Last night my knight and I found ourselves in the ER with our middle child. It's Saturday night in a small college town, probably not the best time to be in the ER, but there we were. Symptoms and decisions all based on gut feelings, should we or can we wait? What will happen if we don't go now, what if we wait for more symptons or the resolve? Well, by the look on our daughter's face, it was time to go.
Entering the ER is like entering an airport terminal, baggage checked, X-ray machine and purses pried and officers looking rather stoic. At the initial scanning of the crowded room, all I saw were gowns, spiked heels, and tuxes. "Oh no, prom night and drunk driving equals a long wait at the ER....we are going to be here awhile. Well, with further observation there was way too much of one color with matching tux vests and older people dressed up...a wedding party. Oh my. With the struggles that we have been going through trying to figure out what is wrong with our daughter and finding ourselves in the ER this night seemed to diminish at this sight...just a bit. A young girl in the wedding party has died, later we would find out it was a flower girl just 6 years old and two other guest were critically injured in a violent head-on collision 1 mile from the wedding location an hour before the ceremony was to take place. How horrible, I thought.
As the hours pressed on and my daughter seemed to get somewhat panicky I began to talk to Jesus. I said a prayer to St. Jude and thought about praying the rosary, but couldn't seem to concentrate on one thought, so I just leaned over and held my girl close to me and watched my husband find something else to read. "I need a drink of water," he said standing up. Just 20 minutes before that a young man walked passed us vomiting into a bag, I said, "Don't drink out of a water fountain!" Why not?" he questioned me. "The dr, told me you should NEVER drink out of a public water fountain and if a dr says that.... I'll get you some bottled water." "No, I can wait. I'm going to the bathroom." I got him and our daughter a bottle of water each and when my knight returned from the men's room, I asked him to use the disinfectant cloths at the dispenser. "You can never be to careful, besides you are in germ city right now, with some guy throwing up and who knows what else here." He agreed and wiped his hands real good. My knight is a research scientist, but if there was one course I wish he had paid attention in and possibly taken more of, it's virology.
The hours ticked by, they triaged our daughter twice before finally calling her to put her in an exam room. All the while, the wedding party cried, walked up and down the aisles, back and forth for water, snacks, changing clothes, and looking understandably numb. What now for them, for such a joyous occasion to go so wrong and forgotten in the face of such tragedy and loss.
The doctors suggested more blood work and an ultrasound for our daughter to check on her spleen since she has mono already. Two hours later and a diagnosis: a urinary tract infection. We can live with that.
Walking out of the ER last night was a joyous occasion for us, we were leaving WITH our daughter and returning to our lives as they were. I looked back to notice that there are those that will leave empty handed without a precious one, their lives forever changed, forever emptied of a precious child.
My prayers are with this group of people, the mother and the father and all those so touched by this tragedy. Forever changed are they and no one can do anything to help ease this pain.
Waking up this morning with only 4 hours of sleep, I am saddened, thankful, relieved, and appreciative of the experience last night and early this morning. No complaints here at the Pillar household, just thanksgiving for a diagnosis we can all live with.