So far, Rebecca has officially finished 2 of her 3 plasmapheresis treatments and 4 iron infusions. I wish I could report smooth sailing, but my girl is STRUGGLING.
Fevers, flu-like body aches, and intense intestinal cramping – the pain is especially pronounced around her newly placed stent at the anastomosis site. We almost postponed today’s plasmapheresis procedure but Rebecca was determined to push through despite her symptoms. If she does not turn a corner fast though, we may be forced to cancel her 3rd plasmapheresis procedure. Prayers are greatly appreciated for the side-effects to lesson dramatically.
During COVID times, transport in a hospital is slow. And by slow, I mean what should be a transport turnaround of 10 minutes can be up to 2 hours. I was not exaggerating when I said, slow.
Transport was called for Rebecca’s plasmapheresis treatment to the infusion room. After waiting over an hour and a half (thereby making us over an hour late for our timed-infusion) we headed out of our room with Rebecca’s hospital bed and IV attachments.
I was fully prepared for our infusion with my over-sized book bag crammed with far too many books to read in a month, much less a few hours, and each of my hands holding a hot English Breakfast tea for Rebecca and I. Our journey was going well until we reached the dreaded ‘death-bridge’. This aptly named ‘death-bridge’ is a bridge connecting 2 towers together with an incline all the way up. Pushing a large hospital bed with a patient is a chore. We made this trek a few times before, but this time our transporter came to a complete-stop while the following conversation ensued:
Transporter – “No one told me I was going up a bridge. I am not about to push this bed up there. I am calling for back-up”.
Me – “Back-up?? Like, police back-up or transport back-up? Because if it is police back-up you have a far greater chance getting them here sooner….”
Transporter (rolling her eyes dramatically at my comment) – “I am calling for transport. I will not go up that bridge – there is no way.”
Me – “Ma’am, we are already over an hour late for my daughter’s infusion. If we wait for another transporter, we will miss the infusion altogether and this appointment is critical for my daughter. All we have to do is make it over this bridge.”
Transporter – “I can’t. I just can’t do it.”
What happened next is referred to in Texas as a ‘hold my beer moment’. Except I was holding tea. And I don’t drink beer. So actually, it is not at all like a ‘hold my beer moment’ but rather a ‘hold my tea moment’….
I asked Rebecca to hold her hot tea, balanced the other tea with one hand and started pushing Rebecca’s heavy bed with my now free-hand up the entire inclined bridge. And yes, of course I was in heels.
The transporter had no words – she just stared at me like I was some freak of nature. Which, maybe I am, but I was not about to miss Rebecca’s plasmapheresis treatment.
About half-way up the bridge, a nurse who weighed maybe 80 pounds soaking wet, saw my predicament and helped me push the bed the rest of the way up. The nurse and my weight combined did not equal the muscular transporter and yet – our determination to do the right thing made it happen. And when we got to the top of the bridge, we all loudly cheered – especially impressed I only spilled two drops of tea the entire way up!
Well, we all cheered except the transporter. She moped sullenly, dejectedly stating over and over there was no way she could have pushed the bed up that bridge.
There are times in life when we are scared. Scared to go up an unexpected incline. Scared to move forward after a bad experience. Scared to try something new. Scared to not have the strength to perform the task in front of you.
These past 11 years of medical madness I have told myself no-less than a thousand times, I cannot endure another moment watching Rebecca suffer.
Lord, please….not another surgery, not another hemorrhage, not another transfusion, not another infection, not another organ removed, not another pain spell….Lord help me, I just can’t do this anymore.
And yet, as a fresh prayer forms on my lips, energy is renewed in my soul. I awake each morning, place one foot in front of the other and make the necessary (albeit ridiculously hard decisions) that help my child’s survival. And somehow, in an unexpectedly miraculous way, the days I once deemed unbearable, God finds a way to supply me with the strength to get through another “not another.’’
Our transporter never got that memo. She reached the top of our bridge still convinced she was not good enough to try.
Through God we can endure the unendurable. Through God we can move forward. Through God we can accomplish the supernatural. Because we all know pushing a heavy hospital bed one handed up an inclined bridge while balancing hot tea in high-heeled shoes is most assuredly supernatural. But it also helps to have a companion to hold your other tea….
Thank you Lord.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” Romans 12:2.
Love to each and every one of you,