I guess this is a little, I mean a long, reflection during Holy Week.
This morning Sophia had a follow up appointment with her endocrinologist. She had to have 4 vials of blood drawn from her tiny little arm. I opted for the nurse to put some numbing gel on her arm first, thinking that I didn't want her to have a traumatic experience at the doctor at 3 1/2 years old. Those types of experiences tend to stick with a person. Well, I am wondering if just getting it over with would have been better than pulling off the huge band aids that had covered the numbing cream. Her skin is so sensitive, she can barely handle the tags in her clothes. Pulling off band aids was not a good way to start her lab experience. I did the first one slow and the second one fast, neither way was OK. Then came the poke. The lab tech was so great, couldn't have been better. But, Sophia would calm down, and then look down and see the needle and it would all start again.
So...traumatic it was. She seemed so hurt by the whole experience. I asked her if it was painful, or if she was just scared. She said that she was scared and that it hurt her arm a lot. All day she just held her sore arm. She will be OK. The lab work was necessary. Sometimes in life, we have to go through painful stuff. That's why God gave us family and friends, so that we don't have to suffer alone. Even though it really breaks my heart when I have to participate in holding my child down for a medical procedure, I will do it. It is my job to be there with my kids when they hurt. Even when my heart breaks because they are suffering, it is my job to be strong. They need to know that it will be OK. Sometimes I fail at hiding my worry, buy I pray to God I never fail at being there for them.
If you want it, here is a lot of background history...My little Sophia is just that, really little. She was born weighing in at 8 lbs. 11 ounces, but that was the last time she was considered big. There were times when she was even border line "failure to thrive" because she just could not gain weight. She was incredibly hard to console as an infant. About 5 months into her little life, I finally convinced her doctor to test her for reflux, which she had, and which she continued to be medicated for almost until her 3rd b-day. She has always just been a hard nut to crack. As a newborn she was checked for a heart murmur, turned out to be "innocent," (which is just the sound, not actually a hole), her soft spot didn't fully close until almost 3, and before her 1st birthday, I sometimes worried that the light was on but that she wasn't home. She didn't seem to always be connecting with me. She even went through a weird, super scary time from 12-16 months, when about 15 times a day, she would do this startle type shudder with her eyes rolling back. (That, by the way, miraculously healed after we went to Disney World, and visited Our Lady of the Universe Shrine in Orlando,FL! It just went away! The neurologist said that it could have been some weird virus. Virus or not, I truly believe that Mary, my Mother, the Mother of God, interceded on my baby's behalf.) She has had terrible allergic reactions to Omnicef and Amoxicillin, so her antibiotic choices are really limited. She has seen a cardiologist, endocrinologist, neurologist, geneticist, and a gastroenterologist. But thank God, it has all worked itself out. She just doesn't fall in the "normal" range. She is bright and able and strong, even if she is very petite. I have to keep having her checked because the doctors want to make sure that she keeps growing, even if just a little at a time. I keep thanking God that she is OK.
I think about the parents whose children aren't OK. How they must suffer watching their children suffer. That seems like too big of a cross to carry. I pray that those parents can know that Jesus is there to help them carry their cross. Our priest recently talked about compassion. He said that Jesus was full of compassion. "Passion" means to suffer and "com" means with. So He suffers with us. On the road to Calvary and dying on the cross He suffered with us, so that we would never have to suffer alone. Our loving God, not only took upon the sins of the world, but also the suffering of mankind. There is nothing that we have to go through, that He doesn't uniquely understand. He came down to suffer and die so that we might live. So, I will accept the small sufferings that I am offered, and I will try to help my kids realize and understand that their is no way to avoid suffering. Somehow though, we can offer our sufferings up to God and ask Him to bring us, and others around us, grace through it. Just as the greatest of all grace, salvation, was brought to us by our Savior's most compassionate offering, Himself.