We went to visit one of their friends today.
At the hospital.
One of the best children’s hospitals in Chicago.
The hospital is downtown. It’s beautiful. And new. And beautiful. State of the Art. Aesthetically and security minded.
Not that I want to go back there any time soon, James….
We went because he had surgery on his heart.
Not only surgery on his heart, he had that a couple of weeks ago. Because he had a setback, had fluid around his heart and needed surgery again.
That poor kid. Just imagine being fourteen and going through all of this in a couple of weeks. He’s big. He’s strong. He’s athletic. He’s been stuck in a hospital bed or at home for weeks now.
Yet he was upbeat, in good spirits and looking forward to going home tomorrow.
He’s doing well, that’s great.
Then I think about his mom. What she went through during this experience. Watching your child… need this, get better, have a major setback, get better and then (hopefully, tomorrow) come home. She’s quite a gal. And his father is too, don’t get me wrong. I know he was as affected as she was, but I’m a mom, so I understand that part better.
The hospital allows 4 bedside visitors at time. When we got to his floor, the receptionist called back and they told her there was someone there, only 3 could go back. I sent #2, his girlfriend and Dragon, I went to the family waiting area. (Turns out, there wasn’t anyone else there at that time BUT none of them decided to come and get me…. until #2 said he would switch 45 minutes later… anyway…. they ARE teenagers after all. If they could think like us, they would be on their own… I think or they would still be living in my basement with adult reasoning. I’m not ready for that yet…).
They have a family waiting area, where I waited (unnecessarily, as previously noted about the teenagers that were afraid to break any rules…) but it was good for me to wait.
Think of every experience in your life as teaching you a lesson. Sometimes, waiting, checking face book, listening, observing, has a message.
There were about six adults in this area of the room. WAITING. Waiting for what? I didn’t know, but the tension was high.
I overheard a few conversations, one between adults “How is she doing? What (medical procedures that I know nothing about) were going to happen next.” She was clearly stressed out and on the phone a lot. She left and came back. Talked to another adult and was worried that someone’s sandwich would get cold. We worry about those things when we are too worried about something else.
Another family had the nurse visit. “You can come back now, he’s calmed down and you can see him.”
This is the cardiac floor and these parents (grandparents) are waiting to see their children (grandchildren) on the CARDIAC floor. CARDIAC. HEART. That thing we can’t live without…
I have never been so humbled to realize what I have than when I have been in a hospital waiting room.
First, my dad, who had his first bypass at age 48. I was in high school. They sent me to school that time, I wasn’t happy. It was not easy to sit through high school when your dad was having major surgery. I saw him at the hospital and then he came home. No waiting room. (Except for the waiting room in my head. That was tough.)
He had his second bypass in early 1990. Steve and I were engaged to be married. He had a procedure and coded. Sitting in the waiting room, wondering who they are calling code blue on… finding out it’s your dad… but they fixed him, he had another bypass and came home.
Third time around, 1997. I was in the waiting room waiting for the priest that they called because I had to leave his ICU room during his final heart attack… and then watching them wheel him down the hallway to emergency surgery while a guy was on top of him, pumping his chest… Right after calling my mother and sisters to tell them to come NOW. We were all together in the waiting room and with him when he died.
Then, The Original. He had an eye issue that required surgery when he was 5 or 6 years old. To me, the most important thing in the world. He was my baby and was having surgery. SURGERY. ON MY BABY. ON HIS EYE.
I sat in the waiting room, nervous. I didn’t knit then, no Kindle Fire then. Nothing to do but read magazines…or maybe a book, I don’t remember.
They had circular seating waiting areas and another family was waiting in the same section as me.
After a while, a nurse came out to talk to the other family.
“Here’s the rest of the fabric we used to repair his heart.”
HE was a three month old baby with Down’s Syndrome who had a hole in his heart. She gave them the remnants of the fabric they used to fix him.
Suddenly, The Original’s eye wasn’t a big deal anymore. He would be fine.
Now, in this waiting room, waiting to visit a 14 year old boy, which I knew was well on his way to recovery, was easy.
It was not so easy for the people around me. In many cases, I bet it was just plain hard.
It reminded me and keeps reminding me of KIIPP. (Keep It In Perspective, People!).
We all have our travels through life and sometimes things are difficult. And sometimes they only seem difficult. Just look across the waiting room and it might be much worse.
Keep our friend, James, and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers. We are so happy he’s on the mend.