Friday 30 March 2012

Finding meaning in chaos

In the ambulance, they estimated he had 5% burns and told me that we may have to go to the burns hospital.  I had overcooled him, his temperature was 35C.  The crew member who sat with me gave me one of their dressings from their supplies, because he said it would always come in handy in the future, I felt blessed by this moment of kindness.  It was a sign we weren't alone, my prayers had been answered.

When we arrived at the nearest hospital, we were among a queue of ambulances arriving.  We were brought straight through to the Resuscitation Room, and there was a team waiting around the bed for James.  It was like something one sees on television.

Once they gave James drugs for the pain, they had to wait for him to calm so they could examine the burns.  Again, we were blessed.  We had the most wonderful nurse, Michel, who was also trained in paediatrics.  He stayed with us the whole time we were in the hospital.  He even got me a tea with sugar, for the shock, and spent some time comforting me.

They decided James burns weren't life threatening and not so severe he would have to stay in, so we were transfer ed to the paediatrics Accident and Emergency, where Michel carefully began bandaging him up, just as Dirk arrived.  What a comfort that he had come back from work.

By now James was alert and calm.  We were discharged with Michel's words of comfort, 'the body is magical.  It has everything it needs to repair itself.  All he needs now is to be happy, so play with him and his happiness with create painkillers and everything else he needs to heal.'

The body is indeed magic.  James had so much bandaging on him that he looked as though he had put on 5 kg in one morning.  I worried for the pain he was in, the potential for scarring... the guilt I felt. 

James remained in good form all day, and required no more pain relief.  He slept through the night with no pain killers, which I couldn't believe.

It takes 24 hours to assess burns, so we returned to the hospital 24 hours later to change the bandages and examine the burns.  Joy!  It just looked like sunburn, with less than 1% burns.  He will be fine.  Our prayers were answered.  After 24 hours, I felt as though I could finally breathe out again.

For reasons we don't know, terrible things do happen.  But they do not mean we are bad, or the 'god' is somehow displeased.  What matters is how we respond, can we rise to the moment?  Can it bring out the best in who we are?  Can we trust that we are protected and comforted, even when it feels as though we are vulnerable and alone? 

This is my framework, it is what helps me make meaning of random, unexpected events.

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