Prayers for Gabriel

Today has been a difficult day. Gabriel has been struggling for a while and we haven’t known why. So many of you (dear readers) have prayed for him and for our family [In Need of Prayer]. His mood and behavior had deteriorated and we have tried anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, we have done full blood work, and had no idea what was going on. (Sorry, a lot of grammatical mistakes in this paragraph, that I don’t have the clarity to fix)

One of the behaviors he developed was walking around with his eyes closed. We attributed this to sensory issues, typical of his autism. However, around 3 weeks ago, we discovered that his left eye was bright red and severely inflamed. We took him to the emergency room where they diagnosed him with conjunctivitis. We treated him for that but the eye did not improve. For a couple of weeks we’ve been praying for him, worried sick because his eye was not getting better. Last week he saw the specialist who guessed he could have iritis (an irritation of the iris) and treated him with steroids and antibiotics. Yesterday, for the first time, we saw improvement. And we breathed. Today, in his follow-up visit, the doctor confirmed his eye seems to be on its way to healing. Gabriel needs to continue steroid treatment for 3 weeks. The recovery process can be anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.

And I’m in tears: Tears from guilt, for all those times when I forced him to open his eyes and turned on the light thinking he was exhibiting difficult behavior when he was probably in PAIN; Tears from worry, knowing that iritis can be a symptom of something much deeper and bigger (or not); Tears from relief, knowing that at least we have some sort of an explanation for his behavior, and that his eye is getting better (the fear of blindness has been gripping me); Tears from frustration in my awareness that he doesn’t communicate when things hurt or bother him. How are we supposed to know what he goes through and seek help when we have no clue he is in pain? I’m kind of sort of beside myself right now.

My dear friends, if you feel burdened to pray, please ask the Lord 1. To heal his eye completely, 2. To help him find his way back to peace and contentment, 3. For us to find the appropriate place for him, such as a day program where he can develop work and independent work skills, and 4. For God to supernaturally help him communicate and express his needs effectively (this is a big one)

So here’s what I’m thinking: Things look hopeless, yet I KNOW I have hope. This hope is not in circumstances, diagnoses, wishful thinking, or unrealistic expectations. Real hope happens in spite of and in the midst of pain and difficulties. So here is where I hang my hope today:

The Lord is loving toward all he has made

The Lord upholds all those who fall

And lifts up all who are bowed down

The Lord is is righteous in all his ways

The Lord is near to all who call on him

He fulfills the desires of those who fear him

He hears their cry and saves them

The Lord watches over all who love him

(From Psalm 145)

Gabriel posing with his new sunglasses to shield him from painful light

Gabriel posing with his new sunglasses to shield him from painful light