“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

God was teaching me the words above while we were in the hospital. Here is a little explanation:
• blazing furnace: surgery, removal of the tracheostomy tube, or maybe putting it back in if Vince cannot manage breathing on his own
• gods: worry, blaming other and myself, self-pity, carrying the burden and responsibility of decision-making
• image of gold: expectation of a normal life, insisting that Vince should live without a trach, no matter what

Everything is a blur. Vince’s tracheostomy opening has been closed up. I feel lifeless; I am so tired. Unfortunately, after the surgery we were faced with a bacterial infection as well. We had to plan everything again, because Vince was weak for a long time. After a surgery one always dies a little and starts seeing things from a new perspective. There is peace, calm, slowing down, and a tremendous amount of gratefulness no matter where I look!

I leave the ICU for a half an hour. I take a shower. Memories of giving birth come gushing out. I wonder at the many new sounds I had to get to know back then. Machine sounds and beeps, the slurping and many versions of whistling sounds coming from Vince’s trach. I always knew when to suction, when to change the trach because there was an emergency caused by dehydration and airway obstruction. Now, suddenly, I missed it all. I missed the familiar situation. I rushed towards the unknown again, which was irreversible and frighteningly cold. I felt I was too tired to relearn everything again. Hmmm, when I imagined the decannulation process, I always felt happiness and ease. And now, I stand here, filled with uncertainty. Vince needs to learn to cough, eat and drink differently. He received a new life, and I a new child, who is 8 years old, but to me, he is like a newborn, whose every sound I have to learn again.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

I inevitably compare the two life situations. With Vince’s trach surgery and now with the decanulation, everything is the same: worry because of the surgery, emergency because of the airway obstruction, indescribable tiredness having to be constantly on standby, etc. One thing, however, is different: at the second one, the decannulation, I am not mulling over my own thoughts at the end of the day, but I fill my heart with God’s thoughts. And He gives me boundless peace, and I don’t want anything more right now!

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:15-17

… and He truly protected us! One and a half weeks after the surgery, Vince was already whizzing around the ICU with his electric wheelchair. We could stand him up for 30 minutes at a time, and he could eat chunky food without wanting to take a breath, as he used to do it with the trach. He didn’t need to cough for 8 years, because as soon as the secretion burst, I suctioned it with the suction catheter from the laryngeal tube. After the surgery Vince had a great amount of secretion, due to the surgical intervention and the infection. The doctors saw the Vince was struggling and didn’t have enough strength to cough, so they suggested the safe and predictable life with the trach. But my husband and I decided to give a chance to our son for a life without it. We still have a long way to go, but we are hopeful, because a week after the surgery Vince was able to cough up a lot of secretion while lying down. God has performed another miracle! He’s brought movement to Vince’s muscled needed for coughing, which he has never used before! I am so thankful for everything! Thank you for your prayers!

“Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. / While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ’Your daughter is dead,’ he said. ’Don’t bother the teacher anymore.’ Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ’Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.’” Luke 8:41-42, 49-50