So far away
The past three days everything I have done has been shadowed with worry because my 4 year-old Goober is in the hospital with another severe asthma attack.
I come from a long line of grandma's who "take in worrying for a living." (A quote from my late mother.) However, this is more.
When Goober was not quite three, I tag teamed with my daughter Jen through a weekend in Intensive Care. I know what it is like to watch a small child's stomach muscles contract in desperate attempt to expand the diaphragm and pull air into the lungs. I remember the plea's of help that came only from her eyes because the rest of her body has relinquished control to allow all energy to focus on one more breath.
Then came the relief I felt when her first little smile begat a sweet request for a drink of water.
Last night my brother Tom called to check on Goober's progress. He shared some memories of his own asthmatic childhood. Our parents would often wrap him in a blanket formed into a tent over steaming hot water. He recalls receiving his first shot of epinephrine sometime in the late 1940's.
After our conversation ended, I thought of the asthmatic children in the past with lives cut short and of children in the present who have poor or no access to medical care in third world countries.
So, on this early Saturday morning, unable to rest, I woke with Goober on my heart and a prayer on my lips: for her, for other babies who share her affliction, and for their grandmas.
It was also a prayer of thanks.
I am thankful for Hospitals. I'm thankful for ER Doctors and for Pulmonologists. I'm thankful for Respiratory Therapists, for Nurses, and for all the other technicians. I'm thankful for the cooks, the custodians, the guards and the volunteers.
I'm so far away. Those people are there.