Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Day the World Stopped Spinning

It started and almost ended like any other day.
Right at my last task of the day –helping my boy prepare for bed-, he complained that his leg hurt. As he often falls and scrapes his knees due to his heavy-duty movements, I was ready to dismiss the complaint. Until he came to me to show me the part where he hurt. His right knee. A bump in his right knee. Not a swelling, but a hard lump. A lump the size of a chicken egg. Part of my training as an MD taught me to always compare left and right for physical examination of the limbs, and in this case, the right knee was definitely different from his left. That was quite a disturbing finding. My thoughts went back to my few years of hospital work, when I saw many cases of debilitating illness in children. All of which weighty and disheartening.

With alarming match, the signs pointed to possibility of an unpleasant growth. The hard, dense, fixated, tender mass was awfully suspicious. My heart was gripped with fear.

Now parenthood is unanonimously loaded with worries. Some of which are negligible. You worry when your kid won’t eat, you worry when your kid won’t poop, you worry when your kid has curved legs, and so on.  When your kid bleeds from her nose, you wonder if it is some blood abnormality. When your kid has rash you wonder if it’s haemorrhagic fever. When your kid puke and pass watery stool to the point of dehydration, you wonder if he’s going to survive. Our hearts are no longer in its safe place the moment you are blessed with a child.
Many of those worries don’t make it to reality, of course. Worries are just worries, unpleasant as they are.

But from experience, I knew first hand that some of those worries really did become reality. Or rather, became your worst nightmares.
I have seen parents sat by their children’s hospital beds, holding their helpless little hands. Or helped the nurses take off  yet another sheet full of blood or vomit, or held their beloved little bodies down by force, so that they could get proper treatments.
Some of them mercifully and miraculously got happy endings.
Others had to go home carrying their dead children’s limp little bodies, failed to comprehend why the world outside went on like nothing happened, while their world was falling apart.
I have held a broken mother’s in my arms, crying with her and dumbstruck by her story, “The 4 of us, my husband, myself, my daughter and my son came to this land in a transmigration program. Now only 3 or us will go home. Who would have thought, we came here just to lose our dear son.” All the while, her husband was swaying their dead boy’s body for one last time. The nurses said it already took too long, but I told them to let them be.

So some worries are unreal. But to those who happen to get the actual grave diagnoses, they are very much real.

So what’s the story of my boy’s knee lump?
As I did a little research, reading textbooks, and other resources, my finding seemed gloomy. I really, really hoped it wasn’t a bone mass, because bone masses are rarely benign, especially in children. The age, the gender, the location, all were really suspicious. Now my fear grew significantly more intense.
I fell on my knees before God. All I could do was beg in tears, “Please, Father, no... Please let this cup pass away from me...”  And in a brief moment, somehow I could relate to Jesus’s prayer in Gethsemane. “But Thy will be done, not mine...” this last sentence came with another surge of tears, and less wholeheartedly uttered.

The God that I worship is unmistakably good. But it is His fondness of processes, sometimes seemingly merciless processes, that I often find too daunting for my liking.
Will this be another one of those nerve-wrecking  processes? No....

We decided to take D to evaluation the next day. We prayed and prayed and begged for a good result.
Through X-ray we found out that the lump was not a bone mass. We still don’t know what that is, and we will need further evaluation. But our worst fear has lifted. The cup mercifully did pass away. Thank God.

Many would think that this is just another stupid parental over-anxiety. I had a friend bluntly stated I was beyond exaggerating.
Well I guess one can only see my point if he’s been diagnosed with cancer, or other grave or unexplained illness.

The anxiety seems silly alright. But the consequences are real. The fear of the unknown is also very real.

In this fallen world where anything dire can happen, I choose to see it from a humble perspective: a mere creation’s point of view. A human being who is powerless, vulnerable, and totally dependent upon her Creator’s mercy. Because this perspective allows me to surrender to God’s sovereignty. To entrust the unknown into His loving hands, wisdom, and plans. Plans of peace and not of evil.

Thy will be done.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

1 comment:

  1. Euleuh, Piot, apalagi loe dua2 yang punya pengetahuan medis, ga heranlah dag-dig-dug banget. Hopefully it's nothing bad and nothing hindering D's growth/activities. Keep us updated. Jadi inget dulu adik si Esther yang dadakan sakit taunya kanker tulang dan pas ketauan udah keburu nyebar...

    Can totally relate to sending prayers with words that are less wholeheartedly uttered. (((HUGS))) Sending prayers...


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