How a Killer Bat Taught me Perspective
Last Tuesday was one of those days for me. One I would rather forget, but never will.
Every Tuesday morning I have to be at work at 6:30am for a meeting. Getting up earlier than usual makes any day a little tougher, and when I go to bed on Monday nights, my body groans with complaint.
How we feel about our lives has nothing to do with our reality, and everything to do with what we are comparing our reality to.
God gave me a difficult day to teach me that every one is a blessing.
Our 7 month old baby girl was sick. For those of you with small children, you understand how a sick baby completely disrupts life.
She had RSV (the bronchiolitis). It was a sleepless and irritable Sunday and Monday. My wife took her to the doctor and he said, “Well, she is bad, but she’s not terrible. When she gets terrible, we will have to admit her to the hospital.”
So we spent Monday morning trying to decide whether she was still bad or had crossed over into terrible. Monday was a long night.
On Tuesday Grace had another visit to the doctor. The badness was still bad, but apparently not terrible yet.
A new fear was planted in our brains, however. Dehydration. Grace was not eating much and we were asked to give her plenty of fluids and to try Pediasure. A difficult task for a baby that refuses to drink from a bottle.
That Tuesday morning I groaned more than usual.
The Killer Bat
After school Tuesday my boys went to a birthday party. To let my wife and baby rest, I took our 6 year old daughter out for a daddy-daughter date. This part of the day was wonderful. But on the way home my wife called to tell me that a bat was in our house.
A bat? How does that happen? More importantly, what was I supposed to do about it?
If I give too many details of what occurred regarding the bat I might be writing about marriage reconciliation next week, so I will keep it simple. Basically I had to stop and buy a bat catching net.
Armed with the net, I searched every inch of the house. The bat that was never found.
This wasn’t obvious to me at first, but my wife explained that you can’t go to bed as normal with an alleged bat loose in the house. It could be anywhere, ready to swoop down and kill us.
After it first tried to attack her, my wife quarantined herself and the baby in one of the bedrooms, so we knew it to be safe. We rearranged furniture and blew up air mattresses and had all 4 kids sleeping in the safe bedroom.
Despite fears of rabies, everyone fell asleep, including me. Finally.
I awoke at midnight to the sounds of my wife stomping around the house, and my 6 year old crying in the bathroom.
When the stomping made its way into our bedroom, my wife informed me that our other daughter had thrown up all over the entire house and everything was covered in vomit. I went in our bathroom and there our little girl stood just outside the shower wrapped in a towel, trembling, and the shower painted a certain shade of barf.
We have 4 kids and are accusomted to vomit nights. But my daughter had taken it to another level.
After cleaning up the mess, things did settle down. Our RSV infested baby stopped wheezing and slept well. The forced expulsion of gastric contents out of the 4 year old ceased.
My wife and I were both worn out. Being physically and emotionally exhausted, we wondered if a day could be any worse.
When I awoke that Wednesday morning, I groaned more than I do on Tuesday mornings.
On my way to work I received a phone call from another doctor at the hospital. Although I had not been on call the night before, he was requesting my help. In the early hours of the morning, a family had been driving from Miami back to Chicago after a wedding.
As the SUV they were crowded into was approaching Louisville, the driver fell asleep. The vehicle flipped multiple times. Three people were killed. Two were children and one was the groom.
There were two more children in the accident that suffered fractured legs. The phone call was placed to ask me to treat their injuries. After finishing their surgeries, I went to the waiting room to speak to the mother.
I had to interrupt the coroner interviewing her about the death of her other kids.
Suddenly I realized that my previous day filled with RSV, a bat infested house, and vomit, had not been so bad after all.
Have you ever had a lesson on perspective?
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