Monday, January 26, 2015


I should be at work today doing speech therapy with the kids on my caseload. Instead, I'm sitting in a dark room listening to Pete breathe. I love listening to the sound of one of my kids sleeping. When they were little I'd hold them and it would relax me and make me feel at peace. I haven't listened to Pete sleep in a long time. I've seen Pete asleep. When he falls asleep on the couch or in the backseat of the car, but I haven't listened in a long time.

He's in lots of pain and yesterday his sleep was fitful and scary because his heart rate, respiration, pulse ox and blood pressure monitor would set off alarms and set us all on edge. He moaned in his sleep and more than once a tear would roll out his eye and down his cheek without him even aware of it. Today, he seems a little more at ease. He still occasionally moans or complains that he is uncomfortable, but the soft breathing, gentle snoring are the sounds I remember from his babyhood. I'm glad to get to hear those again. Pete still has a long road ahead- healing is hard work.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Be careful what you call me

Yes nurse, you are in charge here. We are on your turf. Coming into this intensive care unit with a very hurt 16 year old boy has knocked me off my game a bit. Our priority is getting him well, so we'll do what it takes. I know we aren't your typical family. Having two moms and two dads is weird, not what this Catholic hospital is programmed to handle. But when you said to me: "No, the real MOM needs to be here." I may have remained quiet but know this.....

I was there when this child was conceived, I felt his kicks while he was inside the womb. I was there in the elevator of this very hospital as we rode to the birthing center the day he was born. I touched his hair when it still had amniotic fluid on it. You met him 4 minutes ago as he was wheeled in here broken and hurt.

I taught him to talk, to walk, to ride a bike and to drive that truck that he just wrapped around a pole. I enrolled him in the school he left without permission to get himself snack mix for lunch. I have kissed ouchies, bandaged boo-boos, removed bee stingers and splinters and taken him to more doctor and dentist appointments then I can count. I can tell you what happened and how he got every little scar on his body and give you more of his medical history than he could on his best day.... And this is not his best day.

I will be quiet and let you care for this boy so I can have my son back.... But be careful what you call me. And if you catch me on another day when I'm not scared and my kid isn't laying on that gurney... I'll be ready and you will know what the word Mom really means and what happens when you cross a real mom.
With the new truck
(**This incident happened with the very first SICU nurse we came across. I have to say every other nurse at St. Joes was respectful of our family and down right friendly. More important than that, our son got excellent care and I am grateful to every single one of them. But that first nurse made me hurt in ways no one with a loved one dealing with an injured patient should be hurt.)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Weather Boy

I remember the "My First Weather Station" thermometer we had in the kitchen when the kids were little. It had an image of a boy in the display that dressed according to the temperature. So when we first plugged it in and it was 80° the little fellow was wearing a bathing suit and a smile ready to dive in a swimming pool. As summer turned to fall the little guy moved from shorts into long pants. In late fall the temperature in Michigan dropped to 45° our little display was wearing a long coat, boots, scarf and wool cap.

At that point we lost all respect for our weather boy. In Michigan we don’t pull out the hat and gloves until it is at least freezing. And the long coat… at 45 degrees? The kids immediately changed his name to “wimp boy” instead of weather boy and every morning they all got up to check to see if he was overdressed. Poor kid, he just wasn’t used to our Michigan weather.