Monday, December 17, 2007

Can't Sleep

I'm in one of the saddest places on Earth: a pediatric ICU. Almost all of the doors have signs asking for no visitors, or that masks be worn. You can hear the kids crying and screaming, including my own little girl. I don't want to be here.

It breaks your heart to catch a glimpse of a child, bald from chemo, sitting Indian-style on their bed, staring at some cartoon while their parent or grandparent look off into some dimension of sorrow, confusion and loss that only they can see. I don't mean to look into these rooms, but I do. The hospital staff try to make this place friendly and inviting. There is a Christmas tree behind me and the play area is filled with numerous toys, including a life-size Spider-Man. There are many comforts here, but it cannot mask what this place ultimately is.

What is it like to be conforted with such horrid illnesses at such a young age. I faced the uncertainty of seizures and a brain tumor at 17, much older than most of the kids here, so I don't think I can really relate.

My little girl is doing better. Her situation is no where near as dire as a lot of these children. We're still monitoring her and will be over the next few days, which means we'll be here until at least Wednesday. Hopefully the scare is worse than the ultimate cause.

7 comments:

Sandra Ruttan said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Here's hoping you're home in time for Christmas with good news and the worst behind you.

Lyman said...

I've written and edited shitloads of horror in my life and I must say that the opening paragraph to this post is the scariest thing I have ever written. When you have kids it's your greatest fear.

My family is sending all our positive energies towards yours in the hopes that the rest of this week brings only good things.

Though I know this will go ignored, as it would if directed at me, make sure you take of yourself. Make sure your wife takes care of herself too.

Take care.

Lyman said...

And I'm a shithead... I meant read not written...

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am so sorry you have to go through this, at this time of year especially. My thoughts are with you.

Christa M. Miller said...

Steve! What happened?? I echo everyone else - I'm so sorry, and take care. We'll be thinking of you, too.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

That is scary, but I hope it turns out to be just a scare.

Steve Allan said...

Thanks everyone for the warm wishes. Lorelai is out of the hospital and is back to her old self again, tackling her brother and rough housing. We hope everything is going to be OK, but it sure as shit was scary. A drive to the ER never took so long in my life.