Day One: Charlie's Comfort
It rained today, great heaping buckets of the stuff cover roadways and lawns. Lakes and river and little ponds stretch their borders and gobble up ground to store the abundant cache of rainwater. I saw this when I drove home today from the hospital to relocate the kids but mostly I saw grey skies dripping on a flat, black roof a few stories below Charlie's hospital window.
It was a waiting day, and a pinching day. The vampires came to visit at six this morning and the phone rang at seven and these things brought the short night to a close. Stuart panicked at being away and came early. We waited for the doctor, waited for a diagnosis, for action, for anything. Our pastor came instead and he prayed and the phone rang during our visit. "Mom, we just finished Bible and we prayed for Charlie."
I repeated his words out loud. "Pastor Rob is here, buddy, and you are making us look good." That got a chuckle.
More waiting. Charlie sucked on popsicles. First orange and then red and then purple. Then the surgeon came. He poked and prodded; Charlie screamed. "It feels like a bronchial cleft cyst. We'll know more after the CT scan."
Back down to x-ray. A long wait. Too long to sit in a wheel chair so he laid on a stretcher with his pillow and blanket and Happy Birthday, his stuffed dog. "Lie still; don't move your head. Don't move your lips. Perfect." Then back up to the room to wait and eat more popsicles. Orange ones he decided were his favorites. The phone rang and rang with people checking in. We only told one here but news travels fast. Many reached God's hands out to us today.
I left to change clothes and check on kids and by the time I got home, Stuart had called. 'Yes, it is a cyst. It's pushing his throat closed. The surgeon doesn't want to wait. They're prepping him to operate." Cheers for a decisive doctor.
By the time kids were picked up and dropped off and the return trip made in the dark and pouring rain, Charlie was being prepped for surgery. I pulled in just as they wheeled him in to the operating room. We grabbed a quick bite and as we finished the last our our salads the phone rang. "He's good to go. We'll be bringing him up in a little bit."
The vampires met him at the door and stole another vial from our boy and this time was the final straw. Charlie stirred and whimpered, "No...no. Don't pinch." All the fight drained from his little body. Stuart's face crumpled. It's been a hard few days.
Charlie sleeps, a still easy sleep. Little body on a big hospital bed. Peaceful for the first time in days. I sit under a blanket and a load of mother guilt and wait 'til tomorrow to hear details about surgery and type of infection. "A few more days," they tell us.
I am tired.