Today was a beautiful day. I woke up to my toddler having pee’d on the floor, not on accident. I tried my hardest to keep him from sneaking food, from which he was to abstain, while I cleaned the carpet. My 6-year-old’s on the toilet with a stomach ache, crying for my help…what am I supposed to do? I smiled and assured him he’d be alright and the ache would be gone soon. The toddler comes back for round two. Thankfully, it was on the kitchen floor. What is he thinking? He’s not a dog. He doesn’t need to mark any territory. He’s made it clear in numerous ways that EVERYWHERE is his territory. Meanwhile I clean up pee mess #2 like a good mom. The toddler swipes a single rice chex from his baby brother. “AHHH!!! Spit that out child! No food!”
Today was a beautiful day. It’s time to leave. The young man in charge is our 15-year-old son. I lay down the law for the kids who’ll be staying home so me and the peeing toddler can drive downtown for his appointment. He’s fully prepared since his older brothers have been giving him their sage medically accurate description of the procedure for about three weeks now. It goes kind of like this. “Tristan, you’re going to get a tube shoved down your throat so you can get rid of your belly ache!…ha, ha, ha!” To which Tristan calmly responds, “I don’t have a belly ache anymore. I don’t have a Celiac disease anymore.” I’d deny my ailment too if the diagnostic test fit that description. Boys!
It’s a peaceful ride downtown and I offer to pray for Tristan. He proceeds to scream at me to stop it. He doesn’t like my saying the rosary today. I’m going to believe that it touches his heart. He always gets crabby about things that touch his heart. I don’t think he knows what to do with that emotion yet. I pray quietly to myself for one decade. We observe a number of trucks and the river as we approach the hospital.
Children’s Hospital in St. Paul has really made some nice improvements since we’d been there three years ago. Tristan has been to Children’s once before to have a couple minor surgeries. Today, we’re confirming his Celiac diagnosis with an upper endoscopy for an intestinal biopsy. A lot of prep goes into this five minute procedure. Children’s staff is definitely up to the task. Starting at the security desk, they check photo ID’s and take a snapshot to create a clear name visitor tag. Then a welcome center worker escorts you to your proper location. Patience is a must for this young man since Tristan is a little relaxed in his walking speed. The nurse in the elevator up to the third floor was so friendly and complimented me on my scapular. I love the opportunity to share my faith. The Children’s waiting area in the pre/post-op area was filled with toys, books, push cars and buggies. I felt completely safe allowing Tristan to make the noise he needed to enjoy himself. The toys were nice, well kept and clean. That one rice chex delayed the procedure by an hour! Luckily, they have movies on demand and we were able to watch the LEGO movie for the hundredth time. I really can’t complain about uninterrupted snuggle time with my buddy, even if it is at the hospital. Take it when you can get it, right?
Great things are happening at Children’s. They reminded me how important, smart, precious, vulnerable and special children are. As much as I know this, it can get lost in all the havoc that occurs in our everyday life with all the ages we’re experiencing currently. Nurse Carol treated Tristan with such dignity and respect as did Nurse Tami and Dr. Sundeep. They were truly joyful in their dealings with him, talking him through everything, and me too. At Children’s, they understand the child, the parent, the close relationship between the two and honor that bond completely. I felt truly cared for there. They are more than medicine and staff there. They are servants. The Children’s medical staff cares for the whole person and raises the dignity of children’s medical care to a whole new level. Keep up the good work! Thank you, Children’s, for making my day beautiful!