I thought it was hard when you were a tiny infant, hooked up to tubes and wires, but placated myself with the nurse’s words, “At least he won’t remember all of this”-which, by the way, is not true.
I thought it was tough when you were finally mobile and you needed to be kept in those cage/cribs during your hospitalizations and couldn’t get down to run and play.
I thought it was difficult during your last admission, when you were well-behaved, but clearly stir crazy and we had to ride the Hopkins escalators up and down for hours (while pushing an IV pump) to keep you happy.
I thought all of that was hard until last night.
I am so sorry, sweet boy. I am sorry that whatever crud has invaded your body has worn you down and made you so sick. I’m so sorry that you had to have your port accessed twice, because they couldn’t get a good flow-no one deserves to be jabbed in the chest twice with a needle.
I am so sorry that you endured not one, but TWO attempts at bladder catheterization, in order to rule out infection and that my hot tears rolled down your forehead, into your ears, as I held you tightly and you screamed in pain.
Most of all, I am sorry that I have no way to explain to you WHY they have to do those things to you, when other kids are able to ride out the flu at home, without needles and tubes. I could find the words, I know words, but none in a way that would make sense to you right now.
The way that you looked at me broke my heart into a million little pieces. I am just now starting to understand you…the heart of you…as you are slowly catching up and able to express your personality and honestly, I think you are only just starting to understand me too. That’s because you’re improving, sweet boy, and growing up. You’re figuring things out, your brain is speeding up and even though the words are sparse and the comprehension is sometimes shaky, the one thing that you know is that I would never ever hurt you on purpose.
You trust me, wholly and completely…and I saw confusion in your eyes. I know, if you had the words (and I am almost glad you don’t have them yet) you would have screamed for help. Instead, you begged for it with watery eyes and cries of “ouchy”.
I am sorry, sweet pickle. Because of some crappy circumstances you have a lifetime of needles and tubes and long ER visits and pain and confusion. I can’t take that away for you, and that makes mommy cry big fat tears and leaves me feeling so helpless and like such a freaking failure for you.
You were a champ though, Corrigan. You endured it, and while you are still a very sick little boy today, you don’t seem to be holding yesterday against me. You smiled at me once this morning, between breaks in your fever, and to see that row of crooked teeth was like winning the lottery. I know my love can’t overcome the rest of the crud, but I hope you can feel it, brave one. You’re the toughest kid I know, and watching you go through this stuff forces me to be stronger too.
Mommy loves you.