Sunday, March 27, 2011

Relation? Christian

Gabriel ended up in the hospital this Saturday.  He was wheezing and really having a hard time breathing along with a fever and some vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite (which for him may have been the most worrisome thing!).   But for us, it was scary to see him not being able to take a good breath and to be able to hear him struggling for air from across the room.  And it wasn't like a congested stopped-up nose kind of struggle, but something further inside that was constricting his airway. 

So, we loaded the poor little guy up in the car and hauled him off to the local INOVA emergency clinic.  It was great because there was no wait at all so we walked right in and started getting his paperwork filled out.  Jimmy was in charge of the papers while I held Gabriel on my lap and the nurse took his temp and his vitals. 
Then we were shown into the little curtained cubicle where you wait to see a doctor.  The doctor came quickly and I held Gabriel again while they hooked him up to a nebulizer to help clear his airways. 

While I was doing this, a nurse came and took Jimmy out of the cubicle to have him finish filling out the papers.  The he returned and the doc left and we dealt with crying Gabe with an elephant mask over his little face breathing in the vapors that would help him breathe.

Once that was done (it took 15 minutes of pure crying!) we waited again for them to come and get us to do the chest x-rays to see if the little guy had inhaled something or what exactly was going on in that little chest of his since he still had a wheeze and was struggling to fill his lungs.  We had to take his little shirt off and I sat his little tiny body on that huge table designed for an adult and he sat against a plate and we were both given the lead aprons, only his was much smaller.  I had to hold his little arms up in the air so that they could get a good shot of his chest and then I had to rotate him and do it again.  He was crying and just wanted me to pick him up and hold him.  He was so little and vulnerable in that big room with the big table and the whirring machines, and I couldn't get my apron off fast enough to grab him up and cuddle him on my lap again.

When he finished that, he was definitely feeling better, but we were still concerned that he had not eaten or drank much all day, so the nurse let him pick out either graham crackers or Teddy Grahams to eat (he chose the crackers.  Much more crumby, of course) and some Pedialyte to drink and we were back behind the curtain trying to get him to drink as much as we could so that he wouldn't have to get and IV.

He did very well and since he was breathing better and ate and drank, he was full of energy and started to run around the ER.  The doctor came back with the diagnosis:  Gabriel has an ear infection and the beginning of pneumonia, but she gave us a prescription for a round of antibiotics which she said would clear up both. 

Now he is home and after 3 doses of the antibiotic, he seems to be feeling much better and although he is still a little wheezy, it is not nearly as bad as it was before.

Then Jimmy admitted something to me: 

He said that when the nurse called him out of the cubicle to fill out the paperwork, the nurse went through all the information necessary:

Child's name? Gabriel
Allergies? No
Medications? No
Your Name?  Jimmy
Relation? Christian


Relation?  Christian. (Why are they asking me this?)

No...realtionship to the patient.

Oh!  Father.

And Jimmy told me that he was embarrassed that he answered that way because he had not understood the question.  He said that he thought the nurse had said religion!

But then I got to thinking in 2 ways.  What is really the most important question to be asking in the hospital?  What is the most important thing to tend to?  Which is more important?  Physical health or spiritual?

But then the other thing that I started to think about was that yes,  Relation=Christian.

That is the most important relation that we have.  Everything I am and everything my children are can be directly attributed to God and His relation with us. 

He is the one that gave me the calm to not absolutely panic when my young son could not breathe right.  He is the one who helped me hold him calmly and reassuringly so that Gabriel felt comfortable to not scream the whole time and to allow the nurse to show him his snack options and to eat and drink calmly.

And this relation of Christianity that I carry around with me helps to me have better relations with other people.  I am not in this alone.  I don't have to face relationship stresses by myself because I have my relation with Christ.

So, Jimmy, don't be embarrassed.  You are right and you should not be ashamed to shout it out.

Relation?  Christian!

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