Wednesday, January 7, 2009

perspective

As I scurried around the city right after Christmas trying to pack in our last doctor appointments of the year I felt sorry for myself. Super sorry for myself....and for my girls.

I was just so darn sick of doctors.

Sick of holding Lu down to get blood from her teeny veins as crocodile tears drip puddles down her chunky cheeks.

Sick of worrying about poor Claire every time she comes up with a UTI, gets her red circles under her eyes, and pops out with a new cold sore. I'm sick of the fact that all the UTIs cause bed wetting. And clothes wetting. And more and more piles of laundry.

Sick of getting my own blood drawn let alone watching my poor girls suffer through it.

I was sick of all the worry involved with wondering if Lucy really has such and such a syndrome that the geneticist suggests as she pulls at straws to try to give me a definitive answer as to why in the world my two-year-old still can't understand half of what we say and acts like she can't hear us either.

And I don't know why I keep reassuring myself each time we head to the doctor or the lab that this is the last such-and-such. This is it. Because every time I think that they tell me they need one more test. One more blood draw. They give me one more referral. Just one more specialist.

As I sat in another one of those endless waiting rooms for one of three doctor appointments in one day last week trying to keep Lu happy I was grumpy. I was frustrated. And most of all I was worried. Lucy was getting tested for a rare syndrome that is scary. Really scary. And she fits all the criteria. So I worried for her. I worried for our family.

And then all of a sudden my mind-set shifted...a lot.

A sweet Dad walked in with his two boys and it was clear that both of them had some health issues...one of them pretty severe. This was a family that looked as if they didn't have much. Their clothes looked like they were on a third or fourth hand-me-down. Their hair was all snarled up on top. They could only speak Spanish to the ladies at the counter as they checked in.

This Dad was clearly devoted to those boys. He wasn't ruffled as one of his sons rocked himself back and forth talking kind of loud gibberish. He spoke quietly and sweetly to both of them to help them be patient as they waited their turn for the doctor.

Suddenly I didn't feel so sorry for myself. My eyes welled up a little...not for my own predicament but for theirs. Suddenly my perspective was completely different. This family clearly had much larger health issues than we have. But they were struggling through. They were doing it.

Little did that sweet, devoted Dad know that he changed me a little that day. Yes, we have issues. But I need to remember that they're so minute compared to what they could be.

So, thank you, you humble, caring Dad, for your tremendous example. My heart is with you and your boys. Thanks for showing me your good heart as you cared for them and for giving me a new perspective.
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