Luck, pure and simple

February 25th, 2009

I’m not worried. Let me start by saying: I am not worried.

I spent the day in the pediatric emergency room watching The Boychen get rehydrated; Boychen is staying overnight, on a glucose drip, and right now R is with him and I am getting some rest and I am not worried. I’m not worried because he’s in the hospital, because he is hooked up to an IV-drip, because he is being observed. Because we have health insurance and money in the bank if we didn’t. Because we live five minutes from one of the best hospitals in Switzerland. Because they have a bed for him. Because they have sterile equipment and glucose solution and clean water when he is ready to try to take tea. Because we live here, in this place, in this time.

My son is beautiful. I am biased, of course, because I am his mother, but truly the Boychen is beautiful. It’s a rare cashier who can resist flirting with him when we go shopping, a cold bus passenger indeed who can fail to respond to his smile. My son is beautiful, and happy, and because I am his mother I think he is special beyond all reckoning. And he is going to be fine, and I am not worried.

But there is a beautiful happy boy somewhere, a boy who is special beyond all reckoning, who is not going to be okay. There’s a boy somewhere who started throwing up about the same time Boychen did. Who this morning couldn’t even keep a single soup spoon of plain water down. Who sometime between yesterday and today stopped making tears. Who doesn’t have the strength to hold his torso up. And he’s not going to be okay. He doesn’t live five minutes from the hospital. And they don’t have glucose solution and even if they did they don’t have clean catheters to put in a peripheral IV line. And he’s not going to be okay.

Luck. The sheer stupid dumb luck of fate that falls in our favor. I’m not a better mother and my son isn’t a sweeter child. We’re just luckier. We live where we live; in a world where that sort of thing matters very much, we live down the street from one of the best hospitals in Switzerland. That is why Boychen is going to be okay. That is why I am not worried.

I can’t let go of that tonight. That had I been born in a different place, I would be holding my limp boy, special beyond all reckoning, trying to get him to keep some water down, and worrying. Worrying very, very much.

The sheer stupid dumb luck of it all.


9 Responses to “Luck, pure and simple”

  1. Bethany on February 25, 2009 10:02 pm

    I know what you mean. I know so very much what you mean. And luck or not, I’m glad you live in a place where dehydration doesn’t mean life or death and where you can get some worry-free rest. Hugs to your sweet boy.

  2. J on February 25, 2009 11:21 pm

    I totally understand what you mean.

    Between the medical problems I had last year and others I am currently having treated, the crappy weather here doesn’t seem so bad.

    Don’t worry, though, after it’s all over I’ll be back to my whiney old self.

  3. Trish on February 26, 2009 12:40 am

    I feel very lucky also to live in a country where the medical care is excellent and nearby and available. It’s not fair that not everyone can have what we have.

    I hope he’s feeling much better very soon.

  4. Nadine on February 26, 2009 1:07 am

    Well, my eyes are most definitely still producing tears after reading this.

  5. kristen on February 26, 2009 3:27 am

    I’m with Nadine…crying, yes, for all the sick children tonight (and there are so many, seems every blog friend I visit this evening is worrying over a very sick child.)

    Beautiful post, beautifully written. Sending hugs and get well wishes.

  6. Global Librarian on February 26, 2009 9:27 am

    And that is why GLH and I donate 10% of our income. It’s a small enough thing to do and helps to control the White Privilege Guilt…

  7. Betsy on February 26, 2009 10:09 am

    I’ve got tears in my eyes now as well! What a beautiful post and a beautiful reminder of how lucky we are!

    I hope Boychen feels much better and is back home very soon!!!!!

    ((hugs!))

  8. Jennifer on February 26, 2009 8:40 pm

    Boychen is doing okay. He is so happy to be home and to have the stupid IV needle out of his hand. He even smiled.

    More than guilt and lucky, I can’t get over the absurdity of it, that in 2009 nearly 5000 children die every day from persistent diarrhea. It’s absurd. I can accept that life is unfair. That this child has that illness and that one doesn’t. That somebody is born with a heart defect and somebody else isn’t. I can accept that. It’s unfair but it’s random, it’s biology, it’s genetics, it’s mystery. It’s unfair. It’s life. But some things are systemically un-just. Nearly 5,000 children will die today not because life is unfair but because the world is unjust.

    I’m expressing myself very badly. I’m tired, and emotional, and saying this all so much more poorly than the words in my head. It’s not the luck part, it’s the injustice part that I can’t get around.

  9. Uncomfortable at Magpie Days on January 21, 2010 11:00 am

    [...] I occupy by the luck of birth and the coincidence of marriage – colors everything. I’ve written of this before. I do not mean to suggest that people are locked beyond all hope in certain circumstances; of [...]

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