Monday, February 15, 2010

Drake's New Diagnosis

Deep breath Nate. Flying high Sunday, just waiting for one more major test result to come back in, but with the way he had been passing test after test after test with flying colors we just figured we had made it through the valley and Drake was coming home! There was light at the end of the tunnel and God had definitely got our attention and already has done some wonderful things through Drake in his first 4 days of life, brought many people to their knees, brought many people together, provided great witnessing opportunities for hundreds, brought many people closer to God, brought me closer to Brook, brought me closer to my sisters, just cleared my mind of all the thousands of things that have been cluttering up my thoughts and goals. I was thankful for all of that good to come and especially thankful for all of that good to come and also have my boy to be alright for the most part.

Grammar and sentence structure may not be too good at the moment, because it is just almost too hard to make my thoughts grammatically correct. I was just ready to get on to normal life with normal routine, but God had to remind me already that there is more to this life than just going to work, coming home, and going to bed. I always pray for God to use me, because I do want to be a world changer, I just would like to do it on my own comfortable terms and preferably without any hardship along the way. What I am coming to realize is that it is just about impossible for me to be on my knees during the good times. When everything is going great at work, home, and even church I start to build myself up more and more and God becomes less and less. Why would I need God when I have all the food, shelter, clothing, health and virtually everything that I need? Some folks may be able to relate, some folks may not have a clue what I am talking about and that may just simply be because it is so hard to portray thoughts into words on paper. Regardless, I am torn up inside and just couldnt hold back the tears as I was on the way to the hospital this afternoon.

My mom was going to spend the day with Brook at the hospital, my sisters were taking all the kids to ride bikes in the barn, Drake was gonna get circumcised and just hang loose while final checkups and such were to be made before getting the clearance to be released the following day. Justin had an important meeting at 7 am and also a guided fishing trip with 10 people scheduled for 10 am, so Brook and I decided it would be no problem for me to get out for a couple hours to just get everything set up and started for the fishing trip. Justin has been taking all of the ice fishing trips we had scheduled on thurs, fri, and sat and has been putting in double time while I have been off, so I knew he could especially use a hand with this one. Mae was up at the crack of dawn and helped me get everything put together and in order for the trip, and then I dropped her off at mom's house on my way out to Norris. She loves helping me put fishing poles together and is chomping at the bit to get out fishing next. My daughter Mae and niece Shaeya are fisherman to the core and I love every minute of it!

I called my dad on the way out and uncharacteristically just needed to talk. I had a real bad feeling about leaving and he reassured me that everything was taken care of and I needed some fresh air. My mind wasnt on the guided trip and I just had an uneasy feeling. Just after lunch, my uneasy feeling was confirmed with a text message from Brook simply saying the test results were in and give her a call. My heart sunk again, the last time I left a perfectly healthy boy at the hospital for a few minutes my life took a complete 180. At least this time Brook wasnt all alone when the doctors were telling her something else was wrong with her newborn child. She broke down before the doctors got her into the room to sit down to talk, and my grandma and mom couldnt hold back tears either.

Drake has been diagnosed with Cytomegalovirus (CMV). It is a very common virus found in most humans, but can be very dangerous to infants whose mothers are infected during pregnancy. Depending on what stage of development Drake was in when Brook got the virus, greatly affects the severity of the damage it will cause during development. CMV can cause severe mental disability, vision loss, growth problems, lung problems, bleeding problems, liver problems, spleen problems, and most commonly hearing loss. The doctors are most worried about his hearing right now, but an MRI is scheduled to analyze his brain and a whole nother round of much more detailed vision, hearing and blood tests are on the way in the next couple days. He has already failed one hearing test, but that isnt too uncommon. Right now there really isnt much of anything that can be done, but to assess the condition of his brain, vision, and hearing. Most of the damage that would have been done should be done already, but the main thing that could get worse from this point moving forward is his hearing. Over the next two years he could suffer hearing loss at any given time. Past 2 years and he is typically good to go. Hear is the kicker, his hearing can most likely be saved using medication, but there are pretty harsh side affects with the treatments and they would need to be started within a week or so in order to be effective. He would have to have an IV installed in his arm and get treatments of ganciclovir every 12 hours for 6 weeks. Short term side affects are very harsh, and long term ramifications are unknown, but that is the only treatment options to save his hearing for sure. We have pretty much determined already that we wont have Drake be a guinea pig for this procedure, but will know more after all the tests come back tomorrow. It is a big decision to make.

We were going to go home early tonight, but Brook is squeezing one last feeding in before he goes down to the MRI. Last night we left the hospital at midnight. We spent a very romantic Valentines in the cafetaria from 10 to 11 pm sharing a peanut butter thunder pie, some sugar free cookie wafers, and a starbucks mocha something or other. We were just flying high and on top of the world then. Now we just have to be reminded all over again that God is in complete control and Drake is going to be even more special of a boy than we ever will realize. He is a world changer and has been showered in more prayers in his first 4 days of life than most people will have in a whole lifetime. God has a plan for him, and we are just so blessed to have him as our child. We snapped a few photos earlier in the day.

Mae finally built up enough courage to go in and hold him. Once she heard he was going to be ok and Grandma Beth being there helped nudge her along. She is so proud of her new baby.

He is starting to look exactly like my baby pictures. I was cute for the first couple years of life.


  1. Nate, my heart aches for you and Brook and what you are going through. I love the new pics! He is so cute and yes, he looks like you. I must admit that the last 5 days have been an eye opener for me too. God has been convicting me on a lot of things. Like getting on my knees for prayer and praying constantly. That is not my nature, but yet it takes a tragedy for me to call on God and plead with him. I know that He desires that amount and type of prayer from me daily. Also, Drake's birth has brought so many emotions out of me that I haven't let out in years. I always try to be the strong one, and to be honest I don't cry a whole lot. But Drake's story and that heart ache I have for you and Brook has let a wall down. There are so many other things that God is changing on my heart right now. So it's true, your little Drake dawg is changing lives.
    I will keep praying for my little nephew.
    Love, Star

  2. Our Lord places His hand on all of you and He is in the midst of all. He is a God of change and renewal. He LOVES us and most of He loves Drake, he is precious. But in the midst of change is so much pain. I am praying for your endurance, your patience and you feel the strength and peace of Him in this breathless journey. I know how much I love my children and my grandchildren and so I know how your heart is aching. Love you all so much and am lifting you to Him!!

  3. Rustin, Cara and JaretFebruary 16, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Nate and Brook,

    We are still continuing to lift your family up in prayer. Drake is such a precious gift from God and God knows the master plan. While it is so hard because we cannot see the big picture, take heart in the fact that God loves us and has complete control over everything. We pray for Drake's healing and for you and Brook to be strong and to have peace. I cannot tell you enough, how much we love you guys.

  4. The first picture posted was of a Herman baby, now Drake really looks like you Nate. My prayers are so with you and Brook.
    Love you all so much.

  5. Father, please cover them w/your peace, continue to hold them in the palm of your hand. Continue to comfort & bless them and hold them up when they feel like they are falling. Continue to grant Nate & Brook wisdom. Father remind us all to keep turning to You, & to keep bringing this family before your throne.
    In your Son's name.

    Love you guys so much. Keep trusting...He's got it all under control.

  6. Brook and Family,
    I know that your sweet spirit and your faith will get you through this. I am praying for you and your family as are countless others. We miss you at Jazzercise. I truly believe that everything will be just fine. Please know that I care about you very much. You have always been so sweet to me. If you need someone to watch Mae and Noah I would be glad to help in any way that I can. (309)712-4187.
    Betsy Barnes

  7. Nate

    Ashley and I are praying for you and your family. Ashley is pregnant at this time and we have learned so much through the pregnancy that God IS in control, there is nothing we can do accept LOVE and TRUST