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Permalink 02:08:40 pm by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

Life is full of things I can't control. My poor little Pookie (as opposed to Mark, my big Pookie) spent the night at the hospital the other day after a week of not being able to keep down anything she ate due to a stomach bug. I was truly worried. As she got droopier and droopier, more and more tired and crabby and able to keep less and less down, I was reminded of the fact that while this sort of thing happens to me at work all the time, it's much more difficult to deal with it at home. Were my patient's blood pressure dropping, their urine output dwindling, and their faces getting sallow with dehydration, I'd just bump up their IV fluids, pop them on a vasopressor, and pump them full of anti-nausea med. At home, with my kid, I had none of these things. I felt dumber than a stump to be hysterically crying when she vomited up her stomach for the second time that day, just as I thought we were making headway on keeping things calm. I called my mother, still hysterically crying, and asked her if she wouldn't mind holding Amelia while I cleaned up and called the doc again. I'm not a hysterical crier when it comes to my kid. I think this was the first time, except for maybe when she was in-utero and we got some bad news about what the doctors thought they saw on an ultrasound. It was scary, I was overtired.

Fast forward a few days, and her dehydration has resolved with the help of some IV zantac, a couple of liters of IV fluid and electrolytes, and lots of cheerios, popsicles, and crackers. She is her old self again. But we left the hospital with worrisome labwork, things that may not even be related to her stomach bug, worries stirred up out of nowhere, courtesy of a week's worth of not feeling well and a happenstance panel of bloodwork that would not otherwise have been drawn. What wonders and what horrors can lurk inside our very own bodies, ambiguities of which we may never even be aware. In this instance, that one little elevated number can mean something serious or nothing at all, a reminder to me that nothing I hold dear is my own. My child is the property of God, now and forever, entrusted to me just for the more simple task of raising and feeding her. I can't even love her the way God does. I am barely a facsimile of love as it should be. I hold on tightly, yet loosely all the same.

My mother and a small group of friends of hers are my heroes. As mothers, they carry a unique burden of knowing their children are very sick, often (usually) with the incurable and sometimes with sicknesses that are unknown even to the foremost experts in the way our bodies work. Each has a different illness, each different struggles, but they share a common sadness of watching their kids struggle. If every parent cared for their children like some of these moms do, the world would be very different. In fact, if every parent treated their child's life as fragile, perhaps remembering that their child does not belong to them and that nothing in life is promised to be perfect and lasting, things might be different as well. I say this not to say that my baby is sick with anything like this, not to make any assumptions about the future. I wish everyone would look at life that way, not assuming they are entitled to perfection from their children, their husbands, their lives. Not assuming that happiness is a right in the life of a Christian. Not assuming that trials only happen to those with little faith. Realizing that we are not yet perfected and that we never will be in the here and now.

I hold on tightly and loosely all at once.

1 comment

Comment from: Crystal [Visitor] Email
CrystalMy thoughts and prayers go out for little Amelia. And it is so good to hear the voice of Cassie again.
07/22/10 @ 06:41
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I like to multi-task: wife, writer, nurse, Christian, ne'er do well. I do all with equal gusto.


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