As a parent you do what you have to. You stay awake…for hours and days. You clean and you cook. You re-learn long division…twice. You mop up fluids and fix the broken things. You do without so they have enough. You try to remember to be strong…that you ARE STRONG. You do all this and you don’t give up…until you do.
Today was that day. It was a hospital emergency room day…in the smack damn middle of GD flu season. Smack dab in the middle of “I just need a weekend where its boring with no stupidness or things that make you say THAT’S DUMB” Usually, I would wait to take her to the GP until Monday. I’m THAT Mom…that Nurse MOM that feels so bad for the hospital staff working on a Saturday, dealing with things that could have and should have been a doctors appointment but weren’t :s that I wait, and we tough it out. This was one of those things though, that couldn’t wait. It was bad….”it” was already left too long before “it” showed up in my care. My mini-me was in more pain than I have ever seen her in, she was feeling the effect of antibiotics, she was dehydrated and exhausted…and frightened. I did what I could to avoid the middle of the night trip…and we managed to make it to morning but then we knew we had to go. So we went and we waited and we waited….and everyone there one was sooooo sick and I lost my GD mind a little. I was tired from being up all night with her. I was feeling ill from not being able to eat because of how afraid I was of what might be wrong with this little person who is my very favorite thing in the whole world…afraid for help because I actually knew what this particular help would look like. I was terrified of the sickness inside that place: I was afraid of it getting me. The thought of the wait ahead of us made my head start pounding. But still, we went and we waited. The questions about her ailment began as soon as we arrived and the terrible overwhelming guilt set in. How could it get this bad? Why didn’t I call and ask and push and do what I had to? I wanted to run away. I wanted to tell anyone who would listen that it wasn’t my fault: I couldn’t have known, I wasn’t there…but I know I would have thought the same thing: ya right. So I didn’t and we waited. As we waited more and more people arrived, 3 ambulances with elderly folks looking terrible, 3 very sick crying toddlers that made me remember why I am glad I don’t have toddlers because their helpless cries of frustration just broke my heart (the thought of how awful it must be to feel so sick and not have to words to tell your Momma what is wrong), there was a incident with a chainsaw, and fight between brothers involving a shovel….and still we waited. Amidst the tears and the bleeding and the coughing, oh so much horrible germ spraying PLEASE for the love of FUCK cover your FUCKING mouth; we waited it out. Twice I cried from pure frustration. I did not want to be there. I was angry: I was afraid. It was chaos and it was loud and it was never ending. When it was time to be moved from one waiting room to the next for more waiting, there were more questions I couldn’t answer, more passive aggressive statements about the better state she would be in IF the treatment plan was followed (so child, someone thought that you walking to school everyday was a good idea?? huh.) more looks that seems to scream at me that I was a horrible Mother: The child was grumpy and bossy and not answering questions for herself making me more frustrated. And I wanted to give up. I was done and tired and beaten and hopeless and physically ill from the space I was in. I was alone and realized there was no one to come to help me through this..I realized I needed help and had no one to turn to in this particular time of need. I almost did the thing where you call the other parent and admit that you can’t…that you are done….that its too hard: they made it too hard…I cave, I give, I’m out…I almost did the thing that is not actually a thing at all because you can’t actually do that and you don’t actually want to…but internally I was screaming and sad and defeated and tired: then peace came. It came in the form of an Xray. We were taken from our germ hole down a hall past 3 gurneys and so many more sick people and suddenly; we were in an empty hallway. The silence was deafening. I found myself completely alone while they wheeled her into the Xray suite. The starch whiteness of the place made my eyes hurt. The sound of the florescent tubes humming was almost musical. The echo of my footsteps and I paced up the hallway was rhythmic and calming. I wanted to stay there forever. It was the quiet calmness of that hallway that I walked up and own several times that allowed me the serenity I needed to regroup: to remember that this is just another event in a series of crazy not-so-random happenstances designed for me to guide me and teach me and give me what I need. I could continue to do this and I would continue to do this. And that it’s alright to cry and feel the frustration and the loneliness that comes with going things alone. It’s alright to feel weakness in some moments and strength in others. This silence in this hallway gave me strength….which is odd since silence is usually the most damaging thing to me: people can destroy me with the simple act of silence. I felt the power of it and heard the importance hidden within it.
The little was released after 6 hours with more pills and more instructions and more restrictions and Mom had more worries than I did when we arrived. We’re not done and it’s not even as bad as it’s going to get. In a few short days I will be back to the same helpless hope that everything is going to somehow be OK and that someday I will be able to find that beauty in silence again.