Medical Professionals are AMAZING People!
Especially those who remember that hospitals can be intimidating places for the rest of us.
This morning started at 5:30 for us as we drove to Shriner's Children's Hospital in Tampa. Zach (John and Joy's baby) was to have the first of two surgeries to correct a genetic problem.
We've experienced this with Spencer and Abby, too. But the anxiety is fresh and reaches deep into our hearts each time.
How do you explain to an eight month old that the masked faces, loud noises and needle sticks are necessary? How do you convince him that the pain has purpose? How do you keep yourself from crying when their little eyes are wide with fear and filled with real tears?
Hospitals are intimidating places! Even for those of us who walk the halls on a regular basis for ministry purposes. When it's your own little one, when your family wears the "patient badge," you become the one reaching for comfort.
Thankfully, Zachariah Avery came through the surgery well. He rolled out of recovery with a cast protecting his left foot and extending up to his chubby thigh. The post-op team couldn't evaluate the color of his toes properly. So, a loud saw had to be used to remove an edge of the neon green cast material.
Joy (fierce little mamma that she is) walks and bounces her weeping child. Comforting him with the voice he's known since conception. Her shushing offers him the only peace he can absorb right now.
She slept two brief hours last night; but her confident steps don't tell of her exhaustion. Adrenaline can serve a purpose when necessary.
John takes a turn and speaks lovingly to his son; cheering him on in the first battle of his young life. We hear a modified version of "Jesus Loves Me" coming from a piano in the playroom. John is playing with one hand while cradling Zach with the other.
We live in a broken, imperfect world. And we all experience things that make no sense. Unfair things. Painful things.
But even in these moments, there are rays of light to be found - if we look.
Grace, the lovely Haitian nurse, greeted us first with a big smile and a friendly, "Hello! I remember you from the last time you were here." That was well over a year ago. Her kindness felt like a warm blanket.
Stephanie and Jennifer came into the room with peace and confidence. Too bubbly, and they would have seemed insincere. They're both young ladies and left sweet babies of their own at home. They freely express their empathy for Joy and John.
These people are professionals. They know the fine line between comfort and annoyance. The nurses here carefully watch our faces and take their cues. Amazing!
We'll leave as soon as Zach is cleared. Everyone knows you rest better
in your own environment. Zach will quickly learn to navigate in spite
of the cumbersome cast on his leg. This will be a life moment
remembered more clearly by the adults than by the baby.
Grace, Stephanie, Jennifer, the anesthesiologist, the surgeon...........the team is large. A rare breed of people. They each stop by to comfort, instruct, console, or just exclaim over Zachariah's dimples and engaging smile.
They deal with frightened children and parents every day. Some,
suffering with life-threatening illness. It's easy to see that our
family is receiving the same steady treatment they shower on everyone.
Most, at this hospital, are volunteers!
I'm not sure how Shriner's Hospital manages all they do. But this is one grateful Noni singing the praises of their professionals and their facilities!
Truly Amazing People!