He was much more comfortable this time. After his other surgeries, he had been given Tylenlol and Morphine. It had been hard to stay ahead of the pain and keep it under control, but this time they had given him an epidural...yes, ladies it's the same one they give women in labor. It seemed to be getting the job done. Even through the asthesia he was able to smile at us.
The nurse pulled back the blanket to reveal the surgeon's handiwork. Christopher was sporting two new tubes. The G-tube that was installed in his stomach was draining saliva and bile into a bag. It was so nice that he didn't have to have that nasty NG tube down his nose anymore. The J-tube was installed into his small intestine, and in a few days we would be able to try to feed him through it.
|Here is a close up view of Christopher's new tubes.|
Christopher would be in the hospital for a week or two. He was assigned to a two bed room. Our roommate this time was the most adorable baby boy. He was about 7 or 8 months old, and he had these huge puppy dog eyes that would twinkle and glimmer when he laughed. That laugh of his was infectious, along with his sweet smile that seemed to fill up his whole face. His curly brown hair looked soft, and it framed his angelic face perfectly.
His mom was sitting in the rocking chair holding her cute little bundle tightly to herself. She rocked him back and forth as if to comfort them both. As she did, she spoke to him in reassuring tones, and I noticed that she never called him by his first name. She just referred to him as "Pooh." In fact I never did find out what his real name was. She just called him "Pooh," and so did the nurses.
Little Pooh was in the hospital for kidney failure. He was on dialysis and in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Despite his grave condition, he was nothing but smiles. His mother, on the other hand, was clearly in the midst of extreme anxiety and internal conflict. She would often pace the floor and litterally wring her hands with ...guilt. She was filled from head to toe with guilt and remorse, and she spent considerable energy trying to convince herself and everyone around her that Pooh's condition had nothing to do with her...drug use.
Pooh was under the care of the nurses and Child Protective Services. His mother was allowed to visit, but she was not allowed to take Pooh home. On the days she would visit she would rock Pooh in the rocking chair and explain to me that they had it all wrong. She insisted that she had never used illegal drugs when she was pregnant, and that she couldn't figure out why they had taken her baby away from her in the first place. She even told me that she wasn't sure that Pooh was really sick at all. She would point to his big smile as evidence that he was really okay.
If the nurses were in our room, she would argue with them about Pooh's condition and her drug use. She wanted to go home, and she wanted to take little Pooh with her. The nurses would remind her that Pooh was very sick, and that she would have to go through rehab before the courts would even consider reuniting them under the same roof again.
After the nurses left to attend to their other patients, Pooh's mom would continue to argue her innocense. Holding him close, she promised him that he was going to be okay, and that she would never do anything to hurt him. With moist eyes she would tell her little Pooh that she didn't do this to him. She loved him, and they were going to be together again.
It was difficult to watch this internal drama playing out in front of me. Over and over again she would ask for confirmation. She wanted me to believe her. She wanted the nurses to believe her, and most of all she wanted little Pooh to believe her. The problem was that she didn't believe it herself. She knew the nurses were right. Her drug use had damaged Pooh's kidneys, and as she watched her child suffer for her weakness she was overcome with grief. In between gutwrenching sobs she begged for her child's forgiveness, but the only thing that would bring mother and baby back together again was rehab.
I have always assumed that she must have finally decided to enter rehab because I never saw her again. I don't know if little Pooh ever got his kidney transplant because we were moved to another room. Even though I asked, the nurses weren't allowed to tell me what happend to Pooh (confidentiallity laws).
I have often thought of little Pooh and his mom. I hope they both got the help they needed and were able to be mother and child again under the same roof. Hopefully the allure of motherhood was stronger than the allure of drug addiction. In my heart I like to think they made it. After all, who could resist those twinkling eyes and that great big smile?
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: