I’m sitting in the pediatric unit at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for the third day. My 4-year-old is in the bed napping. I’m watching his oxygen vitals and feeling calm, as I know we are out of the woods. We are almost home.
The thing is I’m not sure I entirely want to go home.
It’s not that I don’t miss my two other kids, I do. Of course I want to be away from the sounds of other sick kids and the walls and floors that are touched by missed germs. It’s just that for the last three days life got scary. But also much more simple. I’ve been confined to a tiny room with someone I love.
There have been excruciating moments where Xanax was taken and frantic texts and over-sharing happened in an effort to calm my nerves. But upon the diagnosis of strep and pneumonia and knowing he’d be OK, it was just a waiting game. I went to a place I rarely go.
My son and I sat in the dark the other night, him up way too late, fueled by the steroids to help him breathe. I tried playing classical music, it didn’t feel right. I found some old Dave Matthews from a concert he performed in Luther College in Iowa in 1999.
I graduated from Iowa that year. I might have been at the concert.
Surprisingly my son liked it.
I put the iPhone down and the music came out of it making us both become quiet for a moment. I suddenly felt younger then I do most days.
My son and I began talking.
I’m thankful and am excited to return to see my kids and my shower. I’m just wondering why this sterile, void-of-my-stuff room is feeling oddly relaxing and talking to me in some way.
Lying there in dark room, only illuminated by medical equipment, listening to some music and talking about random stuff. Well, with my 4-year-old. Such as, him calling me a "pagina head." He also talked about wanting to get his IV out, and he asked me about my dreams.
I said I couldn’t really remember my dreams anymore.
My husband came to visit and bring things, but I found myself wanting to kick him out. So I suggested he leave. Marriage makes a room seem tighter lately.
Whenever someone gets sick and all plans drop, things become a bit clearer. Well, I don’t know if that’s true but you do tap into that part of you that knows what’s important.
My son is almost better. I’m thankful and am excited to return to see my kids and my shower. I’m just wondering why this sterile, void-of-my-stuff room is feeling oddly relaxing and talking to me in some way.
January has been an eventful month, full of letting go.
Is this just a version of a mom’s vacation? Or is it another path for me to let more go. That sounds so L.A. or cheesy or young. Yet, when I was young, I listened to my intuition. The older I’ve become the harder it is to hear it. I’ve read that if I you stop listening to it, it grows harder to hear.
I just know that whenever I spend time in a hospital my thoughts go to certain people and feelings. And I vow to live better. But when I step outside of these contained walls I, too, often become overwhelmed by the pressure of obligation.