Apart from delivering my babies, the last fifteen years has not had me inside a hospital for longer than a few hours for minor emergencies.
The last five months have held two stays in the Regina General Hospital’s Pediatric ward. Two different reasons, same little boy.
We are still celebrating a great report from our six year olds last stay that looked pretty scary off the start. It has caused me to think through our times in the hospital and the things that I learned.
- No matter what the issue, being moved to a “bigger hospital” is scary. I discovered quickly that my mind will jump to the worst possible scenario while my heart beats wildly like it’s going to jump out of my chest. When I got the call from my husband saying that the pediatrician in Regina wanted us there immediately, I could not think straight. I realized that this is not a time to trust my “feelings” but to keep the facts before me and stay calm. The facts that: my God is fighting for us, that he has said he holds us beneath the shadow if his wings and that he has a call on my son’s life to be wholehearted and faithful in some sort of big way that he is unwilling to cancel.
- My son is much braver than I give him credit for. When he broke his arm, it was a bad break. The x-ray almost made me throw up, it was displaced so badly. We knew surgery was a must. It was 11:00 pm when he was taken away by the anesthesiologist and it was the first time we had been a part through the process. He was exhausted and so was I. Before he left he told me he would be fine if I just sang “Jesus Loves Me” one more time. I leaned down by his head and sang softly these words of truth while he squeezed his stuffed puppy. He was scared, but he knew what had to happen for his arm to be strong again and I saw him choose to be brave. I have reminded him of that choice to be brave many times now since then and I have watched him grow in courage through remembering the fear he once overcame.
- “I wish this was me instead of him” is really a true feeling. Both of these cases had my son dealing with things I had never had to face before. Letting him forge his own path, even in injury was really hard. I found it best to write down these feelings and see what God had to say about them. Watching how brave my son chose to be encouraged me that he is being prepared for something great! It might not be the way I would choose, but I felt so strongly that good would come from it.
- Unknowns can pull you away or force your roots down deep. On New Years Eve when we were driving up the hospital, all of the unknowns were freaking my husband and I out. The first time we had gone was for a broken arm, and while that was sad to watch him go through, we knew what was wrong.This time, we were just hearing organs being mentioned has potential problems. We were trying to hold ourselves together when we heard a little voice from the back.
“God is never ill. God is never ill. God is never ill.” He sang this little song, over and over and over. I knew right away what it meant to him. God is never ill, and if he is in Christ than he has access to health and healing. His faith was blooming.
His voice got louder and louder until he was ordering us all in his preacher voice to declare after him: GOD IS NEVER ILL!
The other two kids chimed in with their own declarations over Caleb’s body and fear literally began to vanish. We arrived at emergency with nerves but deep roots that God had all of us in the palm of his hand.
- I will turn into protective mother hawk if someone else tries to stay overnight. Both times my husband kindly said “do you want me to stay with him?” and I felt like something rose up inside me like a slightly psychotic pterodactyl and I had to be careful not to rip those well intentioned words to shreds.
There was NO WAY anyone else was staying with my baby. I would be the only one in the world to go without sleep in the chair beside him.
- Pediatric nurses are actually guardian angels. Not just pediatric nurses. But nurses who are excellent with kids. Like Kyle in emergency who kept telling Caleb he was such a BOSS (he loved that). And all the powerful women on our floor who cared with such a grace and compassion. That blew me away because there were others facing more life threatening issues than us (once we realized Caleb was out of any sort of immediate danger), yet they cared for us as though we were of the utmost importance too.
- Starbucks Via Instant Coffee is a good thing to throw in your bag. Seriously, one of my biggest take aways from these trips! I am not an instant coffee girl but when I did not want to have to leave Caleb, I made a cup and was blown away by how good it was. (Definitely a good gift to take someone staying in the hospital. All you need is a kettle which for us was free in the parents lounge).
- A promise is a promise, and we need to learn how to get one and hold onto it. The morning of the second day at the hospital, January 2nd, I opened my bible because I needed a promise. We still had no answers and I was feeling tired and afraid. I continued reading where I had left off in Psalms. This jumped out at me for him:
“The Lord looks down in love, bending over heaven’s balcony.” Psalm 14:2a (The Passion Translation)
It was only part of a verse, but it hit me like an arrow of peace. I still didn’t know what was wrong, but the Lord was looking at us with love, and that was enough for me to know he was going to be ok.
When we are facing difficulties of any kind, it’s so important that we read God’s word and wait for him to reveal a promise for us to hold on to. For me I know it’s a promise to hold on to because I’m reading and it’s almost like that phrase jumps off the page or a spotlight is shone on it, and it speaks instantly to my heart.
- People called to medicine really are planning their lives around the noblest way to benefit others. Every person that we encountered on both of those trips, whether at our home hospital, or in the city, was passionate about helping others. My heart was absolutely moved by the fact that this is one of the most practical careers to “plan your life around the noblest way to benefit others” (my verse for 2018). If you are considering this field, I highly commend you and pray that my life can support you in some way.
- We need to be passionate about funding for hospitals, especially for families. I am far from running an exceptionally profitable business, but this burned in my heart that whatever happens with our finances in the future I pray that I can be a major contributor to pediatric wards and children’s hospitals in the future. I also saw the incredible volunteers who come in to play with kids and give their parents a break, wash toys and organize activities. There are many ways we can support our hospitals and having benefited from them a little more than I would have expected in the last few months, I am grieved that I didn’t recognize their vast importance before. Let’s help hospitals do more for sick and injured kids!
The challenges we go through in life are often not fair nor do they make sense, but we can allow them to mold and shape who we are and the lives that we live. I can say that my life is changed from two short stays at the Regina General Hospital.
Thank you so much to everyone who aims to benefit others through the medical field!