Friday, June 27, 2008

Children's Hospital

Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints affords us many opportunities to serve others. Lately our ward has had many challenges with the health of members. Last night I had the opportunity to spend the night with one of our young women who is a patient at Children's Hospital in Seattle. She had been having severe migraines for several years and so the doctors had a scan done on her brain. They found that she had a large tumor at the base of her brain. The tumor was so large that it was almost choking out her spinal cord. She had surgery about two weeks ago and is still having some recovery issues. Although the tumor was benign, the area where it was removed still has quite a bit of swelling, this is causing her to still have paralysis in her face, trouble swallowing and some other challenges. The doctors are confident that this will go away but for now it is important that she keep her feeding tube and other tubes in. During the night she tries to get out of her arm restraints and pull everything out. this is why the overnight visit. We are trying to give her mother a little bit of time to sleep, since she never leaves the hospital, so that she can keep up this crazy schedule she is on. So I sat by her bedside all night long holding her hand and sometimes talking to her. She is unable to give much response verbally but was able to make hand movements. It was pretty tough staying awake all night in a quiet dark room but fortunately they have an ice machine right down the hall so I was able to eat lots of hospital ice (arguably the best ice in the world). I was so impressed by her mother when we had scripture reading. She sat and read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon and explained to her daughter what was going on with the story. After we each read we sang the hymn "Be Still My Soul" and tucked her daughter in for bed. There was a wonderful spirit there.

The way she read reminded me in some way of the way my mother used to read to us. Even as grown adults we always loved it when my mom would read to us, especially Dr. Suess stories. My mom had a beautiful voice and I loved the way she told a story. I sure do miss her!!

Driving home this morning was so beautiful! It was about 5:30 and the sun was up. Seattle is surrounded by the Cascades and Mt. Rainier to the east, and the Olympics and Puget Sound to the west. The mountains were just a clear as can be. It reminds me of why I love this area so much!

1 comment:

Mike and Pam said...

Children's Hospital is one of my accounts. They are awesome over there and she is in good hands.
It is always tough to see sick children but I really admire you for sacrificing your time to give Janell's mom a little relief. She must have really appreciated it.