Monday, February 8, 2010

From Worthless to Wonderful - Warrior Princess - Part Four

Throughout our hospital odyssey I was often startled by the vivid illustrations contrasting wonderful and worthless. It seemed to be the lesson I was supposed to take away from the experience.  Well, that and to make sure I visit the kids at their dad's house if I ever hear of them being sick again.

The appendix itself is worthless, it's true what they say, we really don't need it. Being able to walk away from this with a healthy happy girl is wonderful. She was tested in a way most grown women won't confront until they are in active labor. At one point, I worked with her on the same breathing I used during childbirth. Check that off her list, we know she can handle pain. Maybe it's because she's still a bit fragile but she seems to have come out of this with a slightly more gentle spirit and of course, our bond has been sealed forever.

People in the medical profession can be wonderful or worthless, just depends upon the luck of the draw when you are hospitalized.  We were fortunate to have one of the best surgeon's on call that night. He came without a personality but who gives a shit when he cut open my baby and fixed her. He could mutate into Mr. Hyde and I wouldn't give a flying fuck.

The juxtaposition between the nursing staff was often times difficult to comprehend. How can you have one dear, precious soul who volunteers to work extra shifts just to be able to stay longer with her and others who callously rip off band aids and threaten to remove and re-install the IV just because she didn't like the way it looked. We both bonded with the caring nurse in a way that she will remain a part of our lives. She loves being a nurse and I thank God she found her calling.  Wonderful

Then there's the narcissist, Mr. Sunshine, who gave new meaning to the term worthless during the ordeal. As I mentioned earlier, he would pop in and out, never calling to see if we needed anything from home. During the worst of times, we were out of clean panties and socks, the back of her head had become knotted with five or six large nests of matted hair. I had asked him to bring clean clothes, a hairbrush, some detangler, and a toothbrush for her but the next time he arrived, he had forgotten to bring it. Worthless.

I suppose he forgot because he only came to the hospital that day to conduct a business meeting down in the cafeteria.  Just when I thought nothing could shock me anymore, he had apparently been telling everyone how his daughter was in the hospital and he was spending every moment there. When a client suggested they meet there out of convenience for him, he had to scramble to get to the hospital. I wondered sometimes if he really thought he was living the experience. I was keeping him up to date after all. Worthless.

There was one occasion when I was busy with our patient in the restroom while friends had come to visit and he happened to be there.  I could hear through the door as he told stories of the horrendous night we had, the throwing up, the pain, the lack of sleep. He told it as if he had been there. Worthless.

The next night he showed up again unannounced and did his usual routine, checking on the Princess, daddy loves you, blah, blah, blah - then planting himself in a chair to read a book, magazine or newspaper. I hadn't expected him that night and I knew ZenBoyfriend was on the way to bring me some supplies I had requested from the drug store. I felt obligated to let him know as the two of them had not yet met face to face. He reacted with little to no expression, not even looking up from his book.  Five minutes later, I saw him walk up to the mirror, fix his hair, tuck in his shirt and adjust his pants just right.  Then he pulled up a chair and sat at our daughter's bedside without one single piece of reading material.  Priceless.

Contrast the narcissist to the outpouring of love from our friends. He's Mr. Church Every Sunday yet not one visit from a church member was to be had. Not one gift, card or call from any of his friends or his fiance. His mom helped out with the other kids as much as she could but one day she called me to ask me about a fitness program she was thinking of buying and oh, by the way, how is my granddaughter doing. On the other hand, we were literally inundated with special attention from our friends. Wonderful.

How do you know when you are truly loved? You know when your boyfriend gently kisses you on the top of your head fully aware you haven't showered in two days.  You know when your daughter finds strength in your eyes without a single word and you know when you wake up each day comforted by selfless acts of kindness like the one received in that plain, brown manila envelope.

I had been sending daily email updates to a large group of friends, teachers, girl scout leaders and people in my office. I had spoken of the difficulty with getting my "Warrior Princess" to endure those painful walks.  That day, I opened the anonymous gift and found a note which said, "I know this is a little makeshift but hopefully it well help a little during your walks".  She hadn't had time to finish it off with perfectly creased seams and the edges were still rough cut but it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Her very own shiny, glittery, purple and green Warrior Princess cape.

That's when I lost it.  My baby was sleeping so I let it come. All the emotion I was holding inside came to the surface and exploded into a deluge of tears.  It was an outpouring of the worthless pain, fear and bitterness, the shock of almost losing my daughter mixed with goosebumps and an almost dizzying elation knowing the worst was behind us and I (we), myself and my little family, were truly loved.

With her cape on, she held her head a little higher, wanted her hair brushed out nicely and walked further than she had ever walked. She passed through the doors that had always stopped us before because she wanted everyone to see her. No other word comes to mind except....wonderful.

First day with Cape:

To Here, Going Home:


  1. I guess the wonderful must be offset with the the end your daughter is healthy and that is what truly matters.

    A big high 5 to whoever made the cape!

  2. i guess in some ways we need the worthless people to compare and really know how wonderful the others are.

    btw, daddy needs his ass kicked! i cant STAND a phony like that, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! my dad was a lot like her dad....sadly the day will come when she'll see him for all he's worth(less)

    bottom line though, warrior princess is going home!

  3. Awesome story. I work in a hospital and boy I could tell you some stories from the other side of things. Congrats to both of you for surviving the ordeal.

  4. I think you married my ex....
    haha... no really I am so glad that your story has a happy ending.
    You are a wonderful mom and a fantastic story teller.
    Blessings to you and your warrior princess!

  5. What a sweetheart! I'm SO glad she is okay. God bless. Linda

  6. What an amazing daughter you have. You must be so proud...I know I'm inspired by her!


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