Sunday, August 20, 2017

And Now We Know, The Power and Story of the Blood

Before I told his story, he told his story. 

Many listened to him in those wee hours when the hospital is quieter and some try sleeping. That's when he seemed to ramp up the dialogue, and that chosen attentive night nurse came into his room only to stay awhile longer, listening, as some nurses did so well, a skill not requiring a college course.  Tim, my sick son, met several of those along his journey to find the cure and/or the doctor who'd make him his priority. 

The Blood Clot...

It first showed up many years prior, at the age of 11 or 12 I think. This unknown sharp distraction for Tim, nagged and puzzled many and they (professionals) could not quite put their finger on it, give a diagnosis for that certain pain he had in his neck. A pain in the name what aggravated him, what caused his crying out. Finally, almost 3 weeks and many tests,  by default and a favor from a friend, we went to another county, a new hospital where an ultra- sound detected it. That Blood Clot...almost gone by this time, lodged in an artery in his neck, the carotid of all places. 

We dealt with his chronic kidney condition and other issues through the years. Then, at 19, legs swinging from his kidney doctor's table, he described his chest pain, telling the doctor that he thinks a blood clot invaded his lungs. He TELLS the doctor because he knows this pain. 

Tests the next day confirm it, pulmonary embolism, aka, P.E. 

From that day on, Tim's blood tests became weekly and a new prescription, a blood thinner, became another part of his medical regimen. He'd be in and out of the hospital the next 6 years. 

Looking deeper

Tim met a new doctor, one that wanted to take another look at his problem with blood clots. A genetic factor for clotting became the topic of discussion, something called Protein C deficiency. Tim discontinued the blood thinner meds for a brief time in order to get an accurate blood test. The findings indicated he DID "have some sort of genetic predisposition to clotting," said this doctor. Others were still not so sure. 

Skeptics...and time ticks and then it doesn't. 

In a few short weeks we'd be planning his memorial. I remember thinking at the time, thinking a lot of things, but in particular this, none of this matters any more...

He died physically, a horrible way, broken, bleeding and unable to breathe oxygen into his lungs on his own. But a spiritual death never occurs because of the blood of Christ and in that, my son lives forever and we will see him again. 

I am a Believer and time is Eternal. 

Ten years later, here we are. Healed? Yes. Comforted by Amazing Grace? Yes. Knowing a sovereign and Holy God in a deeper and very personal way? Yes. Wanting to tell his story and my story...God's story all the time? Yes. 

And then we hear those two awful words in an ultra-sound room again,  BLOOD CLOTS. 

Three clots wait in the on deck circle behind Ted, my husband's, knee. Two others already traveled up to his lungs.  It all comes flooding back, the pain, the fear, the questions and the silent stares/prayers of my heart. 

What in the heck did I...we just hear? Lord...get me together before I climb through this wall. 

Before Ted is officially admitted to begin treatment, I relayed a brief history of our son, his "almost diagnosis" of a hereditary clotting issue. Would they check these same factors in my husband's blood before they begin him on blood thinners? They agreed these tests should and would be done. 

This last week, we visited a new doctor in Ted's growing medical community, a hematologist. He will be taking care of Ted's needs concerning the clots as well as the coagulation clinic. 

In his gentle and caring heart, the doctor looked over at me, leaned in and said these words..."I want to know your son's story."  

I've been telling his story, our story for 10 years now. 

I knew he meant medically, but so much more filled up that space between us in those few seconds---never just one thing. Breathe... I feel the spiritual, His Presence. An egg of my womb and my husband's seed created from love for love, if only for a season, but always, always for a reason. 

I want to know his story...

Though it is not protein C deficiency, a gene mutation involving clotting factors lies on Ted's DNA and most likely did on Tim's as well.  Confirmed by a doctor who barely knew Ted much less Timmy,  he took the time to explain many things and listen to Timmy's story. 

Ted will remain on blood thinners for life. We remain to tell the story, write the story. 

I walked back to the parking garage. Ted waited in the front for me to pull around and get him, standing with his walker, his new knee, his infected wrist and his 5 blood clots. My heart heavy and my mind thinking on all this, the emotions began to rise up in my throat but did not quite reach my eyes,  but close. You're still so close son...

An unknown, a maybe, now turns to a known, a yes, another heart is back-tracking and wanting to blame...If we knew earlier, if someone had asked questions when he was 12...if only... 

That's where the liar, the accuser wants me to linger...but God sends a song to counteract the attack. 

I turn the key and the radio blasts one of my favorite Christian artists, Jeremy Camp singing "Overcome." It is where the lyrics happen to be as I am thinking and almost crying...and the engine starts...but Jeremy's deep voice sings...

"We will overcome, by the power of His blood and the words of His testimony..." 

The has power! The Blood, it overcomes, the words of our testimony...they will supersede! Peace passes over me,  through me, like a blood flow, that peace I know from God that He heard my heart cries even when I wasn't even officially praying.  I want to know your son's story...God is so good. 

The next day I am telling this story to my dearest friend. God clears my head once again and shows me His Light. Tim may have received his news too late, but Ted did not. Even after 10 years and moving past, Tim presented his father, his brother, his cousins, his uncle...all of them a gift. Genetics usually happen the other way around, the father relays a flaw, a mutation to the child. But our son, 10 years past his arrival in heaven, lets his dad know, so his dad can live, be prepared, OVERCOME!

Power in the blood, the blood that might tend to clot. And now we know and can treat it.
Power in the Blood, and now we know and can be forgiven and set free and live forever in Heaven.
Power in the Blood, because love lives on and testimony and story needs to keep flowing and demon clots need to dissolve. Strength and resolve sometimes come from the fight, but the spiritual battle belongs to the Lord. Now we know we can overcome. 

And we will. Thank you Timmy for fighting a good hard fight. You didn't have all the answers but that never stopped you from trying to find them. You were on a good road, on the edge of a break through, maybe not a cure but some answers, even way past your time. You never knew for certain,  but we know now. Thank you for pointing the way, even 10 years later and letting us know God is always in control. Thank You God for loving us, grace poured out and received for those who believe in the power of Your blood.

Jeremy Camp ~ Overcome


  1. Amazing how when we wait upon the Lord, He takes the mixed up pieces of our lives and arranges them into a coherent whole that He makes clear in His timing. Beautiful Coleene!

  2. Thank you Coleene. Timmy's story is a blessed reminder to me that all of life (the good, the bad & the ugly) is "always for a reason" even if we don't see it this side of eternity.