Friday, January 26, 2007

More Videos of Life in Columbia, SC

Here's Bela, our cat, slipping on the chest by Noah! Check out the Video!

Here is another one of Noah and the kitty having fun!

And last, but not least, we HAVE to get Noah's smile in here for you to see!

Happy Viewing!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Believe WHAT???

Lately, as I have been reading different books, I've wondered for me, and for you: Have you ever stopped to think about what you really believe? I'm talking theology here: you and God. Do you believe in God? Really? Why? Why not? Well, here in America, and around the world, religious cults are probably know a Jehovah's Witness at work, or maybe a Mormon. Well, they may not have told you specifically that's what they are, but one day you'll find out.

So often, these ordinary people we live, work, and interact with, are so sincere in their beliefs. Often times, they have not had their questions answered in the Christian Church--it could be for a number of where do they turn? They turn to the place where they can get an answer! Bible? No, most folks don't turn there today, unfortunately. That's where they SHOULD go (and all of us too), but they'll ask a friend, a co-worker, someone they play ball with. As with mormons, or JW's, these friends are as sincere as you and me, who are evangelical Christians, but they claim they are Christians too. (did you ever stop to think that one can be sincere, but sincerely wrong at the same time?) They'll claim the Bible as theirs too, and use language often times a Christian will recognize. However, a cult is a cult specifically because some aspect of Biblical Christianity has been distorted; not only this, but it becomes a "religion", where the soteriology (salvation aspect) is man-made, or accomplished in man's strength. Traditional Roman Catholicism, though not a cult, of course, claims salvation by works; Jehovah's Witnesses--saved by doing door-to-door "warning" or evangelism; Mormons--also by works, one becomes a god; and so forth. Often times there is much truth in their beliefs, taken from the Bible--but it is out of context and distorted to fit a specific man-made method of salvation. It has been said before that "a man who will not stand for something is quite likely to fall for almost anything".

The danger to true believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is that cults might be presented in a "favorable light, appearing to be objective (which our culture today highly values), does little or nothing for Christianity except to encourage weaker Christians to dabble in what is a dangerous hobby." (Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults; p.21).

So, if you think you are a Christian, and if you call yourself one: know what you believe! If the average Christian were to become familiar with the great foundations of our faith, he/she would be able to detect these counterfeit elements that are so apparent in the cult systems that set them apart from Biblical Christianity.(Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults; p.23-24)

Know what you believe!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Noah figured out what his feet were really for!

Just today...guess what Noah did!?! He actually walked for more than 4 steps! Click on this link ( and you'll see him walking tonight! It was awesome! He just started walking like this tonight! Awesome!!! Whoohoooo!!! Gooo Noah!
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Saturday, January 20, 2007

What? Who's birthday??

Did we ever mention that the day we got out of the hospital was Noah's birthday? Well, yeppers, and he didn't know it either! Look at his face when we gave him a cupcake!

He first didn't know what to do with the blue stuff...but then you can see below that he didn't mind it so much... :-) Happy Birthday Noah!
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After the hospital

So, once we got home from the hospital, we still had Christmas presents to open! Here's Noah getting us started.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Noah's ready to go home! Here we go!!!
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Like father, like son.

Here are pictures of me, Ben, as an 11 month old and Noah as an 11 month old, both in the hospital at the same age for the same reason: a seizure...and both of us clearly want to go home!

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Uncle Josh!

Here is Uncle Josh Smith! Becky's brother, who came down at a very much needed time to help us out with Noah in the hospital! Thanks to him, we got enough rest during this time, and Noah healed up quicker. :-) There is no way we'd be sane right now if it hadn't been for Josh's willingness to come down from NY on his break from PT school to help us and Noah out! Thanks Uncle Josh! (looks like Noah's pretty comfortable in his lap, huh?)
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Once we were transferred to our own room on the pediatric floor, Noah was still having a hard time breathing. Finally, test results from the mucus he was coughing up came back positive for RSV, a respiratory virus. Here he is with mommy, but he's on oxygen in the picture.
Notice the "beautiful" skyline of downtown Columbia through the window. :-)
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This is after they took the tubes out of Noah, he was breathing on his own at this point. He would cry himself to sleep because he was so tired, exhausted and probably in pain too. This is when it hurt the most for us--after he was aware of what was going on and we couldn't do anything about it.
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After the visit to the ER

Here's Noah the day after we took him to the ER for his seizure. He was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for a couple of days.
Notice Becky's hand holding Noah's in the right side of the picture.
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Thursday, January 04, 2007

We're home!!!

We are home now with Noah! As of 11:30, we were allowed to come home with Noah! Praise God that he went the whole night without oxygen and his saturation levels of oxygen in his blood were fine--this means that even though he was having a hard time breathing, and it sounds loud, he was still getting enough oxygen in his lungs! He also went the night without any respiratory treatments! As soon as we saw the doctor in the morning, he said we could go home! So, praise God! Thank you for praying, ssooooo much! We still ask that you pray for Noah to continue healing and get stronger every day. He's on respiratory treatments twice a day here at home to reduce the inflammation of his airways, so that he can breath easier.

Tomorrow morning, Friday, we go to the neurologist to see about his seizure a bit more. We're still not sure about it--we have no reasons so far, scientifically, for why he had it. We'll keep you posted.

Now I'll post pictures about this whole process--as we lived it with Noah and prayed through it all and waited on God to teach us.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Seeing improvement!

Hi everybody!
Well, the last couple of days have been weird...the doctors and nurses are all confused about what to do for Noah, or should I say, "were" confused. Finally, there was one doctor who finally gave us some clear answers, which in fact are quite unclear in and of themselves! You see, RSV is a virus, which isn't curable with a magic pill, like an infection is with antibiotics. We have to simply wait on Noah's immune system to fight off the virus (=breathing difficulties), and treat the symptoms (=mucus in his nostrils & throat). This is the least favorite part of the day for Noah, and for us too, of course. He squirms and kicks his legs and moves his head all over the place! It takes three of us to hold him down in order to "suction" him out--we have to do this a few times a day. It's been so nice having Josh, Becky's brother, here for this time. Not just to hold Noah down for "suctioning time" but also to hold Noah when he's restless, to watch Noah while Becky and I go home to get a few things, or to go running with Becky while I watch Noah in his room here at the hospital. Just having one more person around helps sooo much, even while Noah's sick! I mean, it will help a lot to have him at home too--since many of you have seen Noah's energy!!!

All in all, we've see Noah improving greatly since Friday! Finally, he's actually smiling big and trying to laugh! The drugs have finally worn off, and he's only on oxygen right now. The doctor said we could go home when Noah goes a night without using the extra oxygen and can breath well on his own. He still struggles to breath when he's worked up, but when he's calm, so are his respirations. Our biggest fear is that if we take him home (which could be as early as tomorrow afternoon), he'd not be able to breath well enough if he gets worked up/stressed, then having to bring him back here to the ER and start all over again! Yes, we want to get home, but we also want Noah to be as "normal" as possible when DO take him home. That's what you can pray for.

Tomorrow is Noah's first birthday! He turns 1 year old tomorrow! Quite a coincidence that we might be going home on the same day that he was born last year, huh??

People here have been so helpful to us--our church family, our neighbors, and even a number of nurses and doctors. Noah's getting better, and we believe it's because God is answering your prayers and ours too. We pray for continued patience and strength to keep fighting, and keep loving.

Once at home, and things settle down a bit, I'll try to post some pictures of our time in the hospital.
We'll keep you posted.
Thanks for praying!
Ben, for all three of us.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Still here

Hi folks.
Yesterday at about noon, Noah got moved to another room, out of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He went off the respirator, but still was having trouble breathing, not getting enough oxygen into his lungs. So they've continued giving him breathing treatments once in a while, and the sedation had worn off, finally, but then he had so much energy that he's fight and cry so hard for so long that he'd finally fall asleep out of exhaustion. He seemed to be in such pain! The doctors couldn't figure out why he was having trouble breathing, besides the irritated airways from the intubation he had done Friday night. This morning, early, they got a sample of the stuff he was coughing up, and sure enough, he had contracted RSV, which is basically a really bad cold that and adult would have, but as a young child, it can kill if not taken care of quickly. Thankfully, they caught it in Noah early--there is nothing we can do for a "quick fix" for Noah, besides suctioning out the mucus in his nose and throat, and some respiratory treatments a few times a day when his breathing starts to sound like wheezing.

Last night was a rough night for Becky and I--Noah was awake throughout the night, on and off, in pain we think, fussing, but also having more tests done for his breathing. This morning we decided to give him a simple sedative to help him sleep through the pain more, to tolerate it a bit more. Today he's been groggy again as a result, but I think not in as much pain--now he's just miserable when he's awake.

Becky's brother, Josh, is on break from Physical Therapy School and is coming down from NY to help us. In fact, he should be arriving any minute now at the hospital. Since Noah's virus can spread so easily from him to another person and to another child, it'll work best to have her brother here so that he doesn't have to worry about carrying the virus around to family. So many people here in our community have been soooo helpful! They are bringing us meals and praying for Noah and us. You too are praying, and we are so thankful! There are ups and downs throughout the day, but we know God is in control--as always! In fact, there were two instances today in which Noah lightly smiled! They have a music therapist that goes around the hospital to the children's rooms and plays her guitar and sings silly songs to/for/with them! Noah watched her as long as his attention span could last, and he made Becky and I cry a bit because we were so glad to see him attempt to smile! Oh, God is good indeed! Noah seems to be improving, slowly...we don't know when we'll be out of here...I think probably on his birthday, January 4th, Thursday, but we'll see...

So, we'll keep you posted, and thanks for praying!