While I laid in that bed/chair, watching my husband breathe in and out, I started to think about everyone else in that hospital and the conditions under which they found themselves there. My mind went directly to the parents who sleep in chairs. Not just one night, but every single night for weeks and months and then, for years off and on. There's never any rest. If there are other children, the stressors are crippling, physically and emotionally.
If their children are babies and before the age of reason and language, there's the added stress of the infant or toddler being "tortured" by strangers without any understanding. Parents are supposed to protect their children and all of the poking and prodding seems to be sanctioned by them much to the dismay of their babies. Parents' fantasies about the subjective experiences of their children have to be horrific.
And yet, when kids get older, there's a different kind of fear and trauma. Teenagers suffer a special pain because they are frequently taken out of the social loop, feel different and are seen as different. They'd rather die and often resist treatment and may be compelled by the courts to receive treatment.
I'm a healthy woman and yet, I was exhausted when it came time to leave. I was embarrassed about my "condition". That's when I came to understand that none of us knows the strength, fear, love and hope of the parents who sleep in chairs.
Be grateful for good health. Life can change in an instant. Don't read this and think it won't be you. I pray that it won't be. We know that life doesn't work like that.
There's nothing meaningful left to say here. I'll leave it up to you "what" you do about those parents in chairs. How you help. How you pray. Whatever you do, make it positive.
I'm counting on you. TTFN, Claudia