Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tears and Perspective

(The following was originally posted on A's caringbridge website on Friday, July 25, 2008. For some reason both kids were on my mind today, so I decided to share this here.)

I cried lots of tears on Monday.

In the recovery room, late Monday afternoon, I was sitting with A, watching her breathe. The recovery room, to me, is always a very emotional place. Normally, parents are coming in, seeing their child for the first time after surgery. Depending on the type surgery, you can see tears of joy, or tears of sorrow because of the appearance of the child. It can be very scary to see your child, all puffy in the face, hooked up to monitors and tubes, and appearing lifeless.

There were about 6 kids in there Monday afternoon, including my girl. At the time I arrived back, I was the only parent present. Each child had at least one nurse attending to their needs. I couldn’t help but notice another little girl, diagonally across from A, and how sad she seemed to be. Usually you don’t hear many cries, because the kids are still pretty heavily sedated. I think that’s why she caught my attention so quickly. She appeared to be about 5 or 6, and the first thing I noticed were her hands. They were both splinted, but she was actively moving them.

As she was crying out, the nurse was asking her, “Honey, what’s the matter?” The little girl would only reply, “My leg. My leg.” The nurse asked “What about your leg?” She answered “It’s dangling. I can feel it dangling.”

Oh how my heart sank, and the tears began to flow. You see, I had heard of this little girl. A couple of weeks ago, I think while we were in Pennsylvania, there had been an accident. A little girl, 6 years old, was riding on a bush hog with her daddy and brother. The little girl had fallen and the bush hog had run over her. I had heard that her hands were severely injured, and that one of her legs had to be amputated.

And here was this little girl, crying out in pain because she could feel her leg dangling. Except by this point, I could see that her leg wasn’t dangling anymore. It wasn’t there.

Lots of tears, and a whole new perspective about my little girl. My little girl who has all of her fingers and all of her toes and her arms and legs. And they all work fine.

I also cried more tears, later on Monday night.

It was Monday night when I first saw him. A little boy, 10 years old, who “lived” beside of us at the hospital. You see this young man really does “live” at the hospital. For circumstances so far beyond his control, he doesn’t have a home to go to. He had surgery about a month ago, and could be released. But there’s no one there to get him. There’s no one there to check on him. He’s just waiting. Waiting for the state to find someone who will take him. Waiting for a foster parent who can take a child with special needs. Just waiting. And he’s 10 years old. And he lives at the hospital. Sure, he looks like he’s doing well. His room has certainly been made his own. Lots of games and stuff. The nurses hang out with him and he jokes back and forth with them and they care for him. Because that’s where he lives. At the hospital.

Lots and lots of tears for this young man. Definitely puts things in perspective. My daughter got to go home on Wednesday. All because her family was there to take her home. I pray that someone can come and get the young man and take him home.

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