One year later, he sits here snuggled on the couch with his little sister eating pretzels. His hair is longer now and he has gained more confidence and independence, but he is still a young boy. Last year at this time we were entering one of the most frightening times of our lives. Even though he entered the world a bit early, my son had always been a fairly healthy child other than his teeth.
The teeth, oh the teeth. What we thought were erupting adult teeth, turned out to be something much worse. He had had abscesses before, so this time when he complained of pain there was no waiting. We made an appointment for him to be seen. When the x ray revealed nothing other than a whole slew of adult teeth pushing down, we went on just treating the pain. Within a twelve hour period things went from slight pain to an emergency.
That’s when only a few hours later, I found myself in a hospital room with my seven year who was not only not showing signs of improvement but was worsening by the moment even with treatment. A few days ago I had been really worried about his struggle with the Mad Minute. Day after day he showed no improvement in his math facts. This led to a struggle at homework time when he had to write his facts over and over causing huge stress in our house. I was worried about the Mad Minute and now I was seeing how absolutely ridiculous and blessed I was to have that as a ranking concern.
In the moment where you have to contemplate that you may just lose your child, there really is not much left but faith. His infection was spreading and moving towards his brain. It was a weekend and the doctors were really not around and it was anyone’s guess as to why he was not responding to the heavy antibiotics. So as he slept restlessly in his hospital bed with the infection now moving toward his brain, I sat and prayed. I had nothing to give and could not even put together a coherent prayer in my head. So over and over I said the Lord’s Prayer which offered me comfort in a time where I felt so utterly helpless. I sat there praying and thinking, God if you save my child I won’t ever worry about this simple things again. He could never pass a Mad Minute in his life and I will be okay with that.
Twenty four hours made all the difference and the support of friends all over keeping him in prayer and wishing him well was so much appreciated. The sun came up, the doctors did rounds and the antibiotics started to work. It was not the end, but it was the beginning. It was the beginning of a long journey with doctors appointments (6 months to be exact), oral surgery, and plenty more antibiotics. He survived the perfect storm between an abscess and a sinus infection. We will never know what came first or why he didn’t initially respond to treatment.
It took a year to write this because that fear and pain runs deep and to write it is to reintroduce it. I feel however that it is a story worth telling. Your children will always give you something to worry about and I am back to my normal everyday mothering where worries run strong. What is different now is perspective. That moment of how precious life is will always be with me. I am thankful for the chance to continue to live simply, but remember those who do not have that luxury. The point is to remember perspective in life, allow yourself to fret over the simply things once in a while but remember that there presence is a blessing in your life!