Thursday, February 28, 2013

The E.R

She is finally sleeping in her own bed and I've caught up on at least half of the homework that was due yesterday.  And I am sitting here with more homework to do, more housework to do, more everything to do.  But I can't do it.  I'm so tired.  Physically from holding my Little Lady 24/7 since Sunday.  Emotionally from having to take her to the ER yesterday for IV fluids.

I had no idea how hard it would be, going back to that place.  Parking in that parking ramp.  Pushing that elevator button.  Walking past that coffee shop.  Seeing the Dinosaur book in the gift shop and thinking that if he were still here I would buy it.  He was only there for two weeks before the most horrible ambulance ride from hell across the cities.  But it was a really crappy two weeks.  And I felt it all.

When they were putting the IV in her arm, I remember when he got his first one.  I left the room.  That was when I was still a major wuss with that kind of stuff.  So I left Daddy to take care of it.  We still didn't know he was sick then.  We didn't know anything.  And she sat in my arms in the bed not unlike he did.   And she thrashed around and tried to pull the tubes out just like him, too.  And she tried to climb me with cries of "mamamama" not unlike his.  And we watched PBS Kids just like we did with him.  He loved Martha Speaks and said "doggy" as clear as day.  I was so proud.  He didn't say much after that.  And then nothing ever again.

 And we waited on test results to see what was going on; although that was very different and yet not so much.   We know too much for anything to be taken for granted.  So while it was expected, we both felt sweet relief wash over us when the doc said her kidneys are fine.  And Daddy looked over her labs the same way he used to pour over J's.  Only this time instead of fear and anguish in his eyes, I saw satisfaction.  And I knew it would be okay this time.  The opposite of what it was like last time.

So we waited for the fluids to drip, drip, drip into her arm and hydrate the sassy little girl who still won't drink.  And this time when we left, we got to bring our baby with us.  Instead of packing up cards and broken dreams, we packed up a crabby girl and walked out to our cars.  And when we left the parking lot, we pulled out into the alley where that dreadful ambulance picked us up the other time we left that hospital.  It was the eve of his birthday and cool and starry and late.  And it was the last time he was ever outside.

I never want to go there ever again.  These are not the memories I want washing over me.  I don't want to picture the fish tank in the waiting room and remember how I was watching the dead fish, belly up when they were talking to us about lymphangiomatosis and how we were going to treat him.  All I could think was they should really get that dead fish out so parents don't have to look at that dead fish and think about their kids belly up down the hall.  But how can you not think about that when you get handed the death sentence? 

I don't want to remember how the coffee tasted there.  And the way babies smell once the sterile room gets into their hair.  And the way the waiting feels, how it weighs you down and tears your brain apart. 

There is damage there that cannot be repaired.  And I pray over and over again to please never let my babies get sick ever again.  Because one day in an ER undid me.  She is the one with pneumonia, but I am the one unable to breathe.  She doesn't even have a bruise from the IV.  And my bruises from 2 1/2 years ago are still black and blue and sore to the touch.  She is feisty and playful and stubbornly refusing to drink again already.  And I am on the verge of weeping at every second, waiting for the black hole to swallow me whole.

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