This post was originally published on MySpace back on January 21st, 2009. I had just started blogging and had just started to experience what life was like as a new father. I perused some of my old stuff the other day and came across this which brought back alot of emotions and showed to me how far I’ve come in just less than a year. It’s a little wordy but I wanted to share it with all of you…
As many of you know who have read my blogs, I deal with a lot of irrational fears and “what if” scenarios in my mind being a new father. Unfortunately, a scenario rocked our world yesterday… and fortunately it didn’t wind up with us in the emergency room or worse. It’s more than a story about irrational fears though… it’s a story about so much more…..
Story contracted RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a virus that can cause colds and coughs in adults but can produce severe pulmonary diseases like bronchitis and pneumonia in young children) about a week ago and it has required Mindy and I to balance work and taking care of her. She hasn’t been to day care all this week as we’ve been trying to get her back on a healthy track where she’s not so sad all the time…..
She coughs like she’s been smoking for 20 years and her nose runs like Niagara Falls. This requires Mindy and I go get up several times in the night to sooth her because she coughs so hard and rough it wakes her up.
It’s moments like these where you’re really challenged. You’re challenged because you didn’t know it was going to be like this. When you realize you’re going to be a parent, it is a joyous moment. There’s lots of crying and hugs and phone calls to loved ones letting them know the good news. People will tell you “being a parent is hard work” and “get all your sleep now”, etc. All I could picture was her playing and laughing and saying “I love you daddy”. What no one can clearly relay to you is the moments where you feel like you can’t take it anymore. Times when you think something else can’t possible go wrong and it does. Times where you want to just scream and throw your hands in the air and say “I give up!”
Sunday in particular was rough for me because we were both dealing with minimal sleep and I honestly hadn’t gotten a moment to myself (other than my job… not the kind of “me” time I want) in several weeks. Story had been up and down all night and hadn’t taken a nap worth anything all day and most of her actions involved her whining and crying. Mindy had allowed me to try and take a nap to catch up on some sleep but I couldn’t sleep past 20 or 30 minutes because of her crying. Mindy suggested we take a drive with Story to see if the car would lull her to sleep which usually happens on normal circumstances. On the drive, I broke down and cried and just felt like a limp noodle. I never realized it was going to be THIS HARD. I had always imagined myself being a great father and at this moment I felt so vulnerable. Mindy assured me I was a great father and this happens to everyone. She has had her moments where I picked her up from what felt like the point of no return. It was my time to break down I guess. I felt guilty, I felt useless, I felt hopeless… I was just so sad. ….
Once we got back to the house, Mindy suggested I leave the house for a little while so I could have some time to myself. I decided to go to this park by our house and walk around a bit. On the way to the park I was crying out to God to take away my pain, guilt, uselessness, etc. “Where are you?” I would say. “I thought you’re supposed to help me through this.” I got out of the car once I made it to the park and walked around some baseball fields. It felt good to have the fresh air blow on my face. The baseball fields added some comfort as well because it reminded me of my childhood and how old I had gotten. I decided to sit down in the grass for a little bit and pray. I prayed hard. I prayed as I watched the beautiful sunset for God to send me a sign that he was really here and he heard me and that everything was going to be okay. There was nothing. No cross in the sky, no flaming bush, no ghostly figure of Jesus on the baseball field wanting me to play catch with him… nothing. I got up and walked to the car feeling better yet not completely healed from my frustration at the feeling of God’s absence in my life…..
The next day (Monday) I took off work to stay home with Story while she got over her sickness. Mindy and I decided we would split Tuesday. I would go to work in the morning and she would go in the afternoon. Mindy called me while I was at work to let me know she thought Story was wheezing a little bit, something the doctor had told us to watch for. If she did start to wheeze then we were supposed to set up another appointment. I got the duty of taking her to the appointment.
After the doctor examined Story she decided to prescribe her some Albuterol. This is basically inhaler medicine. You see asthmatics taking it a lot. Since Story is only 6 months old, she has to take the liquid brand. The prescription came with a warning from her doctor: “Do not give Story over the allotted amount that I tell you… any more than that and it can be potentially harmful.” She even went through the trouble of showing me on a small syringe and giving it to me. The amount we were supposed to give Story was 1.5 CC’s.
I dropped the prescription off at CVS Pharmacy by our house and Mindy picked it up on the way home from work. The doctor had told me this medication was probably going to make Story a little hyper so it was best for it to work a little bit before putting her to bed so we decided to give it to her then.
I was holding Story in my lap and Mindy came out of the kitchen with a different syringe than the one the doctor had given me. We have about 20 syringes from different medicines we’ve accumulated and this was one of them. Mindy had referred to what the prescription on the bottle told her to take from it. Once she got closer to me and at about two seconds before she stuck the syringe in Story’s mouth I proclaimed that amount just didn’t look like what the doctor had told me to give Story. I told Mindy to double check the prescription. On the bottle the pharmacy had given us it said “1.5 TEASPOONS”! We called to confirm with the doctor what she had told me was correct, that she was to receive 1.5 CC’s… not 1.5 TEASPOONS… over FIVE times the required amount of this “potentially harmful” drug if taken in excess. The pharmacy had righteously screwed the pooch on this one. One call to the Pharmacy manager sent enough chills through his body to make him question if he would still be employed tomorrow.
Only after a good night’s sleep on the whole situation does the entire picture really come in to focus. It has brought out a lot of “What if’s”. What if the doctor hadn’t taken the time to show me on a syringe how much to give Story. What if I wasn’t paying attention (which I have a hard time doing sometimes) while she was showing me? What if I wasn’t holding Story when Mindy came around with the syringe that could potentially overdose our child? What if the unthinkable had happened? We won’t even go there.
The unbelievable aspect of it was that we were two seconds away from potentially life threatening circumstances and if everything hadn’t been lined up specifically the way it had happened… we would be in the emergency room right now. We probably wouldn’t even know why it happened before it was too late. The repercussions of such an event would have trickled throughout so many lives it is incomprehensible.
Yet several days ago… I prayed for a sign. I prayed for God to show me His is working in my life and He is there. I wanted a cross in the sky or a flaming bush. He gave me the life of my baby girl. I don’t believe that this could have happened by circumstance because there are so many other more believable circumstances that would have led to Story taking a potentially disastrous amount of Albuterol. God was showing me He has control. He wasn’t going to show me with what I believed I needed. You see… He’s running the show and He knows what I need for a wake up call.
It is so hard for me to give up the reins to my life and believe that God’s ultimate plan for me and my family is a better one than I have. I hate to say that God has been the literal backseat driver in my life. I am not the Christian I want to be because it continually involves trusting Him… who I cannot see. Despite not being able to “see” God does not mean that my eyes are not more open. Slowly but surely I can clearly see Him working in my life. Yesterday’s Albuterol incident are clear examples of Him saying, “Chris I am not putting a cross in the sky! That’s so Old Testement! I am very much present in your life… you just need to know where to look!” After yesterday… He is sitting in the passenger seat next to me.
Most people reading this believe in “someone out there”. Most people’s perception of Him is a distant god who isn’t much of a factor or who “probably doesn’t care about me”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. He probably doesn’t seem close because we probably haven’t taken the time to get to know Him or we believe he doesn’t care because we haven’t reached out to Him and had the patience to find out what can happen. Take some time to get to know this God guy… you just might like what you see… or what you can’t “see”.
On a separate note… please take the time to make sure your prescriptions are filled correctly. Never ever just assume that the pharmacy has filled it correctly…..