So, yesterday we had a health crisis at my house. Yeah, Nick's just getting over strep and we've had some iffy days with the kids, but we were scared on Monday. Carlo (pictured above, singing during a recent Children's Prayer Watch at OHOP) had woken up the previous night with a stomach ache and come in our room. Now, he's been waking up and coming in our room almost every night for the past 2 weeks, so I didn't think anything more about it after Nick put him back to bed. Then, during the morning, I was at OHOP for a devotional set singing back-up, and then stayed to pray during the intercession set. I heard from Nick that Carlo was crying with a stomach ache, and that was what had woken him up during the night. I ask typical mom questions like: Has he gone to the bathroom? Did he eat? Nick is a good dad, so he has answers for me, and he's getting really worried. I had planned to come home around 11 anyway, so when I realized the time, I start gathering my stuff and see my phone flashing.
Nick had tried calling me 10 times and sent me a text: ANSWER YOUR PHONE! Then it started vibrating in my hand.
I make a quick exit to a phone-friendly hallway and answer. Carlo has been crying all morning with his tummy in pain, and it's tender when gently pressed around his belly button. I make my way home with bubbly pop in hand, hoping this will solve the problem.
Carlo is 5, on the small side, and quite dramatic. He's still crying a little, saying it hurts worse to walk around. I carry him to bed after he sips a little soda. After looking up stomach ailments in the medical resource book I have for kids, I find that YES, I should take him to the doctor. It might even be appendicitis. I change clothes, grab a book, and get shoes on Carlo as we leave. Nick gives me cash to get lunch on the way. I had decided to go to the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital because I think it'll be better than the close hospital. It took me about 20 minutes to get there and Carlo was chattering cheerfully almost the whole way!
I'm talking to him, paying tolls, driving, and thinking about the prayer warriors I asked to pray for Carlo. Fellow intercessory missionaries at OHOP, my mother-in-law, my other children and Nick had all laid hands on Carlo and prayed for his health. My own prayers echo around my head. Holy Spirit, heal Carlo by the blood of Jesus. Work in his body and set all things right. Thank you, Lord!
I find the hospital, turn around to get lunch at Wendy's, and prepare for the emergency room wait. As I'm pulling into the lot, Carlo asks for chicken nuggets. OOOKAY... I decide to go in and get us both meals and see how he's acting. I get him chicken nuggets, orange slices, and sprite. I get a chicken sandwich with fries and Coke. Yes, I am going to need the caffeine. Carlo eats his entire meal. That almost never happens. He even ate a few of my fries. He talks, laughs, and plays with his new Scooby Doo toy. No tears, no doubling over in pain; he almost runs out the door. I lay him in the backseat to press on his tummy a little, just to see his reaction. He says "ow", but giggles each time.
Then, I decide to go to the hospital "just to make sure" and pay $4 to park in the parking garage. I think this is ridiculous. There's only a few spots on the street with meters, totally unpractical for waiting room time. Is it right to charge people to park to see their sick children in the hospital?
Anyway, I sign Carlo in, get a visitor badge for myself and start "the wait." I read about 3 pages of "A Horse and His Boy" to Carlo before he decides he's done and gets up to look for something else to do. We wander over to a play room with a giant TV showing Spongebob and a big block toy. There's also a computer with easy paint games on it, but another mother/child team is already using that. I read a little. I watch Carlo play on the block faces. I look around at the sick kids wearing their "respiratory issue" face masks around their necks. I try not to notice a mother swat her sick toddler's butt for not sitting still on her lap, and try not to cringe as he cries miserably. Carlo has to go to the bathroom twice, which is conveniently beside the vending machines. He wants a snack. No. I didn't get a snack. Other dads get themselves candy and get their kids chips. I roll my eyes. I remembered I had a partial package of nuts and dried fruit in my purse. Carlo eats it all.
Finally, he's called and the triage nurse takes his temperature and blood pressure. Both fine. Carlo goes back to the playroom to get his turn on the computer game. After only a short time, he's pushed off by a little girl. He's bored. I'm frustrated and concerned with the very full waiting room and all the germs floating around. Ugh.
We walk around a little and Carlo tries to escape. He stands in the security room on the other side of an automatic door. I sternly call him back and sit with him on my lap. He gets up again and jogs around the room. We try to call Nick, but the call is dropped when Carlo is talking. He says, He doesn't care. No signal. Carlo wants to go home. I'm watching him full of energy, happy, ready to go.
Finally, I agree that he's been healed by Jesus. There's no other explanation. I gripe at him a little in the car because I think he may have been faking for attention. He doesn't say anything. He gets quiet; I know he's upset. He puts his Nemo hat on, pulling down the brim. He lays his head down and naps on the way home. I'm sorry I said that to him. I know he woke up with pain during the night. I know he couldn't maintain a fake stomach ache, with tears, for 4 hours. I thanked God for healing him, called my mother-in-law, and later posted a praise report for our OHOP family. Carlo napped a while longer at home, and he is totally fine now! I've been giving him extra hugs and kisses. He is doing great!
It's true! Jesus really heals.