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.