Why me? Part 7
After 2 days in the PICU, the TPN was the miracle that saved her. She began to get color back, she was gaining weight and each day was just another step closer. I couldn’t stay overnight in the PICU, and I didn’t want to stay at home.
One night my sister convinced me to go out dancing and finally celebrate being 21, now 22 actually. I put Keone to bed as he was tired from being at the hospital all day. I know that I needed time for me. It was important I get that. “Eyes will judge, but have no understanding” Kaila being in the PICU allowed me to catch up on needed sleep and spend time with my sister and friends.
I was slowly feeling like myself again. But I saw the world differently. Appreciated more. Hassled with less. I forced myself to enjoy life more. Thinking and preparing more for the future. My future, alone, just me and my babies.
I was set to return to work and Kaila’s father had to return back to Texas from leave. I had no idea how I was going to manage working and Kaila being in the hospital. But I had to continue to pay the bills and keep my job.
Kaila was back in the regular ward now. So, I would wake up at 3 am to get to the hospital, I would stay until 1pm to be at work by 2pm. I would finish work at 8pm and go back to the hospital until 10pm. This went on for 2 months until we brought Kaila home. Again I hardly saw Keone. Only a kiss good bye and a kiss good night and on weekends we spent most of the time at the hospital.
Being in the ward, it was a whole new experience. Kaila wasn’t in a bassinet now, but in a large crib. We shared a room with 6 other cribs. Mothers came and went with their babies. Some minor things such as jaundice, antibiotics, or even just minor hernia surgery.
There were approximately 20 rooms in that pediatric ward. Some children med-evac’d from Japan. My first day down in the ward, I noticed a boy probably about 7 years old, and his parents walking outside the halls. I tried not to stare. “Behold what you witness, for there is beauty”
The boy looked frail and in pain, his parents walked slowly behind him. The fathers arm was around the mother. I noticed he had a broviac also, and his IV pole had balloons attached to it like he had been there for a while as the balloons were deflating. To me he glowed in his pale yellow gown. It was like God wanted me to take notice.
I walked outside the halls often with Kaila and her IV pole. We weren’t allowed to ask about other childrens medical diagnoses but I did anyway. I asked the coreman, “That boy has cancer doesn’t he?”
“Yes Michael? actually, its a rare form, they are doing what they can, its unfortunate.”
Two days later his room was empty and so was my heart. It was the first time I had witnessed anyone suffering from cancer, and dying from it in the same week. The more I walked the halls the taller I stood. I met another family who had the same last name Madrid. But their daughter was 8. She couldnt see, couldn’t talk, couldn’t walk, only hear. Her parents owned a catering business and were great people. We also had the same surgeon. Because of the same last name they had our names flagged for a name alert. Elizabeth had Cerebal Palsy and had been there for months for other GI issues. When visiting Elizabeth I led her hand to touch Kaila’s hand and introduced Kaila as her new friend. She was smiling and staring quietly feeling Kaila’s hand. Her mom was happy as she giggled. Elizabeth began to recognize my voice. Elizabeth was very much aware of touch and sounds even though to some she was considered a vegetable. “There is beauty here, you don’t need eyes to see”