There is this really annoying yet oh so true verse in James that reads, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” James 2:1
I recently had a first hand experience as an amazing 4 year old girl helped me to find joy in the trails.
It started as a fun evening dip in the kiddy pool. The girls best friends and next door neighbors had come to join us.
Then we headed to the back porch for popsicles. Hannah and her best friend Amy were sharing a chair. I was right there beside them. I must have been watching the younger two when all of a sudden I hear a SMACK on the concrete slab. Hannah had for some reason stood up in the chair to reach for something, lost her balance and fell on her head.
We immediately called the after hours nurse. While I was on the phone with the nurse hannah started getting very sleepy, then she vomited. The nurse said she would have the doctor call me. A few minutes later the doctor called and told us to let her sleep, if she vomited several hours after the event it was probably something more serious and she needed to go to the ER.
Two hours later (9pm) I woke her up, she answered all our questions, seemed fine and went back to bed. At 11 pm, she got sick again. We called the nurse back and she said we should go to the ER.
Bryan insisted I stay and get some rest and he would take her. I was nervous but I knew he would take good care of her. At 1 am he called me to let me know some very scary news. Hannah had a skull fracture and her brain was bleeding. They wanted to transfer her to a more capable hospital an hour away.
I think I went into shock. I only had that experience once before when I was in a car wreck in college. I started FREEZING and shivering like crazy. I packed my bags, woke up Ava, and got to the hospital all in about 10 minutes.
Bryan took Ava back home and I got in the back of an ambulance beside our baby girl to travel to the hospital. This was my sweet but scary view:
I know this picture looks scary but she was not unconscious. She was just trying to sleep it was around 1 am after all.
My emotions were going crazy, I was on adrenaline overload, I wanted to cry and throw up but I know I had to be there for her. In this time, when I needed it most, Hannah taught me something precious.
I leaned over and asked, “What do you think about all this Hannah?”
“This is cool!!” she responded. My nerves were immediately calmed.
When we arrived at the hospital the doctors were talking back and forth about fractures and bleeding and all this scary stuff. All I could do was watch. Hannah sweetly and calmly answered all of the nurses questions. She obediently lifted her arms, moved her legs and did everything they asked her to do. She had the staff fall in love with her. Nurses were bringing stickers and any type of goody they could find.
After a few hours of test, poking, and prodding it was silent in our little section of the ER. And Hannah was finally able to get some much needed sleep.
At about 6am we finally got a room. She was first admitted to ICU
But she was doing so great we got a regular room that same day.
The doctor said her injuries would not require surgery and she would be totally fine!!!
We had to stay in the hospital a total of two night but our amazing little trooper is now home. Besides getting sleepy early she is acting totally normal. Our only problem now is trying to convince her to take it easy!!
It was quite a journey. Today you never would have guessed our little trooper was in the hospital just a few days ago.
So what has the scary experience taught me?
1) I have a whole new respect for parents of children with major illness. We saw so many children facing much larger giants than a skull fracture. I passed by this mom wearing a shirt that said, “My son is my hero” When your watch your baby go through such things…I get it now.
2) We have AMAZING friends. We had so many people reach out to us during this scary time. I now know how important it is and will make sure I am more intentional about checking up on people in the hospital.
3) The little things matter: Child life specialist, a job I hardly knew existed are some of the most amazing people on the planet. Their job is to help kids feel more comfortable in the hospital. They answer children’s questions about being in the hospital, then ask her about her favorite toys. A few moments later they come back with toys!!! They are priceless! This made Hannah, and mama, grin from ear to ear. I could go on and on about what a wonderful impact they made while we were there.
On a side note there were also two retired men who came around every friday doing magic tricks for the kids. They humbly said they do this because they can only play golf so much…but they make more of an impact than they know. I am telling everyone who will listen about how happy these two groups made us feel.
4) God made our bodies as incredible machines: Hannah had a skull fracture with internal bleeding. It sounds very scary, yet outside of some pain and anti-nausea meds there is not much doctors can do. Her precious little head will heal on it’s own, good as new. I’m impressed God.
5) Hospital food isn’t so bad
6) Family members freak out when you call at 6am
7) It takes a while for your body to “de-stress” I have been doing lots of deep breathing the past few days.
8) I am not in control. While part of me wants to construct a giant hamster wheel for her to live in protected from everything around her. I know that is not feasible. She is God’s daughter before she was mine.
This is something I never would have wanted, and never want again, but God always uses these situations. I have learned a lot. And this little girl…is my hero: