Monday, April 27, 2015

Silent Echoes

If there is one characteristic that consistently marks my daughter, I would say that it is adaptabilty. No matter what forks have appeared in her life's young path, she has bravely gone down whatever branch she must and has continued along mostly unaffected. Something in her make-up allows her to accept the conditions in her life and adapt to whatever situations that come along the way with her positive attitude fully intact. Even when she has been sick, she still finds a way to make the best of things.

For the past several years, my daughter has been affected by recurring migraines, a condition that has plagued all of the women on her mother's side. Even through the misery of these regular episodes, which typically recur several times per month, she has been able to keep her smile and to deal with their impact on her life. However, recently the spectre of this neurologic condition has quite suddenly changed its pattern and has sunk its icy grip into my daughter. Over the past several weeks an episode has descended upon her and brought her low. I have stood by helplessly as the pain, nausea, and non-stop visits to doctor after doctor have slowly ablated her spirit. Ultimately, she was admitted to the hospital as they were forced to more drastic measures in her treatment.

As the nurses came into her room for blood samples, I stepped out into the hallway to give her some privacy. For about 15 minutes I paced a loop about the silent ward following the path laid out by the brown tiles that marked a zig-zag pattern on the floor. For a man who likes to be in control, there is nothing quite so maddening, so utterly frustrating, as to be completely powerless and unable to affect an outcome. When I could go back into her room, I sat by her bedside for several hours telling her stories to distract her, making plans for things we could do again when she was feeling better, and refilling her cup of ginger ale. As the evening wore on, it was time for her to get some rest and I headed home.

Normally upon entering my front door I am greeted by an echo of the presence from my daughter as her laughter tends to linger, bouncing off the walls and transforming the house into our home. However, upon entering into my foyer, the house was utterly still, layered in a thick, murky silence.