Standing in Another’s Pain


Tessie is in the hospital.  She has RSV and viral pneumonia.  This is the 9th day someone in my family has spent in the hospital this year.  

It’s not cool.

And it’s not cool to see your baby in pain.  

I’ve spent most of the last couple of days holding her as she sleeps, getting slightly more worried each day.  Finally today she passed the benchmark my doc gave me for when I should take her in to the hospital.  And so I did. And so we are here.

She’s sleeping comfortably right now.  Her oxygen level is hovering just above the level where she would need oxygen.  I’d rather it be higher, but at least it’s on the right side of the line.  Earlier today she wasn’t.

I ran her here this afternoon, and by pure twist of fate, TJ was working at the hospital today that she is at, so he was able to be right here.

Unfortunately he had to leave to take care of our other three for a couple of hours, and I was left alone with Tessie when she needed all of the invasive testing.  

It sucked.

She had to be lying on the table for the nurses to get to her, and all I could do was hold her hand and rub her face as she stared up at me screaming and pleading with her eyes to take her out of there.

When she would close her eyes, I would be tempted to look away.  When the needle would go in her arm, I would instinctively close my eyes.

But then I stopped.  I forced myself to look.  

Perhaps that was silly.  Surely me watching her pain wasn’t alleviating any of it for her. 

But all I could think about was myself and what I need when I’m in pain.  And all I ever really want when I’m in physical or emotional pain is for someone to stand in it with me.  For someone to not look away.  To know that someone is there, not trying to change me or change it or do any acrobatics.  I just want someone to simply slide into it with me, so I’m not there alone.  

I want company in my muck.

That’s all I could really do for her this afternoon, and so I did it.  I stood in the muck with her.  And she won’t remember that I didn’t look away.  And it probably didn’t help her in any way.  But I know I was there.  I know that I didn’t send my girl in alone.

You gotta hold on to what you can, right?

And I feel compelled to note that I am not neglecting her while I write this.  I’m supposed to let her sleep in her crib bc of the SIDS risk if she sleeps with me.  And so I’m sitting two feet from her writing this as she slumbers.  And now the oxygen is dropping.  Time to go hover above her again.

About Amanda

I blog about deliberate, purposeful living and parenting. I'm a bit sappy. I mostly like to talk about ideas that inspire me to more effectively live and interact with the world around me. Sometimes I try to be funny, but there is a slight chance that I am the only one who actually gets my humor.
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