I gave it to God to handle. No, wheat-free items are not going to magically appear in my pantry (and a friend just informed me that gluten-free and wheat-free are not necessarily the same thing). But I know I can have the confidence that God will give me the wisdom to handle this new development. There could be a greater plan in this.

Devin (6yo), is our conundrum child. He is developmentally delayed verbally, physically, and cognitively. We don’t know why. I did not give birth to him, so I really don’t have a lot of information regarding his early development other than he was a 36-week preemie and he spent about 4 weeks in the NICU after birth. 36-weeks isn’t premature enough to explain his developmental delays (our oldest, Samantha is our biological daughter and is the only survivor of triplet girls born at 24 5/7 weeks gestation. We have some experience with preemies!).

We have had him undergo pretty much every diagnostic test we could think of: brain MRI, genetics, etc. All tests were negative. We figured that we would wait to see how he responded to therapies and how he grew. Maybe he would outgrow some of his challenges. He has made some strides, but still is quite delayed for his age. He’s not potty-trained either. What is going on with this kid?

About a year ago, I changed his pediatrician because I got the feeling that his current doctor was not too interested in helping us. His new doctor (Dr. K.) did a comprehensive physical and of course, noticed that he had tubes in his ears (well, only one actually. The other one fell out goodness-knows how long ago.) I explained to her that Devin had the tubes placed prior to coming into our family at about 15 months of age. I assumed that she would want to have them replaced because he still had a lot of fluid build-up behind his eardrums. She used a special device to test the function of his eardrums and it indicates that he has moderate to significant hearing loss in the ear with the missing tube.

(Yes, I’m a horrible person, I don’t remember if it’s the left or right ear.)

Dr. K. was adamant that she didn’t want to replace the tubes because she felt that it was an allergy issue. I protested, telling her that he doesn’t have any allergy symptoms. Nevertheless, she wanted to start him on a regimen of allergy medicine and nasal spray. Ok, I’ll play along even if I’m not really convinced.

At his next appointment there was no improvement in his hearing. Aha! Maybe now she would re-think her no-tube policy. Nope. She suggested more comprehensive allergy testing to see if we could drill-down to a specific cause. He had the blood work done Tuesday (two days ago). And as I stated above, I got the results today.


A wheat allergy could explain a LOT of Devin’s issues. I have so much to learn!


Ok, that was a huge segue and that’s not why you tuned in today. Here’s the update on Herb’s condition:

His surgery went perfectly. The surgeon was amazed that Herb’s heart function is as good as it is considering how badly occluded his arteries were (this from a doctor with 30+ years experience). The doctor kept saying how “lucky” Herb was to have caught this issue before he had a massive heart attack. We call him “blessed”.

Yesterday was a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, so there wasn’t much to report anyway.

Herb had a bit of a rough night, but today he has already had his chest-tube removed along with the main-line IV into his neck. He is feeling so much better! He’s only had a little to eat (kind of nauseous), but has been sitting up and even went for a short walk.

He has a new BFF…”Sir Koff-a-lot”!


**Picture DELETED for Privacy***

I don’t think he’ll mind that I’m sharing this picture, and even if he does, right now, I can out-run him!

More later, friends.







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