May 30, 2014 0 Share

Grace Under Pressure

Hospital icons.

When Cody is sick it is sometimes difficult to tell. If he isn’t coughing, sniffling, throwing up, running a fever or passing out we may not know if he is ill. He just doesn’t show it. He can maintain normal behavior and function through an illness and never give us a clue that anything is wrong. But if someone else in the household is ill then everything goes haywire. Cody begins pacing like a caged animal, rambling like a mad man and spewing every negative thought that races through his tortured mind. His fear of the worst is unmistakably clear.

So imagine what it’s like for Cody when everyone in the house is sick except for him. That’s what happened last week and it was my turn to fear the worst. I was sure we would see the meltdown of all meltdowns.

It all started a Saturday night when Bill began to have body aches and chills. He then spent most of Sunday in bed, which is completely uncharacteristic of him. By Monday he was in the emergency room with a high fever and it was all downhill from there.

On Tuesday, Bill’s mother had to be taken to the emergency room for chest pain that radiated down her arm. Then on Wednesday, I was in the doctor’s office suffering from acute bronchitis. Thursday brought a follow-up for Bill with his doctor and on Friday I was called back in for diagnostic testing after suspicious findings were seen on films from a recent mammogram.

We got a break on Saturday and Sunday, but on Monday of our second week of illness, Bill’s mother had to be taken back to the ER for low oxygen levels and elevated blood pressure. I spent over a week sweating bullets and begging God to keep Cody from a total meltdown. But to my pleasant surprise, Cody was a complete angel throughout the entire duration of this horrendous ordeal.

I was amazed one night when, somewhere in the middle of our nightmare, I was attempting to take care of all of the chores while Bill and his mother were out of commission. I was cleaning up after dinner when Cody took the initiative to clear the table for me. No prompts were needed. And then he took it upon himself to put the placemats away. I just stood there speechless!

After that he helped me by taking glasses of water to Bill so he could take his medication and taking Bill’s mother her cane when she would put it down and forget about it. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing when he scolded her for not using it like she should. I didn’t reprimand him for it because, quite honestly, she had it coming. He also took care of his hygiene, cleaned his room and brought his laundry downstairs without me asking.

Bill is now back to good health and I am well on my way. The diagnostic films I had done showed no malignancy or any other signs of danger and Bill’s mother will probably come home soon. So slowly but surely things are returning to normal. And Cody has been a trooper through it all. I could not be more proud of him—or more grateful!

This trial has served to enlighten me as to how resilient my son can be. I now see how much he has learned about what it means to endure and overcome. He has demonstrated how strong and brave he truly is. And if he’s not wandering around waiting for the sky to fall, then perhaps I shouldn’t be doing that either.