Growing up I don’t ever remember being a superstitious person. I guess my only superstitions have come from times of great stress.
I won’t ever shave or cut my hair when Liam is in the hospital. If the itchiness gets really bad I will shave just where my shirt collar rubs my neck but no shaving of my face. You should have seen me the day we left the Nicu after 153 days. Grizzly Adams had nothing on me.
I only cut my hospital bracelets on discharge day. When you’re seen in the E.R. they give you a bracelet and then you get another when you are admitted. Once admitted the ER bracelet can be removed but I never do. On long hospital stays bracelets can get kind of gross. Nicu bracelets used to have folded pieces of paper under clear plastic. The paper would start to stink after it got wet from hand washing. Nurses would constantly be asking to give me a new one but I always refused. Sure, bracelets can wear out and snap off, its inevitable on the long stays, but I only cut off hospital bands on discharge day.
I guess I only mention this now because last night I got to cut off a few bands and this morning I finally got to shave. Liam spent most of the last week in the Intensive Care Unit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. He’s home now. It was a long, trying week and I am glad its over.
Mother’s Day this year was supposed to be a very big deal because it was to be the first Mother’s Day that Karin didn’t spend in a hospital but unfortunately that didn’t end up being the case. Liam’s gift to his Mom though was getting well enough that she got a few hours at home with him in the evening of Mother’s Day. The Kid always gets us the best gifts.
He needed to go into the hospital because of some GI problems. He’s fine now and I’ll spare you the boring details and medical talk.
I will tell you though that the universe works in very mysterious ways. Almost immediately after being admitted to The Unit (its what patients and employees call the ICU) we were approached by a few nurses and the unit’s social worker and asked if we wouldn’t mind talking with a few different families whose children either just got trachs or were about to get trachs. When Karin and I grappled with the difficult decision to put in Liam’s trach it was conversations with another family who had been through it that got us through such a difficult time. Liam must have known that there were families in the hospital that needed our help. In only a few days we became very close with a few families. I am sure that we will see each other again as we already have plans to get together outside of the hospital. Being through what we have been through has given our families a common bond that few people in this world can relate to. You can never truly understand what its like unless you’ve lived it and so talking with anyone else in a similar situation is a blessing.
I do believe that we were sent to the hospital at this particular time to help these families but I’m not sure that the families know how much they helped us. Talking with them gave us a purpose while in the hospital. A mission. A distraction. If nothing else it made the time go by quicker and before we knew it, it was time to go home. Thank you Morgan’s family and Becky’s family. We will always remember how our families met. Don’t ever forget that as much as it may seem like it sometimes, you are not alone.
It will take a few days for life to get back to normal. All three of us are exhausted and the house is a complete mess. Liam is sleeping now and Karin is upstairs doing the same. As soon as I publish this post I will stretch out on the couch next to Liam’s crib and try to be the third. It shouldn’t be a problem I’m not superstitious about sleep.