My baby girl is hurting!

This is my beautiful daughter Emma. 

She’s upstairs right now–trying to sleep away a possible migraine and sinus infection that she has had for three weeks.  The doctor has just suggested another ten days of antibiotics, after five days of taking one antibiotic and ten days of another stronger one already.

Emma has had chronic sinusitis for at least four years.  She misses up to thirty days of school a year because of it and the very worst part is that she lives with nearly constant pain or pressure in her face and head.

Right now I feel like screaming.  Punching something (I did not punch the doctor as he is only trying to help.)  I am kicking and yelling internally because my baby girl is hurting!

Some would say that living with chronic pain tests your character, and well, I would agree.  I have watched friends who live with chronic pain and it has revealed even more so the incredible strength and beauty of their souls.  But when you are thirteen you don’t even know yet who you are and this seems a cruel test.

It is wrong to allow a child to live with so much pain.

But there is nothing to do.  Unless we go hardball with pain medications for the headaches in the short-term, which will undoubtedly cause her quality of life to suffer with all the side effects.  And so, she is resting quietly trying to make the headache dissipate so that she can return to a mission camp.  She is involved in a camp at our church, of service in the community.  Some forty teens and a dozen adults together for five days and nights.

She called me the first night, in pain.  “A 9.5.”  What she didn’t tell me is that she sat in the first aid office alone, crying the pain was so bad. When I picked her up today to go to the doctor, it had subsided a bit and the Ibuprofen was helping “a little.”

She wants to go back and I am hoping that she can, that she will choose to go despite the pain.

What do I need to learn from this powerless place of watching my baby suffer? 

As I analyze my response, I am suffering because of my daughter’s pain.  I feel many emotions.    Anger at the doctor for years of suffering without relief for Emma.  Weariness of the situation.  Regret and shame wondering if it has been our mistakes (with her diet, exercise and general health) that may have caused this or at the very least contributed to it.  And fear that we will not find out what is causing it and find a solution!

Do you care for someone who is in constant pain? How do you resolve all those conflicting emotions? How do you offer comfort, even relief? Or, are you in constant pain?  What things have others done that bring you comfort and relief?    What have others done that may not have been helpful?

finding the dead on facebook

So I got to thinking the other day, how I wish I could find my dad on Facebook or some other social media outlet.   An odd, really weird thought I’ll admit, since he died years ago of brain cancer.   Before the cancer stole his mind, he was a complex and interesting person.  Sometimes he could be one of the kindest people you could know.  He knew how to encourage and loved to compliment a person, telling you what he liked about you.

But when the rage came over him, somehow he ‘forgot’ he loved you and that he wanted the best for you, and he’d yell, chide and berate.  Castigate.  Criticize.  Condemn.  It is difficult to explain how it happened — starting from nowhere and becoming a living hell — if you didn’t experience it.  He could and would utterly demoralize a person.

Still, he was my father.  And, I miss him.   I think?  As I think I possibly do actually miss him the old fear returns.  The dull panicky stomach ache.

My life is so much better without him.  And I wonder if all my siblings feel that way?

So, I am not so naïve as to believe that we shouldn’t have any difficult people in our lives.  I know that my response to my father makes me the person I am today. They shape and form us.  But pain is pain.  And I was particularly shattered by my father’s treatment.  Perhaps it was my temperament and sensitivities.  Again, a conversation I’d like to have some day with my siblings is who we are and who we might have been as it relates to him.

Do you have someone in your life that you love, but you know that you would be better off without them in your life?  (Not necessarily dead, of course.)