a stupid mini fridge

Every Thursday I look back at a specific day and time that was spent with my daughter Matilda as she waited for, received, and recovered from a liver transplant. She was in the hospital for 72 days and we remained in NYC until she turned four months old.

October 28th, 2012 - a stupid mini fridge

For the last few weeks we had been distracted by a parent who shared the half-wall/curtain with us. At first her overreactions and attention-seeking antics were so off the charts that we found humor in it. But as time went on, more and more of her unnecessary stress seeped into our area. She demanded so much attention from the doctors and nurses that it was taking away from other patients.

Today, she was moving to a different part of the hospital. We were glad. But everyone was busy and my concerns for  Matilda kept stacking on top of each other. Her breathing seemed different, her color more orange, her body relaxed and limp.

I peeked my head down the hall, each attending that was still visible was busy with another patient. I waited. I was patient because I understood that causing a scene does not do anyone any good. Because I was empathetic to the rest of the parents who had been waiting all day for someone to sit and talk with them about their situation. And I never dared assume that Matilda was the most sick because I had seen two children lose their battle, over the last month.

So when our nurse came bouncing down the hall with Matilda's fresh frozen plasma in her hand, I felt relief. And when the woman from behind our curtain stepped into our area and went on and on about how she wanted her mini fridge to go up with her, not after her, not sent later, but for our nurse to personally wheel the fridge with her to the new room, I got angry. I wanted to tell her that she was being rude. That one child getting lifesaving blood products is more important than a stupid mini fridge. But I didn't say a thing.

Instead I prayed. I prayed that she would leave and never come back. That she would find peace and understanding. That her daughter would always be healthy and safe. And, I prayed that my mounting concerns were nothing at all. That maybe a little neurotic behavior had slipped from one side of the curtain to the other - that I was wrong. I prayed that Matilda was fine.

But she wasn't. It was time to say goodbye.

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