|Psalm34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.|
I knew things were bad when I saw the nurses crying. It was nearly midnight, and a new crew had come on board. These night nurses knew us. They had taken care of Christopher many times before. Their tear filled eyes made my heart break even more for Christopher. It was clear that even at his tender age, he had made an impact on those around him.
The problems with the CT continued until finally the attending physician arrived. He looked at the pictures we had already taken, and told everyone that the test was over. The CT pictures really didn't tell him what was wrong, but it was very obvious that there was a problem, a BIG one.
They wheeled Christopher out into the hall. My mom and sister were waiting for us. They had looks of concern and fear on their faces. They had heard all of the yelling but had no idea what had been going on. I told them that I would explain later. We followed the doctors down the hall toward the surgical suites. They would do an exploratory surgery and try to find out what was wrong.
Before he went in to do the surgery, the surgeon wanted to speak with me. I met with him in the hallway outside the operating room. He explained that this was an exploratory surgery which meant that he would open Christopher up and try to figure out what was wrong. The rest of the surgery would depend on what he found once he was in there. He said that Christopher's situation was very dire. He hadn't tolerated the CT very well, so it was unclear how he would do with this surgery.
That sounded like a lot of "unknowns" to me. It made me very uncomfortable and absolutely petrified. I had an overwhelming sense that Christopher's life was completely out of my hands. I had done all that I could do, and now it was up to the doctor. I was screaming inside my head asking God to guide this man's hands.
The surgeon continued. He told me that he didn't know how long the surgery would take, but that he would send someone to update us periodically. Then he uttered the words that NO MOTHER ever wants to hear. He said to say my "goodbyes" because he didn't know if Christopher would survive the surgery.
I had a very hard time getting my brain to process those words. Was he saying that Christopher might die? I let his words soak in for a moment. Throughout all of this I guess I had never really thought Christopher would die. I guess I thought somebody would help him. Somebody would figure things out, and he would get better. I had NEVER allowed myself to even think such a thought, and now here was this surgeon telling me to prepare myself for the worst. I knew he meant it. He was serious. It was written all over his face.
I looked down at Christopher. He was so small in his big metal hospital crib. He was quiet and still. The sedation had done its job. He seemed almost peaceful. Would this be the last time I would ever see my son alive? A thought flashed through my mind. I had been selfish. Since all the problems began, my only thought was figuring out a way to save him. Maybe now I had to figure out a way to let him go.
I bent down and kissed him, stroked his hair, and hugged him until the doctors made me stop. I wanted to hold him just one more time, but there was no time left. Just one more kiss. I took in a deep breath. Babies have such a sweet smell, especially my baby. My eyes scanned every inch of him trying to memorize everything about him just in case...
They were telling me it was time to go. I felt around in my pocket. I had a tiny angel figurine that I had been carrying around. I put it next to my son's head, kissed him goodbye, and watched them roll him into the operating room.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: