Anna Beam was a little girl who had had digestive problems all her life. Her parents, Kevin and Christy, took her to doctors for years before they finally got a diagnosis: pseudo-obstructive motility disorder, an inability for the intestines to move solid food along and properly digest it. As a result, Anna’s childhood was filled with endless trips to specialists, and many hospital stays. At home, she had to consume massive amounts of medication just to keep the pain at a tolerable level. Listen to her mother’s description of Anna’s medications:
“Cisapride was the big one. The potential side effects were serious, including damage to her heart. Anyone taking this drug had to be closely monitored on a continual basis, so Anna had to have an EKG every six weeks. Blood analysis every four to six weeks kept track of what the drug, in combination with all the other drugs she was on, was doing to her system in general. It was a risk, but it was worth the chance at a semi-normal life.
Now she was free of it. For the moment. But we still had all those other meds lined up on the pantry shelf. The antibiotics she took twice a day as part of a concerted effort to keep her out of the hospital and free of bacterial infections that could tip the balance against her. But taking all those antibiotics has an effect on the system, too, so she had to do two weeks on, two weeks off, rotating different types of antibiotics so she wouldn’t develop a resistance, always looking for signs that her digestive system had showed to a crawl or shut down completely. Good bacteria had to be ingested, because it was being eliminated along with the bad bacteria. The nerve damage in her intestines was addressed with a hefty four-time-a-day anticonvulsant, which protected her from constantly gripping pain. She took prescription-strength laxatives and reflux medication, another anticonvulsant for cramping, prescription painkillers as needed, and a rotating schedule of nutritional supplements that became more important during those periods when she wasn’t able to consume any food or liquids.”
It’s the most helpless feeling in the world for a mother to see her child suffering endlessly, and not be able to do anything to change it. But one day something happened to Anna that no one in a million years could have predicted. This book is an encouragement to any parent who is watching a son or daughter suffer, and a reminder that miracles still happen.