I couldn’t help the giggle that bubbled from my throat when the doctor smugly looked at me and said he could handle our six year old daughter. “We do this all the time, it’ll be no problem.” He grinned.
I laughed. “Just for the record, I think you’ll need help. Just two of you will not be able to hold her down and get that NG (nasal/gastric) tube in otherwise.”
He wouldn’t listen. Doctors, they think they know more than us uneducated parents. I thought sarcastically. I knew my girl. I’ve been with her since birth. It was me and her father who chased her out of a high traffic street as she fought to escape a visit to the doctor.
And it’s me now, who see the storm on the horizon if this young intern and his nurse attempt to insert a tube through her nose and pass it into her stomach without LOTS of assistance.
As requested, we—the parents—stood at the foot of the bed and at the head, where we could talk Lily through it.
My husband, being stronger physically, held her shoulders gently, yet firmly. I rubbed her toes and talked to her, focusing her attention on my face rather than the doctor-in-training.
This position gave me clear view. So imagine my lack of surprise when her little face turned red, actually almost as dark as the beet. Her green-gray eyes shone like emeralds sparkling in the sun.
I held my breath, counted three—two—one—and right on time: “NO-O-O-O-O-O!” She screamed. Then her little body writhed in directions that would make an acrobat proud. This is when that giggle turned to laughter.
I couldn’t help it. I warned them, right? What could we do? This was how she was…she’d seen enough medical personnel who’ve messed with her body to invoke this reaction. Any coaxing from us would go unheard.
The best thing they could do was to, “Call for assistance.” The intern finally conceded.
Within seconds, our Lily’s bed was surrounded by four nurses and another intern. Six medical “professionals” now a father and a mother, verses one six year old child who resisted the dreaded NG tube with all the strength and vigor of six young athletic men.
Talking to her was pointless. Our only hope was that someone would get a solid hold of her and that tube be in place quickly before she hurt something.
I found myself praying, Lord…HELP!
There was no time for long praying right then, however, this NG tube was necessary to get her to ingest some “juice” to cleanse her intestinal tract for major surgery scheduled for the next day.
A few more twists and turns of her head and waist, she seemed to slow. “Now.” I heard someone say.
That was the wrong thing, for she was only catching her breath.
Several more revolutions and we heard her, “Wait…wait…I have to tell you something.” She sniffled. Huge tears ran into her ears.
The intern halted everyone to listen to what Lily had to say. “I have something to tell you.” She said again.
“What is it honey?” One of the nurses bent in to listen.
“Do you know why I have yellow hair?”
My mind went kafritz. Where did this question come from? She’s in the middle of a tantrum and she wants to talk about her hair? I was befuzzled.
Apparently the others in the room wondered the same thing, but played along. Anything to calm this little giant, right?
“Why, honey?” The nurse who bent in asked, smiling tenderly.
“Because… I had brown hair when I was born, but God knew I like yellow, so He made the brown fall out and gave me yellow hair.”
WOW! I did NOT see that coming. The room burst into laughter. Lily giggled.
I looked up in time to see the intern nod to the nurse and the NG tube was in Lily’s nose and secured.
The look on Lily’s face was that of shock, surprise, and confusion wrapped up with a tear that told me she was stalling to change their minds, not help them out.
All I could do was thank God for distracting her long enough to get the job done.
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