You get a little glimpsed of how absolutely blessed your life is when you spend the night in the ER. Katie Mei has been struggling with a sinus infection and really really bad allergy attacks. So, we have been on a schedule of nebulizer treatments and inhalers. Well. We ran out of medicine. So last night at 11:41, she is struggling with her breathing, and I am willing the last puff of albuterol out of the inhaler- and I realize that we need to go to the ER. Not like we are strangers. In fact, I am certain that one day we will have our own parking place. I am certain!
So, we get there, and get in right away- wahoo, I thought. This will be super easy. We got put in triage, and Uncle Matt (the pulmonary specialist) listened to my poor wheezy girl and hooked us up in triage to the nebulizer. We did two treatments in a row, and she was already much better. So I was assuming, they would let us go. Nope, we had to wait for the doc. Now here is really where my story begins.
The ER, is a really hard place to be for 5 hours in the middle of the night. In triage, we shared our space with a young teen who was dealing with asthma and she and Katie bonded over the albuterol shakes and mutual pajama and ugg boot outfits. They were moved into our little area because there was a man with the flu. Yeah. That would be the stomach flu. So every so often, a pink bin would appear. And then sounds abounded. I felt bad for the guy. Puking up your guts so just about everyone can hear is not fun. And the teens mom was funny. She almost lost it herself.
Then we went out to the waiting room. We sat and waited. In the time we waited, we giggled over this sweet little boy who also was getting asthma help. He was a chubby little guy in feety jammies and slippers. And his Momma doting all over him. They were really sweet. There was another woman, who was holding a pink basin. We stayed away. There was an older gentleman, who had been in triage with us, whose blood pressure was high as was his sugar count (you really hear a lot in the ER). He looked tired and sad.
And then there was a baby. She was 1. Sweet little red haired girly- with pink striped jammies on. Katie was totally enthralled and played peek a boo. I figured they were in waiting, because she really was in a great mood. Her mom and her aunt were with her. We actually ended up being across from them once we got inside the er. And it made me so sad. She had been sick for awhile and the doc looked in her ear and said, oh! her ear drum perforated *I think*. It was the next conversation that really made me sad. And angry. This little girl had no doctor, no insurance and had not even had her shots at all. She was often told how "bad" she was for doing normal baby things. Then, her young mom lay down on the bed while her aunt held the now sleeping child in a hard chair. Then, the aunt and the mom took out their brand new i-phones giggling about photos friends had sent. And then the nurse (LOVED HER) gave them a talk about how there are places to take your baby to get vaccinations. The mom, loudly, said she didn't have no money to take the baby to the doctor. Yet she had a brand new i-phone. I don't know her. But I did see her life. And I was so sad for that little one lying now on the edge of a bed, so her mom had enough room to spread out and text.
Then there was the 2 month old baby, left at the hospital by her drug addicted mom.
Then, there was a woman, struggling with the throws of alcohol addiction. Crying for attention. For someone to help her. For someone to love her.
Then, there was the small, quiet, elderly couple. The frail sweet woman was probably suffering from a mild heart attack- and maybe pneumonia. They have been married 40 years. He called her his princess. She patted his hand and stroked his face.
I looked at my sweet, healthy, giggly, wiggly, loved beyond belief daughter and was in absolute awe of how blessed I am.
I got home, put my little love in her warm bed and kissed her on the head. I went into the boys room and kissed there warm cheeks. And looked in wonder at their beautiful faces. I then crawled in bed next to my husband, my prince. As he put his arms around me, I felt the tears come. And I was both sad, for the people and stories I had a brief moment of time with, and amazingly thankful for the life I have been given. I spent an hour praying for all the people we saw. And I spent an hour realizing how much I have been given, and what a gift the Lord has given me. And that that gift is available to everyone. I will continue to pray for this little group of people- and pray that perhaps, they too can know the One who can walk with them through this crazy thing called life.