Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Stay in Room 539

I knew he didn’t feel well when he wouldn’t stop crying. 
I knew he really didn’t feel well when he wouldn’t eat. 

Two weeks ago, I made an after-hours phone call to the pediatric center about our (then) 6-week old son. The nurse could hear his labored breathing over the phone and recommended I take him to the ER to be checked out. Cody was somewhere west of the Mississippi, so I quickly packed a diaper bag and dropped Caroline off at my parents; I thought I’d be back in a couple of hours. 

Despite a full – I’m talking standing room only – waiting room, the ER staff got him right into an exam room. 

That evening, and the days that followed, reiterated that God has a creative way of teaching. 

Be kind, for very person you encounter is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
Cyrus and I had only been in the exam room thirty minutes before I heard something I’ll never forget. A man and a woman screamed painfully and loudly for their mother. Over and over and over again. And then weeping, sobbing, mourning. That night, in the small room next to ours, a family lost their mother. From that moment I knew we could face anything the doctor was about to determine on our little boy. 

Hebrews 13:2:
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 
Four hours later Cyrus was admitted, and by default I was, too. We got into an actual inpatient room at 3:30 AM. Cyrus was finally asleep and I wanted so badly to join him. I was so surprised by how awake, friendly and active the nurses were. I guess had forgotten there is an entire species that works diligently and tirelessly while I am home sound asleep. I’m thankful for those folks who work off of a very different clock than I. When I was at my worst: worried, exhausted, and hungry (shocking, I know), these people made me feel at ease. And they brought me a 4:00 AM snack. I will never view nurses in the same way again, because they do so much more. 


Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
“This has got to be the loneliest place on earth, and still, they won’t leave us alone,” I thought to myself on the second night at Reid. For four days and three nights I only put Cyrus down if they had to change his IV, during the spinal tap or if I was in the bathroom. But even with his tiny body close, I’m not sure I’ve ever been so lonely. This experience offered a whole new perspective regarding those who spend much time in a hospital or those with sick children. There was constant beeping, checking, monitoring, waking, adjusting, and prodding, still I felt like we were a million miles from home or anyone we knew. I was a mere 25 minutes from home and husband. 

But on day three flowers arrived. 

A middle-aged lady brought flowers to our room on Friday. She said it was part of “Random Acts of Flowers” where strangers pay to have flowers randomly delivered in hospitals. Let me tell you: it was like being back on the farm in Economy and Christy Herr, our veterinarian, showing up with one of her beautiful, home-grown arrangements. It was then that the kindness dissolved the loneliness I’d felt while stuck in room 539 for (then) 64 hours.  

This was our view one evening from room 539

RSV, rhino virus and double ear infections kept us at the hospital for four days. He’s well on the mend now and growing wildly fast despite a few setbacks. 

Day Four: Over It. 

Before Cyrus was born I prayed every night for a healthy baby. After my prayers were answered I’m not sure I thanked God adequately. I sat awake one night in room 539 wondering: When was the last time I truly, tirelessly, wholeheartedly thanked God for two healthy children?

It reminds me of that question: What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday? 

Eight weeks in to life with a son, and I’ll never make that mistake again. I will also never pack a diaper bag with without a toothbrush and deodorant…but that is a column for another week. 

No comments:

Post a Comment