Tuesday, December 30, 2014

the hospital stay: part 1

What began as (what I thought would be) a 2 or 3 hour visit to the hospital’s emergency care department for my daughter’s intense stomach pain ended up being an 11 day ordeal for us… a case of appendicitis that had deteriorated into a ruptured appendix. We are relieved that she was finally discharged from the hospital this morning, and is now sleeping in her own bed with no IV lines and beeping equipment, no medication, and no pain.

The hospital allowed a parent to stay with their child, and I ended up sleeping on a cot beside my daughter for nine nights (my wife took mainly the day shifts with my son). I sketched my daughter regularly, as a way to fill the hours, deal with my own anxiety, attempt to connect with my somewhat stoic daughter in some fashion, and (I think, in hindsight) pray for healing and offer thanks… I ended up with over 60 drawings of her, in addition to other miscellaneous scenes from the hospital.

Despite the circumstances of a child in agony, Christmas (and most of the holidays) spent in a hospital room, lack of sleep, and general stresses placed upon us, as parents we have come out of the situation with a deep sense of gratitude… for my daughter’s bravery,  resilience, and the chance to witness her strength of character in a new light; for the nursing care and medical attention we received; for the wonderful, warm support lavished upon us by friends, family, and community of faith; for the many anonymous donors and volunteers that helped put a smile on our children’s faces through their philanthropic work; for the opportunity for our family to be united in prayer and slow down at a busy time; for
the memory of a unique Christmas to be remembered by us for decades to come; and the opportunity given to me by my daughter to share with her so intimately this journey of pain and healing. Rather than missing out on something this Christmas, we were enriched in ways not possible in any other way.

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