Yesterday morning, I sat by myself in the waiting room of the Payton Manning Children’s Hospital, thumbing through the pages of the outdated Allure magazine with Katherine Heigl on the cover and taking deep breaths so that I wouldn’t cry.
Just down the hall, my baby, my little girl, my sweet Angel Face, was having more tubes shoved in her and I wasn’t there to hold her hand (or hold her down). Her father was with her, but they only allowed one parent in the room. I
felt so alone while I was waiting there. It was only 15 minutes, but so many thoughts raced through my head, even while I appreciated Dr. Izzie Stevens’ hot bod and beautiful face. I felt guilty for not being strong enough to fight Dave to stay in the room. I hoped R. wasn’t screaming and crying and fighting like she did last month. And, honestly, part of me wondered if all the other nurses and radiologists and play therapists in the room questioned what kind of mother I was that I would be the one to leave.
It seemed like forever and it seemed like 30 seconds later when Dr. Clark (the same radiologist who viewed dozens of R.’s hip X-rays after she was born with hip dysplasia) came to get me and explained what she’d found. It wasn’t the news we were hoping for, which was no kidney damage. But it wasn’t the worst it could be. On a five-point scale, her kidneys are damaged stage one on the left side and stage two on the right side. She’ll have to take medicine daily for a year, when the tests will be repeated to see if she’ll need surgery or not.
Dave said she did beautifully – no crying, just a little wriggling when the catheter was inserted. They sedated her this time, so she should have very little memory of the event.
In the hospital lobby, as I held her tight and kissed her groggy little head, we listened to the Von Trapp family singers (great grandchildren of Capt. Von Trapp) and I fought off tears again. Because my kid was going to be okay. But to my right and to my left were kids in wheelchairs, kids hooked up to IVs and kids with no hair.
I felt like I had no right to cry for my kid, when so many other kids may not be okay, not for a long time, maybe not ever.