Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day One: Charlie's Comfort

Part One: Calico Boy

At the last minute, I thought to dash back into the house to grab a pillow and blanket and this turned out to be providential.

Charlie rode to the pediatricians propped on John's shoulder, blanket in his lap. In the waiting room, he lay over two chairs, pillow under head, warm and cozy. The blanket covered all of him on the examining table except for one arm. This he had to expose to the vampires. "Don't hurt me. Don't pinch me! Don't!" Two pinches later, they had a small teaspoon of my son.

He rested, head on pillow, and looked over my shoulder at the pages of Frog and Toad while we waited for the results. White count quite elevated. Strep...negative. Mono...negative. Leukemia...possible but unlikely. He needs anibiotics via i.v. Take these admission papers; the hospital is waiting for him.

Blanket protected Charlie from drenching sky as I carried him to the car. One of the girls carried his pillow. Quick phone call to Stuart. "Meet us." Quick zip though the drive through to feed four hungry kids and one hungry mama a four-o'clock lunch.

Blanket wrapped and I carried him into admissions. "I wish I could ride in a wheelchair. Your brother is heavy!"

Charlie stretched across waiting room chairs. "Can you hop up in this wheelchair?"

"Nuh uh."

So I rode, Charlie in my lap, pillow tucked behind, blanket draped over. Into hospital gown, weigh and measure, i.v. port in on the second try. "Don't pinch! I want to lay down! I want to lay doowwn! Pillow on the bed, pale boy under green blanket.

Another wheelchair ride down the elevator for x-rays. Pillow over the arm of the chair; head down. Blanket on the x-ray table. "It's just a picture. Pictures don't pinch. Promise."

And finally, Charlie sleeps a fitful sleep, cozy in his blanket. I hold his hand in the midnight dark. A soft light shines out from under the bed. The i.v. clicks and drips. Child coughs a deep-lung, body-wracking cough in the next room. Somewhere in the maze of thin walls a baby wails and will not be comforted. Charlie stirs. "Do you hear that sad baby? Let's pray for him."

"No, Mama! Pray for me!"

I pray for both and Charlie moans and drifts back to sleep and in the late watches of the night, I lie awake and marvel again and again that the last minute dash for pillow and blanket brought great comfort to this unexpected day.

Day Two: Waiting

1 comment:

ValleyGirl said...

Oh Kate, I do hope everything will be all right and that you'll manage to get some rest. I know how difficult that can be with a child in the hospital. Will he have to be there long or was it just overnight for observation and rehydration...?

Dear God, please be with Kate and Charlie tonight. Give them rest and peace. Touch their lives with your nearness and comfort the whole family as they wait. Oh God, I pray for healing. Whatever Charlie's body is dealing with ~ whether big or small ~ you have the power to heal him. Please heal him. Comfort his mommy and his daddy, his brother and sisters and help them lean harder on you in their fear ~ casting all their cares on you, because you care for them.

In your name,