"Mom, I don't feel good," my son said on Friday afternoon.
Not the run of the mill, I don't feel good so I can avoid taking out the garbage or drying the dishes. No, this wasn't the boy crying wolf.
It really wasn't even the comment that concerned me but the look. All mother's know that look.
It told me what my son didn't even need to.
I saw that look and heard those words dozens of times each day throughout the weekend, only they intensified. After an urgent care visit, a trip to his physician's office, and a second phone consultation with his doctor we found ourselves rushing to the emergency room. The same children's hospital where his brothers had spent the beginning of their lives. Where Joshua spent more than 2 months and Isaiah 7 months.
The temptation for anxiety was high. Fighting rush hour traffic to get there, the sounds of, I don't feel good were replaced with a pale faced grunt every time I squeezed his hand.
I knew I couldn't make that look go away. No silly jokes or goofy mommy dances could change it. No high pitched attempt at singing his favorite song in opera fashion would do or I would have tried them all.
Simultaneously if necessary.
Grabbing my son's hand, I prayed, petitioning God for 2 things:
His wisdom and favor with the medical team
Grace for Elijah to deal with this painful situation
We were ushered right back to a room where he was treated like the king of the children's castle. On the way to the room I heard a shriek and was quickly caught up in an embrace. Working in the E. R. that morning happened to be the very same member of Isaiah's medial team from the NICU more than 8 years ago!
What a precious answer to prayer before we even made it to the room! Turns out the doctor working that day was a believer as well. Just a coincidence, huh?
Favor with the medical team: Check! Thank you Father!
They were thorough, gentle, found the problem and treated it. Although it resulted in terrible pain for Elijah, it turned out to the be the best possible diagnosis!
Wisdom with the medical team: Check! Thank you Father!
When the pressure is on us, what's inside will come out. I'm always proud of my children but I was blown away by his composure given the amount of pain he was in. On the happy to sad face scale he was a nine! A big ole wincing frown face with tears. After two doses of morphine he was still the wincing frown face. You know, this one:
When the nurse put in his IV, he said thank you! Who says thank you after an IV? My son did. She had what appeared to be a busted blood vessel in her eye. After he began to feel some relief, he looked at her and said,
"I hope you eye feels better." She told him her eye had been that way for several days and not one person had asked her about it. "Thank you, Elijah, that was very sweet," she told him.
He was being squeezed, literally and figuratively, and what came out made this Mama's heart beam.
Grace for Elijah to deal with this painful situation: Check! Thank you Father!
I'm reminded in times like these that, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
And what a very present help he is.
Whatever pain you may find yourself in today please reach out to Christ. Reach out to me if I can help you, encourage you, or pray for you.