Monday, November 17, 2008

How Not to Prepare for a Recital

Have you ever had one of those dreams where, when you wake up, you cannot shake the feeling that your dream was real? It is as if your dream sneaked a tendril into waking life and is becoming manifest. That feeling overwhelmed me this weekend.

It began Friday night. Joy had been having abdominal pain for the past day and a half, and while Sam and I were eating supper, she was throwing up food that had been in her stomach for the past day. Never a good sign, that food's presence convinced us to send Joy first to urgent care and then on to the ER.

While Joy was off to the doctor, I got Sam in bed and Noah back asleep (after both broke down and attempted to outcry the other) and sat by the phone waiting. Joy called periodically to say that the doctor thought she might have some sort of blockage and had ordered X-rays; that the X-rays didn't show blockage, so he had ordered a CAT scan; that the CAT scan showed a ring around her small intestines that could be a host of things, including Chron's disease; that she was severely dehydrated and was being hooked up to an IV; and finally, at 3:00 in the morning, that she was being admitted.

I know that Joy must have been a little on edge through all this (but remained remarkably calm and upbeat on the phone with me), but I was a basket case. I had a friend on standby to come over and stay with the boys, was calling parents frequently with updates and ultimately asking Joy's mom to come and help out no matter what happened, was trying to get Noah to take formula for the first time in his life, and was trying to control the urge to drop everything and go to the hospital. Through it all I got about three hours of sleep, just what you need when you are playing a recital the next day at 5:00.

This was the first time we've encountered the problem of having young children and needing care for them while one parent goes to the hospital. Of course, if Joy had been suddenly scheduled for anything other than "sit in a room while various doctors throw various opinions at you" I would have been there in a heartbeat, but we both had a hard time figuring out the balance between staying home and normalizing our boy's lives and being there to support the other one. Why are these things in the parent manual?

Ultimately, I had a friend come over Saturday morning early so I could go to the hospital, Joy was released later that same morning, and we still have no firm answer on what was wrong with her. The entire weekend was a waking dream, and I'm still not sure what fears were real and which were symptoms of being up at 3:00, utterly helpless before a 5 month old and an agonizing decision between staying and going.


Matt and Jaime said...

Man, talk about stressful and scary! We're praying for you guys, and hope that the doctors figure out what's going on and that Joy feels better.

Andy Forbes said...

Wow, talk about going through the ringer... We'll be praying for you guys too. Is Joy feeling any better now?

Elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness! Poor Sam and Joy. I'll be sending you guys my thoughts, prayers, and wishes for a very calm Thanksgiving break!

Elizabeth Cribbs