Part nine: No place like home

Part nine.  Scroll down for parts 1-8.

There is a moral in here somewhere.  Several, in fact.  There is the undeniable truth that kids get sick, sometimes very sick.  Medical care can be the difference between something fatal and something curable.  Shame on the U.S. that not every child is covered.  Every single child.  S-CHIP needs to be expanded or we need universal coverage for all minors.  I saw the disaster of NHS when I lived in London, and I know coverage for everyone is complicated, at best.  But, the children should not be negotiable.

Then there is the lesson that a small kindness – butter cookies, a sandwich – can go a long way.  And the moral about appreciating health care workers.

And there is a tale of strength in community.  When we found ourselves in need, our friends and the congregants at our synagogue were there.  They drove our kids, they babysat, they called and visited, and they let us know they had our backs.  When, in the midst of it all, a notice about a lice case went home, another mother got us the tea tree oil J just didn’t have the time to find.

It takes a village and all that crap.

Finally, as is so often the case, it is about appreciation.  When one is hauling one’s (post-pregnancy) ass out of bed at all hours to feed the baby and lift the four-year-old to the toilet and remove the nasty giraffe blanket from the four-year-old’s mouth, it is easy to forget how lucky one is to have them.  Baby vomit is not such a big deal when measured against serious illness.  Some days, I wonder whether four is too young for boarding school, but the week apart has reminded me of how much I need that obnoxious preschooler and his maniacal brother.  I must admit, I got pretty tired of the wrong food coming and hour late and tasting like it was made of the same material as the plastic pillows.  I wanted to go home: for me, for her, for them.  But, I was damned lucky to have health insurance.  And I’ll bet the mother who did get to go home – to take her son home to have one last Christmas –would have traded illnesses any day of the week.


It’s shout-out time, folks. Here are all the people who made this experience so much easier.  In order of appearance:

Brad, although I really wish he were with us one more week

N.W. – for taking Zachary to her house after school

M.C. – for driving Benjamin home after school

The entire staff of UCLA Brentwood medical offices

Dr. Denise Garvey

The paramedics and firefighters

The nice ER dude who took care of my car and got me a sandwich

Our nanny, who kept everything normal for the boys, filled J in on everything that had changed over the past week, AND packed me a bag, even though I ended up missing her birthday.

The nurses and care providers on the pediatric floor of UCLA Santa Monica

All the residents and attendings

Our Rabbi and the Mitzvah Corps

All of the friends following and supporting on Facebook, because Momma don’t Twitter

Tim – for watching Ben so Zach could make his birthday party

M.F. – who came to visit me

J.B. – for the muffins, which ensured there was a lunch for our boys

My MIL – for coming all the way across the country at a crazy busy time

Coco – for sending love my way

All of you for reading and sending your love

And, of course, Wanda, because she rocks

J – who is the best parenting partner I could have, but especially for the moment when he came to get the car and, even though I didn’t want him to go into the room where Lilah had just fallen asleep, couldn’t help peering in the window at her.

Our boys, who went with the flow, which is definitely not in the elder one’s nature.

26 responses to “Part nine: No place like home

  1. A truly amazing community indeed.

    And a happy ending, in that everyone is now home safe and healthy… a blessing that is so easily forgotten in the crush of life sometimes.

  2. It does make you grateful for all your blessings. It also seems that in the time you have been in LA that you have found a wonderful village and that is in and of itself a blessing.

    There is no place like home, and it sounds like you found one.

  3. Lesson not learned. (i need to stop reading your blog at work…watery eyes)
    To find yourself in the center of a crisis, and to look around at all those people around you who love you (or maybe don’t even know you)proping you and ensuring that you fall….what a gift.
    welcome home.

  4. So glad everything is okay, and that you got support when you needed it!

  5. So glad you’re home and that people really stepped in and showed their best selves. I like to read about the goodness of others. Doesn’t happen often enough.

  6. It is wonderful that so many people stepped up in this situation. So often you hear of the opposite happening, and it is so good to hear a “positive” experience, if there is such a thing.

    So glad this is a happy ending. 🙂

  7. Oh, thank goodness! What a nice post to see this morning.

    And…thank you for the kudos, but I really wish I had been able to do more. I would have given anything to be able to stuff your family full of homemade lasagna and fresh bread, and drive the boys to school, and bring you a sandwich that didn’t taste like old socks. Alas, the commute is just a tad too long. 😦

  8. Hope things are settling down for you–and that Lilah is 100% better real soon!

  9. *sobs openly*

    I’m hormonal, what can I say? Besides, of course, I’m so happy that everyone is home and well again.

  10. It’s something like this, that makes you realize how lucky we are. How lucky all of us are. Glad Lilah is doing better.

  11. so glad you are home, and Lilah is recovering.

  12. Holy COW. Emily, I haven’t been checking in for the last few days, and I just got caught up. HOLY. COW.

    Glad Lilah’s ok. Glad you’re all home.

    And although I know you probably have a million people you know in real life who will help, I also know that we’re both in LA, so if you need anything, even someone to make the grocery runs for you this weekend while you all recover, please let me know. (Wow. That was a SUPER-long sentence.) Seriously. I’d be more than happy to help.

    Hugs, prayers, happy thoughts and all that jazz to you and your family.

  13. I’m hoping for a few peaceful days for you all…welcome home.

  14. holy crap….again! You are so right about everyone pulling together. It HAS to happen, and thank God, it usually does.

    glad all is finally well.

  15. Happy to hear that L is doing well (and that you had a reasonable satisfactory medical experience)!!

  16. Glad to hear things are improving!

  17. You are so fortunate! That sounds weird considering you just wrote a very heartfelt post about your baby’s serious illness. But the kind of community response that you experienced is something that I think is missing from our lifestyle. Just another reason we are working towards a move.

    The health care thing? I won’t go there because I would end up hijacking your comments to prosyletize. Another day maybe.

    So glad little Lilah is doing well.

  18. First, you are an amazing writer. I forget how many great writers are out there when I hole up for awhile.

    Second, yes. When our son was in the hospital for a breathing issue .. just yes, to everything you have written in this series of posts.

    Someone is always battling something worse. It makes you count your blessings again and again. Glad your baby girl is home and well.

  19. What an ordeal and what a relief! And all so beautifully written. Now do only mundane stuff like making holiday cookies and glueing pieces of construction paper together for a couple of days. And eat lots of thick, milky oatmeal with brown sugar, that helped me loads post partum. And, of course, cuddle with your kids like there’s no tomorrow.

  20. Emily, I’m just getting caught up here… Wow, you’ve had quite the week. I laughed so hard when you were describing the “food” parts because in the midst of each crisis I’ve been through, food was still on my list of concerns, too. I’m so glad for you 1) that Lilah is getting better; and 2) that you have such a wonderful community to support you, and all of this within only months of moving to a new place. Hugs to you and yours.

  21. So very happy to hear that all is well with the baby & the rest of your family.

    I also really appreciate your list of folks you acknowledged- -even though I don’t know any of them. My mom died after a looonnnnggg battle with cancer . When my sibs & I looked at each other through it all & wondered about the way it all went down– one thing we each discovered during that time was the numerous people who had our backs.

  22. Well, thank goodness you are back home and Lilah is on the mend. What a ghastly week you had – I’m so glad there were some redeeming features. And most of all that what Lilah had was curable, and relatively quick to cure.

    The NHS has indeed a lot of problems, but I do think on the whole it is good with children. That’s not to say there aren’t all kinds of delays and frustrations with non-life threatening illnesses, but the quality of care for children is generally very good. And available for every child, no matter how poor or how sick.

  23. Very glad you’re home.

  24. I am so relieved to hear that everything is fine.

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