‘The Host’

Something happened this week, my daughter was admitted to the hospital.
Because its me…it doesn’t matter where I am, I always end up in an adventure…so here we are at a hospital in New York.

Sophia was taken in for Acute Mastoiditis. We started at the urgent care pediatrics but ended up in the ER. There was madness all over the place. So many people in one room at around midnight. There were also a lot of police officers. Not sure if that was comforting or worrying me! But anyway, luckily we didn’t have to wait more then 10 minutes. Unfortunately the doctor that we got, didn’t learn at medical school about ‘how to communicate with people’. The man started to talk about what happened to Sophia very positive, but then he started about all the bad and negative things that this infection carries. At the end of his story… “She should be deaf, could be end up blind and maybe even have brain damage in a few days”. When he was finished I looked at my husband who was just staring at the doctor. I comment with ” boy you really know how to bring news to people”. He responded with a proud smile, as if he just helped us in a good way. And on top of that he thought the Netherlands was Denmark, even when I corrected him he still said it a few times… So…

He all made it look worse then it was, it was still pretty serious but they caught it in time so with the right treatment and medicine it should be ok. But that, we only heard when she was admitted.
What the fun is to make so much drama out of it, is for me a guess. It’s not what somebody wants to hear, give us at least some hope or something.
It’s like the same on tv. They promote a medicine product for 10 seconds in a positive way, and then you get 50 seconds about all the negative side effects. ‘depressive, suicidal, hallucinations, hearing loss, nausea, vomiting etc. And it’s just for allergies or a cold! I always think who would ever want to buy it then!!
And talking about allergies… Wow!
The moment that we arrived in Texas, we were confronted with the term ‘allergies’.
The first week my husband comes home with allergy pills, I ask why he has them and he couldn’t answer it either. He was coughing and had a runny nose and they said its probably allergies! So people gave him those pills. Uh… No! I bet it’s just the ice cold air condition everywhere? Texas is hot and when you go somewhere inside its freezing? People get a cold because of that?
And then me… I sneeze one time and somebody near by says, ‘ oeh allergies’ ? Uh no, just a sneeze! Or if I touch my ear and the person next to me ask me ‘allergies’? Uh no, just an itchy ear!
And that went on for 2 years… It was so much fun when somebody asked me if I had allergies. I always answered with ” Dutch people don’t have allergies”. And also… If we do…we not really promoting it like that!

But there is also an other kind of allergy people would ask us about…. ‘Allergic reactions’.

Sophia and I mostly go with my husband to his appearances.
(I am raised in a business family, so I know when to be visible and invisible).
My husband was handing out prizes, on his own, to hundreds of kids who had a soccer camp that day and I was a little bit further away playing with Sophia. At one moment I see she has a black hand and arm and I thought it was mud, so I try to get it of but the black stuff starts to move, and I notices she is covered with ants!! (Those Texas ants are very painful and a lot of kids are allergic to them) Her hand and arm were all red and a lady next to me sees that. She starts to freak out and ask me if I had Benadryl!…my thought was “and that is”? ( Its a medicine against an allergic reaction) Then 2 other ladies come over and say ” she need Benadryl, she really needs Benadryl now”! And when the fourth lady came, there was panic! She was yelling in the air if somebody had Benadryl. I look at my right side and see my husband standing on a podium handing out those prizes, with a smile, with no clue what is happening at my side. I look at Sophia and she has a nasty red arm, but looks at me with a face like what are those ladies doing? And I was just thinking. “Dutch people don’t have allergies and no she isn’t having an allergic reaction, calm down”. (My friend always says when there is no swelling and problems with breathing your good). But how can I leave this situation? So I promised the ladies that I will go to the pharmacy or the ER right away, but…I waited in the car till my husband was ready to go.
Because of the reaction of those women, it scared me a little so I decided to carry a small bottle Benadryl with me. Just in case… It can save lives.

But back to the hospital story.

Every mom who ever had a child in the hospital knows that eating is not your first priority.
A Eucharistic minister came in Sophia’s room, and asked me to do the prayers together.
I am catholic, but I call it more “Christmas catholic”. I am baptized but I never had my communion.
We go to a mass during Christmas,I light a candle when I see a nice church and I pray at home for my family and friends for good health and happiness. So I thought… why not.
Not only because I really needed God for the health of my baby, but also… I was really hungry!
I saw she was carrying a box with hosts and well… I didn’t eat for at least 24 hours… I really needed that host! I still feel so guilty that I was thinking like that, but I figured that God would forgive me. She never came back though, so maybe she was on to me…

So then… after 48 hours with no sleep and only one host in my stomach, we got visitors from the New York Cosmos. I had a lot of worries, because the medicines weren’t working and it even looked if it got worse. The story of that doctor in the ER was still spooking in my head. Of course I stayed strong at the outside, but my inside was killing me. And because of that, I looked like a crack addict who just missed her last shot! I smelled horrible and then my hair…you could make definitely soup out of it! I never really had the chance to take a shower, because doctors were constantly in and out, and Sophia didn’t want me to leave her.
So when the cosmos people were standing there so concerned and so supportive, I just kept thinking, god this is awkward. Sweet…but so awkward. (Maybe it was my punishment, because I took that host) I will be known as the smelly one, with greasy hair, looking like she lives under the bridge, soccer wife!
On the other hand… the pressure of ‘I have to look nice, for my husbands games’ is totally gone now, because it will always be better then when I first met them.
The NY Cosmos is our family now. It was really nice that they came and we appreciate it very much.

Now Sophia had surgery and she is such a sweet baby. A two year old who is a prisoner of her own bed. A little human being, who is scared and has no idea what is happening around her. All those doctors who are poking and touching her? She is doing amazing and I am such a proud mom. I can not wait till we can go home so we can play again, we’ll buy her a bicycle or a train table of Thomas and go on adventures again together. She is my little angel.
But I also can really need a good night sleep in my own bed and I might even wanna eat a burger or two, because my stomach shrank to a pea. We will still stay at least here till the end of this weekend and we hope everything goes well so we can go home…

7 thoughts on “‘The Host’

  1. Wat een nachtmerrie…. lieve schatten!!!
    Zo’n klein engeltje in een ziekenhuis bedje, die zich belabberd voelt en niets van al dat drukke opjuttende gevoel begrijpt…, die alleen maar bij haar mammie en pappie wil zijn…!!! Wat een moeilijke tijd! Voor zover ik het begrijp mogen jullie misschien na dit weekend naar huis… wat hoop ik dat voor jullie de nachtmerrie nu min of meer ten einde is en home – sweet home- op jullie wacht met eigen bedjes, douche, lekker eten en…. heerlijke lange nachten om al het verdriet, zorg, frustratie en noem maar op een plekje te geven en jullie je dagelijkse leven weer mogen oppakken!!!
    Misschien kunnen we volgende week dat toch een keer skypen…? Wat zou dat fijn zijn! Hoe dan ook we leven heel erg met jullie mee.
    Misschien will je dit gebedje voor Sophia zeggen – ik zei / zeg het zelf altijd heel vaak vroeger voor onze kinderen en nu voor onze kleine kleinkinderen:

    O God, leid mij, bescherm mij, maak mij een stralend licht en een schitterende ster. Gij zijt de Machtige en de Krachtige.
    O God, guide me, protect me, make of me a shining lamp and a brilliant star. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful.

    De kinderen vinden het heerlijk, maakt ze rustig als je dit voor ze zegt. Vind het echt zo’n mooi gebedje,

    Heel veel liefs en vooral heel veel sterkte plus een dikke knuffel van ons beidjes, – we denken aan jullie en hopelijk tot volgende week?!!!

    Snap hier niks van maar zal mijn email adres wel invoeren. Ik werk niet met faceboek – en weet hiet hoe ik dit terug kan skypen. Vandaar de mail!!!

  2. I’m sorry. That had to have been frightening. And that doctor had no bedside manner. I look forward to reading more from you, and hope all is well with the little one.

  3. From San Antonio.. I hope she is feeling better. Miss working with such an amazing and loving family such as yours! Prayers out to you guys!

  4. If I were you I would have smacked that doctor up side his head! that’s what we do in Texas! I know how you feel seeing your baby suffer and in the hospital. When Morgan had her spine reconstruction, which was a 9 hour surgery – thankfully, our doctor was amazing and not a schmuck! Anyhow, she suffered complications (long story) that had nothing to do with her back but her lungs and had to have another surgery here in San Antonio. Altogether she was in the hospital for a month between Dallas and San Antonio stays. And I know bathing and eating are not a priority but you get through because you are an amazingly strong woman and Sophia is just like her mom. Hugs and kisses and, as always, you all are in my prayers.

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