Found within the morning prayers of a Jewish prayer book is a blessing called “Asher Yatzar.” Sometimes referred to as the “Blessing for our Bodies,” it thanks God for creating the human body, including a miraculous network of openings and passageways. As the blessing states, “it is known…that if one of these were to be ruptured or blocked, we wouldn’t be able to survive and stand before You.”
Throughout these months of extraordinary challenges, we keep coming back to this blessing and how amazingly true it is for us all. Thursday was scary for Ethan and for us. Things deteriorated rapidly and we were once again faced with consenting for a surgery where there were so many unknowns. The x-ray showed an area of Ethan’s small intestine to be greatly dilated, implying a possible obstruction. It also showed an area of “free air,” indicating perhaps another perforation. These were two areas Ethan unfortunately had experience with; the former resulted in surgery and a two-week hospitalization last April, while the latter involved a much more difficult surgery and a two-month hospitalization in December 2013. Neither one sounded good, but hearing the possibility of both uttered in the same sentence sent us into a tailspin. When the surgery team operated on Ethan, they indeed found a tremendous obstruction, caused by adhesions (like strong bands) wrapping around his intestine, shutting off flow. The adhesions—caused by scar tissue—were an unfortunate side effect from his original bowel perforation last December. In addition, another section further down had twisted on itself, rendering a double-closed loop. Nothing could pass through either way.
There is no way of knowing if this will happen again. And again, and again. We’ve been told it can occur any time surgery is performed. It can happen after two weeks, two months, two years, or twenty years. The blessing of a body with functioning openings is that things move forward. Once there is a blockage, everything can change in an instant.
We are grateful once again for a fabulous medical team of dedicated and compassionate providers who have Ethan’s best interest at the forefront of their minds. We are thankful for Team Ethan who has stepped back up without missing a beat to help us manage our short-term needs. We see that Ethan is much stronger this time around, and we fully hope that this will translate to a quicker recovery. We have side-stepped off his path and will merge back on when he lets us know he’s ready. All on Ethan Time.
The human body is miraculous and strong,
Alexia and Scott