Saturday, January 5, 2008

Can't Stop Thinking...

At out last clinic visit I had a seemingly benign encounter with our nurse practitioner (who we love). I was trying to see if next week, we could come a day later than our usual clinic day so that we could stay at Disney longer. She told me that it would be hard to arrange this because our upcoming visit included chemo and a procedure (lumbar puncture) and there are only a few procedure spots each day. She went on to say that there are several new patients who have Friday as their clinic day. Say no more - new patients get a LOT of procedures in the beginning of treatment. It wasn't a big deal for our logistics, we just bought some cheapy tickets back from Florida and will make our clinic visit just fine next Thursday.
What I have been thinking about is how sad I suddenly felt when she said that there were several "new patients". I imagined those shell shocked Moms and Dads and their sick kids. I imagined what they might have been doing when Kate was just diagnosed and how like us, they probably could never have imagined the road in front of them. I suddenly wanted to meet them, hug them and tell them that I know how they are feeling right now. I have thought about those families a lot for the last 2 days and have been thinking about how there are still more diagnosis to come. It has made me feel very sad too.
Is this morbid? I don't know - I think it is just a reality check for me. In the ER, I often have patients say, "But, I've always been healthy", when I give them a less than favorable diagnosis. To their statement I usually reply, "Everyone's healthy until they're not". Although I am a PA, this isn't something that I have thought of as it pertains to myself or loved ones but it is equally true there. Nobody knows what lies ahead for themselves, their friends or family. I have such an urge to give everyone I love a hug and call them to say how wonderful they are and how much they mean to me.
From this experience I hope to always remember how fleeting our time is and how we need to treasure those that touch our lives. I know I'll never be able to take good health for granted again!

8 comments:

Kari said...

I consider myself hugged ;) I completely agree with everything you said - we never know, do we! Thanks for the reminder of cherishing what we have and taking the time to acknowledge those who are a part of us!!

Kerri said...

I too have had your thoughts. I had the opportunity to try and chat with a "new mom" a while back...key word "try." She was very despondent and didn't want to hear that it gets easier. I had but to think back to my first month or 2 and quickly shut my mouth so that she could continue coping in the only way she knew how. Very hard. I need more pics of Kate too. Happy CBC days :)
Kerri and Izzy

Anne Hatch said...

You are a dear, Carolyn and such a strong woman. Thanks for the "reality check" and the inspiration to tell those we love how much they mean to us!

You are special to me... I'm grateful for the friendship we share and for the love shared between our families.:)

M&M Hansen said...

Your words are so beautifully written, so true, and exhibit such depth of understanding and empathy. We think you (and Jason, Jackson, Kate, and Ava) are terrific -- accept a huge hug from us. We do love you!

Many years ago, President Hunter said, "Courage is acting in spite of fear." Fear is paralyzing. Courage is inspirational. Thanks for sharing your courage with so many.

The Skelly Family said...

Oh wow, Carolyn. I had some of those same thoughts when we were in the hospital and had heard about a little girl with a new diagnosis being air-e-vacced (sp?) to Egleston from New Hampshire. My heart ached for you and I so wanted to come and give you a hug and say it would be okay. Sometimes it is so hard to know what to do and I am amazed at how differently folks respond to the 'reaching out'.

It isn't maudlin at all to have those thoughts. I believe they are part of what helps us keep our perspective.

Country said...

Nothing more to say than, Yes, Yes, Yes....

Simple Thingz said...

You have such a big heart Carolyn... and I still remember the big bear hugs you used to give and still do I'm sure. Sending a hug your way and amazingly... feel one back from you :) You have really learned the true meaning of empathize haven't you? You can really say you understand how someone with a sick baby feels...your words will be of great comfort to many. Love you !!

Christy said...

I love this post and can relate to it perfectly. I think these things all of the time. I remember one day in the clinic I saw a mom and her little girl and I knew it was their first clinic visit. I could tell from the look on the mom's face like "is this really my life right now?" I know I looked the same way on clinic day #1. I love Kate's hair coming in. It will come in fast now. Just wait. Good luck on the marathon. I ran one last year and it was almost like my therapy.