Thursday and Friday were awful beyond description with Whit. But she’s on track now and doing wonderfully.
Whitney had gum reduction surgery on Thursday. She had so much gum tissue in her mouth and around her teeth that it was obstructing her bite and even preventing her braces from doing what they need to do. So this three hour surgery on Thursday was to go in and slice and peel and scrape and cut and stitch her gums—all the way around, top and bottom—to make the inside of her mouth more like everybody else’s. Of course, this three hour surgery turned into a four surgery. And Whitney’s mouth continued to bleed all through the night. After a very long night—mainly for Carrie-Anne and Whitney–her mouth was still bleeding Friday. And she didn’t look good. She was pale and groggy, maybe from the pain medication. But she was absolutely miserable because of all the blood. I’m serious, it was everywhere. And it wasn’t stopping.
I reluctantly left for Tyler at about noon for our annual Four Horsemen Advance (more on that below) and Carrie-Anne wound up taking Whitney back to the surgeon at 1:00. After four more hours in the chair, this time without anesthesia, they finally got the bleeding stopped.
When I got home at about 5:00 Saturday afternoon, Whitney looked and sounded so much better. She’s finally on track now with what they had told us would happen and how long it would take. It’s just that they did so much cutting and there was so much gum tissue there with all the attached blood vessels that it took more than they anticipated to control that aspect of the procedure. But I was able to get a good look at her mouth yesterday and I can actually see all of her teeth! They were always there. We just couldn’t see them. She’s not in pain anymore. She’s still uncomfortable. But not nearly as much as she was two days ago. She still hasn’t had anything to eat since Kipi’s meatloaf last Wednesday night. But she’s drinking tons of water and juice, strawberry milkshakes, and Dr Pepper floats.
We’re very grateful to all of you who’ve sent her cards and well wishes. Thanks to Mary Glover and Lance and Taylor, Whitney has me continually running up to Sonic to get her a Blast or a float. And you four sweet girls and your moms who came to visit yesterday afternoon, you know you’re an answer to our prayers for great friends for our oldest daughter. Thank you.
She’s going to try some soup this afternoon. Maybe mashed potatoes by Wednesday. She won’t be ready for chips and salsa or popcorn by NCAA Tournament time. But I don’t think the Sonic cards will be out of credits by then either.
The Four Horsemen rode into Tyler Friday afternoon and nearly froze to death at Tyler State Park. The same thing happened last year in Cleburne. It seems that everytime we schedule our yearly Advance, the weather freezes up and shatters records. If we set next year’s event for June, be prepared for a catastrophic shift in the earth’s atmosphere.
I’ve written at length over the past several months about Jason and Kevin and Dan. I don’t have any closer friends. And I don’t know any men who are more dedicated to our Father and to his Kingdom than these brothers. My time with them—during our monthly lunches together and, especially, on our annual weekend camping trips—is always uplifting and encouraging. We pray together. We talk about our families and our kids. We study Scripture. We talk about God’s Church. We help each other with advice and insights. Jason and I talk about preaching. Dan talks about ministering to the margins and planting churches. Kevin keeps all of us grounded and connected by talking about the big-picture of the Kingdom. And we all four come away stronger and better and closer to God and each other.
Kevin, I’m not sure how you’re going to explain the burn marks on your hand. Dan, I hope you’ve recaptured your breath following our hike to the lake. And Jason, I don’t care what you think, we could all three take you. It would take all three of us. But we could take you.
I’ve shared my snow and snowman pictures with you. Here are two more I have to pass on. Darryn “Everything’s A Skit” Pope built this first snowman in the middle of his street. Aaron Green stuck 20-month old Parker on the top of their snowman Thursday before it was finished. As always, click on the pic to get the full size.
And then, one final note. I missed last Tuesday’s Screwtape study due to my trip to Waco (more on that tomorrow). When I returned to the office/study Tuesday evening, I found our little church office mascot, our lamb that reminds us to “think of the flock,” upside down in front of my door. I blame Byrnes and Pope who think the flock refers only to them.