Posted by: alainnneart | July 7, 2009

Returning to normal routines.

Back to work I went today, after a week of vomiting, fevers, changing of clothes, sheets, pixar movies and ice pops.  SC has recovered from Strep throat.  I am ecstatic.  Although it wasn’t a vacation, the week away from the constant sense of death was enlightening.

I returned to work refreshed.  My old routine, so stale and stagnant, seemed new and fresh.  I greet the ward with new eyes, new smiles, and less of a burned out feeling.  I remember why I work where I do.

The one thing I can say that SC being sick has taught me is that the parent’s who come into the hospital are amazingly strong.  They have a beautiful strength that I feel that I cannot compare to.

I sat up at night, watching SC toss and turn in restless dreams.  I hauled out of bed when I heard his little voice call me over the baby monitors, so happy I didn’t get rid of so many years ago, to stumble through the dark house to his room to hold him as he began to vomit.  I held him close on the rocker, so many hours, until his fever would break.  But SC was well within a few days, thanks to penicillin.

There are these moms who bring their children in and don’t bat an eye when the IV gets put into their children’s arms.  They look tired, as they pull out Harry Potter to read to their child as they lean back into the armchair and close their eyes.  The bags under the mom’s eyes show that their have been more sleepless nights then I can imagine, the sallow skin of staying inside too long, less sun exposure then other mom’s I see walking around the city with their blond hair and perfect tans.  I see them dump sugar after sugar into the weak coffee from the cafeteria in order to be awake, to be present, while their child waits and sleeps.  I see in their eyes, no matter what is said, hope in the deepest parts of their pupils.

I cannot fathom having a terminal child.  I cannot go there.  If I even try to place myself in the situation of these parents, try to imagine how to deliver the news, as I would want to hear it, my brain shuts off.  I cannot speak it.  I cannot fathom it.  and I can’t tell them there is no hope.  I cannot tell them that their routines, constant and unending, are for not.  I cannot do that to anyone.

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Responses

  1. I appreciate that. I assume you do not mean when death is imminent.

    My dad went into the hospital on a Wednesday, found out he had AML on Friday (and was given 6 weeks to live), and was gone Monday morning. When I asked the nurse (before I went home that morning for a nap and a shower after being there for more than 24 hours) “Is he DYING??” and she said, “No one can say for sure when someone is going to go,” I wish she had said, “Yes, he is.” I don’t regret not being there for his sake (we had made amends long before), but I missed out on what I am told was a beautiful experience; his gentle passing. I just wish I had witnessed it. Now, I know the clear signs. I hope I never have to apply that knowledge! 🙂

  2. I have noted that many people who have passed actually wait until their loved ones leave before passing because they didn’t want to have to have them witness that.

    Not sure if it’s a comfort, but I thought I would tell you.

  3. there’s always hope.

    if not in this world..then in the next…but there is always hope.

  4. Mrs. It’s not nearly as fun to witness as folks think. peaceful or not. most people would rather not have those memories….trust me girl.

  5. MM- oh I know. I have many memories I wish I didn’t in relation to the subject. sigh.


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