We don't mean to alarm you but.....
These are never words you want to hear when spoken by a medical professional in reference to your child. Such were the words I heard at the Emergency Room Wednesday evening as Jacob laid limp in my arms, skin pale as the thinnest paper, eyes half glazed.
The doctor, seated to my left in a crisp set of forest green hospital scrubs, spoke matter-of-factly as he outlined the tests they wanted to perform on Jacob. Because his fever had spiked to 104.5 and miniature convulsions shook his little body, he wanted to run a battery of tests including bloodwork, urine sample, xrays as well as get fluids in him ASAP.
It had already been quite a day and my body was feeling the effects of the stress. Keith had flown to Pittsburgh that morning as I drove like the wind to get back into town from a business trip to Atlanta. Jacob had been picked up from daycare by a good friend and had been vomiting and lethargic. No matter how fast you drive, you seem like you cannot get to your child quick enough when they are ill. Upon my arrival, Jacob proceeded to show me the color of the popsicle he had eaten by throwing up down the front of my shirt. I rushed him to Urgent Care and, after 30 minutes of waiting, a nurse came to the waiting room, took his vitals and asked me to take him to the NEAREST Emergency Room...nearest? My Momma-stress-meter jumped a couple notches as I tried to drive as safely, but as quickly as possible.
Now settled in the ER and trying to figure out how to keep a 7-year old entertained, update my husband in Pennsylvania as well as hold the limp biscuit of a child in my arms...I suddenly felt a bit overwhelmed. They had moved us into a large operating-type room so that they could "see better to work" and the cacaphony of buzzing, beeping, whizzing and whirring was a bit unsettling. On either side of us were trauma cases such as puncture wounds, dislocated shoulders, heart attacks... and, in the middle of it all was a hospital bed with a Mom cuddling a little feverish boy and another boy propped in a makeshift "chair bed" watching the Disney Channel. The contrast was glaring.
Throughout the evening, a team of nurses and doctors would poke, prod, and examine Jacob to get to the source of his fever. I could not have been more proud of my child. His arm taped securely to an immobilizing board, he would utter an occasional whimper but then drift off into another light sleep. Since he was resting in my arms, I took this rare moment to absorb the physical beauty of my child. His soft reddish blond hair slightly tussled from all the commotion, his long soft eyelashes seemed to stretch on to forever and the sweet pout of his perfect little lips...I was amazed at how serene he appeared while undergoing such a traumatic situation for someone his age.
As the hours wore on, I realized how lucky I was to be in that place. It made me acutely more sympathetic to parents of children with serious illnesses. It made me appreciative of the good health that my family is blessed with and how we have not had to endure any major medical crises of late.
But, more than that, it made me fall in love all over again with the two gentlemen whose company I got to share that evening. Both of my boys were troopers in their own right. One--a patient older brother whose curiosity of the scenes around him reminded me of myself at that age--and the other...a brave toddler clutching tightly to his Momma and a green teddy bear given to him by one of the nursing staff.
And, as I drove home around 11pm that night, I counted those blessings...each and every one...as two of the loves of my life dozed safe and sound in the back seat. I thanked God for sweet nurses and soft lighting and purple popsicles. I thanked Him for saving the lives of those on either side of the curtains around us and for the fluids that had slowly brought my child back to his normal self. But most of all, I thanked Him for giving me yet another day to be the Mommy of my two beautiful boys.
I am blessed indeed.