Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daddy, I’m Sorry I Cried

“Daddy, I’m sorry I cried”.  Those were the words that concluded a long and frustrating week.

Three weeks ago Nicole’s nephrologist in Cleveland prescribed Aranesp®, a drug to help boost her red blood cell count.  Nicole’s hemoglobin has been in the 9.0 – 9.5 range while the normal person’s count is around 12.0.  In order to proceed with the tissue matching her hemoglobin needs to be higher…thus the medicine.  It all sounds so simple, doesn’t it.  The problem is that Titia and I are the one’s who will be giving the injections to Nicole once every two weeks.  Having never given an injection we needed someone to show us.  The office in Cleveland recommended a “home health aide” agency or her local pediatrician’s office.  Until yesterday, none of these people wanted to show us how to administer this injection.  “We don’t know what her current hemoglobin count is.”  “We have never given this drug before”.  “There is no protocol for this”.  “We don’t understand this med or it’s side effects”.  On and on the excuses went and all the while more than 2 weeks has passed and she still had not received this all-important medicine…until tonight.  Finally, after some persuasion yesterday a nurse at her local pediatrician’s office showed us how to give the injection.  It was all very simple.  So what is up with all of the excuses?  Simple…LIABILITY.  No one wants to help because, well, what if something goes wrong.  WHAT IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG!  Has it really come to this?  Of course something is going to go wrong.  Everything goes wrong…all the time.  It is part of being human.

Titia and I were supposed to go in this coming Monday for tissue matching.  Now, this process has been delayed for 1 month (yes, a whole entire month) until she has had a couple of doses of Aranesp®.  The entire tissue matching process is now delayed 1 month because no one was willing to show us how to administer a simple shot.  Seriously!  This process got me to thinking about the story of the “Good Samaritan” in Luke 10:30-35:

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

That Samaritan was a great neighbor to the beaten man.  But let’s examine the Samaritan in the story a little closer.  He bandaged up the man’s wounds, pouring on oil and wine.  I wonder if the Samaritan had the man sign his medical waiver before doing this.  Hmmm.  He must have done this.  Certainly, he never would have administered his love and compassion without a medical waiver.  After all, what if something had gone wrong?  The man might have sued the Samaritan.  Oh no!  It gets worse.  Of all the silly things to do, the man then put him on his own donkey.  Craziness, absolute craziness!  What if the man had fallen off the donkey and broke an arm, or worse?  This Samaritan is risking his whole career as a doer of good for this one man.  He should have just passed by on the other side rather than take on a risk like this.

Of course, I am being facetious.  But I am also trying to make a point.  I don’t blame the doctor’s or nurses for there concern.  After all, why should a doctor risk his practice over a prescription assigned by another?  I get it.  I really do.  But where is the line drawn between the legal element of things and the human element of things.  Behind this medicine, behind the potential liabilities, behind all of the administration, behind all of the paper work is a little girl.  My daughter.  She is a real, live, flesh-and-blood human with feelings.  A life made in the likeness and image of the Creator of the Universe.  And she is so precious.

I finally gave her this most precious injection tonight.  She squirmed in her seat at our kitchen table.  She cried.  I almost cried.  I knew it was going to hurt.  “Daddy, I don’t want to get a pokey”, she said over and over again as I made sure I was doing everything correctly.  I never imagined inflicting pain on my daughter for something not related to discipline.  Never!  It was terrible, absolutely terrible.  But here I was…”Daddy, I don’t want to get a pokey”.  The tears poured down her face as the needle was inserted, followed shortly by the meds.

A few minutes later, happy and joyful once again, Nicole comes up to me and says…”Daddy, I’m sorry I cried”.  Ponder this one awhile and let me know what you think…out of the mouths of babes.

One last reminder…never hesitate to help another person in need.  Think first about being a servant and second about what might happen if you help.  Remember, it is never wrong to love.

14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Galatians 5:14)
 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

For His Glory


  1. My heart goes out to you Brian.

  2. Brian,
    I take so much from this. First, it is what I see in Nicole. Nicole is such a genuine, sweet soul. She is so simple. She loves animals, flowers, walks...she loves her life. I look at her and wonder; do any of us know how much pain she is really in. Does she even know that everyone doesn't have to take medicine constantly, get shots or that everyone doesn't have to go through all of this? Nicole is very observant and I am very sure that she saw the pain in her Daddy's eyes and she knew that he was hurt, by 'hurting her'. She was sorry, because she felt like she hurt Daddy by crying. Such a sweet soul..........

    Second, we tend to turn away from those in need, because we aren't comfortable or it isn't convenient. It is easier to look away even when we know that it isn't God's way. It is a heartless thing to do, but we all have done it. Brandon Heath has a song right now, "Give me your Eyes" are a few of the lyrics:

    Give me your eyes for just one second
    Give me your eyes so i can see
    Everything that i keep missing
    Give me your love for humanity

    We, as Christians, need to step up to the plate. What would Jesus do?

    I balled my eyes out when I read this, because my heart aches for my little niece and that my brother has to go through this. I hate it and I pray everyday for healing. "God, please heal Nicole." Seems so simple............

    Love you guys! Terri