Sunday, June 20, 2004

Same Day (Part III)

"I wanna get outta here!"
During the ride to the hospital, Amy had fallen asleep, and remained so for the first couple of hours we were there. We were taken to the Children’s Intensive Care ward of the hospital, which I would find out later, was renowned as one of the finest in all of Southern California.

As I sat by Amy's bedside, she slept while I filled out admission forms. When I was finished, I just watched her sleep. Flame-red hair delicately framed an angelic little face that showed no signs of the truma that had befallen her only hours earlier.

Over the next hour or so, her hospital room reminded me the "Adoration of the Magi" scene at the birth of Jesus. Doctors and nurses in a seemingly unending stream, all came by to check in on her, to see her for themselves. They all wanted to tell me how happy they were for me and my wife. How amazing it was that there was no sign of any water in her lungs. How rare it was for a story such as this to end on a positive note. "You don't know how often your story doesn't have a happy ending," one doctor mentioned warmly. "Congratulations."

Soon thereafter, Amy awoke.

"Hey sweetie...How ya doin?" I said as I leaned over to kiss her cheek.

Her eyes gave a quick look around to size up her unfamiliar surroundings.

She frowned, "I wa'a geet owa heeoh!" (which loosely translated into English meant, "I wanna get out of here!)

"No baby, you need to just go back to sleep. The doctors want to watch you tonight to make sure you're gonna be alright," I said.

"Okay..." she said (amazingly). And within minutes she was again fast asleep.

I sat with her for another half-hour before a nurse approached me about retiring to one of the guest rooms they had set aside for parents and friends of patients in situations like this. "I promise we'll let you know if your little girl's condition changes."

I reluctantly acquiesced, although I was exhausted on every level imaginable. She showed me to the tiny room, which was barely wide enough to fit the single-sized bed into. I took off my shoes and crawled under the sheet.

I was out like a light.

Next: A new day
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