Just Write {90}

June 24, 2013

In the next room there was a consistent beep. The high sound of keeping track. There was a child we couldn’t see, connected to the beeping as it kept track of a little heart. From another room, a baby was crying. Our Asher was on the hospital bed in front of us and he looked puffy and flushed. He has a fever and so much pain in his noggin. We didn’t know if his hydrocephalus is bothering him in the heat, or if his shunt is malfunctioning, or both. We were waiting to see.

The doctor checked him over and had a few theories. Then we went in for a catscan, down the hall. Asher was asking me lots of questions while I said, You have to be really still.

Why, Mommy?

For the pictures.

Okay. Then he held his little white lamb blanket close to his chest.

He never remembers doing this from one time to the next, not clearly enough to remain question-free. It’s not old hat and I’m suddenly kind of glad about that. He’s okay, I said to me.

This is our first time going to a Children’s Hospital in Austin and the halls are different and the people are different but it doesn’t matter because one thing is always the same about this. People are really good to you at Children’s hospitals. The doctors are really good at what they do and they relate like no one else can. Most of the time they say that Asher looks like Ralphie on A Christmas Story.

That’s true. It makes me smile when people say that.

I stared at him while we waited for the results. Having him is always going to be one of Life’s greatest lessons. When he hurts, I want to fix him. When he hurts, I look at him longer. I look at Miles and Elsie longer, too. I look at having them and I can’t stand how good it is. Asher is a gift and so is his condition. He will always have special needs but those words don’t really describe him. It’s more like he is an answer to my special needs.

As it turns out, his catscan showed no signs of a shunt malfunction. His ventricles looked normal and the specialists think he has some kind of virus that is giving him a temp and such bad headaches.

Ryan and I both said a big loud-whispered, GOOD, when we were told this.

He’s okay.

Asher grinned from the bed and asked to get on the iPad. He just sat there like nothing happened at all, with his dirty feet and mop of blond hair and he looked up over his glasses with those big blue eyes and he got his way. On the drive home I realized my shoulders were nearly up to my years, tight and afraid of me, of Life, of Loss. I took a deep breath and let them drop and then we all went in the house. I watched my family and then I went outside to mow the lawn and pull weeds. I pulled and pulled and pulled. I suppose I was doing what I can do, and it felt good, to keep going with Life.


This is the 90th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page, and please don’t link to posts that are not freely written in the spirit of capturing moments–you know, don’t link to how-to lists or sponsored posts. Also, please link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.

Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word? Thank you!


Julia June 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Oh this made my heart stop for a moment. How terrifying. I’m so glad everything was ok.
Julia recently posted..The Great Wolf Lodge Adventure on Moonfrye

Stephanie Precourt June 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I am so glad all is okay, and I remember how those times shake me up more than in the beginning, when you’d think I’d be stronger by now, but it just shakes faith and all, all over again. And normal life sounds so much better.

PS I just wrote.

Stephanie Precourt recently posted..This End Up

Kat June 25, 2013 at 1:04 am

Oh that worry. I am so glad everything is okay.

My niece had a shunt put in when she was just over a year old. She is a freshman in high school now and just made the varsity cheerleading squad. It is hard to imagine all that she has been through (she wasn’t even supposed to make it through the end of the week when she was first born) and now she is healthy and happy. Children are so amazingly resilient.
Kat recently posted..Things That Make Me Smile

Tracie June 25, 2013 at 4:27 am

It does feel good to take on something we can do – especially after we have just been reminded of the things we can not. I’m glad he was okay, and the virus leaves quickly.
Tracie recently posted..Going Green With Your Old Blog Posts – It Is Recycling Day

deb colarossi June 25, 2013 at 8:17 am

hugs Heather, and so very glad to know that he is okay.
( such perfect writing btw )
deb colarossi recently posted..second thoughts. a reconsidering from a hospice.

Tiffany June 25, 2013 at 8:19 am

I am so thankful for the good news!

Arnebya June 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

I’m glad he’s ok. I visualized the whoosh of GOOD when you were told.
Arnebya recently posted..Just Write: All The Thoughts In No Particular Order

K.M. O'Sullivan June 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

Oh yes. Each of those scary moments of unknown can take a parent’s breath away. Liam has had two headaches this year. For the average child this is nothing. For a child with a known condition it means hours, if not days, of worry. So glad this was one of those normal childhood illness days…but even those can make you ache.
K.M. O’Sullivan recently posted..I’ve Only Been 29 Years Old Once

Casey June 25, 2013 at 11:08 am

Oh goodness. So glad he is okay. So much love and peace to you.
Casey recently posted..A Lunch Challenge

Rob June 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

I can’t imagine being in a new city and having to go to a new hospital with new doctors, adding to an already frightening time. I am so glad that things were okay with Asher’s shunt. I hope he gets well soon!
Rob recently posted..Just Write – Go On An Adventure When Asked

Elizabeth @ Rocks, No Salt Mommy June 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm

What an honest post, well-written post. It’s terrifying to have a sick child, but you are right about children’s hospitals. There is a certain level of patience and understanding in those hospitals that is not present at any other medical facility. I spent many days in the ICU of a children’s hospital watching my best friend’s daughter lose her battle with meningitis. The nurses looked the other way when we had too many visitors or they stayed past the allotted hours. Those people are angels. I could never do what they do on a daily basis.

I’m so happy that your son is not seriously ill and that his shunt is okay. A visit to the children’s hospital was probably at the top of your list of things to do in your new city. But at least you know he will receive good care when those trips are necessary.

I empathize with your feelings about a big move, as I pack up my family to move cross-country in 48 hours. I’m blogging about the love and my mixed emotions today as I link up with you guys for the first time over at http://www.RocksNoSaltMommy. I hope you check it out!
Elizabeth @ Rocks, No Salt Mommy recently posted..The New I’ve Been Waiting For

Laura June June 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm

So glad to hear it is only a virus! A good friend of mine has a son who visits Children’s often. That has to be the hardest thing as a parent!
Laura June recently posted..Rapping on My Heartstrings

Zena Neds-Fox June 26, 2013 at 7:36 am

i just found you today…thank you for the opportunity to link-up here.

my oldest has special needs and i’ve been thinking a lot about when she’s ill and how consuming it can be and how that’s formed me as a mother, as a person. i’ll take this as another encouragement to write about a topic that’s tough to get words around.

~ zena
Zena Neds-Fox recently posted..back-alley heart surgery

Robbie June 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm

That sick, scary, powerless feeling is awful. Very glad that you received good news.
Robbie recently posted..Photo Love

Katherine Stone (@postpartumprog) June 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

Thank goodness he’s just fine. And I’m so glad you found a comforting place to take him in your new home. Hugs.
Katherine Stone (@postpartumprog) recently posted..Never Quit Climbing Out of the Darkness #ClimbOut

Misty July 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm

First, glad he is okay. Second, this is beautiful and spot on and makes my heart ache in all the good ways. One of mine has “special needs” too. She is just who she is and such a gift and I could easily forget much of the time. But it all has a haunting quality about it. Thanks for giinf me some good words to chew on. :)

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