Things that break a parents heart sitting beside their child's emergency room bed:
Watching a nurse fumble trying fervently to get an IV into your child's small veins. And having to try to explain to the howling child, on the eighth attempt, that yes, the needle technically is "in" your arm... but not your vein. On a side note: where can I learn to insert an IV??? Lord knows with the frequency she needs them, I'd like to be able to lovingly put the nurse to the side, and supervise when I do it for my wee child.
Waiting three hours for a transfer ambulance.
When the attending physician says "We need to do a blood gas test for her PH. It's a painful procedure. We're going to put an emugel patch on her for forty-five minutes to help numb her. Having a physician admit "it's a painful procedure" in reference to your seven year old fills your heart with fear.
Things that keep a parent afloat while sitting beside their child on an emergency room bed:
Miraculously discovering that your family physician is working the emergency room that day. I firmly believe that it was his familiar face that helped my child relax enough that her veins didn't disappear. He was the one who successfully got her IV in.
People that will drop everything to run to the hospital to be at your bedside. When I was told "it is a painful procedure" I knew I didn't have the strength or resolve not to loose it into an emotional heap on the floor in front of Rowan. No good was going to come from that. When I wasn't able to get a hold of someone, I ended up telephoning the grandmother of my eldest daughter's friends (the woman herself is coincidentally a type one diabetic). Even though she had family in from out of town, when she heard my sobbing voice on the other end of the line, she was at my side less than fifteen minutes later. She helped hold me up, and helped relax Rowan as well.
Friends that will bring a book, and dinner to the emergency room, without even asking. Friends who, even though child-free themselves, are there for you and your child during crunch time.
I'll admit. My higher power and myself haven't been on speaking terms much since Rowan's original diagnosis last summer. Yes. I'm having a bit of a spiritual temper tantrum. But that's okay, because my God is patient, and lovingly understanding. My God is mature enough to still be there for me, when I come back with my tail between my legs. This same God is the force that kept this squeamish woman upright. Helped hold my brave mask on for the sake of my daughter. Helped return my daughter to good health.
Gripes and gratitude. It's all about balance.