There’s a book I’ve been waiting to read (it’s on hold at the library) and it’s called “Everything happens for a reason and other lies I’ve loved.” I’d want it for the title alone.
But there’s another platitude that I hear a lot, and it’s that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s not true either. What doesn’t kill you can just damage you in ways that won’t ever really heal and leave you weaker, less resilient and more prone to tears.
All of this is the roundabout way to say that Sam’s sick.
He woke up vomiting, and has thrown up six times within the last two hours. I’m fine on the outside, soothing him, switching out buckets for him to throw up into, rubbing his back and assuring him that I’m right here, and he’s going to be just fine. But inside I’m shaking and can’t stop worrying that maybe it’s an ulcer or his small intestine is damaged or it’s something else. He ate taquitos for dinner last night, with red peppers. Are there tiny flecks of red pepper in the vomit, or is that blood? I tried to resist googling it, but couldn’t stop myself. It’s tiny little drops, probably nothing. And it might be peppers. But I could go from here to hysterical sobbing in two seconds if I’d let myself, and it’s only thru sheer will that I’m managing to hold it together.
I’m not stronger after going thru Sam’s accident. I’m weaker. It’s easier to be strong when you don’t know what might happen, when you haven’t gone thru sitting in the PICU, not knowing what’s wrong and not knowing if it’ll get better.
He’s fine. It’s a stomach bug. He’s not running a fever, and he’s sleeping comfortably now. He’s fine.
If I keep repeating it, maybe it’ll be true. Only I know that repeating it doesn’t actually do anything – because I’ve done this before.
But I keep going – it’s a stomach bug, he’ll be fine. Meanwhile, I keep texting Marc for support, and try to stop myself from googling.