Oh, how we can be so quick to judge….to assume the worst, or at the very least not be very gracious.
Brooklyn came down with a fever on Saturday evening. She didn’t seem too sick, but fevers are taken very seriously in newborns, so at 4am I ended up at the Children’s Hospital with her for a full work-up and a couple days of observation. It wasn’t easy to see our little one in pain during her procedures (blood draw, IVs, spinal tap, etc.), but it was over quickly and now we wait…and do heavy duty IV antibiotics every 6 hours. It is so hard to see her being pumped full of these powerful drugs, but I must trust God to care for her body.
We were assigned a shared room. This was a given, as there are no private rooms here. But I was still a bit disappointed. I was brought in and immediately faced with a fussy little girl, a movie blaring (peppered with the occasional cuss words), and to top it off, the family barely acknowledged our presence. Disappointed, I finally fell asleep. Not too hard considering I’d only had 2 hours of sleep before coming to the hospital, and had been there since 4am.
Later that night I learned more about their situation, and finally got the little girl to warm up to me a bit more. Soon after that, her mom relaxed and we enjoyed getting to know each other a little.
The real situation? Little H is six years old and has leukemia. She was diagnosed over 2 years ago. She is in the maintenance stage now, with multiple daily medications and monthly chemo, and she is here because of complications from a simple fever and cold. I can only imagine the long road they have been walking. My heart broke for them, and last night, at midnight, I wept behind my dividing curtain as the nurse tried to find a good vein for a blood draw – almost impossible because of her longs months of chemo and fragile veins. This family has been through more than I can imagine. And how many roommates have they had by now? Nice ones, noisy ones, roommates whose whole family moves into their tiny room…. Their ability to try and connect with those who will only be here for a few days is probably greatly limited by now.
My focus has completely changed. The mom was worried they would disturb us. Ha! Nothing could bother me much – including the many nighttime disturbances as Little H heads to the bathroom, gets more meds, and her IV beeps. Instead, I feel such compassion, and pray for them often. I am blessed that my baby girl is doing so well, and that I have 3 healthy children at home. I fell asleep thankful for that, and thinking, also, of the many moms in Haiti who have newborns and sick children living in tents during the muddy rainy season. I don’t have to tell you how terrible the conditions are. We have all heard the news, and it’s overwhelming and tempts us to turn away to protect our hearts.
I am so thankful that God kept me from being overly absorbed in our situation this weekend. I feel blessed to have my world rocked in this way. I am praying He uses me to encourage this family in some small way. I would appreciate your prayers for Little H. She needs them. Please also pray that my interactions with them would be meaningful.