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If you’re looking for witty and charming today, Dear Reader, you aren’t going to find it here. I think this has been the worst day ever. Really, the worst day of my whole life.
I know that I tend to exaggerate sometimes. Okay, Dear Reader, I exaggerate most of the time. But I’m not exaggerating now. Something happened today that was, I’m pretty sure, the worst experience of my entire existence so far on this planet.
I’m nearing sobs even just thinking about this day. I hope my tears don’t short circuit the keyboard on my laptop. I’d hate to have to replace it.
On to the story.
Grace woke up this morning shortly after 5 am. She was crying. Joe brought her to our bed, hoping she’d go back to sleep until we all had to be up at 6. She did lie down, but she continued to cry.
Let me pause to tell you that I have been afflicted by migraines for as long as I can remember. They permanently improved when I became pregnant with Grace (praise the Lord, I’m grateful!), but I still get one from time to time. This morning was one of those times. I knew as soon as I woke up, before I even opened my eyes, that I had a migraine, and it was an abnormally bad one.
If I wasn’t taking off this Friday from work for an unrelated medical issue, I would have called in sick today. The migraine was that serious. I couldn’t even stand the sound of my own voice or the light in the bathroom. I was miserable.
Grace kept crying. If anything, her crying got louder and more urgent as the minutes went by. I tried feeding her a banana, giving her a drink, changing her diaper, and offering some Tylenol. Nothing. She wanted to be consoled, but nothing eased her discomfort.
Soon, we were both crying. I wanted to help Grace but I couldn’t handle the pain in my own head. I just needed quiet, and she just couldn’t stop crying. Joe was struggling, too, because he couldn’t help either of us, and he was rapidly reaching his frustration tolerance.
Still crying, we left for school. I described our morning when I dropped Grace off and asked her teacher to call me if she seemed to be in pain or sick.
Thanks to copious amounts of pain relievers (all prescribed by my doctor, Dear Reader), my migraine abated by midmorning. That was just about the time that the teacher called and asked me to pick Grace up.
Did you hear that? It was the sound of the exasperated sigh I breathed when I got off the phone with the teacher.
I wrote lesson plans for the substitute who’d have to teach my classes, notified my supervisor of the situation, called the pediatrician, and went to pick up my sick child. I picked up my mom, too, so she could help me wrangle Grace at the doctor’s office.
The doctor examined Grace and said that everything looked okay. Ears? Uninfected. Chest? Clear. Heart? Fine. Eyes, nose, throat? Totally normal. The doctor ordered a urine sample. It was fine.
“Send her over to the hospital,” he said to the nurse. “Let’s check her blood.” I had no idea what that was going to mean. In fact, I was relieved that the doctor was taking my concerns seriously and ordering further tests to ascertain what was (and is) wrong with my baby.
It was only on my way to the hospital that the full weight of his request hit me. Getting blood drawn hurts. Grace has tiny arms and tiny veins. How are they going to draw her blood? Am I going to have to hold her down? My mind was racing. I hoped that the technicians would have some magical trick for drawing blood from a toddler.
They don’t, if you’re wondering.
The hospital lab was busy, and we had to wait more than an hour for our turn. I had plenty of time to make myself sick with worry.
And then the day got exponentially worse. There is no magic trick. There was only a miniature rubber tourniquet, a needle, and a technician with sensitive fingers. My mom and I had to hold down my screaming baby so that her blood could be drawn.
I had to restrain my child so that someone could hurt her.
Oh, Lord. Please help me feel better about that.
The blood dripped slowly out of the needle and into the collection container. I really don’t know how long it took, but it felt like hours. Baby screaming and moaning and writhing, my mom and I crying and trying to console her, blood dripping so slowly. It went on for ever.
I know there are worse scenarios. I can imagine some, and I hope I never see them.
I can tell you, for sure, that causing my baby pain is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. Ever.
Even for the sake of finding out what’s wrong to make her feel better, it was the worst experience of my life.
The results of the blood work will be back tomorrow and, hopefully, the doctor will know how to make Grace feel better. Hopefully, this was the last blood draw for many years to come. Hopefully, everything will be okay. Tomorrow.
It’s not okay now.
Please pray for wisdom for her doctor, peace for me, and health for my baby. We all need it, and that’s no exaggeration.
© 2008, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.