First, I have no doubt that God watched over Teddy throughout this entire experience. Due to Dave being ill, he was home from work and able to attend the Christmas program, which wasn't originally the plan. My mom was over visiting to help the next few days, so she was instantly there to help keep AJ's life normal while we were gone. The huge snowstorm that was supposed to hit never materialized (although that could just be a result of me not working in Green Bay because I was in the ICU ... it always snows when I drive to Green Bay this winter). We had the most incredible nurses, doctors and medical staff working on Teddy both in Oshkosh and Milwaukee.
God certainly heard the prayers of all our family, friends and their family and friends who were praying for our family, even before the prayers were sent His way. At the ER, I posted to our PIGN group, where each family has a child or children with Teddy's diagnosis. Unfortunately, they relate all too well to how quickly a seizure or illness can change everything. That meant that within minutes we had prayers from across the country and literally around the world. We had an offer that Chicago wasn't that far from Milwaukee if we needed anything. We had people in New York and Florida offering to order food for us or whatever we needed. Had we asked or given them the information to do so, it would have been there without a doubt.
We had offers from at least 5 different people to take AJ while we were in Milwaukee, some expected from dear friends, others from co-workers and one quite surprising yet sincere offer from one of Teddy's therapists (who had met AJ one time). Thankfully my mom had that under control, but it was reassuring to know that we had so many people willing to include AJ into their families.
Both Dave and I are blessed to work for employers, and bosses, who are extremely understanding. It's so nice to be able to focus on what matters most instead of worrying about missing work. Both our bosses offered to assist however they could, even bringing things down to Milwaukee if we needed.
Dozens of people sent their well wishes via texts and Facebook, along with prayers and positive thoughts. Many offered to help (multiple times) with anything we needed. We had folks we hadn't seen in years who live in the Milwaukee area offer their assistance.
The one thing I discovered, though, in the process is that it's really hard to ask for help even when you want it. The only person we asked, aside from my mom caring for AJ, was for my aunt who lives in Milwaukee to pick up some necessities we had forgotten. (Necessities at that point included Tylenol and leggings for me, pacifiers for Teddy and decent coffee for Dave's folks. Standard necessities for nursing the stomach bug and a sleepless night in the hospital.) Not only did my aunt oblige our requests, but she also brought donuts and other snacks for us, along with a singing Christmas toy to entertain Teddy. (Teddy was so miserable the toy did nothing for him until we got home, but he does indeed like it now that he feels like himself.) She also came back for a second visit later in the day, bringing Dave's favorite sandwich for dinner.
I had someone offer to bring us a pan of lasagna the Saturday we got home. I almost said yes because lasagna sounded really good to me but said no because we really didn't need it. It seemed selfish to have that person make lasagna, especially heading into a holiday weekend. However, when Teddy's teacher asked to stop by after school on Friday with his artwork and Christmas present for us, she surprised us with a card from his team that included a generous gift card to a local restaurant. She explained that they wanted to do something and figured we didn't need to worry about cooking a meal after the events of the past few days. I greatly appreciate the gesture and the lesson that I need to take away to simply do rather than ask or say to let me know how I can help. It's incredibly hard to ask for help and much easier to accept it when it's simply given to you.
|The boys love that the card sings. I love the thoughtfulness.|
|This was completely unexpected kindness.|
When we went to Dave's family Christmas gathering the weekend we returned home from the hospital, we had several people comment that all they needed for Christmas was to see Teddy smiling and being his usual self. If there was ever a doubt of how many family members were praying for Teddy—not that there was—it would have been removed by hearing from Dave's family. (His mom is one of 13 children, so there's a whole lot of people at that party checking on Teddy.)
It's a combination of expected support from dear friends and family, who've been with us through the initial seizures, to the prayers and love from our PIGN group to the overwhelming support from co-workers, our employers and everyone who knows Teddy.
To everyone who supported us, thank you. What you may have viewed as simple posts on Facebook, texts you sent without worrying what you were typing or another ordinary prayer made us feel so loved and supported through those trying days. I couldn't have imagined the outpouring of support we received, but I am oh so grateful for it.