Friday, June 3, 2011

Collective Heart

One night at our cabin in the woods, Hubby was getting Grayson ready for bed. He peeled off his sweaty little socks and announced, "Honey, G has a case of the black toe." I went in for a look and wouldn't you know, kid totally had a black toe. The rest of the toes were fine and flesh toned. Big toe? All charcoal with a hint of red dye No. 5.

"Does it hurt?" No.
"Is it a bruise?" Not really.
"Does it hurt?" We covered that already Mom and still, no.
"Hmm, weird. Let me get a washcloth."

Wouldn't wipe off.
"Let me get some soap."
Not coming off in the slightest.
"Let me get some more soap with bleach."
Not budging.
Dude still had one very black toe.

We looked at each other with a giant question mark surfing over our heads and decided we would get it checked out first thing in the morning if that big toe was indeed still jet black.

All night long I tossed and turned with haunting parental thoughts scratching at my mind: What causes such a thing? Looks like a bruise but doesn't hurt? How it is the rest of the toes are completely normal and this one is dark as soot? Why doesn't it hurt? Why won't it wipe off? What the $#&@?

So we took him to the ER next day. For a black toe.

"Hmm. Weird," said the nurse.
"That's odd," said Doctor Number One.
"Does it hurt?" asked Doctor Number Two.

After three hours in the ER waiting and watching Transformers, waiting and watching Transformers two doctors finally pulled the curtain to announce that what Grayson had was a discoloration in his great toe due to unknown factors. The End.

Then they proceeded to warn us about other possible random bruising to look for should this be a precursor for horrible things to come. Petechiae they called it. They never said the "C" word. They never gave anything super scary a name at all, in fact. They simply alluded and gave us things to look out for and what would be a sign for other "worse" things to come, ..."not that they will, mind you, just a possibility since we cannot determine the origin of his discoloration."

It was a very quiet ride back home.

That was a week ago. Luck had us solid in her arms though and two nights ago we went swimming in a chlorinated pool and voila ~ most of the black is now gone! There is only a shadow of it left on the upper pad but certainly enough has been sloughed off that we both feel it must have been dye or stain of some sort. Mr. Black Toe must've stuck that little digit somewhere in the cabin only he, the centipedes, and the guilty grease spot know about. Truth be told, Hubby and I both slept soundly for the first time in days that night. No uneasy thoughts about medical unknowns gnawing at the back of our thoughts, making us worried and preoccupied.


There is one problem with being lucky, however. When luck chooses you, she ignores someone else altogether and they are left somewhere in their kitchen, stunned by horrific news and in shock while stirring macaroni noodles for dinner. There is no good fortune to make things okay. There is no luck to help her process platelet numbers and what it all means. There is no chlorinated pool for her baby to slough off what mystery ails her.

In this case, that someone else is a very good friend of mine. A very dear friend - someone I have known since elementary school - who I call to complain to when my kids annoy me. She is someone I turn to when I need a great laugh because her timing is perfect and her sense of humor so dry you could strike a match on her pregnant pauses alone. She always remembers to ask about Sadie before we hang up. This woman and I cuss like sailors to each other and feign shock when our babies mimic our foul mouths.

This close friend and fellow mom just learned her baby has a condition that will not get better with medication. And as if that's not inconceivable enough, it gets more complicated. Her little beautiful happy baby will not get better at all unless her other older child is a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant. Her new baby's life depends on her first born. It is enough to make you need a paper bag and a sedative if you have a heart. A shot of gin if you do not.

As her friend and as a mom of the same aged children, I am speechless. I had a few days of needless worry about my son's weird dark toe. She has had weeks and weeks of stress and real worry about tests leading up to the worst news of her life.

I talked with her last night. She is amazing and strong but very much still in shock. She was comforting me and telling me not to worry because the doctors are all so good. I was muddy and she was clairvoyant. She snapped me from my grief by saying something that gave me the power to help her. She says she needs prayers, or energy, or anything positive for her baby girl right now. That, I am all over. Prayers, good energy, positive ju-ju, you got it! I think I can do even better. Will you help me? Even if you don't believe in God but do believe in energy, then please pause long enough to send your good energy to her and her children. And if you are so inclined, kindly leave a comment stating where you are in this world (as in state, coast, planet, whatever) and a short message saying her babies are in your thoughts. I will send them all for her to read when she is ready and in need of others' strength. We may not be able to heal her baby but we can fortify her heart for the impossible decisions facing her and her family. An unthinkable mountain to climb has to be easier with a village of people carrying her high on the shoulders of our thoughts, don't you think?

There is power in a collective heart, I just know it.

For her, there has to be.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and pausing long enough to send wishes to someone who is close to my heart and if I had to guess, probably yours now too.


Ranelle said...

I will be praying. I will be praying for wisdom for your friend and her family - for strength as they travel this very difficult road and for a miracle in the life of her precious baby girl.

One Sided Momma said...

Ranelle, I so appreciate your words and your prayers and know she will too. Thank you very much. xoxo

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a dark time for their family, but they are not alone. They are carried in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts each day and with them throughout this ordeal. <3 <3

JRitz said...

Your friend and her baby are girl are in my thoughts. All the postive thoughts and energy are going her way.

Anonymous said...

Your friend and her family are in our prayers, for God to wrap his arms around them and keep them in his care, guiding them in the decisions they must make for the care of their children and helping the doctors in their care. God's blessings to them. nams

DJ Pecor said...

Thinking kind thoughts, sending out positive energy and prayers for miracles and strength during this very trying time. No words can diminish the worry, angst & fear that a mother struggles with in raising her children - let alone when one of her babies is ill. I hate to imagine what this family has to face on their journey ahead, but hope that lending some positive energy, prayers and strength will allow the family to come together while enduring this challenge.

Julie Stark said...

this is so beautiful, thank you Erin. Its no secret, Im the mommy and its my baby...there are no words for what I am feeling. I want to scream, cry and throw up all at once. Everyone's words mean so much. getting my story out there helps me to find other people who also have stories. It helps me stay strong. you are so sweet Erin. xo

pajama mom said...

i will be praying and thinking of you often.

CA Family said...

I randomly happened upon your blog only today and I've had a few black toe type moments myself. I don't know how I would handle anything as traumatic as your friend is experiencing. Anything that serious needs all the happy thoughts and positive prayers possible. I read once that the power of prayer actually works even to non-religious people, but only if they know people are praying for them. Please tell your friend and her children that although nothing can compare to what she is going through, complete strangers care about her, and her family, and are PRAYING for happy outcomes.

OSMA said...

Thanks for reading, CA Family. I actually did wind up telling my friend, Julie, about all the prayers and good wishes going out to her and her family soon after posting this. She read and responded two comments above yours. Thank you for your thoughts and you know what? They received great news - her older child IS in fact a positive match for her baby! Long road ahead but lit up with hope and faith.