Monday, September 22, 2008

NICU and Post Op

I stopped at the hospital to tell Crystal that Valerie was fine. I don't know what I expected to find. I just needed to see her and find out what she needed me to do. I needed to do something for her. I didn't care what. I brought in an ipod and a book and any random thing I could find. I just didn't know what to do and I was overwhelmed by this sense of futility.

I got there and delivered my message and she said that she was in a lot of pain. Her liver was distended. She had sharp pains above the actual incision. And it didn't appear that anyone was doing anything to alleviate her pain.

She didn't want to talk--and I didn't want her to. I just needed a moment to actually feel what was happening to my friend, without having to worry about censoring for a watching child.

I sat on the couch and felt a flood of emotion wash over me. This poor mother was lying in a hospital room in total agony of spirit. Her baby had a hole in his lungs because he had cried through the night, and there was nothing she could do but lay there and just feel her body's pain and sickness. I was overwhelmed with sadness and peace at the same time. I didn't feel hopelessness in the room. I felt the spirit so strongly. But I also felt a heart wrenching empathy. Tears kept falling down my face. I couldn't get off the couch and leave her to sleep in peace. I felt I was swimming in a monumental and undefinable emotion. I couldn't say anything outloud for fear I would disturb the sacredness of the moment. I began to pray in my heart. I began to pray for her aching heart, and her liver and her womb. I prayed that love would wash over her atoms and cells and help to clear the toxins from her body. I prayed over and over and over again in my mind. I began to will that her body and heart would begin to heal. I sat there overcome by how filled with energy the room was. Finally, I stood and left.

I stopped by nurses station and with tears streaming down my face tried to formulate a question about her health. It didn't matter. They couldn't tell me anything anyway.

I drove off to UVA. I arrived with toiletries for Matt, but Matt wasn't there. I imagined that I might be able to hold Asher and try and tell this baby about his mother's love since she couldn't be there. I just wanted him to feel Crystal's love for him. After getting a sense for the love and sadness she felt--I wanted to do everything in my power to let this little guy know how loved he was. Instead, I just stood there numbly watching the nurse change his little diaper. His little lungs were working so hard. His head was wrapped in gauze and he had a tube down his nose. I was frozen. I had no idea how to help or what to do. Suddenly I felt so overwhelmed with fatigue. I just didn't have anything left in me to give. I felt embarassed to talk to him. I felt like he, like his mother, just needed to sleep. And there was nothing I could do to help him.

I felt horribly humbled at my inability to help.

I called Matt and told him that I had stuff for him, and finally just left it there in the waiting room.

The ride home was long and painful. I have a headache from crying and probably more so from the moment where I didn't cry, but needed to.

I'm home now. I would be there still if I felt like there was anything I could do. But there isn't anything. Except ask you good people to keep Asher and Crystal in your prayers. I'm worried about her. Asher will be fine. They'll both be fine. But Crystal needs your prayers to heal her heart. Not to mention her liver. But especially her heart.


Sunshine said...

Oh, Eve, this is such a tender post. It is amazing what happens to your body and spirit when you give so much to feel the spirit energy around you.

Prayers are amazing. One of these days I will write a blog about my experience with prayer.

I will send my to her and her little baby.

Christina said...

Eve, I'm so sorry that there has been so much heartache for so many this weekend, but what an amazing experience! I'm glad that amid all the stress and fatigue, you also felt the Spirit.

And yeah...we were all just fine at rehearsal. We missed you, but were mostly just concerned that everything was going okay for you and your friends. I'm glad to have such a vivid window into your thoughts. You're a lovely writer.

Emily said...

I'm so grateful you were there just to be with Crystal--it helps to be surrounded by loving friends!

Crystal said...

It still feels so unreal, Eve. I hope I never forget the tender feelings of this experience for Asher, Matt and Valerie but for you too. You went above and beyond. It was amazing to not have to worry about Valerie. It was incredible to know you were checking on all of us- Matt included (you provided all his nourishment for 4 days). It was amazing to know that I am so loved by you.

Asher really is fine now, and I am so glad you were there when the thing with my liver was being taken care of by invisble hands. What a blessing for us both.

Please always know that I adore you!