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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Christmas In A PICU Pediatric Ward.: Special Needs Parenting 101.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A mother copes with her son being in the hospital during Christmas; he is currently very sick with a blood infection.

I look at the small, still form of my sleeping son, and tears prick my eyes.  I know he is probably going to be okay, but right now, I wonder if that will ever come true .  You see, he is currently in the hospital; he is very sick with a blood infection.

He is in the Intensive Care ward; doctors want to make sure he beats this thing, so this is why they popped him in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit (PICU).  They are constantly monitoring his vital signs; if they don't, machines do it for them, as they go about their busy lives.  He has IVs in both arms, a nasal cannula (oxygen) in his nose, a tube in his bladder, so he can pee, and a tube in his nose (it goes to his stomach).  That's not counting the wires, which lead to the EKG monitor.  He's wired for sound. 

The medical staff have tied his arms to the sides of the bed he's in, so he doesn't purposely (or accidentally) remove any tubes.

He became sick several days ago, with a high fever.  Well, it kept getting worse and worse, so yesterday, we had no choice but to bring him here, to the hospital.  They immediately admitted him.  He has something called septocemia, or a massive blood infection, that can quickly kill if it is not treated promptly and aggressively.

What makes the situation worse is that my son has some serious special needs.  He has Down syndrome and heart problems that have required surgery twice in the past.  This is why the doctors and nurses want to keep close watch over him; he's had problems with his heart before, so anything can happen.  I'm just praying and trusting in God to bring Hadley James through this latest crisis.

He's been in worse scrapes before; this shouldn't be any different. 

At least he isn't having surgery this time, so I can at least count my blessings in that regard.

Yet seeing that it is Christmas Eve, there's no chance he will get better enough to be sent home (or at least moved out of the ICU ward).  That means that I will stay here at the hospital and pray or try to while away the time before I can next see him in two hours (for fifteen minutes at a time).

I guesss that will mean that we will celebrate Christmas after Christmas has ended, or at least during the first of the year.  His presents from Santa Claus will have to wait until he gets better and stronger enough to be able to leave the hospital.

Hadley James is a very sturdy little guy, even with his heart issues.  He is six years old and has had two surgeries (one when he was ten days old, the other, last year), so he is a veteran of hospital stays.  He knows what it entails; while it is never fun, he handles it like a trouper:  he is my courageous little man.

I don't like it much myself, especially when he has to have surgery or when the "vampires" come seeking his blood (the lab techs) or when the nurses poke him with IVs and/or other needles.  He often doesn't understand that this is necessary to help him get better, but each time it happens, I hold him and cry almost as much as Hadley does.

Some big, brave mamma, huh??  (NOT!)

I often wish that Haines (my husband) could join me here at the hospital; however, he works two jobs to try to support the family.  Hadley's bills often eat up what we have, so we aren't exactly what you call well-to-do.  God does provide, so we don't have to worry; God is never late.  We are making it, with the grace of God.

Besides Hadley, we have a daughter, Hennah Joy, who is eight.  She is okay: no disabilities.  She is our ballerina, our dancing queen.  She loves her little brother with the ferocity of a mother tiger:  she would do anything to make sure her little brother has all that he needs.

Hennah is very accepting of her brother; she often wishes other kids (or even adults) could do the same:  see Hadley beyond his "Down syndrome-ness".

Well, the doctor is here; he wants to do more tests on Hadley, so I must leave.  Just keep us (and our son) in your prayers; pray that his fever goes down and that the infection clears, so he can go home before the year is out!  This living at the hospital is hard on a body, in more ways than you may ever realize!  It is not for the weak, that is for certain!  I would greatly appreciate it!

Take care and God bless, and thanks in advance for the prayers on Hadley James' behalf!  And above all, Merry Christmas!  (We'll try to have one, considering the circumstances we are now currently facing.)

~Love, your new friend, Dorothy June Bellingham.  :(

*story to be continued.* 

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 12/24/2009
I too hope this little guy recovers, a great write thank you for sharing
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 12/24/2009
I hope the little guy recovers ... sickness doesn't take holidays off. :( Well done, Karen.

(((HUGS))) and love, karla.

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