Friday, January 27, 2012

On the Other Side

Before my boys came along I worked as a pediatric nurse. The years I spent giving vaccines to thrashing children, starting IV's on dehydrated babies, and passing out stickers to brave little patients taught me a ton about when to stay calm and when to panic.
But I'll never forget one day in particular. A mom had insisted on an appointment for her child even after I had given her advice over the telephone. Knowing the doctor was only going to reiterate what I had said I settled them into the exam room. Her child had a virus and clearly did not feel well. Mom was on the verge of panic when the doctor did not prescribe her an antibiotic. It was my duty to go back in, calm her down, and move them out so we could stay on schedule. I tried to compassionately educate about virus versus bacteria as the mother reached near hysteria. She finally lashed out, "You don't have children do you? You won't really know what you are talking about until you are a mother!"
I felt slapped in the face. I never forgot her outburst. I had all the book knowledge when it came to sick kiddos, but no heart knowledge....until now.
It is very different being on this side of the stethoscope. I feel my babies hot skin when they have fevers, I hear their terrible coughs, see them curled tightly against my chest looking pitiful. While I know there is no magic drug like that mom wanted for her child, I do understand now the knowledge that mom accused me of not possessing. It's the heart of a mom who would do anything to help her child. It's the drive to protect and willingness to go to the ends of the earth.
No matter how many walls get dented, jeans get ripped, books get drawn in, and milk gets spilled, a new determination is born inside of you along with your child.
While she could have been a lot nicer, that patient from years ago branded me. It made me think about being a mom one day and the passion it would involve. It made me reach out in a new way to the little patients I worked with. It made me think about our Heavenly Father and the heart He has for His children. He did stand in the way of death for me, He fought for my life. Now as a mother I understand the fierceness of His love, the desire to see me whole, and His joy to see me His.

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