Thursday, July 14, 2016

Why? Because! (Another post from another hospital room)

So, here I sit in a hospital room…again. Ruavis began struggling with uncontrolled seizures yesterday in the morning. We contacted our neurologist via phone, who adjusted his meds. But this morning it was difficult to wake him. They used cold wet cloths and a shower to get him going, and once he did wake up his seizures were nearly constant. 

We took him to the emergency room, and the doctor chose to admit him. The pediatrician just left the room, and he confirmed what I suspected and hoped. He has an infection that only showed itself through the blood work, and we believe that is what triggered the seizures. Hopefully, after that has been treated with antibiotics intravenously, his seizures will settle down again.

Meanwhile, we have been fighting an infection in little Edy. He came to us with an infection that has been treated with two types of antibiotics, but each time the symptoms will abate, only to return again in a few days. Yesterday the pediatrician started him on a third, more powerful antibiotic that we hope will get him healthy.

But right now, I find myself sitting in a hospital room with Ruavis trying to estimate how many nights I have spent is similar rooms next to sick children. And I have given up trying to count them. I have lost track of how many times I have slept to the rhythm of a respirator. How many times I have awoken to the alarm of an oxygen sat monitor. I don’t want to remember how many showers I have taken and tried to dry myself with those ridiculously thin, tiny towels the hospitals provide. And I cannot tell you how often I have wanted to slap a nurse who thinks a 2:00 am temperature check is an appropriate time to use her loud and obnoxiously cheerful wake-up voice. (But each of those nurses should be glad I don’t carry a weapon.)

And, as I recount those memories, I again ask myself the same old question. Why do I do this? Why does my family do this? Why does my wife put herself in a home setting where her sleep is frequently interrupted by sick and crying children? Why do our interns willing come and live in a home where the diaper changes are endless and often poop-filled? Why does our wonderful staff expose themselves to seizures and vomit and suffering that most people go out of their way to avoid? And why do all of us choose to love children that could be taken from us at any moment? Why?

The answer is simple. Because these little ones are worth it. And the benefit we gain in return is more than worth any sacrifice we make. There are moments filled with pain, fatigue and horrible grief, but there are other moments filled with unfiltered joy, hope and strength. And those moments make all the others worth it.

And that makes me think of Jesus. I cannot imagine the pain and grief of the cross. I am sure that there are moments when He remembers those six hours hanging on Calvary, as well as the pain and abuse leading up to that, and His brow must crease and His eyes water at the memory. But God’s Word tells us that He sees it all as worth it. Much as the memory of labor pains dims when a mother finally holds her child, the pain of Calvary dims when we crawl into His lap and He holds us close. It all becomes worth it.

Love is not cheap, and it certainly is not easy. It has a huge price. And loving children that are sick, frail and suffering seems to have an even higher price. But it is worth it. The hours are brutal, but the payoff comes when those children smile…and you feel God smile as well. There are no better benefits in the world.

So, goodnight from another hospital room. You are loved!

(I just read the news and saw another terrorist attack has occurred in Nice, France. Time is short, and hate is strong. And we only have one hope and one weapon against it. Let us love, boldly and fearlessly. Let us love Jesus Christ and love those around us, no matter the cost. Let us change the world, beginning with the life right next to us. We only have a little more time to do so, so let’s get to it!)