Perspective

Brady fractured his leg on Wednesday night at 6pm…  The cast wasn’t put on until about 4pm on Thursday.  The waiting game between those two time frames was brutal, especially since nurses continued to tell us that there was no guarantee they’d be able to squeeze him in that day.  The realization that a cast might not be put on until Friday was almost too much to stand.

We were told that the procedure had to take place in an operating room, as Brady would have to be asleep for the cast to be done.  So no food or drink for him until afterward.

As I suspected, Brady woke up that morning, looked around the hospital room in confusion, and then asked for a “Tumi.”  (His word for “smoothie”).  I nodded and said, “Okay!  In a few minutes.  We just need a doctor to fix your boo boo.”

An hour later, he was asking for “juice” and “gween popsicles”.  The asking turned to begging.

“Pwease, Mama.”

“I sorry,” he said at one point.  (Bah, I couldn’t handle it).

It stabbed me in the heart every time.  His lips were dry.  He’d just gotten over a fever and was obviously very thirsty.  And here I was denying him the one thing that would make him a bit more comfortable.  (I mean, on top of this, he was lying in the bed with a broken leg that had yet to be placed in a protective cast).

All they were giving him for pain meds was Tylenol every 6 hours.  When I asked for a higher dose or something stronger, a doctor refused my request.

By noon, Brady was begging and crying every ten minutes (I’m not exaggerating at all) for a popsicle, milk or juice.  The nurses decided to give him an IV, but they missed both times.  So the end result was a frightened, dehydrated toddler who had been stuck with a needle twice.  They tried again an hour later, and I had to hold him down while he begged, “Mama, all done!  Mama, all done!”

A nurse matter-of-factly said, “Well, he’s not too dehydrated, because he can still cry tears.”  I wanted to slap her.

They were successful that time in getting the IV into his little hand.  But it was one of several times that day that I just broke down and cried.  I couldn’t bear it.  I couldn’t watch it anymore.  But I couldn’t make it all better, like I was supposed to be able to do.

It was around that point that I had to leave the room, because I didn’t want my sobs to scare Brady.  One of the nurses (an amazing woman who I absolutely loved) followed me and directed me to a play room not far away.  “Take a few minutes off to just breathe,” she whispered to me, “and I’ll call the doctors again to see if there’s an update as to when they’ll take Brady.”

It was in the playroom that I met another mom.  She was sitting on one of the couches while her little boy – a handsome red head – played with blocks.  She made sure that I was okay, and we exchanged small-talk.  It came out that her little boy had been diagnosed with leukemia the week before and was going to have to come back to the hospital twice a week for chemo.

I was floored.  You see families on television talking about how cancer has shattered the normal lives of their children, but I’ve honestly never spoken to a mom facing it.  Her strength and resolve and hope inspired me.  But at the same time, my heart broke in two.  For her and for her child.

It was one of several times that I came face-to-face with the ugliness that sometimes plagues the lives of families.  I overheard a doctor talking with another physician, warning him that a 17 year old patient didn’t yet know he had cancer.  I heard a father talking on the phone, describing the condition of his teenage son who had been nearly killed in a devastating car accident.  I saw a teenage girl who was missing an eye and hooked up to a bag of chemo.

It didn’t make seeing Brady suffer any easier.  Not at all.   But it reminded me that I should count my blessings,because in six weeks Brady’s Spica cast will come off.  And then he will be able to run and play again (after a bit of exercise and potentially physical therapy).  His struggle will be a long one for him, because he doesn’t understand what’s happening.  But he’s not fighting for his life.

We are blessed!

I cried when they finally wheeled Brady’s little body into the operating room, and I had to sit behind in the waiting room.  I cried when I walked into recovery, and he looked up at me with pale face and lips.  I cried when the nurse offered him a popsicle (the popsicle he had been waiting for all day), and he replied, “Okay, let’s do it!”

I cried when I saw the restrictive, Spica cast that he will be forced to wear for 6 long weeks.

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I cried a LOT that day!

But staying in that hospital did put everything into perspective for me.  And it has filled me with a renewed thankfulness for the blessings I have… and a greater determination to fiercely pray for those who are facing the unimaginable.

Six weeks is a long time for a little boy to not be able to walk or sit up.  (And it’s a long time for a mama to deal with caring for a toddler in a Spica cast, although more on that lovely green monster in a blog post later on).  🙂  But I will help him take this a day at a time.  And we’ll all get through this together!

 

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16 thoughts on “Perspective”

    1. Yes, life can be very painful at times (and I know that there are so many suffering much more). We’ve definitely been finding strength and peace in our faith and knowing that God is holding us!
      Thank you SO much for those prayers!!! We definitely need them right now.

    1. Can you imagine if we had been forced to wait an additional day for the cast? I couldn’t believe it! The hospital was incredibly short-staffed and filled with people waiting for care. And since Brady’s injury wasn’t life-threatening, he kept being moved to the bottom of the list. It was horrible!
      Thank you for your prayers!
      And yes, Curious the George has been playing on a continuous loop so far. 😉

  1. This post and the one about how the boo boo happened, both had me crying thinking about how difficult the situation must have been for everyone. You are such a good mama! Stay strong and know that your family has so many prayers being sent up for you!

  2. This made me cry (in front of the entire orthodontist’s office). Being a mom is so hard, and those moments when our littles rely on us to make things right again–as we so often do–but cannot…no words for how heart-wrenching that feels. Hugs to you and prayers for your continued strength. Thank you so much for sharing. Today I have perspective–and a grateful heart. xo

    1. Someone once told me that having children is like having a piece of your heart outside of your body. And when your child hurts, you hurt too. It’s so true. Being a mom and being strong when your little one hurts takes some of the toughest strength out there. There are moments when I think, “Wow, I don’t think I’m strong enough for this.” But then I realize that there’s no one I’d rather have watch over my little guy. I do want to be the one who cares for him when he hurts. Thank goodness for an amazing family behind us and a God who provides peace during the rough patches of life. 🙂 xoxo

    1. Parenthood really is SO emotional. (And oh goodness, I’ve had pregnancy emotions on top of all this). I feel as though today was a good day. I mean, it was still hard… But the emotions are settling, Brady’s pain is much more under control, and I didn’t feel like crying at the drop of a hat. 😉 Those prayers are working! 🙂

  3. Oh friend, this made me cry. You are so strong. I hate that you had to wait SO long to get a cast on him. And I can’t believe that nurse was so unfeeling. Your poor baby. Oh, and that other mom… I just can’t even. There is so much brokenness in this world. I’m so glad this trial you are facing isn’t a life threatening one. But I know it’s still going to be so hard. *hugs* Praying for you guys!

    1. Thank you, Rachel! Today was the first day that I really felt emotionally okay. Hearing those stories at the hospital really touched my heart deeply. (And then seeing Brady suffer so much was pretty much more than I could handle). I am SO thankful for a God who loves us through the good and the bad times. He definitely provided peace and strength when I couldn’t find that on my own!!

  4. This is so sad! You and Brady will be in my prayers over these next weeks. It is so hard watching your baby suffer. It seems that there is no in between with medical staff. Some are absolutely awful and have no social skills or compassion, and some are so amazing that you just want to hug them. Thankfully for my son’s surgery in November we were blessed with amazing nurses. I am so sorry you had to deal with some not so nice ones. It is so easy to forget how much other parents are facing all of the time. This was a good reminder to pray for the moms and dads who are facing things that we can’t imagine going through.

  5. I know you guys will get through this because of your positive attitude and perspective on the situation. Isn’t it amazing who God places in our paths at just the right time? He is just so good like that. I’ve been praying for Brady’s leg to heal fast and for you and Nate as you take care of him!

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