Thoughts from a PICU at 2 A.M.


The surgery is behind us. We came in this morning at 7:30, kissed him on the cheek as he went under at about 9:30, and then rejoined him in the PICU at 2:30, when it was all over. The surgeon told us that all went well, and the tumor is gone.

I was surprised at what I felt after leaving him. First sadness (which was not the surprise), but then- relief (surprise!). And happiness. And peace. And calm. It was out of my hands and in the hands of the twenty people who introduced themselves to us in the minutes before surgery.

I felt guilty when I first caught myself feeling happy. It doesn’t seem right to feel happy when my 3 year old is in brain surgery. But then I thought about what a friend told me when I lost my mom, and was first introduced to grief. “However you feel is how you’re supposed to feel.” Even though I’m not grieving, the words seem to make sense here too. So I went ahead and felt happy, and relieved, and calm. But not guilty.


You know what’s crazy? People do this- surgery, IV’s, medicine, and recovery- over and over. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House a couple of nights ago and heard an exchange between two women. They referenced Oklahoma City, and Johns Hopkins, and Boston. They’re on a circuit of treatment, from hospital to hospital.

In contrast, we’re in a sprint. We have to go hard at this surgery/recovery thing for a while, but then (Lord willing) it is over and behind us. Like my friend Jenn said, it will be an awesome story for “two truths and a lie” one day. But it is likely not something we have to keep battling and figuring out. I mean- our life has revolved around this whole seizure/tumor/surgery thing for months now, where I keep other parts of our family moving along, but it is all subject to change according to the Monkey’s health. We’re looking ahead at getting back to healthy normal, though.

To families who do this month after month and year after year- the Lord’s peace to you. I don’t know what else to say. This road is not easy.


So he is asleep now. He had a rough patch from midnight until about 1:30. I have the faintest smell of vomit on my hospital security band, from holding him as he got rid of two cherry Italian ices and a grilled cheese. (Which explained the whole “my tummy hurts” thing we were hearing about). He is IV’d and stickered and monitored all over his upper body. He has dried blood on his foot. The scar on his head is a doozy. But- BUT- he is sleeping now. And the surgery went well. And it is behind us.

For all of that- I am so thankful.

Lots of other thoughts, but have I mentioned it is 2:00 a.m.?

I leave you with this:



13 thoughts on “Thoughts from a PICU at 2 A.M.

  1. For some reason I was up at 0200 and read this. I only know of ICU from the opposite end of the spectrum….I work in one. I am amazed EVERYDAY at the parents who are going through anything that has their child in my care, whether it be for 14 hours or 10 months. Thinking of y’all and hoping you will be out of PICU soon and to a regular room or on your way home!

    • kam, what you all do is amazing.

      i think what hurt the most when i wandered around the icu was seeing all the rooms that were fully decorated- pictures, banners, christmas decorations. you don’t decorate a room from top to bottom if you’re just there for a short while.

  2. I loved waking up to this. thank you. your courage and every honest feeling are full of hope. blessing you today.

  3. Exhaling. Of course it feels good. Aren’t IC nurses and doctors wonderful and amazing? Hoping you all get some much-needed rest.

  4. Well written, yet again, Katherine! God IS GOOD and He is so faithful. We praise Him for the way He has led you and Russ and provided you with His peace. We continue to pray for God’s complete healing for Bo-Bo and for strength, energy and unity for you and Russ in the coming days/weeks.

  5. We send our love to you and Praise to God for the successful surgery. Looking forward to updates!

  6. Katherine! Cannot even begin to imagine the road you have been on. I could barely handle when my two year old was sick this week and I’m a nurse! Thank you for writing it all down so we can share it with you. I pray for quick healing.

  7. Pingback: Four Years Later | Ye Old College Try

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