Thursday, May 31, 2012
When Illness Hits the Home
An hour later, she started screaming in agony and was doubled over in pain, clutching her stomach. I responded as any mother would respond and just held her while she screamed. Then she instantly stopped screaming, looked at me and smiled, then closed her eyes and was fast asleep. So I rocked and she slept. Then she woke, looked up, tried to grab at something that was not in the air, then looked at me and started screaming again, "It hurts, take the pain away!" Then with HUGE eyes of fear, she screams, "MOMMY, where are you? MOMMY why did you leave? I NEED you!" Imagine my heart being ripped right out of my chest as I am holding my darling 4 year old, and she has no idea that I am cradling her. Alan comes rushing in from the other room, I start to cry. He takes her, calms her. She hears his voice, and I go upstairs and cry. Everything inside of me says, "take her to the emergency room." I get ready while Alan tries to get her to sip a little more. She screams in pain again, clutching her stomach, and then it happens again. Only this time, it is daddy holding her. She doesn't know he is there, she screams for him. He holds her, and I look in his eyes and see the same fear that I feel. I get my shoes on; she is still in pajamas and has no shoes. I buckle her into her booster seat, and we drive the 5 minutes to the hospital. The emergency room doc confirms that she needs fluids, but they also need to take labs. They bring in fluid, they bring in an IV. She gets hysterical again and starts screaming right in my face. "Where is my mommy?! Why did you take my mommy away from me?!" I cry, hold her tight, and say, "Mommy is here, mommy is here." She closes her eyes and says, "Jesus make me feel better." Then she goes to sleep. When she wakes up, she knows me, she has questions. "Will that be in my arm forever mommy?" "Can I go home now?" The pediatric doctor comes in with her labs results. She is severely dehydrated, sugar is low, potassium is low, calcium is low, and she needs to stay overnight. The transfer us from the ER room to a standard hospital room where she gets to control the bed and the TV. We watch a Disney movie while we wait for daddy and the other kids to come visit. They bring us our tooth brushes, jammies, changes of clothes, books, coloring books, and crayons. When they leave, we go to sleep. She says, "Mommy stay right next to me please." So I lay next to her in the tiny hospital bed and try to sleep but simply cannot. The nurses come in a check on her throughout the night. They check vitals and change her IV bag. In the morning, she is not better. She cannot walk; she cannot eat. The doctor says we will have to stay another day. Grandma comes to visit with books, movies, and games. The doctor returns in the afternoon, and says Kalli is better. But she still won't eat. Grandma brings yogurt from home, and Kalli eats it which gives us the go ahead to go home. After 9 bags of fluid, and a little food that stayed in her belly, they let us go home. She was on the mend.
Now, over a month later, no one would even guess that she was so sick. Children recover so well, but I have to say that I have not. I can still hear her screams; I can still see her pale, frail body lying next to me. I can still remember what it felt like to carry her to the bathroom because she could not walk. These are the times when my mothering is stretched, and I wonder where the strength is going to come from. Then it's just there, and I do what is natural, and we get through it. But now it is only a memory, and I hold her a little closer and give thanks for good health.