Last Thursday, we planned to go to Salt Lake to the Huntsman’s Hospital for Sarah’s liver MRI. On Wednesday, I got a call from radiology asking about the shunts, coils and wires that were used in her chest throughout the years. They wanted to make sure she would be safe during the scan. Apparently, we are supposed to have some sort of card that lists the type, make, and model of anything they put in her permanently. We were never given anything like that, and they were having a hard time getting hold of all the operative reports and records where that information would be given. By Thursday when we were supposed to leave, they now had the reports, but they did not include the make or model of the coils they used, and felt uncomfortable doing the MRI without sure knowledge of what they were up against. We told them to keep looking, and we headed out anyway. We had another good reason to go to Salt Lake…
On Wednesday, we found out that a family in our ward (whose first-grade son is best friends with ours) had two daughters going to Primary Children’s because they were sick with something that started with E. coli. Their 9 year old was on the way to the hospital by ambulance, and the father was driving the other kids to their grandma’s and the baby to the hospital (she was just starting with the same thing). My heart just broke for this sweet family, who went from having six healthy kids to having 2 daughters in the hospital with unknown outcomes, in a matter of two days. I know we’ve faced that with Sarah before — many times, actually — but she’s always been “sick” and somehow those surprises are somewhat expected. It hit us pretty hard. We’ve faced these things (and walked the halls of that hospital) for years, and knowing someone else we know would be there worrying, suffering, and trying to figure out all we have learned over the years made us kind of teary. We put together some little practical gifts and set off to the hospital, knowing we were going to support friends and lift spirits, even if we didn’t have an MRI to go to.
Just 30 minutes before we were supposed to be there, Huntsman’s called us back, and told us they were unable to get the information they needed to satisfy their concerns in time, and we would have to cancel the MRI and reschedule in the next couple of weeks. Sarah was relieved, and although we were a little annoyed, our trip to Salt Lake simply took on a different purpose.
We spent a couple of hours at the hospital with this dear family, and it was such a joy to be able to give them a little support and love. Sarah sat and talked to the oldest daughter (she has babysat her in the past) and shared some of her tips, tricks and memories with her of hospital life as they opened her “activity bag” we brought, and shared with her the the notes sent by her 3rd grade class and friends from church. Although they are in rooms just near each other, we realized that these parents haven’t had a chance to be alone together, or get any good sleep since they have been there. They both get to stay with the girls and switch back and forth, but they haven’t had any reprieve or rejuvenation time, with one being in each room. We probably didn’t do much for them besides offer our love and support and a little friendly advice (from the millions of thing we have learned), but it was a very different experience for us being on the helpless outside, rather than the family on the inside. On the way home, Sarah asked, “Is this what people feel like when I am in the hospital? Like they want to help somehow to make it easier, but don’t really know what to do?” Teary-eyed, we all realized that’s exactly how they feel. It was kind of an eye-opener for us, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to be the ones supporting, loving, and praying for someone else. We were also very humbled to know the depth of love and support everyone else must feel for us when it’s our turn.