All three of my nephews (Ryan, Ben, and Jacob) are special each in his own way. The youngest, Jacob, who will turn five in December has “batted a thousand” despite some malicious curve balls thrown his way.
At 2 1/2, he was diagnosed with diabetes and has since been the target of six or more finger sticks and a minimum of four needle sticks per day. At the tender age of 4 years old, he gets enough sticks to make Keith Richards look like an amateur; not out of addiction and certainly not out of choice but by necessity. On top of that, he has had to forfeit the typical adolescent diet of cakes and candy for a diet more favorable to his health. By virtue of his fate, Jacob makes greater sacrifices than some of us will ever have to endure.
On Monday afternoon, as if his lot in life wasn’t already a bummer enough, Jacob experienced a seizure. After extensive diagnostic testing including an EEG, a diagnosis of epilepsy was confirmed. While further testing is being planned, an oral medication has been added to his existing insulin regimen.
Despite the circumstances, Jacob has been a real trooper through his plight. He is proof that spirit is much harder to break than body. These adult-sized afflictions may have attempted to take the life out of the boy but he has refused to let them take the boy out of his life. With two older, rambunctious brothers, Jacob has no time to give these ailments any kind of foothold. He is all boy and when life wants to play hardball, this little guy is going to hit it out of the park.
That being said, no child and no family should have to go through such an ordeal. This kind of adversity would be difficult no matter how tough and resilient. And it’s been no cakewalk for Jacob and his family either. Barring any major medical advances or a supernatural healing, both of these are lifelong diseases that require enormous courage and significant changes to lifestyle. Besides how it affects Jacob, it has resulted in tremendous pressure on the entire family. Things as simple as finding a baby sitter skilled enough to provide for Jacob’s complex medical condition is a challenge. And Jacob’s mother has had to sacrifice her job for the care of her son. Plain and simple, this sucks!
Please pray for Jacob: for normal blood sugar levels, no seizures, the discipline to handle the altered lifestyle, the strength to handle a crisis, and ultimately for his complete healing. Also pray for Rabs (pronounced with short a) and Suzie, Jacob’s dad and mom: for wisdom and patience in providing for Jacob’s needs, financial security, and the strength and peace to deal with it all. And finally, pray for Ryan and Ben: for their health and that they are continually supportive in their brother’s care.
Thanks for letting me boast about my family!