... but feeling so very thankful.
Last night at 10:30, I met up with an aquaintance in the hospital's lobby.
"What're you doing here, carrying your pillows around, so late?" she asked.
"I've been here since midnight, and needed some pillows to take the edge off those uncomfortable chairs. Max just had his appendix taken out ..." I explained.
"Is he OK? Had it ruptured?" she asked.
"He's fine. And the surgeon said he got it just in time, it was on the verge of exploding. What are you doing here? Everything OK with your kids?" I asked.
"It's my mom. She had a heart attack and a stroke 4 weeks ago. I've been here for hours every evening for over a month. And my husband's mom had a stroke 2 months ago. So while I'm here with my mom, he's in New West every night with his mom. Both of our dads died of cancer 2 years ago, so we have to find a home, or full-time home care for both of our moms. They aren't making things easy for us - they both refuse to go into a home..."
How lucky am I? My mom is getting better. My dad is not dead. And God provided us with great home care.
This afternoon, I picked up a hot beverage in the lobby before heading up to see Max. Another mom walked beside me, sipping her hot beverage.
"I've seen you in pediatrics these past few days. Do you have a child there?" she asked.
I looked at her, and recognized her as someone who had a daughter in a really nicely decorated private room across the hall from Max's. I also thought I recognized a look of desperation in her eyes.
"Yeah, my 17 year old son. He had surgery yesterday. He is appendixless now... How about you? Why is your child here?"
"My 15 year old daughter is battling anorexia," she said with sad eyes.
"Oh, how hard for you," I said. "I have a friend who was here before Christmas with her daughter for the same thing. How is your daughter doing?"
"We've been here for a month. And they've only arranged for her to meet a counsellor twice in the past 4 weeks. All we do is watch her eat. Or, rather, not eat."
"Do you think she's getting better? Do you have any hope that things are improving?"
"No, not yet. But what are our options?"
"Are you here everyday? All day?" I asked.
"I come everyday for a few hours. And my husband comes every evening for a few hours. But we have 3 other kids at home and we live in Ladner. So between us we spend 4 hours a day, just driving to the hospital. This is the only hospital that would take her. No one else has room for someone with severe eating disorders."
How lucky am I? Max is getting better. And the hospital is 4 minutes from my house.
Yep, I'm tired.
Yeah, the timing wasn't great ... I have SO much to do this week.
Uh, huh, this is another one of those times when it would have been awesome to have a husband to share the load with. ( I had none of 'those times' for 7 years, and now? In my eighth year of singleness, I have half a dozen of 'those times' in a row. What's with that?)
Yessireebob, having a child undergo emergency surgery changes the focus of one's life from 'but I wanted to go for a 20 minute walk today' to 'what can I bring you to make your hospital stay more tolerable?'
But I will not complain about any of it. Why?
Because he is my son. And I love him. He is an incredible kid. AMazInG. He has not been difficult through this whole adventure. He is still the easy-going, laid back child he's always been. He won't let me serve or help him. He hasn't said a word about pain. By the time I got there this morning, he had been up twice to go to the bathroom, not once asking the nurse to assist him.
Tonight he and I walked around the hospital. Then watched Platoon on my little personal DVD player set up on his lap, each of us wearing headphones. He was so calm and easy to be with. He is a joy. And I love him.
Three things I'm thankful for;
1. All this time in hospitals. God has a purpose for allowing me to spend so much time around doctors. Maybe he has one in mind He wants me to marry? (Trish - this is a joke.)
2. I am thankful that Max is recuperating, my mom is getting stronger and my dad is still around.
3. I am thankful that Clint found a guy who gave him his Yellow Fever shot today.
"I got that Yellow Fever shot an hour ago," Clint said, as we sat down to dinner. "They called this morning and said they could do it at the end of the day. But the address they gave me was to a fabric store. I thought I had the wrong place, but I went in anyway and asked it they knew of a doctor's office nearby. They said that a doctor had a room in the back, and showed me to it. He had a small room with a real hospital bed and a fridge. All his shot stuff was in the fridge. Apparently he is one of only 300 licensed travel doctors in Canada...
I passed out, or almost passed out, after he gave me the needle. I had to lay down on his bed for 15 minutes before he'd let me go."
After Clint falls asleep tonight I'm going to check his abdomen. I have a feeling that quack "doctor" put him under in order to harvest one of my kid's kidneys.