Right now “she goes through” applies to so many women and girls that I know and love all around the world. They are dealing with chronic life-threatening diseases, abusive marriages and everything in between. Nevertheless, they go through.
They go through sometimes minute to minute, sometimes hour by hour, it could be getting through the day or enduring a lifetime. May you never see an eight-year-old child weakly grasp her morphine button to endure the next few minutes.
That being said, western medicine is amazing and overwhelming. Doctors are wise and nurses get to the heart of the matter. But it is the parents and the spouses that get the medals in my book. Watching someone you love suffer and being able to walk the line between empathy and tough love is a true test of character.
Last week I was on the backup support team for my granddaughter’s surgery. She needed what amounts to a partial liver bypass with a much more complicated name. She turned eight years old just three days before the surgery. Three days from celebration of life to lifesaving surgery.
But it was the recovery process where I watched the most profound changes. The longer she stayed in bed dependant on the pain relief of morphine the more dangerous it was for her lungs as she has Cystic Fibrosis–which is also the cause of the liver damage.
The day came to get up and walk. A morning that is burned into my memory. She was screaming in fear of the upcoming pain of movement. She begged for us to leave her alone. It went on for over an hour. But when the surgeons and pulmonary team left and it was down to one nurse the work started. I noticed the nurse spoke quietly into her ear explaining step by step how she was going to be moved. It was painful to watch and more painful to endure–but she did it.
Next, it was time to walk, or should I say shuffle to the chair. It happened and now she only whimpered with anxiety. Once in the chair, she had to move back–this time she was in control. Once settled she gave us a wan smile and said: “tell my dad.”
I realized what I witnessed was a metaphor for so many things in life that we avoid due to fear of the consequences. In one hour she had accomplished what took me 10 years. To move from a static state of fear, push through the pain and come out feeling pride in her accomplishments and ready to try more. Within 15 minutes we were playing and laughing–of course, we were all emotionally drained–especially her dear mother, Kristal, who is so strong in her own right.
Adele is on the road to recovery, from this surgery, but faces a lifetime of these challenges. Hopefully, she now has more insight into what she can handle and achieve. She goes through and she goes home.