Hospital Stay Day 15

“Good news! He doesn’t have Leprosy!!” The young doctor burst into our room to make this announcement . . . almost knocking down the even younger OT tech standing in the doorway. I wish I’d been able to shoot a pic of that young tech’s face. Her eyes were huge and she almost ran from the room, never to return!

Yep, Leprosy was on the list of several rare diseases that they’ve been considering. Because of LeRoy’s many trips into Brazil and Africa, serving the “least of these,” holding the hands of the ill, picking up naked little ones wandering through the filthy streets, visiting invalids and prisoners in places we wouldn’t put a dog to live, the doctors had reason to think his symptoms, and the lesions on his spinal cord, were indicative of certain parasites (Schistosomiasis) or other rare diseases.

Now they are thinking it’s a rare autoimmune disease that they plan to treat with immune suppressant drugs (that sounds healthy, huh?), but they have one more blood test pending for Mayo Clinic to review. They are strongly leaning toward this being Devic’s (or NMO), but a rare form of that—one that is in like the 10% category of the 30% who are A-typical.

How’s that for rare?

But since they aren’t positive that’s what it is yet, I’m continuing to ask for prayer for a definitive diagnosis. I don’t want him put on high powered drugs that will deplete his immune system, especially if we’re not even positive that is what he has. I asked the doctor if that treatment would make him much more susceptible to illness. This particular doctor’s quick solution was, “Just don’t be around children.” (And I wish I’d had a pic of my expression when he said that.) Obviously he doesn’t know how important children are to my husband.

“He has six grandchildren!” My old fierceness was probably showing when I let the doctor know that. The doctor (quite young, unmarried, and he sounded like children disgusted him) replied with all the reasons children should not come near him.

But Children are Leroy’s Favorite People!

What these doctors don’t realize is that my husband spends as much time with little ones as he does adults. He’s on his knees talking to them before church, he’ll scoop up the snotty nosed ones and give them a hug without a thought of germs, little people are his favorite. And the children in our church adore their pastor. He’s not planning on bypassing the youngest in his flock.

Leprosy might’ve been the quicker fix . . .

We’re still in the early stages of this journey, but removing children from LeRoy’s life is not an option he’s going to want to choose. For the first time since all of this began, I’m starting to have concerns about some of the medical choices that are being made for him. But my uneasiness with medicine doesn’t outweigh our trust of the Sovereign rule of our Savior, and the faithfulness of the Father . . . but pray for us to have wisdom and discernment as we move forward.

They plan to do two more Plasma Exchange treatments, if he holds up, the last one is scheduled for Wednesday, which will make a total of seven. Hopefully, he won’t need to continue those once we leave the hospital.

The Plasma Exchange (PLEX) is removing the antibodies that are attacking his nervous system and replacing it with “clean” plasma. It leaves him feeling totally depleted and weak. We can tell that the treatments are helping him, he’s getting greater mobility. Although he’s still using the walker, the Physical Therapist has been helping him learn to operate with a cane for a couple rounds on the floor.

Please pray for relief from pain ~

Since the last PLEX treatment, he’s had intense pain, greater than any he’s ever experienced. The doctors think it may be due to the fact that the treatments are waking up (hopefully repairing) the damaged nerves. We hope that’s what it is. He’s been in pain for two years, but nothing like this and the strong pain medications aren’t eradicating the pain.

But even in his pain, this morning he prayed with his PCT who is from Sierra Leone, and hasn’t been able to find out if her family is safe or among the 600 missing due to the unprecedented flood that hit there a few days ago. Even through searing pain, he is communicating the love of Christ (when he can rouse himself up out of the fog of pain meds).

They are hitting him with mega drugs that keep him knocked out until another sharp pain hits, almost jerking him out of the bed. It’s excruciating to watch him endure so much pain, while at the same time being so doped up that he’s not aware of much of what’s happening. He hasn’t been himself at all since Saturday afternoon.

I miss my man.

I’m so grateful to all of you who’ve been faithfully lifting him up in prayer.

Today’s Scripture verse on the hospital white board:

[box]“The Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. You led Your people this way to make a glorious name for Yourself. From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened, no eye has seen any God except You, who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him.” (Isaiah 63:14; 64:4).[/box]

Prayer Praises:

  1. PLEX treatments are almost over: five down and two to go!
  1. He doesn’t have Leprosy (although that’s curable, and perhaps an easier fix than autoimmune diseases). It’s not every day you think about needing to be thankful that you don’t have Leprosy, in this country at least.
  1. God’s faithful presence is a continual encouragement to us, He is keeping us in perfect peace as we travel this new road.
  1. We’re being carried to the throne of grace by believers from across the globe. We are deeply moved by the number of you who’ve left comments on the blog or supported us in prayer, and in so many practical ways . . . we are blown away by your love!

Prayer Requests:

  1. Continue asking God for a definitive diagnosis and for wisdom with how we should move forward with the medical team’s recommendations.
  1. We would be grateful for God’s merciful work of healing, but ask for grace to receive whatever He has appointed for us.
  1. Please continue to pray for our daughter and the birth of her little one. As I type this, she hasn’t arrived yet, but may be here by the time this is posted!


  • Barb Lange

    Praying for you and LeRoy….Please don’t accept high power drugs as the only answer. I am praying God leads you to someone who can say definitely what this is and give him the help his body needs without the possibility of destroying it with the so called “cure.” Doctors are wonderful and God has given them an awesome responsibility, but you keep fighting for his health and well being. When the doctors have said to me they don’t know what else it is, I then turn to alternative medicine. Is there anyone in your area that can do an extensive workup outside the medical field? We love you guys and will ask God to give you wisdom as you fight for LeRoy. I know God will lead you! Love you bunches and wish we could help take a turn sitting by his bedside <3

  • Claribel

    Dear Kimberly, I’m grateful for you. Praying in agreement & for a promt recovery as the Lord is working in Leroy’s & your life. He is our healer! From a different perspective, I’m in awe of how our Lord works everything for good. He is a God of purpose. What many of us might have thought it was your greatest & fiercest testimony, (the restoration of your marriage) somehow I’m seeing how that restoration was a part so needed for this new testimony that is unfolding right before our eyes. Now you both are together in oneness fighting this war. You both are the fierce of the Lord! No doubt, this battle is the Lord’s!
    I believe the Lord will grant you all the wisdom & discernment needed at this time as you asked. I believe Leroy will be healed and children & adults will always be near you as you continue to reach out. Blessings always!

  • LaTreva Lane-Riley

    Praying earnestly for you and your husband. I believe God will bring him through, complete and whole. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” [Heb.6:10] Continue to remain confident because Leroy WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! #GodisfaithfultoHisWord

  • Laurel

    I’m with Barb! I was treated in a very strange way for even stranger symptoms over a period of 10 years because doctors were taking stabs at my symptoms but didn’t know the cause of those symptoms.

    I found an MD who wasn’t offended by working in tandem with an ND, naturopathic doctor (trained at Bastyr University), and I am now enjoying the best health of my entire life.

    Until you know a cause for auto-immune malfunction, its very difficult to treat it.

    With love and every hope for the life you love to be made possible in Christ. I know you are WILLING to bear with suffering, but that doesn’t mean this kind of suffering as absolutely necessary.

  • Lynne

    Stay strong my cousin. Know that you can and should help be advocate for Leroy. If children is part of his life, don’t let the medical field take that away. You and Leroy have choices. Hold firm to those you feel you need to make.
    Prayers for all of the family. My heart reaches out to you.

  • Leah

    Mom asked me today to be praying for Brother Leroy. I got on your website to see if perhaps you had posted anything about it and have been reading this afternoon (in tears) about this journey. I want to tell you that I saw Brother Leroy in a dream I had a few weeks back. He has never shown up in one of my dreams, and I haven’t seen y’all in years; so upon waking, I thought it too strange to just be coincidence, and I took it as a call from the Lord to pray for him. Not knowing any specifics, I began to lift Brother Leroy up to the Lord. Upon hearing this news today, I now realize why the Lord was calling me to pray on his behalf. Isn’t the Lord so kind and amazing that He loves each one of us so much that He wakes us up in the night to get a prayer chain started for one of His children? You both have my love and prayers. God is going to get the glory for this, and I know that Brother Leroy wants nothing more than to be a vessel for that. As I was praying for him this afternoon the Lord encouraged me by the fact that even as illness is weakening Brother Leroy’s physical body, nothing is able to weaken the Holy Spirit of God within him. He is the Lord’s, and the Lord is right there with him through every moment, and nothing can ever change that. I believe Paul said it best in Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” May you both be encouraged by His love today, for He is with you. Always.

  • Anita

    Kim, Del and I recently learned of LeRoy’s illness and were shocked to say the least. I am not sure if you remember us from Westglen Baptist Church in Dallas around the time when Rachel and Lauren were born. Del and I have discussed the two of you and wondered about your ministry. We had no doubt that it had continued, but no specifics of where you were serving. We are lifting both of you up in your prayer requests and praise. It is a wonderful testament to hear your faith and commitment in Our Heavenly Father. I know he can heal LeRoy if that is His perfect will. I pray it is. We love you in Jesus. Anita

  • Leanne

    Precious Kimberly,

    We will continue to intercede on your behalf as you walk by faith through this uncertain journey. I know your heart must be torn, not being able to be with your daughter as she is giving birth to another precious little one. I can’t wait to see pictures! May the Lord continue to uphold you with His righteous right hand and give you wisdom and peace. I’m praying for His will, but asking God to heal LeRoy completely. May He provide reprieve and comfort as LeRoy endures this excruciating pain, and may God continue to give him the right words to minister to others when he is able. Its also my prayer that God will bring many to himself through this trial as they experience His love and peace through you. May the Lord remain your refuge and strong tower as you run to Him for the energy and hope to help support your sweet hubby! I wish I could help you in some way in addition to prayer. Please know that we are praying without ceasing for you! Love you!!

  • Vivian

    Kim, this brings tears to my eyes; especially the part about him not being himself since Saturday and “I miss my man!” You two continue to be heavy on my heart and in my prayers! Every morning I wake up with you on my heart. Love you!

  • Nikki Kunkel

    I am praying for him, you, your family, and all doctors and nurses involved daily. Mom and I were talking just the other day about when I was one of “… the youngest in his flock”, and he would sing the B-I-B-L-E with me every Sunday.

  • Kim Hackney

    Continuing to pray for complete healing for Leroy and for the Father to continue to give both of you many more opportunities to further His kingdom during this unpleasant time. ((Hugs))

  • Clara Mae Stutzman

    Love this train of thought! are scattered across the nation.. (They test and rebuild!). Once the fire is out in the house a carpenter is more needful than a fireman,the phyosophly of the Wellness Way Clinics and others who help the body heal.
    Praying for you and knowing that God ultimately is our Giver of life!

  • Sandra Diehl

    I cried as I read this. My heart for sure hurts for you both. I will pray for you both. May God bless and keep you both and lead you and the doctors every step of the way. Love you both, big hugs and prayers

  • Sarah Krause

    We are continuing to pray for you, Leroy and your entire family. “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.” (2 John 1:3) My love to you.

  • Rebekah

    “I Miss My Man”. I understand and empathize with you. God will restore and when we have nothing to rely on but Him, He is enough. Praying in Spirit and Truth.

  • Heather Sheppard

    Also dx’d with NMO (by Mayo) in 2013. Struggled for 2 years prior and dx’d with MS, then overturned…. I totally can understand the pain, spasms…and so much more, but I am also the Strong willed wife in my marriage with my hubs, together over 27 years…Praying for you and can help you find community in the NMO spectrum that may be helpful. Loved the reshared FOTF broadcast today. I am also on air in the morning at The Light Radio Network in the Northeast.