A child–your child–is like an extension of yourself.  Like your heart and soul exposed outside of you.  Everything they hear, you feel.  Everything they feel, you also feel.  It’s so amazing and so painful at the same time.

The first time it happened, I thought it was because she was sick.  So congested.  Could hardly breathe.  That tiny body was up during the previous nights, coughing and hacking and crying.  During the day, she could barely eat because she could not breathe.  So, when her lips went black while we were eating breakfast, I was perplexed.  But, I wasted no time and took her to the Emergency Room.

And then the Battle started.

After a couple of preliminary tests, they sent us home.  Since then, we’d seen over five doctors and been to over ten appointments within the span of three weeks.  They were testing for the unlikely, instead of testing for the more common.  I grew more frustrated.  I argued, begged for other testing.  “It’s not necessary” was all that I received.  Meanwhile, her episodes continued.

Finally, last Wednesday morning, she slept until 9:30 through her sister screaming outside her door.  I couldn’t stand the worry any more.  I slipped inside her room and nudged her.  She finally woke.  Within fifteen minutes, she was deathly pale, her lips turned black, and she was trembling from head to foot. 

I was done.

I packed the girls up and we drove to the nearby Children’s Hospital.  They immediately admitted Mary and the continuous rounds of testing commenced.  Two nights we were there.  I have never known that sort of gripping anxiety before.  At times, I didn’t think I could get to my next breath, make to the next moment.  Fear, worry, anxiety, and anger cropped up in me.  My sweet Mary, too tiny to be wearing a hospital gown, was hooked up to all sorts of monitors, undergoing all sorts of tests.  Waiting hours and hours for the results. 

I threw myself into the only action that brought me peace.  Prayer.  And I prayed with all of my might.  For my sweet little girl, for strength for my older daughter as she witnessed it all.  For my husband, as he  stayed strong, too.  For peace, strength, and resilience for me. 

Two days later, we were discharged with some suggestions, but no answers.

And so it continues.  Both the search for answers and the episodes.  I have my hunches.  I maintain my strength.  I continue to pray.  And to fight.  I feel the chronic worry.  The what-if’s if we don’t get answers.  I pray through them.

Nothing worries a mother like their child’s health.  No one has the strength or resilience like a mother.  And so, as with everything else, Charlie Mike.

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