Role Reversal

May 1, 2016

The doctor told us I’d only be in the hospital one night assuming no complications.

My nine year old daughter Sydney was adamant.  She would be the one who stayed the night.  “I’m your daughter, so I should get to stay even though I’m a kid.”

I let her know the first night might be rough, and she’d probably be really bored.

“That’s okay mommy.  You’ll need my help.  I can answer any text messages for you too.”

In addition to the neck surgery, they needed to take bone from my hip to use with the neck fusion procedure.  The physical therapist stopped by about three hours after I came out of surgery.  “I’m here to teach you your physical therapy exercises.  And get you up walking.”

Oh boy.  I was still in full on groggy state from the anesthesia/pain medicine.  He started teaching me the exercises I’d need to do every hour all day so I wouldn’t get blood clots in my legs and would make sure I kept my strength up.  He showed me how to properly push myself up from the bed while keeping my neck in alignment with my spine.  Then he strapped a thick cloth belt around my hospital gown.  And much to my surprise, the physical therapist had me walking down the hall as he held on to the back of my belt with his hand.

Sydney watched attentively.

When we returned to the room.  The physical therapist gave specific instructions and a reminder sheet showing the six PT exercises I’d need to do every hour.  He also instructed me I would need to blow into a spiral meter to prevent pneumonia.

I laid back down exhausted and ready to push the black button on my pain pump for some relief.

One hour later, I heard an alarm going off.  “Ok mommy, it’s time to do your exercises.  And then you need to blow ten times into the air thingy.”

She grabbed the piece of paper with the PT instructions and took me through the exercises one by one.  Then she handed me the blowing meter (which left to my own devices would be done at best every two hours).  She cheered me on to get to 10 reps at the 2000 height on the spiral meter.  “Good job mommy.  I’ve got your next alarm set in one hour.”

“You’re really determined to help me get better Sydney aren’t you,” I said to her.

“You always take care of me, now it’s my turn to take care of you.”  Awh – what a sweetheart. 

A few hours later Sydney said, “Are you ready to eat something?”

She grabbed a pack of the applesauce she had packed in her hospital bag and patiently fed me tiny little bites.  As I struggled to get used to swallowing with the new metal plate and screws in the front of my neck, she made me a make-shift bib with paper towels over my neck brace.  We laughed about the role reversal of me in a bib being fed by her.

Syd feeding mommy

“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”.  — Phillipians 4:2

Love to see a nine year old living out this verse.  We’re home now. It’s going to be a long, slow road back to health, but I’m in good hands.


Categories: Commitment Family Humility Love Teamwork
Tags: commitment, family, helper, humility, love, teamwork,

2 Responses to “Role Reversal”

  1. Rebecca Armerding says:

    What a precious daughter. This is a life time memory for both of you. The life lessons you both are learning are incredible. Praying for a steady and fast recovery.

  2. Kyra says:

    So amazing – prayers for you and such appreciation for your daughter! Incredible she’s only 9…

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