Sunday, September 18, 2011

Benefit of the Doubt

This has been as especially hard week for Ronny and I in the NICU. Aaron turned 4 months old this week. He is day 125 I think. Aaron had some ups and downs this week. One of those 2 steps forward 1 step back weeks. In the midst of the step back part some unfortunate things happened that were hard to explain initially. Unfortunately in reports that were made, some miscommunications and misunderstandings were relayed. Fingers started getting pointed and they landed for the most part on Ronny and my shoulders. Within a day or two of these reports the real cause for the problems surfaced, one a machine malfunction that was fixed and the other a realization that what was thought to be reported never really happened. Before those remedies were made the brunt of things were dropped in our laps.

In one of the cases in the midst of all that happened some tempers flared, some things were said that shouldn't have been said, especially in front of myself and my son. I was familiar with the person and knew that this particular person was having a pretty hard day, so I dismissed the fit and gave them the benefit of the doubt. In the other circumstance Ronny did the same with the person who had been in the room during the problem he was present for. He was pretty shaken when he came home so I sent him out on a run to work it out. In both cases I was the one to take the heat the following day. What frustrates me is that the fingers started pointing before anything was first confirmed and that those fingers were directed towards us, the parents.

As any parent would confirm, to have someone report that something you did or were a part of would cause harm to their child stings pretty sore. I don't have to tell anyone how stressful our lives are at the moment or how overwhelmed we are. With all that is going on we are very sensitive, its something we surely are aware of and something we do our best to deal with and help each other constantly. I know EVERY parent in the NICU feels the same way. To have something directed toward the parent with or without confirmation is troubling in such a setting, especially one that is so overwhelming to begin with. We have felt our stress level multiply these last few days over things that never should have happened and its unfortunate. I pray others don't have to go through this and hope that benefit of the doubt is extended in both directions from this point on.

This situation has kept me up at night and churned in my head and my heart for a few days now. I debated whether or not to include it and my feelings here on our blog. In the end I realized just venting it out would help me but also I feel like maybe it will benefit someone else out there and felt impressed to include it. A few years back I read an article in our church magazine about charity. In it the article relates that sometimes the best form of charity is to give someone the benefit of the doubt. That has stuck with me over the years, its something I've tried to apply in my life, something I am still striving to be better at, something I am trying to do right now. Emotions seem to get in the way all too often and I am trying to take a moment to pause and breathe before I react.

I did address this issue yesterday and the day before and tried to leave as much emotion out of it as possible. In the end the Attending did come in and apologized yesterday, I appreciated that. In that same conversation she asked the dreaded "when should we stop care" question which of course just made everything 10 times worse. It seems that each Attending feels the need to ask us this question. Ronny and I discuss our options, our feelings, and our concerns about Aaron and his care daily. We make our decisions together and with prayer and as each problem arises with Aaron we ask ourselves that ever dreaded question. Its an all too familiar conversation that leaves us emotionally drained but one that has to be done. Each time we discuss it and each time we are asked by the staff it gets more difficult to answer, not because our answer has changed that much but because to say the words out loud almost feels like we are giving away some of our faith and hope. In the end after each of these conversations we find ourselves on our knees begging for peace and strength and each time the Lord has been there to pick up our broken hearts, put us back together, and give us the strength we need to get through one more day.


Cindy Lou said...

Bless you both. It is a long and hard road. You are being blessed and blessing others. You can vent all you want (you have permission).

Sant Family said...

I can't believe it's been four months. You guys remain in my prayers and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to do so for you guys. Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

Suzanne said...

I pray for you, and I pray for Aaron, and all your kids. You are doing such an amazing job at taking care of so many things. I love that you are very proactive in Aaron's care, and that you stay so informed about every decision, every test, every aspect of his care. You have got to be some of the best NICU parents ever.

They kept asking my husband and I how much we wanted them to intervene with our son. We all knew he wasn't going to make it, he didn't even have a chance. The only question was how long. But they asked me if, for example, we wanted them to intervene if he started choking. !! I can't even imagine doctors/nurses standing there watching a baby choke and not do anything. I thought we may get to the point where we might have to decide whether or not to discontinue care. We never got to that point, but I know that just the thought of it is such a hard thing to have to deal with.

Aaron is an amazing baby. Hang in there and keep doing what you're doing. =J

Peggy Glasmann said...

Some day you will be able to look back at this and be amazed at all you went through, all you learned and gained from this experience. You are also helping others to learn, for we all have much to learn here and it never stops. The most amazing thing, will be the looking back and realizing how much you have been and continue to be supported, lifted up and sustained through all of this. Aaron is amazing and you WILL have him no matter what happens here. I have faith that you will know and you will make the right decision. Don't second guess yourselves, or Aaron. You are all in God's hands. He knows you and He knows what is best for everyone.
Lots of prayers and hugs coming your way!!