A new way to feed

My son waits at the Hospital“After today, we won’t need to worry about how to get fluids in you” we said to my little man as we tried nearly in vain to inject one 5ml syringe of water into his mouth at a time. “you need to drink lots for your surgery. We’re going to put a special tube in your tummy so we can put the water straight down there and then you won’t have to do this.” Truely it has been so very difficult to get my son to drink anything at all. He drinks around 500ml a day of a special kids formula, and that’s it. No water, no solids. That’s his entire nutrient and hydration input. For all guesses he should be malnourished by now, but somehow, by the grace of God, he’s still fighting on and still looking relatively healthy – if not a little thin.

PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, a procedure in which a flexible feeding tube is placed through the abdominal wall and into the stomach. PEG allows nutrition, fluids and/or medications to be put directly into the stomach, bypassing the mouth and esophagus.

We’ve been waiting for this surgery for over a year now, having been pushed back multiple times by waves of COVID infections shutting down elective surgeries in hospitals. Partly that’s because we’ve gone with the public health system because of our belief in such things, but honestly I don’t think we could have gained much in this instance by going private. As I write this, I’m sitting in the waiting room in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, passing the time while his mother accompanies him for the last bit of prep before the surgery. It’s a quick procedure and older kids and adults go home the same day, but he’ll be here under observation for a few days while he heals up.

We’re very excited about this change because it means that we can always give him the nutrition that he needs, even when he’s unable to cope with eating it orally, but also it means independence from the very specific brand of formula that’s the only thing that he will drink and, coincidentally the only thing that will meed his needs. With the tube we have the option to blend real food super smooth and feed that to him instead. Some dieticians in this country are concerned that you can’t guarantee your own cooking will give him all the nutrients that he needs, but that isn’t really any different from feeding our other two kids. On a rare occasion they’ve been known to survive solely on chocolate cereal and chicken nuggets, but on the whole we manage to feed them a nutritious diet – so why not apply the same effort to blended food.

As I round out this blog post, his procedure has been completed successfully and now we’re just waiting on him waking up and beginning his recovery.

Answered prayers

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already lived in Australia for over 5 months. When we arrived I was determined to try to keep this blog updated so friends around the world could know how things were going but that obviously hasn’t happened. For a long time there didn’t seem to be anything to report; Chris had some casual work but I spent most of my days sitting on the sofa and trying to find ways to occupy myself. We were both beginning to get frustrated and in my prayer times I was often encouraged by the thought that everything could turn around quickly. To those who know God’s faithfulness it will come as no surprise to hear that is what happened. When we made the decision to move out to Australia we had some thoughts and dreams as to what we wanted to happen: Continue reading Answered prayers

Living down under

We’ve been living in Australia for just over a month now and the question I get asked most often is ‘how are you settling in?’ As more and more people ask that I figured it was time to start implementing my resolution to try and keep this blog reasonably up to date. Overall living in Australia isn’t dramatically different to the UK although there are lots of little differences (Cadburys chocolate doesn’t taste as good but there are more flavours and Woolworths is a supermarket) There are many aspects of settling in to a place that won’t happen for us for quite some time; until we have jobs and our own place to live we can’t really get a grasp on shopping, commuting etc. Continue reading Living down under

On the road

We’ve been on the road now for 3 weeks visiting the places and the people who mean something to Ruth. We’re in between our home in Carlisle that we’ve given up and our future home in Australia. We’re living out of suitcases in other people’s homes. We count ourselves blessed to have so many people we call friends and we’ve been enjoying their hospitality this lady coupe of weeks. I don’t think I’ve had this many meals out in two weeks in my whole life! Gosh I love pizza. Continue reading On the road

GO into all the world

Our last event with OMNIvision was possibly the best event we’ve ever been to. The GO Conference – held in Germany in January -was a meeting place and a training ground for over 100 new workers who have been called by God to go into all the world and make disciples. Many of these new workers were young people just out of high school or university – giving up all that life could be at home to go and serve God for a year or two – and possibly to stay for life. Some were older people who had responded to the call to commit to a country for a longer term – to live amongst a foreign people and to shine a light. All met together to come to know each other, to know that they are part of a larger body – the body of Christ. They were trained in the core values of Operation Mobilisation and encouraged in their faith. In some ways, it’s about connecting new workers with the organisation – but it’s more about them being filled up with God before they go out. Continue reading GO into all the world

Last thoughts of a Twenty-something

In my homeland Australia right now it is my birthday – but thanks to moving to the UK for a time, I conveniently have an extra 10 hours of being twenty something, rather than thirty. So, what do I have to say for myself?

The last few weeks leading up to my birthday have been difficult at times because I feel sad that I am so far from my family and from the friends that I’ve known for the longest – that whilst I know that I’ll have a good celebration here, I’ll be missing people who would need to sell all their earthly things twice over to attend. But is there something more than that? Do I fear the big 3-0? Continue reading Last thoughts of a Twenty-something

Northern Women’s Convention

For the fourth and final time I headed South to Manchester for the Northern Women’s Convention – it would seem that Carlisle beyond the North. Possibly the second last event that I’ll do with OMNIvision, this event stood out to me not as a challenge, but as a sign that I have learned enough to feel comfortable in the truck.

Continue reading Northern Women’s Convention

Go Conference

Four years ago Chris and I were at De Kroze Danne Conference Centre for our GO Conference – an introduction to the values and work of OM. This August we were back there for the third time, watching 243 more people embark on their journey with OM. Having helped with OMNIvision at the 2 previous events this summer I felt much more part of the crew this time and enjoyed the chance to try some new things. However, I was also there in my role as Family and Educational Advisor so my time was split between the two roles. Here are a few of my highlights from the conference:

Continue reading Go Conference