Saturday, August 29, 2009

Look for the Hidden Blessing

Look what was hiding under Bella's headband

Oh boy...

Well, Bella isn't finishing her bottles. we're adding hemp oil to increase the fat content to keep calories up, but she either screams and bucks in protest, or passes out and refuses to suck. It's taking a lot out of us besides time. Every bottle becomes an hour-long struggle. That adds up to a lot of time and a lot of stress.

Wound care has hit a new hurdle as well. Bella has blisters on her abdomen now. They're not particularly that bad, but with her extremities, we can swaddle all but the leg/arm we are working on and keep her under control with a swaddle blanket and a pacifier. Even still, it takes 4 hands usually. But with the abdomen, we haven't figured out how to isolate the torso...we have 4 flailing appendages and an arching back that levitates off the changing table. We've been doing the abdomen last, but we may need to move it up to first to get it over with.

Good news is that U of M called today to start the registration process! The first step is to get Ali and Bella's blood drawn and sent to U of M to be read to see if they are a perfect match thus eligible for the study (Which of course they are)...

Samantha Sheridan began her BMT today by receiving stem cells from her little sister Chloe's bone marrow. We are all very excited and praying for the Sheridan family. Please include them in your prayers. Samantha is the 7th person to go through this trial.

CRAZY Providence Story of the day:

So, it was (supposed to be) my last day at work at Del Amo Hospital today. DAH is about an hour away, with a lot of very busy SoCal freeway between home and work. I have been enduring the commute 2 days a week since October without too many complaints.

Till this morning...

At 8:34, I was cruising in the left lane of the northbound 405 at Cherry Lane North Exit in Long Beach.

At 8:35, my stopped car was being catapulted into the car in front of me by the car traveling behind me.

That's just a fancy way of saying, "I GOT REAR-ENDED!" I was the meat in the morning commuter sandwich!

Two cars in front of me...the guy locks up his brakes and grinds to a the left lane mind you. The guy behind him sees this and locks up his brakes and stops in time. I see him, lock up my brakes, and skid to a stop about a foot from him. Phew!

Then, there is that moment. That split second after you realize you made it, and your gaze shifts quickly to your rear view mirror to see if the guy (or gal) behind you is gonna make it as well. The "Oh ****!" Meter was PEGGED when I looked in my rear view mirror this morning. I saw a black sports car hurtling at me, and it took NO TIME to ascertain that given his distance and velocity...there was NO WAY he was gonna make it. Then, before I knew it, BOOM....BOOM! The first BOOM being him hitting me, the second BOOM being me hitting the guy in front of me. LUCKILY, we were the only three involved. I COULDN'T BELIEVE more cars didn't pile up. I was ready for the worst.

Anyhow, we pull over and exchange info. My back end is totally messed up, but my care miraculously is drivable with no flat tires. On the side of the road, I start to feel a little sick to my gut and dizzy, but just a little. I call work to explain the TOTALLY anti-climactic news. No time for long goodbyes I guess! I drive the car straight to my chiropractor and get looked at. We both agree I have whiplash and a slight concussion.

While waiting for my appointment, I began to think about why this happened on my last day...I mean, what a coincidence, right? Why today? I was reminded of the story of Khidr, how Moses traveled with Khidr and watched him do things that he couldn't understand. Great story if you don't know it. Anyhow, I decided to trust God that there was an important, but not yet revealed reason for this, and just trusted that it would be revealed sooner than later.

When I got to the rental car counter, I looked at my insurance card. It dawned on me that the issue date was TODAY, but I had replaced the old card over a week ago, so even though I'm sure I'm in the system, I've been driving without proof of current insurance for that time period. Then, the rental associate reminds me that my Driver's License expires on my birthday, which happens to be MONDAY.

So, I had 3 days in which to crash that car and not suffer some additional legal headache! PHEW, I was LUCKY!

It gets better...

At lunch, the guy in front of me emailed me pics from the accident from his iphone. He volunteered to do that and was totally cool at the scene. In his email, he included a web address. Well, I clicked on it, and laughed. He's a graphic designer and photographer. I have a book, and a record coming out soon. Think I need someone like that involved? YOU BET! Think I know anyone out here personally to help me out? NOPE.

So, I call Mike, and I thank him for taking such good pictures and being willing to send them to me, but also to explain that I have been looking for someone out here in Socal with his EXACT qualities and capabilities. Yup. Anyhow, on Mike's splash page, there are the following quotes:

C.S. Lewis said:

"I believe Christianity as I believe the risen sun. Not because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) (Read by Max McLean. Provided by The Listener's Audio Bible.)

Powered by

I told him that after viewing his site, I realized that God wanted us to" run into each other" (hahaha) and since this was my last day, there wouldn't be another chance like that to hang out. I told him that I am practicing lifting my faith muscles recently, and he laughed because he asked God the same questions I did about where was the blessing inside the accident. He agreed to go visit Bella's Blog and learn more about us and our faith story.

So, I really HAD to have this accident THIS MORNING in order to have all 3 events (insurance, license, Mike commuting to work) taking place.

In summary, by lunch time, I couldn't believe my luck today. I'm sure my colleagues at DAH weren't too happy for me, but I can't wait to work with Mike! I told him what was about to be released and he said that he has worked with converting a blog into a book and knew just how to get it out there successfully.

Okay, off to bed. Remember, the things the God does, you may not understand. Don't question it, just look for the hidden blessing. It is always there, you just need to be willing to see past the illusions life throws at you like smoke screens to get to the good juice! Well, I found the good juice within 4 hours of the accident, and I am so grateful to the kid for hitting me!

Good night and God bless!


  1. From Care Pages Site:

    Posted 49 minutes ago
    by mary amen

    I am so very often inspired by your writing and can't wait for the book! God bless you all and have agreat weekend,
    Posted 2 hours ago
    by Robin Setto

    Dear Tim, Angelique, Ali and Bella,
    POSITIVE, positive, positive... you are amazing! So as the smoke clears from "ALL of this" I wonder what the overall ultimate "good juice" will end up being... it will be interesting or are we already seeing it... ;)
    Our intense prayers continue.
    -Michael and Robin Setto
    Posted 4 hours ago
    by Albert Alva

    Thanks for another update of positive energy and blessings. Our positive energy is always out there for Bella to have a better day. I have Chapman jazz auditions this Sunday, and classes start on Monday. It's always exciting for me to see the fresh, enthusiastic faces, anxious to learn about playing and singing jazz. You always remind me that my blessings are clearly right in front of me, so I just let them in. Peace brother!
    Posted 5 hours ago
    by Mimi Ojukwu

    You are all still in my prayers and I am praying especially that Bella is a good candidate for BMT. Glad you weren't too badly hurt in the accident.
    Posted 8 hours ago
    by Sheila Marchetta

    So sad to hear about Bella's newest blisters. Hoping and praying that the BMT is a possibility.
    Wow!! Relieved that you weren't seriously injured in the accident. Peter says it very well. I absoluely agree with him. Your positive attitude of faith are amazing!
    Love ya,
    Posted 11 hours ago
    by Peter Smith

    Tim, you're amazing. A study in positive attitude - and you follow through with it too. Thanks for the time you put into writing this when you have so much on your plate. Love to you all, Peter.

  2. Hey Tim, Ang, Ali and Bella,

    Just wanted to let you know that even some of us avowed atheists are wishing and intending that Bella's life continues to be extraordinary and that her health issues diminish with expediency. Love you guys! Scott Jordan

  3. Hi Anabella's family,

    My name is Patrice, and I have a little boy (born 2-27) with Junctional EB (we think non-Herlitz). I just found Anabella's site today, but will be praying for and watching her journey. I hope your girls are a match. They have been having so much success. They are now opening up the trials to JEB and without sibling matches, but that's much more risky, I think. So for now, we just hope and pray.

    You can follow Jonah's story at:

    Aslan is on the move!!!


  4. I just found your site through another, and wanted to say hi. We go to CHOC also, not for EB but for other issues. :)