Saturday, March 15, 2008

A few hours with Charlie

I wrote this on Monday while sitting with Charlie.

I've talked about Charlie before here and you can see him here. I have been begging Angel (Charlie's mom) to let me do something to help. I feel helpless. Charlie is about 3 weeks younger than my Joey. He is still in the hospital, he is still giving all specialists a run for their money.

Ang and I have been friends since high school, we were roommates on a study abroad, we see each other maybe once a year, but she is the friend that you can see that often and still love and adore and talk like we have just spoken yesterday, not a year ago. You wish she was your sister or next door neighbor.

Anyway, she and her fam are moving into their new house today and they all need to be there to get it done so I get to sit with Charlie. Joey, who does not take a bottle willingly (or apparently at all), will get me back in a couple of hours.

I guess Charlie has been sleeping all day, but has been a bit restless since I got here. I would like to think it is because he is excited to see me, who knows. Let me tell you how I feel:


- he has been having a "storm" for the last 50 minutes or so. His BP goes up, he sweats, he can't seem to calm down. He is awake and breathing heavily, making sad faces, looks so uncomfortable. He has a feeding tube, monitors, oxygen - not so comfortable.

I said to the nurse, "I want to hold him, somehow comfort him." She said I could. So I did - totally supervised, of course. She said that he would be uncomfortable with me holding him or in his bed. I guess I was thinking that I would have the magic touch. That he would relax his rigid body when he was placed in my arms, that his heart rate would miraculously calm. Nope. Instead, he kept on with the "storm", stubborn baby.

I tried singing - nope, instead I cried. Helpless. So, I hummed and cried, hoping that he would feel my love even though he can't hear me.

I finally put him back in bed (totally supervised) and he is still storming. The nurse who has been here all day just left. So helpless. I worry that I am bothering the nurses to often. He has needed to have his sinuses suctioned out while I am here, had two diaper changes (tube food makes stinky poop, who knew?) and his last nurse said, "He hasn't had any of the ____ meds all day, maybe he needs them now." She is off, so I don't know if the other nurse knows that is what she is thinking. I just went out to see if he was going to get them, we'll see. The new nurse is just as great as the last. They have a great staff here.

I don't know how Rob and Ang are doing this. I wish I could do Charlie justice by writing some well-described, eloquent, verbascular post - really letting you all know how I feel, how it feels to be here, but I can't. I don't know what it is like to be his parents, I am certain it is a living nightmare. I'm in awe of their strength.

This is Charlie Cooper with his alter-ego Super Cooper, the boy who is fighting hard to get better. I saw this doll a while ago and luckily when I went back they had it still. Britt named him Super Cooper which is absolutely perfect. You can't see it, but Super Cooper has a cape and a hero suit on.

Charlie Cooper is quite inspirational. The feeling in this room is somehow peaceful and full of life, even when he isn't peaceful. I feel he is going to do great things, we just don't know in what capacity.

Rob and Ang, thanks for letting me help. Anytime you need me.


Charlie Cooper said...

...verbascular! My Wildcat pride just grew three-fold. Who knew that such literary genius could be cultivated at the Taco Time distribution center right off I-15. Thanks for all the kind words about my little buddy. --ROB--
Ps. Noah Webster is rolling in his grave. Try “Palaverous” next time, it actually exists, but I do admire your moxie.

Through the Looking Glass said...

I read about Charlie every day and every day I can't imagine the depths of Rob and Angel's strength. Is it possible that this little boy has literally "the most" expressive face and mouth? Every grimace, every expression, just hits me so close, as the mother of my own children. I haven't seen Rob or Angel since school, and we were all never that close, but I too want to hug and kiss this baby and just touch his forehead with my lips. He actually seems angelic, and I know there are greater powers and people than we who are around him all the time. You're a dear friend to Angel.

Meghan said...

whit - i am sobbing. i haven't cried like this for awhile, but you are able to verbalize how so many of us feel - helpless. ang and rob have such a calm acceptance of coops situation and i am sure with time we will all be there too.. in the meantime i feel the same thing you do - want my touch to comfort him, so i hold his hand, pat his hair or tummy.. and his brain just wont let him know that our love should calm him. coop has a big mission here and he's already started.. thanks for your post and for taking care of rob & ang.

linds said...

whit, i too am sobbing, what a touching post. it sucks to feel so helpless. holding our own children works to calm them... like we have some super power. meg is right, charlie has a very important mission.

Melanie (Mama, Mimi) said...

Whitney - such a nice post and so insightful to people like myself who check his post several times everyday and would like to DO something. I look at his pictures and I too just want to pick him up and hug him as tight as I can. Faith is a few months younger than Charlie and it just hits close to home. My heart goes out to the Christensen family even though I don't know them. I really do not know how they are coping. I think it is so sweet that you looked after him so diligently... by hoping the nurses were updating each other, by wanting his nose suctioned, and most importantly wanting to hold him. You are a sweet dear friend. Next time you are up there - will you please give him a kiss on the forehead for me :)

Melanie Christoffersen Gardner

Charlie Cooper said...

Whit- I love what you wrote about my sweet Charlie! You have such a way of expressing the feeling here. Thank you so much for staying with him and for caring so much. It means so much- Angel