Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Getting A Grip

"They're absolutely right, but when its your baby, perspective on how much worse it could be is sometimes hard to grip on."

When I typed that sentence in a recent post, I grimaced. Its the truth, but I feared that someone would read that who had a kid that was truly, gravely ill would consider me inconsiderate or self-absorbed. I was well aware that children live each day with their mortality as their only reality. And its their parents and their family's reality as well. A son with some respiratory distress really pales in comparison, no matter how much I fret about it.

Before today, I understood this but maybe I didn't "get" it. We spent four hours this morning riding elevators with a naked baby swaddled in a fluffy blanket, visiting various medical professionals, hoping that at least one of them could give us the picture into our son's reality. A couple of electrodes and x-rays later, we left that hospital with a fist full of new prescriptions and and, perhaps, at least a clue about what might be going on. Unfortunately, its going to take at least another invasive scope, maybe an overnight sleep study and, possibly, even a surgery to truly get to the bottom of all of this. But we left that children's hospital with something that not every parent has the privilege of. More or less, a guarantee from a medical expert that, ultimately, our son would be okay.

Sitting in the various waiting rooms, patiently waiting our turn, thankful the little girl was not in tow, we witnessed parents wheeling their children into offices with exhaustion etched on their faces. Teenaged boys wearing masks to protect their immunity to any and all infections. Kids that were "embarassing"...making rude noises, awkward shouts, and, just generally, making a scene wherever they went. These parents live with this every day. They've had to make peace with the stares, the questioning glances, and the blatant disrespect for the child whom they love.

Today, we got a few more pieces to our son's "puzzle", and they confirmed, as we've always known, he's still a scrumptious bowling ball of a boy for whom we need not worry long term. He's still likely to be on a first name basis with our pharmacist and a regular in the pediatrician's office, at least for the time being. But, tonight, when I recount the day's blessings, his life and longevity will be at the top of list, and I'm likely to add a rare request. Tonight I'll pray for peace and comfort for those families whom we encountered whose prognosis could not be as favorable.

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