At my daughters 3-year-old wellness visit I jokingly mentioned she snores. Loudly…Her pediatrician with a straight face looks at me and says that 3 year olds do not usually snore, unless they have a cold etc. She handed me a referral to Children’s Hospital for a visit with an ear, nose, throat specialist. Oh 😦 Not a laughing matter.
Today was our appointment. As I drove closer and closer to the hospital, listening to my snoring daughter in the back seat I became more and more anxious. Will she need her tonsils out…adenoids, a sleep study…Heart pounding I played through many scenarios in my mind. We pulled in to Children’s Hospitals ‘ocean building’ parking area and headed in for our appointment. The ocean theme was continued throughout the building. Sculptures, mosaics, tiles, pictures, of Orcas, beluga, fish, and sea life were everywhere giving my daughter many distractions. I on the other hand was noticing many of the children in the waiting area who were very sick with little to no hair, their tubes connected to backpacks either hooked on their wheelchair or being held by a parent, grandparent, caregiver….The tired eyes and worry etched into their faces. As we passed they’d smile and I smiled back hoping I was projecting compassion, not the guilt I was feeling about my healthy daughter and my unrealistically amplified fear for her today. Fear is very real to these children and their caregivers. I am thankful that our specialist decided on a ‘wait and see’ approach with no immediate action needed. Other parents there today I’m sure were having entirely different conversations and my heart breaks for them.
As I left the hospital I held my laughing, wiggly 3-year-old close, smelling her hair and feeling extremely grateful for her health. I will keep the children and parents I saw today close in my heart and pray for healing, bravery, miracles, comfort… everything and anything that could help ease their pain. Today was a reminder that there are struggles being fought daily which are so much bigger than what I can imagine.