I'm once again sitting in a cramped, sterile room with my daughter laying in a hospital bed. A virus has once again attacked her lungs causing her to need oxygen and medical treatment. We had been home less than 4 weeks from her last hospital admission. This is the sixth month in a row that we have been in the hospital with her. It has been tiring, frustrating, worrisome, stressful, and at times unbelievable.
It's had an effect on everyone in the family. Poor Jaycee has endured pricks, tests, x-rays, medicines, being woken up for treatments, and discomfort. She has not been able to go outside when it's too hot and humid or if people are burning leaves. She hasn't been able to go places and do things she has desired to do. And school? I hope there's nothing important to learn in first grade because she's hardly ever there. For me, I've been ran ragged trying to play mom, wife, and speech-language pathologist (my usual roles) but also the nurse and doctor at home. Keeping track of her appointments and medicine schedules have been mentally and physically exhausting. I can't work when I need to at times. I battle selfish thoughts of wanting her to get better so my life will be easier. My 4 year old son's life has been affected as well. He's been passed around to a couple of different homes when we are in the hospital two hours away from home. When we are reunited at home, he's clingy and has to be reassured that he'll see me later that day after he goes to school. It's sad that a four year old knows how to turn on a vest therapy machine and makes comments like, "Sissy's not feeling well." He has a fake cough that he produces until I comment on it so he can ask for medicine. Does he really feel the best way to get attention from me is to pretend to be sick? Not good! And my husband...He is torn between being with his sick daughter and going to work to make money for the family. He comes home tired and has to deal with a stressed out wife and a daughter who is rarely completely well.
Still, through all the changes, disruptions, and illnesses, I can honestly say that I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for my husband. I couldn't do this alone. I'm thankful for the good natured and sweet spirited son I have. I'm so thankful that Jaycee is alive and here with us. I'm thankful for the many, many people who have poured out meals, money, and gifts to support our family over the past few months. I'm thankful for a God who gives me strength and faith to keep going and mercy when I have doubts.
So it doesn't matter if we get discharged and spend Thanksgiving at home or if we will be celebrating it in the hospital. I can find thanks in any location as long as my family is with me in the room.