Weeks End Review | Perspective |

Friday, May 10, 2013


As many of you know I have been pretty busy these last several weeks. One of the many things I have been busy with is my little Luca's food allergies. Dealing with food allergies is a long process. As a mom I knew something was wrong but couldn't put my finger on it. So you try this and you try that because they don't write out orders for lab work based on hunches (insurance. not our doctor. our doctor is amazing!). But I was dealing with it based on a hunch he could not eat wheat which he hasn't eaten for months. Then at a recent dental visit we found out Luca had a mouth full of cavities. The great thing about having twins is that automatic comparison you get, because Milo did not. The dentist suspected Luca has been suffering acid reflux which finally resulted in insurance approved allergy testing to see what else he may have issues with. And thus his food allergies which led to his acid reflux led to him needing to have dental surgery. That was yesterday.

It went really well, we are happily at home eating popsicles. We went to Doernbecher children's hospital here in Portland, which I learned is a wonderful place. It also put a lot of things in perspective for me. I was feeling pretty frazzled in general from my never-ending to-do list. I was also feeling really guilty about not realizing sooner that Luca had acid reflux so bad that it caused so much damage to his teeth (how did i not realize that for so long?!). I was moping about having to learn how to make all my own pastries - not just wheat free but now oat free and soy free. I was feeling bad that Luca would suffer with allergies/celiac for his whole life and wouldn't be able to just spontaneously get an ice cream cone with his friends and would have to learn all the sneaky names for foods he's allergic to so he can properly read food labels.

But then we spent all of yesterday at Doernbechers and I heard a woman crying on the phone about having to drive several hours to get there in an unreliable car, having to take all her children with her with no one else to help, having to stay in a hotel she didn't feel safe in because that's all she could afford. Then I saw a man who was also there with his sick child turn to her and give her some money and say "I have been there too. I want you to have this even though it's not much." I saw a young boy in a wheelchair hooked up to an alarming number of IV bags come outside to play with his parents. He couldn't play like I was able to play with Milo. So his parents played catch with each other in front of him like he would if he were able to and they included him in every way possible, emotionally - lots of high-fives and laughter between them all. I saw too many parents that ran into other parents they knew because they each had spent so much time at the hospital with their children, and they all stopped to give each other a hug and words of empathy or encouragement.

We walked out with two bouquets of beautiful flowers that are donated by a non-profit organization The Bloom Project. We left with four stuffed animals which were also donated to give each child who comes for surgery (and to their siblings too). We made bracelets while we waited in the family area with volunteers who go from waiting room to waiting room bringing a cathartic distraction for families while they wait for their children in surgery. And we enjoyed a few nurse-ran puppet shows while vital signs were taken.

Today my feelings of guilt and stress have given way to feeling really fortunate. It was awe inspiring to see so many acts of kindness. Having been in social services for so long in the past, I hate to say it, but at some point you can feel a bit jaded that efforts don't reach those that need it most. It was just such a beautiful experience to see these efforts not only reaching those that need it but each person paying it forward immediately and without a second thought. And I'm totally over moping about having to make my own pastries. In fact I'd love to make a batch and take them down to one of those waiting rooms here in the near future. We all have our own set of blessings, it was a wonderful reminder to count them, and then, share them with others.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this today Christine. I wrote something oddly similar in my post today (sister dear!). Rough week. Less rough than others have it. Feeling grateful. Wanting to give back. In big ways and in little.

    Neel works at a medical school that is attached to one of the best children's hospitals in the state, and it's amazing how they get it so right over there. I've been thinking of doing some volunteer work over there, and now I'm thinking about it even more. Happy weekend, dear. I'm so glad you've found some answers about Luca and you're all home safe and sound.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reminders to be grateful are ever important, but of course if I had a magic wand I would wave it around most generously!

      I have donated to St. Judes, always moved by their fund drives. I don't know why I didn't think about something like that being so close to home too. But I am glad I know now. Thanks mama! xo

      Delete
  2. Oh Christine. I totally understand your feelings of guilt/not knowing - but it's one of those things...how could you? We're all making our best guesses in this world. So glad that you've found out the root of the problem and that there are so many people willing to stand by you. I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know it's hard! As a mom I think it's pretty normal to feel guilty in a general sense even about the most tiny things, so when you have a real (perceived?) reason it can be a wee overwhelming. But yes, I am so glad I found the reason while he's still so little, for that I also feel proud :) Happy Mother's day!

      Delete
  3. This is so touching. I'm so sorry you guys had to go through all of that, but I so loved your retelling of everything. Children's hospitals are so important, and so heartbreaking at the same time. I love that the hospital has made it as gentle a place as it can be for kids, with the amazing flower program, the stuffed animals, and the bracelets. I can't even imagine how tough it was for you guys to be there for the day that you were, let alone for the families that are "regulars." I hope L is feeling better, after everything. Take good care of yourself this weekend and hug those boys real tight. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was really a moving experience for me. I had no idea all the volunteer work and how happy of an environment they make it, bittersweet. L is feeling better, it's been a little rough mostly emotionally but now at least we can move forward on a healthy path and stay that way! xo

      Delete
  4. Aww, this is such a beautiful story! Glad that you were able to find out what the issue was. Lots of love!!

    WWW.ROXTHEFOX.COM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am so glad too. I keep telling myself how fortunate I am (in general) and that he didn't go several more years eating foods that were making him sick. xo

      Delete
  5. Aww! I am so glad that the surgery went well and that the hospital is that amazing! It seems like they are really catering to make children and their families feel at home, safe, and comfortable which are all part of the healing process. I'm smiling ear to ear :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine most children's hospitals are so wonderful I have luckily just never had to spend a whole day at one to find out. Glad I know now, seems like a really great place to give back. xo

      Delete
  6. Big hugs to you, your family and especially little Luca. I can't imagine how that feel, to be sick with worry over your child. The dad of my cancer buddy said it best - if you think you're ever having a bad day or feeling down, go to the children's cancer ward. It is sad and tragic. My heart goes out to all those patients and their families

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly how I felt when I was there. Seriously if you think your day is bad . . .

      I thought about your friend while I was there. My heart is with him and his family. xo

      Delete
  7. So sorry to hear little Luca has been poorly. Sending lots of hugs and love your way Christine, I can only imagine how powerless having a sick little one must make you feel. It was wonderful to hear about Doernbechers, I remember one or two trips to the hospital as a child and they upset me so much that even as an adult I get severe anxiety about going to the doctor for a check-up! I hope you had a lovely restful weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, Christine, this is such an inspiring post. In the midst of all that you (and L) were dealing with, you fought to see it in a different light. What you describe above - the feeling grateful and counting blessings parts - is how I hope to walk through all my days, with that same sentiment. Thank you for the gentle reminder. Sending you lots of positive energy and hoping little L finds a bit of peace. (We've got littles in our extended family with horrible/deathly peanut allergies and it really is NO fun for them.)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such a touching post.
    I hope little Luca is feeling better.

    And don't be too hard on yourself, we are only human. How could you have known it was acid reflux?!!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are awesome and so are you. So, please, share what you have to say!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Plumed Nest All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger