Have you ever sat down at night and thought about how your day could have gone differently? For me, this is a regular occurrence, but this evening it was worse than usual. My mind was in over-drive, playing out hundreds of different avenues I could have chosen, but didn’t. And because I made a hasty, selfish decision, I brought home a truck load of remorse. My decision provided me convenience, but unfortunately for my son, it was costly to his health.
Today was one of those days I really, really wish I could do over.
Some kids with peroxisomal disorders choke on liquids and food because they have low tone in their neck and shoulders. Therefore my husband and I have been told that we need to get a swallow study done for Gideon. And since he’s had trouble swallowing puréed foods for the past two weeks, we decided to do the swallow study.
So we talked to our pediatrician and she ordered the test. And since Gideon was going to have to swallow barium for this study, our pediatrician advised that we also do an upper & lower gastro-intestinal (GI) exam as well. So in my mind, these two tests together would allow them to watch (using radiology) the food travel from his mouth all the way to his rectum. And because I only received one call for one appointment, I assumed both tests would happen together.
Apparently I assumed wrong.
We got to Children’s Hospital and after talking to our sweet nurse, we soon learned that both tests could not be done in one appointment given Gideon’s age. Long story short, someone from the swallow study department dropped the ball and never called me to schedule the separate swallow test…hence my confusion and thoughts that both tests would be done together.
Our appointment was at 8:45 AM and it was about 9 AM when we learned that there was going to be two separate tests. So after much frustration & confusion on our part (and Gideon’s….keep in mind he’s been fasting since 4:45 AM and he’s STARVING!!), my husband decides we are leaving and not doing the test. He says we can always come back, but the main reason we are here is for the swallow study, not the GI.
Here’s where I would like my do over.
My first instinct was to agree with my husband…after all, the only thing we are concerned with is my son’s ability to swallow. Plus Gideon has never shown any signs of GI problems. While Gideon was screaming, I debated back and forth with both my husband and the nurse. The nurse said that our doctor would want both tests done, so I figured if we were going to have to do the GI at some point anyways, we might as well do it now since we were there.
Now this may not sound like such bad reasoning; however, the issue I’m struggling with is that I chose convenience over wisdom. All I really heard from the nurse was “two separate tests” which meant, if we left, we would have to come back two more times. And I think the worst part of it all was that I never stopped to pray about my decision. Instead, I just pushed my point over my husband’s logical reasoning just so I didn’t have to make two more trips. Had I listened to my husband, we would have left and only come back for swallow study because Gideon did not need the GI test.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you ever made a decision based on convenience rather than wisdom? What has it cost you? What has it cost someone close to you?
Here’s what it cost Gideon.
Imagine you’re Gideon. To do so, you’ll need to close your eyes and your ears. Now imagine you’re hungry and naked and a woman who you don’t know has tied you to a board with your arms by your ears (limiting your hearing even more). Then she proceeds to shove a tube down your nose and throat to your stomach- only to then fill it with the chemical element, barium.
Now let me just clarify something. Procedures like these are necessary and I’m so glad we have the technology & doctors to do them. That being said, this test was NOT necessary for my son. He has never had any GI problems. The GI test was added by our pediatrician only because she also thought the tests were going to be done together. Had I listened to my husband today we would left and only come back for the swallow study; and Gideon would not have to be exposed to the barium & radiation twice.
My heart breaks for my sweet Gideon. I wish I could go back and do it all over. I would have listened to the wisdom of my husband. I also would have taken time to pray. I know we all make mistakes from time to time, but when those mistakes affect our kids…. ugh… it’s so hard to handle.
I cannot un-do what has been done. So I am taking today for what it is…a lesson. It was a lesson in prayer, a lesson in listening, and lesson in waiting. Funny thing is that just yesterday, I heard a profound sermon on waiting. Unfortunately, it didn’t sink in until just now…
I’m looking forward to a new day. I guess in some way, tomorrow is my do-over. I have another chance to apply what I’ve learned- it’s a fresh start. Tomorrow I’m going to seek wisdom over convenience. Tomorrow I’m going to listen more than I speak. Tomorrow, when things seem out of control, I’m going to pray & wait for the Lord.
Such actions do not lead to a burden of remorse… but rather a bounty of joy.