Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Revolving Perspective

Last week Luke and I spent far too many hours at Primary Children's Medical Center...

After our prompt arrival, we were taken back to a room to began the initial steps for the procedure Luke was about to have. Due to the type of MRI Luke needed (a dye inserted into his wrist), the plan was for Luke to be sedated and so he was fasting. As a result, Luke was hungry and anxious for the procedure to begin and end. An hour and forty minutes after our arrival, a nurse announced to us that there had been an emergency and we would be bumped back. The estimated time of an hour and a half wait was not enthusiastically received.

After a couple of impromptu nurse meetings, it was decided Luke could forgo sedation, thereby making it possible that he could eat during the impending wait. The crackers and juice at the nurse station didn't satisfy Luke's empty stomach, so as the lunch hour approached, Luke and I decided to walk down to the hospital cafeteria.

(I have to interrupt myself to explain the fact that I have always believed that angels walk the halls of Primary Children's Medical Center. Years ago, while in college I had an experience at that hospital that gave me full confidence that those sick, and often dying children within those walls are not alone.)

As Luke and I approached the cafeteria, straight ahead of us was a large revolving door. With a ten year old's enthusiasm, Luke declared, "That is really cool." Well aware of the fact we had plenty of time to kill, I asked Luke, "You want to go over and check it out? I'll wait right here." Luke immediately replied, "Yeah!" with a big grin and even more enthusiasm. And off he went.

I stood watching Luke try to nonchalantly suppress his grin as he walked quickly over to the door and stepped inside. Immediately to my left, something caught my eye. Out of a nearby doorway came a girl in a wheelchair, being pushed (I assume) by her mother. The girl was likely very close to Luke's age, she wore a mask over her nose and mouth and her head was bald of any hair. Her face was void of any smile, and from her body language I knew she was very sick.

Just feet away from her stood my son, mischievously grinning from ear-to-ear as he was attempting to quicken the speed of the revolving door. My eyes immediately filled with tears and my heart suddenly felt heavy as I thought, that little girl should be doing the same thing Luke is. She should be being a carefree child playing in a revolving door, not scrunched up in a wheelchair in the throes of a medical nightmare. In that moment, I thought of all the horrible injustices happening within the walls of that very building, while my son enjoyed the novelty of a revolving door as he excitedly anticipated the hospital cafeteria having "a hamburger and fries."

I was deeply humbled as Luke and I walked into the Rainbow Cafe for Luke's lunch request.

Our five plus hour stay at the hospital the other day, resulted in nothing more than a cast on Luke's left arm the next morning. The result of an unhealed injury when he broke his arm after being bucked from a horse two years ago. Just a few days into it, I have found myself lamenting the cast and the subsequent prevention of keeping Luke's hands as clean as I'd like them.
I've stood at the sink several times over the past few days helping Luke wash his hands of chicken and goat germs, being careful to get them thoroughly clean without wetting the red cast on Luke's arm. I feel slightly irritated at the inconvenience of a cast, and the extra time it takes for Luke to wash his hands, or prepare for a shower. As soon as the inconvenience enters my mind, I think of the young girl in the wheelchair at the hospital. More than that, I think of the wearied face on the mother pushing the wheelchair and I count my blessings.

It's about perspective.

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