It was the closest thing I was going to get to a vacation. It helped to pass the time and provided an escape from the awful reality of Christopher's hospital room. I had to do something to cope with what was going on around me. The situation with my own child was bad enough, but you only had to look to the next bed to see that things could be much worse. I was surrounded by suffering, sick children. Kids with cancer, heart disease, and every kind of horrible thing you can think of were all around me. They were in pain. They were scared. Some couldn't be cured. They were going to die. I decided that I could be consumed by the nightmare all around me, or I could escape to a tropical island daydream. I chose to grab my daydream beach towel, put on my daydream swimsuit and flip flops, and hit the beach. Where did I put my sunscreen?
Another thing I did to deal with life (and death) in the hospital was read. I read tons of magazines, newspapers, and books. My mom is an avid reader, and she would bring me all kinds of books to help pass the time. Mysteries were my favorite. Mary Higgins Clark became my best friend. I think I read every mystery story she ever wrote as I sat there trying to pretend that the tragedy all around me really wasn't happening. I kept telling myself to keep reading. Keep reading. Don't look up, or reality will smack you in the face.
|Our hotel in Maui|
I often found myself staring out the window at all the people going by. Some were walking along and drinking their coffee from white Starbucks cups with the familiar green logo on it. Some were driving their cars. I watched the traffic and wondered where they were going. Life was happening. People were going places and making plans, but I felt stuck. In the hospital it felt like life was standing still. Even with all the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital, I felt isolated and alone. I felt jealous. I longed for the normal day to day stuff of life.
The feeding tube started screaming it's relentless beeping sound again demanding attention from the nurse. She came in, fixed the problem, and started the machine up again. That was reality. That was our new reality, tubes and beeping machines. The whooshing sound of the formula being delivered into Christopher's intestines made me wonder. Is this going to work? Is he finally going to get better? Is this the last of it, or is some other problem going to present itself? Only time would tell. Meanwhile, it was time to get back to my daydream beach and read a good book.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:
|Christopher on our "real" Maui vacation.|
|Mike and LeAnne|
|Michael, Ryan, and Christopher|