Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Mother's Hurt

As I sat catching up on one of my favorite blogs, I found myself with tears streaming down my face over a post where she takes her daughter to the ER. Instantly I could recall the fear that encompassed me as I listened to my infant son screaming as the staff took a fluid sample in the ajoining room. He was only weeks old with a bad fever and they wanted to check for spinal meningitis. When I was allowed back in the room, he was still crying and now had a shunt in the top of his scalp so they could run an IV.

It was Friday night and we were at one of those smaller hospital centers. They put us in an ambulance and transported us to the children's hospital. I was scared and hurting all over for my baby. I couldn't even hold him because he had to be strapped in his carseat. When we checked in it was obvious the staff here was very concerned for their little charges. They were also good at reassuring the parents. Our son was put on an IV with anti-biotics "just in case." He looked so horrible with the long tube sticking out of his head.

It was a long week-end of no answers, tests, little sleep, and aching. I ached for my child, for the stories of the children around him, the children who may spend weeks or months before they go home, if they go home. I ached for all the mothers who ever took their child to a hospital and cried for all those who watched their children suffer because they couldn't take their children anywhere for help.

Monday morning as we waited for the doctor I noticed a swelling starting on my son's head where his IV went in. I was concerned so hit the nurse call button. It took awhile for them to respond. I am not sure if they were busy, or sick of me. By the time the nurse came I was in near panic. The swelling now covered almost half the top of his little head! The nurse calmly reassured me the vein holding the needle has just burst so the fluid was just pooling under the skin. (A vein burst and this is suppose to be reassuring?!?!) She removed all the IV stuff explaining the body would eventually absorb the excess fluid. I was in tears. She was kind enough to wait on another IV, "since the doctor will be here any minute. Then we can see what he wants to do." The doctor came in and casually informed us they could find nothing wrong with our son. He probably had just had a viral infection and had been held over the weekend for observation since no doctor could make it around to see him and discharge us. Oops.

I was so relieved my baby was okay it out weighed my anger. I just kept thinking how blessed I was my baby was okay, my baby was going home, my baby would grow up to be healthy and normal as far as fore-seeable. I held him a long time. Love can hurt so much sometimes. I had felt so vunerable, so weak and naked because there was nothing I could to make him all better.

Since then I have learned I can make the calls about what I allow to happen to my child. Unless it is immediately life and death, it is worth taking some time to find out some information before allowing tests or treatments. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. It is also reassuring.

I also switched to a much better pediatrician who takes time to answer all my questions, explain everything, goes out of his way to check on and follow up on my kids. He also has a daughter, so he knows the fear and aching because he is also a Daddy.

Hopefully, you will never find yourself in the sterile white rooms praying your child will be ok. But if you do, know there are hundreds, probably thousands, of mothers also praying for you and your little one, probably in that very moment. Our hearts and love are with you.

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