The past few years, I’ve spent far more time than I would ever hope for at our children’s hospital. But every time I’m there, I find myself completely humbled. And grateful. I watch parents walking their kids down the hall. But instead of holding that sweet chubby hand, they’re pushing an IV cart. And instead of heading out to the parking lot to take their baby home, they’re coming back in with another week’s worth of clothes.
Last week we were back. Little had testing to do that we’d been looking forward to since he was a week old. Back then was rushed to ER and admitted to the NICU with RSV. They coincidentally discovered he has VUR. (I think the acronyms are supposed to make things less intimidating, but as a parent it just makes you feel even more helpless that you can’t pronounce your own baby’s conditions.)
Since that week spent in the NICU, Little has taken a small dose of antibiotics every day of his life to reduce his risk of a kidney infection. (Yes, we considered this carefully, looked into alternative treatments, you name it, but we decided to follow our doctor’s advice given the high grade of his reflux. Being treated at a world-class hospital certainly helps instill confidence in your doctors.)
This was the day we would find out if we could finally set him free (that his kidneys had matured and self corrected) or that he would likely need surgery to correct the problem (which they anticipated due to the severity of his case).
As I walked through the halls of the hospital, I couldn’t hold back the tears. But it wasn’t thoughts of surgery—or even potty training this 19-month-old firecracker (which was the first step if he still had the reflux)—that had me coming undone. It was thoughts of my friend at another children’s hospital not too far away. You see, she had rushed her sweet little boy into the hospital a few days earlier and I knew he was in the midst of testing that was far more serious than anything we were dealing with. I couldn’t help but see their faces in the families I saw everywhere fighting quiet battles.
We were lucky. The tests (which involved us pinning him down to a table screaming while doctors put things in places nobody should) showed that Little’s reflux was gone. His body did the work for him.
My friend wasn’t as lucky. The tests (which were even more invasive than Little’s) showed that her little boy has Leukemia. His body is working against him.
I can’t explain why things work out the way they do. But I do know that I admire the positive attitude my friend and her family have had this past week as they’ve figured out how to manage a new way of life. I just ask that you send thoughts and prayers their way. And give your kids an extra tight hug today. Because we’re all so blessed for the time that we have with these precious little ones.
sending LOTS of positive energy to your friend’s little one to pull through this.
Very touching post. Both you ladies have really positive attitudes. Sending prayers and good thought to both of you guys, your boys, and your families.
Hugs of happiness and hugs of hope… all coming to you and your friends! xxoo
Horray for Little and your family! My prayers are going out to your friend. Please remind her of St. Jude here in Memphis. I believe childhood Leukemia is one of their specialties. Families come here from all over the world, all at no cost to the families.
I am so thrilled to hear the news on Little — ‘atta boy!
My heart goes our to your friend and her family.
Your words never cease to amaze me. I am so happy for Little and for all of you. I had no idea how serious his situation had been … you handle it with such grace and always seem to have a smile on your face. It makes me realize just how much I take for granted. And yes, I will hug my precious little ones a little bit tighter today! As for your friend, my heart goes out to her! I will keep her little one in my prayers.
Tracy, I love (and so truly appreciate) that you have this perception of me. I think we hang out just the right amount…you obviously only see me at my best. (Drop by any weeknight at about 6:15pm to see the real me.) And while I guess compared to most kids, Little has been through his fair share of drama, nothing has ever been that serious in the scheme of things.
Yay, Little! 🙂 So happy for you ALL. I am thinking of your friend. She and her family are in our prayers. Hugs.
Thanks so much for the words of support for us and for my friend. We really are lucky and I can’t tell you how grateful we are that Little’s VUR is behind him! Such a relief.
I got to go see my friend and her little guy today. He was absolutely adorable and is already starting to perk up…his body is responding well to the treatments. Such great news and so great to see their sweet family staying strong. Amazing. Keep those good thoughts coming!
MJ Tam says
Hugs. As a mom myself, I can imagine how hard this journey was for you. I’m glad to hear your lil’ one is ok, but my heart aches to hear your friend’s child is sick.
Thanks so much for the good thoughts, MJ!
Wendy Hagen says
So sorry about your friends’ kid. Heartbreaking. So stoked for your boy. Hooray – no more kidney reflux! And no more antibiotics. Woohoo. Potty training? Well, that’s still no fun. But better reflux free.
Thanks for talking me through my options and giving me a lot to think about on this journey. It was so empowering to have your experience to talk to doctors about and weigh my options. Sooo happy to be done with the antibiotics and reflux. And now I can put off potty training to a bizarrely late age like I did with Big. Yay!
Thank u so much for this touching post Amy. And thanks to all ur sweet friends for their support and prayers for my little Mini Coop. You are an INCREDIBLE writer and I admire your talent. Your words can put tears in my eyes.
Jenny, you and your family have been through so much these past few weeks and every day my heart and prayers go out to you. Here’s to one strong mom and one sweet little boy…may you all be healed quickly and completely!
Chills and tears. Oh man. Thank you for this post. My thoughts and prayers are definitely being sent to your friend. All we can do is be grateful for every day and what we do have. For some reason I have known of too many serious illnesses these past few weeks with people I love.
Thank you for the reminder to give the little guy an extra special hug today.
Love your blog. So beautifully written. Authentic. Funny. Helpful. Inspiring.
Thanks so much for the kind words, Suzannah. I’m so sorry to hear that people around you are having a hard time. I’m sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.