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.