The past few months have been to say the least extremely busy in my life. So much so my blog has taken an unwanted backseat. Every time I have sat down to write my brain and body scream “get some rest and relax,” the unfortunate thing is that I listened. One of the elements of the craziness over the past month has been my six year old daughter’s tummy pain. After a few visits to the doctor, a blood test, x-ray, ultrasound, and another blood test we were told she had pancreatitis. Our family Doctor had us schedule an appointment with a gastrointestinal doc. The initial appointment was set three weeks out. My wife and I were not happy about waiting that long. Fortunately a few minutes later the Doctors office called back to say we could go in the next day, Friday. We showed up for the 8 am appointment and we didn’t wind up leaving till Monday. The Friday appointment was pretty routine till the Doc said he wanted to do blood test and an MRI. To take our daughters mind off it the impending needle, my wife and I danced around the exam room to the Happy Song. It was a great moment in parenting history like off of a sitcom. The great news about the MRI is that my daughter was able to watch the new Barbie and the Pony Tale movie. That movie isn’t even at our local RedBox yet. So next time you want to see a movie before it’s available for rent, might I suggest a $2,500 MRI because they beat Red Box. Self employed insurance comes with a nice big deductible on top of the hefty monthly payment. For that kind of money you would at least expect a beer for the dads in the waiting room instead of watching a bad knock off of a Disney movie. I could have definitely used a drink at that moment to calm my nerves. My wife was able to go back with my daughter and I had to wait solo while my little girl was undergoing a major medical test. Don’t tell me its not major because when it’s your kid a shot is major. My mind was racing with possibilities. I was trying to stay positive. I even went to my car to take a drive down Ocean Drive because I had an hour to spend. The phone rang as I got in my car. It was the Doctor from the morning appointment. He explained that her lipase levels had increased even higher and that they were admitting her into the hospital. I’m going to forgo the explanation of what pancreatitis is completely, lets just say its painful enough to make grown men cry. The only cure is fasting to keep the pancreas from producing lipase.
My wife and I handled the whole thing pretty well. We kept each other comforted and stayed positive and upbeat for our daughter. Inside we were more worried than Donald Sterling at a 50 Cent concert (was that a little to much, maybe). My wife rarely left my daughters side and I only went home to take care of my three year old one night. We gave each other food breaks so we wouldn’t eat or drink in front our precious fasting child. Confession, I snuck Baby Ruth’s while she was on potty breaks. Don’t judge, I had to keep my energy up. We couldn’t have made it through it with out the help of both of the grandmothers (lita and mimi) and my dad. My wife’s dad was a great support from Tennessee. We had some great friends and my brother and his family helped with food and visits. In addition we had a ton of people praying for her. I don’t think I have ever prayed so hard in my life. I really do believe we prayed the pain from her. The doctors were astonished about the lack of pain she was in. It was earlier in the week that she was doubled over at night crying herself to sleep. That was tougher to watch than her in the hospital. A friend of mine prayed like have never heard anyone pray before on the phone with me. I was standing in the middle of Wal-Mart holding icecream dripping while we prayed. He encouraged me to go home and pray commanding prayers of her. I wasn’t sure what to do, but when it’s your child you do what you have to. I stood at her bedside with my hands on her stomach and prayed for the pain to go away. The next night was the first night she went to bed with out much pain.
So while my daughter is in the hospital I had to do a little work because as a Realtor where you are is your office. I negotiated a few deals and saved another. At 9 pm on a Saturday night I sat with my daughter in her hospital room watching Barbie movies and worked on contracts between her 6 trips to pee every hour. She went a lot because they were pumping her with fluids as fast as a hydraulic fracking operation.
As a dad it’s painful to see your child in the hospital. I literally wanted to switch places with her. It was tearing me apart to see her hooked up to an IV. The first 5 am blood draw had me worried. My little girl handled it like a champ. She learned to take deep breathes and focus. She sounded like a beginers lamas class. she got through it.
The second morning when the doctor told her she had to stay another night was not so bad. The second day when she was told she had to stay for a third night was tough on her. She began to get hungry and frustrated. We did our best to keep her busy and distracted. The hospital staff was amazing as was the child life team. She cried for a bit. A mommy’s hug was just what she needed.
The morning of the fourth day, Monday, she was cleared to eat a non-fat meal. She had not eaten a real meal since Thursday night and only had a McDonald’s parfait at Friday at 10 am. She was so excited to have food. I had to go back and forth to the hospital to take care of work responsibilities. I did the best I could, but I was so focused on her that it was tough to be my best. I was able to make it in time to be there when the doctors cleared her to go home. She wept and wept. I had never seen her cry like that before. I asked her why and she said, “I’m so happy to be going home.”
That night when we were relaxing on the couch as a family we watch one of our favorite family shows, “America Ninja Warrior.” I’m not really sure why the girls like it so much, but they do. One of the guys on the show had been in the hospital and worked his way back from his death bed to compete. He told the announcer that after the hospital he had good perspective. My daughter looked at me and said “Daddy, if I can beat the hospital, I can beat anything.”
That’s a phrase that I told myself as the administrator handed the first of several bills. I can beat this. I am so proud of my little girl and the whole family. We pulled together and pulled through. I was definitely in full Fatherpreneur mode. Sleeping on the little fold out chair/bed that was designed by an Oompa-Lumpa for several nights, holding her during blood draws and the IV, negotiating deals with the phone in one hand and her hand in the other. It was the most stressful few days of my life. The health of my little girl trumps everything, however working helped keep me from getting to focused on negative thinking. The beauty of being and entrepreneur is that I didn’t have to ask permission to take off. It was a no brainer, I just did it. I worked with my clients to clear my schedule, I asked for help from my team and other than a few hours of work here and there I was more father than preneur.
I learned a lot from those for days, the most important things I learned is that my children are stronger than I think, my God is bigger than my situation, and if I can beat the hospital I can beat anything.