we’re running, keep holding my hand / so we don’t get separated

(I’ve been getting a few emails lately in response to recent posts. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback and a lot of support. I want to take this opportunity to thank all who’ve written or said kind words. I will get back to you personally via email but it takes me a few days to catch up.)

This morning finds me walking with Nels in the jogging stroller. First we drop his sister off at school along with her AR reading book and the small collection of supplemental bread-making activities for this week (read=I am a big nerd. Breadmaking Hoga-book download: [here]). Walking, walking, walking. Nels was quiet and happy so I put my earbuds in and had some musical bliss.

We were headed to meet my parents at the hospital for my father’s PICC insertion. This will be the third time in seven years my father has had a long catheter inserted into his veins to deliver poison. I am not afraid of medical procedures and I don’t want my children to be, either; hence at any opportunity we accompany him if he’s willing (so far, he always has been). I have to admit it is a little alarming to watch a nurse pull a three-foot long wire out of my father’s body. It is a little sad to see him in that old-man-skinny look where he can cross his legs like a stork and waits patiently on the bed for whatever horror or annoyance they have for him today (in researching more about his new type of PICC I happen to think the flash screen on the PowerPICC site is actually kind of frightening rather than reassuring). His white socks are stained with smudges of blood from a rash his body is covered with, a skin irritation that lives on even though it’s been a couple weeks since his last type of medicine. He gets dosed again with something less pleasant tomorrow so he is no longer having time to heal and recover before he gets more help/poison.
Still, having Nels and I (and of course, my mother) attending seems to fortify him. Talking to him about the process and involving ourselves pulls him out of a depressive funk and makes him feel, if not fully alive and well, valued and loved and still interesting as a person. Staying away from the reality of medical intervention and treatment would keep it “not normal” which can feel scary. I don’t want him to be scared; I don’t want to be scared. And while talking to him and the attending nurse an inspiration struck: I will knit an armband for the PICC site to keep the area secure and warm. I give a little thank you prayer for what seems to me a good idea.

Nels for his part loves the hospital. Today he is doted on by nurses who give him a coloring book and crayons, fruit snacks and a special little table for drawing. It would have been nice to have Sophie there as the attending nurse tells me she would allow my child to view the procedure. Sophie is a scientist; a frame of mind and state of being that keeps even the most obscure or disturbing medical facts anchored in a rational, curious, and strong mind.

Tonight the family splits forces: Ralph and Nels to a website meeting for the preschool, Sophie and I to swim lessons and then a Knit Night at my LYS. I have a sweater to repair, socks for Suse to finish, and an arm-band to start.

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