Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Wee Bit of Perspective

You know, even though hospitals aren't good places for healthy people, they can be good places to gain a little bit of perspective...those not-so-dark 3 ams aren't such bad moments to have a thought or two.

One evening, awash in a bit of an indulgent pity-party, I wandered down the hall in search of a diet Coke. (Keeping in mind, of course, that diet Coke is a VERY poor substitute for ice cream when wallowing in misery!) I crossed paths with two distraught parents following a teeny cribette, which carried their infant daughter. She was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and equipment. They settled in two doors down. A few minutes later, the father and I exchanged a few words while waiting for the nurse--you know, the usual chit-chat that passes for bonding among strangers in the same place. I returned to Patrick's bedside, muttering under my breath about kids who hog the remote control...

Not 10 minutes later, bells were ringing, alarms were sounding, a dad was running down the hall and a mom was screaming "NURSE!! NURSE!! She's blue, she's BLLLLUUUEEEEE!!!" Our sitter for the night raced out to help. The baby was fine...but these moments continued through much of the night. She was eventually airlifted to Hopkins. I'm not sure what happened from there, but have been praying for that family since the first alarm went off.

Now here's the revelation part. I don't think I could handle being those parents. For most of Patrick's life, hubby and I have struggled, muddled and braved our way through. And our circumstances tend to generate opportunities for us to rely on God and build our strengh ("if it don't kill ya, it makes ya stronger", right?).

We planned our trip to the hospital. We knew when we woke up on that Thursday, where we were going and pretty much what was going to happen that day. Sure, there were uncertainties--how long would we stay in the hospital, how would he behave, would it go better than last time--but, for the most part, we had pretty clear and reasonable expectations for our next few days. And, despite our to be expected worries, we were pretty confident that we'd be leaving the hospital with a recovering but otherwise healthy kid.

What would I do if, any minute, my kid could turn blue? My hat goes off to parents who deal with those kinds of issues daily, weekly, hourly. That kind of life on the edge takes a different kind of strength, I think.

Thank you, Lord, for knowing what we can handle...and for only giving us that which You know we can.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

THOSE Mommy-moments

Okay, I think all parents have those things they look back on and think "WHY did we make that choice for our child?" For me with Patrick, that was his entire kindergarten year.

More recently, it has been the surgery that we put him through last summer...a femoral osteotomy, the intention of which was to correct significant rotation in his right leg.

June 27th, 2007, 8 am

Initially, everything looked promising and seemed to have resolved his problem--what a wonderful thing it was to look at my boy with his toes pointed forward!! But...despite the best intentions of everyone involved, despite the therapy, despite his pretty good attitude...things just haven't worked out for him. A little more than a year later and he's still using a walker to hobble around. No more stealth mode for this boy-o. Rough year for him. Rough year for the family. All to the point where I'm staring down the face of one GIANT Mommy regret.... we go again. After realizing that not only has his recovery NOT met our expectations, but also his hip is collapsing around the plate, we are going to give surgery another go. This time, the surgeon will be fixing the plate put in last summer, lengthening his right hamstrings AND shortening his left leg to match the right one (currently a 3 inch difference, but hopefully only an inch or so once the plate is fixed and the hams are longer!). BIG surgery, smallish kid.

Thursday, August 14th, 2008 10 am

As a mom, I can only pray that this won't be another of those moments. I can pray that he continues to show the energy and enthusiasm post-op that he's showing this week as he looks forward to his surgery. I can pray for the surgeon's skill & wisdom. I can pray for my family--that the other kids will understand and help and will be patient while I tend to him during his recovery. And I will pray that somehow the purpose of all this will be revealed in His time...because right now, well, it's not overwhelmingly clear why this guy has soooooo much to deal with in his life.

Today, though, I think I will rejoice that he is here with us, despite the odds, despite the doctors and their dire predictions, despite the scariness of his babyhood MRIs. I will enjoy his excitement for the surgery and for the preparations. Can you believe this booger is THRILLED that his bedroom is moving to the dining room?

And I can thank God, rejoicing that you are all out there praying for my boy, my family, our surgeon and me. I covet your prayers, my friends...please keep us lifted up!