Thursday, February 18, 2010

Update (Kate's Home!)

Though many of you may know what has been going on with our little daughter Kate, I know many of you weren’t aware that she needed to be hospitalized with a moderate case of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) on Monday night. She was on oxygen for the last 2 and a half days and then grew stronger and for the a 12 hour period starting last night, she was able to get enough oxygen, breathing on her own without the supplemental oxygen.

Just wanted to let you all know that Kate was released from the hospital earlier this afternoon. Her ability to breathe and get enough oxygen on her own was back to a healthy level and she had gone without supplemental oxygen for 12 hours prior to that. We’re so thankful that she and Bethany are home and grateful to our God for so many things that he orchestrated and for his watch care over us!

Thanks for so many moments of prayer! And for those of you who only heard about this in this email, we apologize! Due to both email server issues as well as lack of time, I wasn’t able to get this news out to everybody sooner. I don know though that many of you followed us on facebook and on our blog and we so appreciate that.

It’s been quite a period of time since October of last year (that’s actually when we sent out our last real update) and yet, we know that God never promises ‘Stability’ and ‘Constantcy,’ but He does prove stable Himself and His strength has been sufficient in a time with so many of our own ‘weaknesses.’

Who knows, maybe things will settle down and we’ll be able to get out a real normal monthly update. Praise God with us though for how He’s carried us through this time!

Joel for the Potter 5!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Update on Kate

As there are many who may not be aware, our family has been dealing with another bout of sickness, this one, much tougher than any yet.

The boys both came down with pretty severe coughs/fevers/sinusy issues within a few days of each other, starting a week ago yesterday. While it was rough, they both eventually fought it off (though they still have ear infections) and are doing much better. But starting last Thursday, Kate began to show signs of the same symptoms, but no fever. It’s hard to see her with it, but we thought she’d get over it too and we did all we knew to do to make her comfortable here.

Sunday evening though, it was apparent that she was really struggling more than she should be without advanced help. After getting counsel to especially watch out for RSV (Respiratory Synctial Virus), a particularly nasty virus for an infant under 6 months to get, we took her in to the ER and confirmed that it was RSV. Though that evening, after a relatively short and helpful ER visit, we took her home with instructions to see her Pediatrician the next day, which we did. He prepared us that it was likely that the worst had not been passed yet and that she very likely might need to be hospitalized. Sure enough, she did. Bethany took her back to the ER after her mommy instincts told her that Kate was struggling to breathe more than she (Bethany or Kate ) could handle. And soon after triage, the Dr. deemed it necessary to admit Kate.

She’s on oxygen constantly and though her O2 levels are ok with oxygen, she’s still nowhere near able to breathe easily enough on her own to naturally get the oxygen that she needs. Beyond oxygen, there’s no medication that can really help her. So it’s a very difficult journey to watch her and only be able to PRAY and wait.

But God.

He’s more than sufficient for our weakness and we’re all doing well, emotionally. Bethany is staying with her and I’m staying with the boys. The hospital is literally less than 100 yards from our house and an easy walk for either of us. Our co-workers here at NTBI have been so gracious and helpful as well. Thanks guys!

So, please be praying for Kate to be able to soon breathe sufficiently on her own, to not develop any other complications (like Pneumonia), and for Bethany and I as we look to HIM in this time. Bethany and I are both feeling some cold symptoms (though not severe at all) as well.

Thanks for standing with us in this time. We hope to someday be able to stand with you as faithfully as we know you do with us!

Joel for the Potter 5

Monday, February 15, 2010

After the Dr.'s office

We’re home and are glad we went in.  All three have RSV and all three have ear infections too!  All three are on antibiotics and Kate will be on a breathing treatment as needed.  The Dr. says she’s not out of the woods yet and there’s still a good chance she’ll need hospitalization before this is all done.  He told us what to look for and so we’ll monitor her here till we think she needs to go in again.  They are all still contagious so we’ll be home till at least Wed and if I go back to work after that, Kate will stay with me in my office.  My mom comes on Thursday so the reinforcements  are coming!!  Yeah!  I guess God really thought we needed some family time! J

Thanks for all your prayers! I am at peace in the midst of the storm because my God is able!





Joel and Bethany Potter

Missionaries with New Tribes Mission

1211 Homewild Ave.

Jackson, MI. 29201


Click for Our Blog


Update on Kate

Please keep praying for our little one. We ended up taking her in to the ER after much deliberation.  I’m glad we did as she tested positive for RSV, which I suppose then is what the boys actually had.  Her chest xray came back clear so as of last night there was no pneumonia and she was also negative for the flu.  She is breathing ok when she is relaxed but is no longer able to get a deep enough breath to cough or sneeze and makes the most sad sound as she tries.  The doctors at the hospital didn’t feel like  she needed to stay overnight as we are right next door to the hospital and we were doing all the right things for her.  They said we were already doing what they would do for her.  It felt good to hear that .  When they are this little, you just feel helpless and wonder if you could do more.


We are taking Kate and Owen in to their pediatrician today at 12:15.  Owen is still not all better and I just want to get him checked out to make sure there are no other infections we are missing.  Please pray that Kate especially will improve today.  It’s so hard to see her like this. 


Abiding in the VINE!

Friday, February 12, 2010

What a week

So we’re on week 3 as “The Jackson 5” as someone recently labeled us.  It wasn’t at all what I thought week 3 would be like.  It started well… Joel’s sister, Bekah was here till Monday and we totally enjoyed her visit until sickness hit our home on Monday and well, Bekah can vouch for me on this, the boys and Kate all turned on me!!  It was a tough day. Jack started getting sick, Kate decided that she would forget how to nurse, and Owen, well, he’s two.  I should have taken heed and planted my feet firmly that day in anticipation of the week to come but little did I know what lay ahead. 


Jack continued to get worse and ended up with what I think is the H1N1 virus.  Fever, aches, severe congestion, cough, sore throat, etc.  We quarantined him in the guest room with movies, water, tea, and snacks.  He hated it but complied partly because he didn’t have the energy to fight us.  It’s Friday and he’s a bit better but I’m blowing his nose every 10 minutes, he’s coughing like crazy and he’s enjoying taking ever liberty he can under the guise of “but Mommy I’m really sick”.


Owen came down with the same symptoms on Wednesday, and despite our efforts to separate he and Jack, he is now battling even higher temps and all the same yuckies.  Poor guy sounds like an old man and looks as bad as he sounds.


Kate is boycotting nursing and is teaching me another lesson that I should have seen coming.  Just because something goes well with the first two kids doesn’t mean it will go well with the third.  There are just no guarantees!  I hate learning these lessons!  She’s also getting a bit of a cough and no matter what number kid she is, seeing your tiny baby not feeling well is one of the hardest things to see and worry about.


So I thought we’d be back into a routine by this time.  The boys would be in school again and feeling secure because their lives continued as normal, Kate would be settling in to life outside my belly, eating well, sleeping well, and feeling secure because it’s all working like clockwork, and that I’d be back to work, enjoying the 2 hours of adultness I get in my office each day, and feeling secure because my family is healthy and happy.  Instead we spent each day at home, spraying Lysol obsessively, washing every piece of bedding in the house, wiping noses, covering coughs, disciplining kids who are a bit more naughty than usual and fighting occasional tears when I felt completely overwhelmed with three kids! 


BUT, and well for  any of you who know what the last few years of my life have been about, I had a moment of truth happen yesterday.  I was at a point where I was ready to ask God, WHY?  Why isn’t Kate nursing well, why would he let the boys get sick now just weeks after Kate was born, the week I hoped to go back to work, why did Owen get sick after I tried so hard to keep him separate from Jack, why, why, why???  Then it hit me, quickly I might add, that those three letters make up a word that I learned about 2 years ago, is not mine to ask of my Creator, Savior and Heavenly Father.  He alone knows the answer and my role is simply to trust Him and let whatever circumstances He has allowed me to face to draw me closer to Him and to conform me into His image.  It was a great relief to realize this before I chose to walk down that road.  God is gracious and I admit it was He who brought this to mind.  It is a testimony of His grace that God taught me all He did these past two years that I could even recognize His “voice” and trust Him.


So at the end of a very difficult week, I write this to admit, it was hard but we survived and I’m hopeful… next week could be just as bad BUT GOD!  And by His Grace!


Joel and Bethany Potter

Missionaries with New Tribes Mission

1211 Homewild Ave.

Jackson, MI. 29201


Click for Our Blog