My anxiety dissipated as I sang. I walked in the house and wrote sub plans. Even though I knew for days I wasn’t going to school Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, I spent every spare minute with Kim in the hospital. I hadn’t actually written directions for a sub. Those had to be completed.
Thank you, Lord, that all the paper work is run-off so all I have to do is write directions. Please help me think clearly and get this chore done so everything will make sense to a sub, and I can focus completely on our new way of living.
Tuesday morning I went to work without checking on Kim first. The day flew by in a flurry of activity and mental calisthenics as I taught and wondered how Van managed to get Kim settled at home. Twinges of anxiety snuck in when I thought about the new responsibilities involved in my daughter’s care.
At 3:00 I was on my way home. Oh God, please take the fear and anxiety away. Replace them with Your peace. I trust You to help Van and me keep Kim as healthy as we can. And please let Kim feel You close to her so she is not so afraid of pricking her finger and getting those shots. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
To keep the anxiety at bay, I sang along with “Psalty’s Camping Adventure” again.
“Mommy!” Kim and Erin yelled when I stepped in the house.
I hugged Kim, long and hard, “I’m so glad you’re home. I love you.” Then I hugged Erin, “How was your second day of second grade? Fun?”
The girls and I shared about our day, and I settled them in the living room to watch TV. I started dinner. For the first time that day, Van and I could talk. His face told me something was wrong. I can’t take one more thing, God. What now?
“Not only did the insurance company force Kim to come home sooner than Dr. Curtis–the DOCTOR–wanted,” he emphasized, “but when I went to the pharmacy to get all the supplies, they only covered the insulin. Everything else is considered disposable, so they don’t pay for it.”
“You’re kidding! How do they think she gets the insulin? Without the syringes, she can’t take it. And we need everything else to make sure she gets the right amount!”
“No kidding,” Van replied. “I’ve been on the phone all afternoon, but they aren’t budging. It’s going to cost about $100.00 per month to get all those supplies. I’m going to have to get as much overtime as possible to cover this new expense.”
Ding-dong! The doorbell chimed happily. Before Van or I could get to the front door, I heard voices.
“Hello! I’m Mrs. Swanson. Are you Kimberly?”
“No, I’m Erin. Kim is over there on the couch,” Erin pointed.
“Please come in,” I said when I reached the door. “Are you the nurse who is going to help us this week?”
“I am,” she answered. “My name is Gloria Swanson.”
Van and I introduced ourselves and called Kim over to meet her. Kim’s face twisted into a frown when she realized Mrs. Swanson’s job was to supervise her evening shot. I took her by the hand, and we walked into the tiny family room-office area near the kitchen.
Kim whimpered when she saw the insulin supplies. Since Van had been with her all day, it was my turn to have the honor of hurting my daughter.
Kim held up her hand and told me which finger to prick. Van nodded confirmation. In less than three minutes, I announced Kim’s blood sugar level, figured out how much insulin she needed, and swabbed her calf with rubbing alcohol.
Full-blown crying replaced Kim’s whimpers. I wanted to cry right along with her. Instead, Van and I each took one of her hands and prayed, “Dear Jesus, help Kim to not be afraid. Help the shot to not hurt. Amen”
“All done,” I said only five seconds later. One thing we discovered was that although Kim begged us to go slowly, the faster we plunged the syringe into her skin, the shorter the trauma and crying.
“You did well!” Mrs. Swanson said. “Do you have any questions about her meals for the rest of today?”
“I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to this. Do the kids ever stop being so afraid?” I asked
“You won’t believe how quickly she’ll get used to this,” Mrs. Swanson promised. “She must eat within the next half-hour so her blood sugar won’t drop too low.”
“And I need to finish up, so Van will show you to the door. Thank you for your help.”
“No problem; I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow morning.”
Tomorrow. I’ll be here with Kim while Van is at work. I’ll have to listen to her cry and get her calm enough so I can give her shots. If anything goes wrong, it will be my fault.
I dreaded tomorrow.
I cast all my cares upon You…I hummed.
We sat at the table and enjoyed our first family dinner in four days. “Thank You, Jesus, that we’re all home together. Thank You for this good food. Amen,” Van prayed. Our conversation was punctuated with laughter.
Van did the dishes while I supervised evening chores and read the next chapter of
- Little House on the Prairie.
Dishes done, Van sat on Erin’s bed and listened to the last couple of pages. “Who wants to pray first?” he asked.
We all prayed, but the message repeated, “Thank You, Jesus, that Kim is home. Thank You that Mommy and Erin like school. Help Kim when she gets shots. Amen.” How wonderful it was to sing our good night song together, tuck both girls into their own beds, and kiss them good night.
Van and I checked on Kim every thirty minutes, just like we had when she was an infant. We laid our hands on her back and kissed her forehead. When we went to bed ourselves, Van held me close, “You’ll be fine, tomorrow, you know,” he assured me. “If I can do it, so can you.”
“I know. Especially since you’ll pray for me all day.”
Van kissed my head, and I drifted off to sleep.