|Where's the sun?|
I tried to tell myself that this time it was going to be different. The bad thing, the horrible complication, was not going to happen this time. I tried to remind myself that things were going "right." His incision was healing (VERY slowly, but it was healing), he could handle bathroom issues on his own, the infection was under control, his fever was down, and he was well enough to start the tube feedings again. Come on, LeAnne! Look for the positive! Even in my own head I sounded like the worst coach in the history of coaches. I was having a hard time "buying" my own pep talk.
I could have continued to argue back and forth with myself about what may or may not happen, but it really didn't matter anyway. I didn't have any control over what was going to happen, and worrying about it wasn't going to make a bit of difference anyway.
The lack of control was a major issue for me, and with one glance around the room I could see that I was not alone in that. As a parent you want to protect your kids, fix things when they need "fixin," and raise happy, well-adjusted kids. When your child is being raised in the hospital the problem is that you can't do any of those things. You don't have control over even the simple things much less the really big important issues like protecting your child from pain and suffering. You try to find control anywhere you can get it. This can take on many different forms.
For example I tried to maintain some sense of control by "hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst." I had become so accustomed to things going wrong, so I would grill the doctors and nurses about every possible bad outcome in the hopes of heading it off at the pass. I wanted to be prepared for any and all complications. I wanted detailed plans for every possible disaster. The problem was that medicine is not an exact science. Some things are just not predictable, especially in Christopher's case. Christopher always seemed to get that complication that "nobody has ever seen before" or that "almost nobody ever gets." All my research, questions, and plans always seemed to fall short. I was left feeling frustrated and upset.
I watched other parents try to find ways to control their unfortunate circumstances too. One mom especially comes to mind. She was very young and was raising her daughter on her own. Her daughter (about a year and half old) had a congenital disorder called Spina Bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down. They were "regulars" at the hospital. I had seen them many times before. The way she tried to find control was by taking her daughter's temperature incessantly. She would take it over and over again every 10 or 15 minutes or so. Then she would report her "findings" to the nurse. She didn't trust the thermometers at the hospital, so she had a ready supply of them in her purse. She must have had at least 4 or 5 thermometers that she had brought from home.
I felt so sorry for her. I guess she just didn't know what else to do. She wanted to feel like she was doing something to help her daughter, and this was apparently the one thing she thought she could do. I suppose it gave her some sense of control to think that she was protecting her daughter from fever. If her daughter was going to get a temperature, she was definitely going to be the first one to know about it.
It was all a facade of control anyway. I didn't have any control. She didn't have any control. Even the doctors didn't have any control. The lesson here was to do the things that were within our power to do, and let God do the rest. The author of the Serenity Prayer said it best...
As for worry??? It's difficult to avoid it, but it doesn't help, and it doesn't have the power to change anything one way or another. In the Bible, Matthew spoke truth to this issue when he said...
Matthew 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
The feeding machine was humming its' familiar whooshing noise again. Pedialyte was slowly being delivered, and Christopher seemed to be tolerating it. It was slow, but it represented progress.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: