Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Not Me

I open my eyes to darkness and my confusion is replaced by a reluctant awareness of where I am. The Connelly Center. Room 4. Far removed from the bustling noises and lights of the hospital. A separate, silent wing behind double doors which lead to a large, dark sitting room full of sofas. Beyond that is a locked door leading to the five private rooms given to those of us who would otherwise not sleep for days or weeks on end.

It's so quiet that I couldn't handle it last week and chose to go back to the comforting beeps and ventilator breaths of Henry's room. When Scott arrived from Bolivia, I was finally able to rest here. Now we take turns, night after night, so that one of us can sleep without interruption.

Tonight is my turn. But it's 2 am as the phone rings down the hall and I'm suddenly wide awake. I think of the other four and my breath catches as I realize that no one is answering and it might be for me. Perhaps all of us are hearing what I hear in my head: "Not me, not me, not me . . . ." There are no voices as the phone stops ringing, but a door opens at the end of the hallway and I wonder if it's the guard who mans this wing, coming to rouse one of us. "Not me, not me, not me . . . " I hear a soft knock, but not on my door.

(Written at 3 am because I couldn't sleep)

Does it sound too dramatic? It was.

This place . . . we have seen scenes here I wish I had never seen. I was able to block them out the first week . . . the other families who are going through their own worst days too. But this week, I see them. The couple standing outside the ER screaming and placing blame on each other. The young boy with no hair being wheeled into the hospital, recognizing where he is, becoming hysterical and terrified as his parents try to talk him into letting them make the pain go away. The mother sobbing in the waiting area of the PICU as her own mother tries to comfort her. I saw that woman and I've been that woman.

I will not miss this place.


  1. Kara, this is one of those times I wish you were not such an amazing writer! Your description puts me there and my heart is broken for you and the other families. I believe a children's hospital is the worst kind of hell.
    Please remember that even in the night as you take turns sleeping someone is praying. I was up and praying for you at 2:15 AM. I know others are too. We wait with you for those long nights to pass and long for you all to be home.
    Love to you, Bravest Mama. x0x0x

  2. Kara, prayers continue for you. I wish, as I am sure many, many others do, wish there was as way that we could take away your pain and your anxiety. We all wish we could make Henry all better and restore normalcy to your life.

    Please know how much you are being prayed and night. Please know how much we all share in your pain and are lifting you up to the Lord for strength that only He can give.

    Please know how much all of your family is being lifted up and how we helps to know that we are praying and we are sharing in your pain.

    God bless you, Kara and your family.

    Lord bless and be with Kara and Scott and all of their family...her mom who is caring for the older boys, her dad, and all the family who are suffering so much. Please Lord ease their pain. May they feel Your love and comfort. May they feel Your peace and the prayers of those who are praying for them....those who feel so helpless....but not without hope.
    Lord bless the doctors and nurses who are caring for Henry and all the sick children. Grant them wisdom and direction, Lord. Bless Henry with strength for each breath he takes, Lord, each precious breath.
    Lord bless Henry and be near to him. Comfort him, Lord and strengthen him breath by breath and minute by minute.
    In Your holy name I pray. Amen

  3. Oh Kara, this makes me weep. A true picture of what you are going through. A nightmare that none of us ever ever want to experience. I wish I could take this pain away for you - and for those other families. :( I have been praying that God will heal Henry miraculously because He CAN do it. But I have been also asking Him to give us patience and to help us trust in His timing. I know these dreadful days are just dragging on and on for you. I am continuing to pray for strength and encouragement for you all. I love you.

  4. Kara. Thank you for expressing so well some glimpses of your days/nights. It makes my heart ache thinking of you guys and all that's going on with your family. I wish we could do more. We are praying steadfastly for you guys and won't stop.

  5. Hang in there mama. Hang in there. That is all I can tell you. Nothing really makes the day by day of the hospital routine easier. When you are out these will become distant memories. You will never forget..but you will be able to move on and enjoy your little one again. This is my personal experience...that the bad memories can fade. You will not forget the families that you see but you will be free. Free of the darkness and pain of these days. Praying for you and your family. Hugs to you. Sending you strength, hope, energy and comfort in knowing that others are here to support you.

  6. Hey Girl....been praying this scripture for you:

    "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, " The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him.
    Lamentations 3:21-25

    Praise God for his daily provision for you. Thank you for being so transparent and even able to post as you endure, as you wait, and as you hope. You have allowed so many people to share in, join in, and witness the work of God in your life and of your family.

    You are a testimony of God's light, and hope, and peace in the midst of a dark place in your life and of the families that surround you.

    Much love to you. Will keep praying.

  7. Kara, thanks for taking the time to update your blog and keep so many informed as to Henry's progress. Thanks also for sharing the "not me" aspect of it. It is heartbreaking for sure but gives all of us who are praying so hard for you and your family a clearer picture of your routine every day.
    May God continue to bless you with strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
    May the baby steps turn into bigger steps.
    May you feel all the prayers being said on your behalf.
    God bless Kara.

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  9. Hi Kara
    I'm a friend of Carrie & Brent....I'm praying for sweet Henry and your family.
    Kind regard, Katy

  10. I don't know you but I've been praying for your precious Henry. Your words break my heart. I hope you are all home soon, together.


  11. I am praying for your son, Henry's full recovery. I can't imagine what you are going through or witnessing while you wait. Take strength from the Lord and those that love and need you right now.