Friday, January 21, 2011

January 21 in Retrospect

Today was a day.
I am exhausted.
Snow day 2 this week, but only for Little.  Bubba and KB had late start which means they were at school for 2 hours.
Two hours goes by quickly; much more quickly than you would think.

The afternoon was spent at Children's Hospital.  I hate going to Children's Hospital but Little has a wart on her hand that just keeps getting bigger.  Dr. Dave has frozen that puppy three times and it lives on.  Apparently it was time to call in the big guns and we were sent to a doctor (of dermatology) at Children's who "happens" to attend our church! I packed a bag with extra pull-up, wipes, portable DVD player, 2 dvds, 2 Leapsters, a book for me, and a bottle of Prozac (just kidding - about the Prozac).  KB packed her own bag - a small pink purse with three baby dolls inside.

I gave the kids a pep talk before getting out of the van.  I had already heard, "Mom, are you going to find a parking space?" and "We already saw a kangaroo!" and I was more than nervous about how smoothly the afternoon was (not) going to be.  I opened the van door, looked at the three little people staring back at me and said, "Kicklighter children, we are entering a hospital.  Some people here are sad and some are very sick.  Some people are happy, like us, but those people need to be kind to the sad and hurting people.  SO we are going to walk and we are going to talk quietly.  You may look at the train and many other things to look at but STAY WITH MAMA and WALK! Everybody understand?"  Once I got a "yes, mama" from each child, they were allowed to jump down from the van and we walked to the elevator.

The walk inside was wonderfully uneventful.  A man was standing on a ladder and working on the train so that  was a bit disappointing.  The office we were going to was down the first hall on the left, which left little time for anyone to get in trouble and not much space for running.  It did help that I kept speaking a low and steady  stream of "walk. walk.  walk.  walk."

I lost the kids when we walked into the waiting room.  Seriously - Franny's Feet on two televisions, two video games set up in opposite corners of the room, magnetic tables, games, and a fish tank the size of our bathroom; it was an amusement park for children with problem skin.  As I sat down and started to look around I got the distinct feeling that I had been in that room before.  I counted my children and then watched the lady behind the registration desk being a creep to the mother signing in.  I recognized that unkindness and her face.  Wait a minute. . .

I walked up to the counter and asked a lady, "Is this also the waiting room for NEUROLOGY?" Yep.  And today was Jan. 21.  I was thinking that it was about 6 years ago that we heard from this office.  Honey confirmed that it was exactly 6 years ago today that someone from that very office called to tell us that something in our daughter's brain didn't grow.  I watched Little running walking through the room looking at fish, talking to strangers, playing magnets with Bubba and thought how weird it was to be back in this room 6 years later with the little girl they cared so little about.  They said there was no guarantee she would talk, walk, read - no guarantees that she would be anything. I remember thinking, on that day six years ago, that I couldn't be sadder; that surely the nurse was an idiot and she forgot to read me the page about what to do next.

My thoughts were interrupted by a nurse calling out "Little" and I rounded everyone up and instructed, "Follow the lady in the red pants."  Unlike our visit 6 years ago, today's visit was quick and smooth.  There was a little pain (kinda encouraging to see Little's arm jerk when she felt the liquid nitrogen on her skin) but overall the prognosis was encouraging.  There were even lollipops for everyone.

Ooooh - and we also found out the name for what goes on with Little's hair.  Yep, it has a name.  I can't remember it right now and my purse is downstairs so I will have to tell you later, but the description is basically that her hair isn't anchored.  There is nothing one can do about it and it does tend to get better with age.  It's not connected with anything (syndrome or otherwise) and is not as uncommon as one might think.

As we followed the purple arrows to the waiting room, I told the kids that they did such a good job at the doctor.  I was so thankful for how well they did.  Little's echolalia kicked up and all the way out of the office she said, "I did really well.  I did such a good job.  I did really well."  I'm glad I'm her mommy.

The day continued with a trip downstairs to radiology.  I had the "bright" idea that I would get copies of every one's MRIs while we were there.  (You have to sign release forms and it is hard to plan a trip down there to sign a piece of paper.  Since we were already there. . .)  The waiting room for imaging is awesome - paid for by the Cardinals.  There is a MONSTER huge baseball bat, the light fixtures are baseballs, etc.  The kids went to check it all out while I went to the counter to fill out paper work.

When I finished and went around the glass wall to get the kids, I found them gathered around a stroller.  In the stroller lay a baby who looked to be 9 months old.  He was wearing braces on both feet and was laying very still.  My sweet and special children were peeking in at him and saying hi.  Little said, "Hey cute baby." and Bubba said, "Hey, baby."  The young mom smiled at them and stroked her little boys head.  I gathered up the kids and ushered them out.  Quickly.  I was afraid to stand there a moment longer.  I'd sat in that chair too and I wondered if that mom was scared like I was.  I wondered if she was heart broken or about to have her heart broken.  I knew we had to leave or I would grab her and hug her (and you can get in trouble for things like that nowadays) and tell her that it might not always be this way.  Let her know that she might find herself waking up one day, maybe 6 years down the road, to be amazed by what that little boy was doing.  And I knew I would cry. . . was going to cry. . . so I left.  I barely made it to the door before the tears came.  I hate going to Children's Hospital.  If it were not for:
13"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  15My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  16Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."  Psalm 139: 13-16
12"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. . .21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,. . . " 1 Cor. 12:12, 21-22


Catherine said...

What a post, Becky. I was walking through that day with you, emotionally, right to the end of the story. No wonder you were exhausted at the end.

I wish the world could read this post.

Debbie said...

It is good to be reminded that what IS now, won't ALWAYS be. I imagine your sweet children were an encouragement to that mommy, without you having to say a thing. I hope your weekend melts some snow!

Rebecca Brown said...

I simply love you and am thankful to God he has given you his Spirit and eyes to see beyond what is right in front of you. And that you share it with us.

Laura said...

Wow, LOVE this post sweet Becky. Thanks for gifting us with a glimpse into your world.

Bill said...

Dear Becky,
What a beautiful, insightful well written essay. Childrens' hospitals are a dreadful reminder of the Fall, yet also a glimpse of the grace and hope of the Day when there will be no more disease, particularly in the least of these.
By the way, I've seen that same clerk here at Children's in Birmingham. God help them...
Bill Whitaker

amy said...

tears. love you.

Amy Mac said...

As ever, you are my hero

Nick, Annie, Aiden, Sophie, Clip and Martin said...

I really loved this post, too, and loved the glimpse into your life. You really bless others with your perspective! -- And I agree that your children probably were a blessing to the mama in the waiting room....

Marcie said...

Thanks, friend!

annaj said...

you're a very special person.