Or I chose his health over the ease of having him home.
Wednesday night, our 2:00 am visit to the hospital was scary on a lot of levels.
Level 1: Do we go? Was it a real faint or a passing one? He wasn’t out fully, well, I mean for like not long. Am I thinking clearly?
Level 2: How do I get him there? Ambulance will take him to a different hospital (we are out of Cedar’s jurisdiction), should a friend and I try to get him to the car and hope there is no passing out? Do I call and wake a neighbor or two for important but not life threatening help?
Level 3: Who will stay with the kids? Freaky kid situation: Wake up from a nightmare, going running into your parent’s room and find NEITHER of them there. Wow…that is a lot of therapist hours right. Who do they know, who would be able to reassure them if they did get up? Who doesn’t have kids to attend to on a SCHOOL night? Who can handle their madness?
For over 25 minutes I had no idea who to call. None. Zip.
This is exactly why offering specific kinds of help is so crucial. The old “if there’s anything you need” just fades into the background in a crisis. I can’t remember who even offered to do “anything!” I can’t process what you mean by “anything.”
For 25 minutes, while I’m getting dressed, calling the cancer center and minding Art, I have no frickin’ idea what to do about the kids. Take them with me?
I remember my friend Rach. And I remember on Wednesday nights her son is with his father. I remember that I called her another time on a Wednesday night and she helped me. It was 12:30 am when I called her. It was 1 am when she got to my house.
So when they talked about letting Art come home with nary a white blood cell in his body, I said no. Then they said “Home is better than here.”
And I thought yes they are right.
The protectionist started screaming. She has been more active lately and I am grateful to her.
“Who will you call? Who will you call if he spikes a fever at home at 2:20 in the morning?”
And “You have three sick kids at home. Are you nuts?! The only sleep you’ve gotten in two nights is the hour you spent swinging in the hammock at 4:30 am with a croupy 6 year old.”
And “You’ll be the nurse from HELL at home. You’ll take his temp every hour afraid to doze off for fear that a fever will sneak up on him and when you awake it will be too late. The exhaustion will make you hysterical. Oh and take a moment to thank the well meaning but stupid doctor who informed me that that previous statement is not an exaggeration like I had thought. So friggin’ comforting.
And then I visit Art today and I feel like a fool. He looks fine, healthy and cheerfully bald.
And then he tells me.
“I spiked a small fever last night.”
And there is a good ole’ back-slapping fest going on in my head. And I can’t help but smile at the news.