Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tests and Hospitals, Hospitals and Tests

Yesterday Tink endured a final procedure in a series of urological tests in an attempt discover the origin to (or damage caused by) her bladder and kidney infections.  We saved the "best" test for last... an invasive procedure called a VCUG involving cathaderization, contrasting dye into the bladder and other relatively traumatizing events to a young child.  We spent the morning in the Radiology department of a nearby hospital preparing for, and then enduring, a notoriously yucky test. 

Photobucket


Being there, going through these tests and multiple specialist visits this last month with Tink, reminded me of my initiation into motherhood.  My first baby, CB, began her decent into a life of grand mal seizures at 16 weeks old. Her other diagnoses came to light around age 2.  So Mommy-life has never been without neurologists, EEGs, MRIs, hospital stints, medications, pediatric hematologists, endocrinologists, speech, occupational and physical therapists as well as holistic specialists we have tried over the years.  These experiences drew a new baseline of parenthood, became the heartbeat of "normal;" the apex of the Bell Curve. 

Photobucket

Despite all of my experience, despite the fact that it makes you stronger, it honestly never gets easier. 

There is something about watching someone you birthed and love lying in pain, discomfort, or existing in that supple place of "the unknown." It leaves an indelible mark, an invisible tattoo under your flesh.  It alters you at the molecular level as all powerful experiences do, changing the rhythm of your pulse.

Photobucket

Extended hospital stays can render the strongest person humbled and the weakest person brave. Hospitals can be weary but also bring forth encouragement and deep appreciation of how fortunate you are, if indeed you leave that hospital with everyone you love still living and breathing in your arms. In a hospital, you watch your child grow smaller while the world streaks by like ribbons of paint on the other side of the plexiglass window.  You sit in this microcosm, life shrunken down to fit on the head of a pin.  

Photobucket

You stop caring what you look like, how horrible the food and coffee tastes, when you last showered and what you are missing on the other side of the brick and mortar.  Your pace slows and you become almost singular in focus. At the same time you experience how accurate the phrase "dying of boredom" can be.  If you feel sorry for yourself it won't be too long before you run into someone who puts your entire life into perspective and you'll often feel flooded with gratitude.  You encounter people who dedicate their lives to helping others and how they cross your path for a nanosecond of your life but leave deep footprints of compassion across your heart. 

Tests and hospitals; hospitals and tests. Reminding us how fragile our little bodies are in this hard world . Reminding us how miraculous compassion and love can be. Reminding us how our souls can be both challenged and strengthened; that every day spent in good health, and seeing those we love in good health, is a gift.  A gift we should never take for granted.

17 comments:

erika said...

I'm so sorry Tink had to go through these awful procedures. I hope you are both doing okay. Your beautiful writing paints a perfect picture of the hospital experience and it brought back so many memories for me. I've got a couple of those tattoos as well.

Alicia D said...

erika, im sure youve been there far more than i have and my heart goes out to all youve been through and how strong you are :)

Maggie May said...

i think you articulated movingly and sharply the experience of watching your child suffer. i'm sorry you can.
it's wonderful the love and clarity you find and expand during these times. i hope your girl is feeling better.

tulpen said...

Having lived in a hospital for months with my infant son, this really struck me. I couldn't have described the experience better.

Sucks that Tink had to endure that... hope it proves to be worth it.

Kim said...

Awww, I hope she is feeling better soon. I spent the night with the Roc in the hospital last fall, and I've been having little panicky feelings every time he starts to breath a bit funny. The hospital is no fun. You capture just what it feels like to watch your baby within those brick walls.

Elizabeth said...

This is such beautiful writing -- the part about the hospital is incredibly powerful and EXACTLY conveys the experience of being in one.

Thank you for sharing it with us -- and I hope that you get some answers for your beautiful little Tink.

kario said...

I wish there was a way to share this perspective with the caregivers in the hospital. I'm certain that they would think about their jobs in a slightly different way if they could see it from the perspective of a parent. Not that most of them aren't gentle and compassionate, but your words are so powerful and evocative that they bring it all home

Sending love and light to you and Tink for some solutions.

Carrie Link said...

So beautifully said.

Sending love to you all...

WarriorTherapyMom said...

I have tears in my eyes as I read this b/c I know what it is like for the world to stand still while you or your little one is fighting for survival. Thank you for sharing these stories. Your blog is on I truly look forward to reading!

Varda said...

This is so beautifully written, I have chills up & down my spine. My heart goes out to you and Tink, I hope they figure it out soon and that there is no/minimal damage.

I, too, have been spending a lot of time in hospitals lately, but on the other side of the fence, sitting with my husband and his dying mother (& I just wrote about the awful waiting in yesterday's blog post.)

Hospital time is not the same as real world time, it exists in a parallel universe. As hard as it is to watch and wait for a beloved elderly parent to die, I can only imagine the whole order of worse it is to sit with your own child who is scared and in pain.

I hope you are done with all that soon, and that the outcome is the best possible.

pixiemama said...

Oh, I hope you get some answers to help your beautiful little Tink.

And, as the others said, very beautiful writing. Very beautiful.

Alicia D said...

Im so lucky to have such wonderful friends in the blogosphere. YOur words always lift my heart and spirits and let me know im never ever alone on this journey :)

Autism Mom Rising said...

I hate this. I hope Tink gets some resolution soon. Bladder infections are rough on kids, especially to kids. Hugs!

dluvscoke said...

Coming from someone who can empathize with you, that was beautifully written.

rhemashope said...

you describe perfectly everything i feel walking into children's hospital. i love the last paragraph. how's tink?

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

How awful for her (and you) to go through. I hope you have some answers soon. Thinking of you and sending love.

Heather said...

Alicia, what can I say that I haven't already to you? You have a way of putting into words my thoughts to the very deepest core. This blog really brought back memories. Bless little Tink! And bless you too! Can't wait to see you.

Related Posts with Thumbnails