It seems like every year Thanksgiving coincides with some momentous event in my life, and this year has not been an exception.
On November 4th, my 13-year-old son began having flu-like symptoms. No biggie...every parent has gone through this. Vomiting, diarrhea, the whole shabang. Only my son hasn't been sick since preschool...not even a common cold. Kind of scary when you've never really had to take care of a sickly child before. So I kept telling myself to just "chill out" and quit "freaking out." But day after day, he seemed to be getting worse, and he began to have "attacks." Six days, 3 doctor visits, and 2 ER visits later, he was admitted to the hospital.
When he was admitted to the hospital, he was in the middle of the worst of his attacks. It lasted 9 1/2 hours. I can't even begin to describe what it is like to watch your child thrash around and scream and cry from excruciating pain for 9 1/2 hours. Morphine didn't touch it, and Fentanyl couldn't even control it. The worst part was not knowing what was happening to him. Nobody could figure it out. His kidneys shut down, his liver was failing, and his body was in shock. It wasn't until Day 3 that the answer began to emerge....my son has chronic pancreatitis. It's rare in children, but the cause was finally discovered to be one of the anti-seizure medications (Depakote) he had been taking for the past several years. Once off the meds, he improved drastically and quickly.
I've been with RE/MAX since 2005. Everyone knows that RE/MAX is a proud supporter of Children's Miracle Network. I donate $100 in the name of my client for each transaction side, which resulted in $4,900 in donations last year, and $5,300 this year to date. I've always been proud of my contributions, but until this past week, I honestly had no idea what my money was used for.
When the doors to the pediatric ward opened and they wheeled Logan to his room, there were GORGEOUS murals painted down the hallways. A local artist painted them and transferred them to canvas that were applied to the walls since the paint can be harmful to the children. As they wheeled Logan into his room, I had to stop....on one side of his door was a big RE/MAX sign, and on the other side was the RE/MAX balloon. How ironic that my son would be placed in that particular room!
Before we were even settled, a young girl knocked on the door and introduced herself as a representative from Children's Miracle Network. She handed me a care package containing shampoo, a toothbrush, a comb, a pen, a notepad, and then she handed me a menu and told me that all of my meals would be paid for by Children's Miracle Network. There were no questions asked. I did ask her why they were doing that, and she said, "We do this for every family whose child is admitted to the hospital." They had no idea that I was a contributor.
Several times a day, the young girl would knock on our door and ask if I needed anything to drink or eat, or if I needed her to get me anything from the gift shop, and would ask Logan if he wanted a game or a movie to watch. They wheeled in an XBox and gave him several games to play. She would sit next to Logan and chat with him every morning like they were old friends. One morning, I was preparing Logan's breakfast and as I started to butter his toast for him, he gave me the "evil eye." His evil eye didn't stop until the young girl left.....and then it hit me. I had committed the worst sin ever.....I had the nerve to baby him in front of the "hot chick!" Oh, the horror!!!
This hospitalization has been such an eye-opening experience in so many ways. I am so thankful we were able to receive medical care in time. I am so thankful for the love and support of my family. I'm so thankful for the awesome team I have that stepped up and took care of my business and allowed me to focus on my son. I am thankful for the strengthened bond I have with Logan.
I am so incredibly thankful for RE/MAX and Children's Miracle Network! And I am thankful for my clients because had they not trusted me to handle their transactions, there would not have been donations. I'm thankful for the opportunity to not only learn about Children's Miracle Network, but to actually experience it.
Most of all....I'm thankful for my son. I'm thankful he's alive. Nothing else would have any meaning without him. This morning as we were preparing to be released, I found a message from Logan on my Facebook. It was the greatest gift I could ever ask for.
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About the author: I am full-time REALTOR® with RE/MAX Solutions in Springfield, MO, and a member of the Greater Springfield Board of REALTORS®. I have helped hundreds of families in the Springfield, Nixa, Republic and Ozark real estate markets, whether buying a home, or selling a home. Visit my website to search for All Springfield MO Area MLS listings. Want to know what our market is like? My website is also an excellent resource for current Springfield MO Area Real Estate Market Reports, as well as current market reports for Ozark, Nixa, Republic, and Rogersville.