tidings of comfort and joy
Often, in the day to day life, we get caught up in the sadness of the battles we feel have been left unwon. . . but my last month on the ward was one of small and big celebrations. . . of joy in the midst of impossibility. Of laughter, teaching, and children going home better for their time with us. . .
S* was a little one came in tiny for his age, a true Tiny Tim, whose heart stopped his first night in the hospital because of a low calcium and his overall weakness. Shruti, our visiting doctor and my good friend, was there at just the right moment gave him medicines and brought him back. One week later I sent him home with good growth and normal calcium – laughing.
D* is another little one I have cared for many times this year. He came in seizing uncontrollably, breathing with incredible effort, and unable to feed. We worked on his medicines for his seizures, adjusted his way of eating and how mom helped him with his coughing, and he also went home with a smile -seizure free, growing, off oxygen, and mom, who had come in despondent, walked with a new quiet confidence.
J* was one of 4 little boys I diagnosed with Down Syndrome and heart disease this month. Mom cuddled and loved that little one every second, but struggled as she watched other babies improve and go home. I sat with her while she cried, looking with such radiant love at her tiny little boy. And then another mama stepped in. . .
P* was my first little one – he came to us snoring while awake in right heart failure and with a huge oxygen requirement. We treated his pneumonia, started his heart medicines, and then talked to ENT. He had surgery to get his tonsils out and after a short ICU stay and in a few short days, he was flipping over in the bed, giggling, and his mom beamed with joy. . . She stayed with us over a month, but as Mama J* cried, she came over and sat next to us. “He will improve. We have been her a month, but I am happy. It is worth it. He was very sick and now he is well.”
These mamas and their precious babies all sat beside each other in one section of the ward – all of them came with sadness tinged with hope that we could help. All of them needed help from others and our needy fund to pay their bills (thank you to those who have so wonderfully helped me fund it this year.)
And all of them went home with babies so improved, with Hope assured. Hope that came from our medicine, our laughter, our love for them and their children – and their care for each other. As we began to decorate for Christmas, I walked out of their room, beaming the day they all finally came off oxygen. This, this is what we mean by tidings of comfort and joy.