Posted by: Michelle Knoll | January 16, 2013

A Tale of Two Kings: Very Dark Days

New Year’s Eve wasn’t an evening of celebration for the girl and her husband, because the king was sick.

And it wasn’t just the sniffles either.  It was much worse, with vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

The girl was worried, even though she was trying to stand in faith and believe that everything was going to be all right.  So she took the king to the pediatrician – the same one who had said the king was a “perfect baby” at birth – to find out what was the matter.  The pediatrician acted like it was nothing but a virus.  So the girl took the king back home and nursed him back to health.  Given the king was very much underweight, and wasn’t eating a lot because of the virus, he began to look very frail, and he acted very weak.  This weighed on the girl’s mind, and she struggled day and night with fears that she wasn’t doing the right things, and that she might lose the king simply because of her own lack of ability.  The girl’s husband was fretting as well, though he wasn’t saying much.  The girl noticed that her husband had become very silent over the last few months, and she ached for him.  Though he wasn’t talking, she knew all of this was weighing on his mind as much as it weighed on hers.

Every day she prayed.  Every night she prayed harder.  Every moment fear whispered into her ears that the king would die, she wielded her sword once again.  She had never quoted this much scripture in her entire life.  But she wasn’t going to give up, and she wasn’t going to give in.  The king would live!  She proclaimed it, over and over and over again.

Three times the king got sick, between New Years Eve and February.  Three times the battle over his well-being raged.  Three times the girl waged a strong battle against fear and doubt.  The second time, the king was hospitalized from dehydration, even though the girl and her husband had followed the pediatrician’s orders to the letter.  He assured them they were doing everything right, but still, it was hard to see the king go through such a battle with illness.  Once the king was released and back home, the girl and her husband breathed a sigh of relief.  But in two weeks, the king was sick again.  And it was this third time which dealt serious blows to the girl’s faith.

See, the girl and her husband had been taking the king to the cardiologist each month for almost ten months.  Each month he had examined the king, and said they were all doing fine.  Each month he had been as positive as possible, never stating any hope over the situation, but never stating any doom either.  But the cardiologist had a look on his face that spelled trouble.  Granted, he never said the king should be on any medicine, and he never altered his comment of “treat him as if he’s normal.”  But there was this look on his face…

The girl didn’t like that look.  It was a look of pity, a sad look, a look of no hope, even if the man didn’t state there was no hope.  Her husband didn’t like the look, either.  Though the girl’s husband never spoke negatively about the cardiologist, she could tell he didn’t think much of the man.

And then there was the fact that the pediatrician had given them his home phone number.  If the king, their son, was going to be all right, then why all the extra concern?  “Call me anytime, day or night, if you need me.”  Why?  Wasn’t the king going to live?  Wasn’t he going to be okay?  The girl had used that phone number, many times through the last nine months, and she was grateful for it.  But she still didn’t understand the looks, or the concern, if the doctors weren’t saying words that matched up with the looks.

The third battle with illness said it all.

The girl took the king to the pediatrician yet again, but this time, he reacted in a deeper fashion.  After examining the king, he sat down in the plastic chair across from the examining table.  Tears welled up in his eyes.  The girl was mortified!  What on earth!?  She trembled as she waited for the pediatrician to speak.

He opened his mouth, but nothing came out.  The girl tensed, bracing herself.  The look in his eyes was one of defeat.  For crying out loud, she screamed within herself, will you just say something!  When the pediatrician could finally speak, he merely said, “I think it’s his heart.  Take him to the cardiologist.  Go now.  Go right now.”

With shaking hands, she bundled up the king, and rushed to the nearby city where the cardiologist office was.  They accepted the king quickly, and he was placed in an examining room with much haste.  The cardiologist strode in, examined the king, and then stated with much exasperation, “It’s not his heart!  He’s just sick again!  Take him back to the other doctor!”

This was getting to be too much.  It was all dizzying, and frustrating, and mind-boggling, and most of all, scary.  The girl called her husband from the hospital, after the pediatrician had told her to take the king straight up to the pediatrics floor, and not even bother with the emergency room.  He said the nurses there would be waiting for him.  And they were.

While the nurses patiently and lovingly worked on the king, placing an IV into his foot, the girl sat on the hospital bed in deep thought.  Something was amiss.

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