This past week will go down as one of the more exhausting, frustrating weeks of my life. Watching Turkey-Man be so miserable was heartbreaking. Fighting with him every 15 minutes while he was awake to drink water so we could go home was exasperating. However, this past week will also go down as one of the most prayerful weeks as well.
Yes, I did a lot of praying for our specific circumstance. Certainly, from several angles I wanted it to resolve. However, that was not the bulk of my prayers. I witnessed some of the most painful circumstances and knew how fortunate I really was.
The second day we were there I watched as a mom ushered her two small children out of her toddler son’s room. She looked overwhelmed and upset as she had to turn her back on her toddler’s cries for her as she left to attend to her other children. The little boy screamed for hours for “Mama”. It was gut-wrenching to listen to. So badly I wanted to go into his room and rock him until his anxiety was soothed.
I prayed for both she and the child. As a mother I can’t imagine how difficult it had to be to leave one child behind so she could take care of the other two. I knew I was very lucky to have the support system that we have to take care of Little-Flower while I was unable to.
Our room was only a couple of doors down from the entrance into the Pediatric ICU. I witnessed children being brought in, some on ventilators while their family trailed behind the staff. Here I sat stressed out about getting fluids down my child while they worried about getting oxygen into theirs.
Each time I got off the elevator to return to my son’s room I would see the sign pointing patients and families to the oncology unit and know that there are families struggling through potentially life-threatening crises that would not be resolving in the next 1-2 weeks like mine would.
Yesterday I was getting on the elevator to return back to the ped’s unit with two others. Realizing we were all headed to the same floor one a woman said “Sick baby.” I chimed in, “Yup, me too.” The man in there with us was holding a stuffed animal and looked up just long enough to whisper, “I wish I was just here with a sick child.” I am not sure what he was dealing with, but whatever it was he looked completely grief-stricken.
As I got a glance of each of these situations I found myself praying. The worries that these families were struggling with made our problems getting fluids into Turkey-Man seem miniscule. It helped me keep a good perspective of the generally frustrating, tiring, and yet, trivial situation we were dealing with.
Along with the prayers of healing and support for each of these families, I offered up ones of gratitude. The length of time it was going to take for our situation to improve was going to be measured in days. I have a wonderful support system to get us through it. We are so fortunate to be only dealing with a sick child. Life could be so much worse!