ARDEN UPDATE #13: All Through the Night

Keep watch dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, sooth the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

One of the most beautifully soothing prayers in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer has been on my heart of late. It blankets with prayer the many kinds of things that keep people awake at night. We’ve all known those restless nights when in the silent darkness the mind begins racing and there are no distractions to mute the anxieties and struggles that rob a person of the rest and sleep they desperately need. 

While Arden is in this long first recovery phase in a Spica body cast, daytime is her friend. She has things to do, a sister for playtime, family outings (she’s been out a lot), and movies to watch. She’s been a remarkably good sport. But everything changes for our little champ in the night, after she’s snuggly tucked in and the lights go out.

During the night, her Spica cast confinement becomes a battle.

She sleeps, but then when the rest of us would toss and turn, she’s helpless to change her position. Frustration with the power of the cast (much easier to ignore in the daytime) overwhelms in the night. It wakes her up in misery. She’s in the dark and crying for someone—anyone!—to let her out. 

At this stage in the healing process, Alli is up multiple times in the night—calming, comforting, reassuring, and helping Arden get back to sleep—deprived of much needed sleep herself.

Some dear friends sent me a book, An Appalachian Trial: A Story of Struggle, Survival, and God’s Grace, written by a grown-up who survived a plane crash, but barely, and spent months recovering from his injuries, including time in a Spica body cast.

Daniel Lipsi’s story puts an adult perspective on Arden’s ordeal. 

Mercifully, Arden’s not in pain as he was, but he is candid about the terrible discomfort and limitations that the Spica enforced. A nurse’s intervention, imploring the doctors “to ‘have a heart’ and not put [him] in the double spica” spared him of what Arden is experiencing. His single Spica encased only one leg. Even so, he called it a “plaster prison” and speaks of “the long battle to negotiate a bed angle that was the least offensive” to his body.

Arden’s double Spica goes from her chest down to her ankle on the left leg and above the knee on the right. She isn’t negotiating anything. She’s stuck!

So for those who are praying for Arden, please pray for nights of true calm and quiet rest—both for Arden and her mommy. 

I’m traveling to Anchorage on Friday, May 17 to help out and will stay with Avery while Arden and Alli return to Seattle Children’s Hospital for Arden’s recasting (May 27-29). Her next Spica body cast will be above the knee on both legs and so slightly less confining.

Thank you! Many thanks to everyone who donated to Arden’s GoFundMe. With some donations made outside of GFM, we are thrilled to report that we’ve reached our goal.

Please keep our little one and her family in your prayers. She has a long way to go before she’s back in action and needs the healing hand of Jesus.

About carolyncustisjames
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to ARDEN UPDATE #13: All Through the Night

  1. Rebecca Byrne says:

    Oh Caroline, what a precious picture of Arden! We are still praying for her, Allison and family, and you and Frank. These days and challenges push us to the brink, and you told me once that they make us go deeper into Jesus. Jim and I love that particular prayer from the BCP and pray it often as we pray the daily office. It’s a gem and a comfort. Much love to you all.
    Becky Byrne


    • Thanks Becky and Jim for praying. And yes, this is surely one of those situations that pushes us to the brink. In hindsight, we’ve seen that God is in the hard places in ways we can’t always see at the time. We are thankful for dear praying friends.


  2. Violet Tse says:

    Continuing to pray for Arden during this marathon. The suffering is real and when the one encased is so young, it just seems intensified. We dealt with double spicas (from chest to ankle on both legs) three times. In the midst of everything it seemed eternal, but there is an end, and in Arden’s case that will bring great blessing. Will pray for you too as you go hold the fort while they are gone. Thank goodness for grandmothers!


  3. Susan Nash says:

    Thanks you for posting this, Carolyn. She looks so peaceful in the picture but I can see from what you have written that she is paying a painful price. I am praying for her and the hard confinement and for Alli’s mother’s heart and interrupted sleep. As we approach mother’s day, I also am praying for you and am grateful that you are present in spirit and body with them as you all walk through this valley. God never slumbers nor sleeps. He is present in the pain.


    • Thank you for your words of encouragement Susan and for praying. You are an incredible prayer warrior and friend to me. The reminder that God is not sleeping either is such a comforting thought. I’ll be thinking about that in this ordeal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s