Ok so I have a confession to make. I am a little OCD. I suppose I pretend it isn't true, but the voices in my head tell me differently. I also heard my daughter telling a friend the other day that she notices that I do some weird things....like when I give them candy I always give them one of each color. I thought I was over all of that but evidently not. Some times my OCD tendencies come back to the forefront of my mind. Thursday was one of those days were I could not deny the truth. I am a little OCD. Thoughts of germs, and disease consumed the majority of my thoughts that day.
The littles and I went to the hospital to visit a lady we worship with. This was her 2nd week in the hospital. She is hospitalized often. We live on opposite sides of town so I have never visited her. I called her the last time she was in the hospital and I could tell by the sound of her voice she longed for more of us to visit her. I thought to myself in that moment I will make an effort to visit her next time. She was home 2 days before she fell and had to be taken to the hospital again. This time she was taken to the hospital where I delivered my babies. I knew I would visit her this time.
As it turned out she was in the infectious skin disease part of the hospital. With 2 little kids I started to worry about them touching things. I was armed with anti-bacterial and thanks the the rain that day, also blankets. I told my 2 year old to keep his hands in the blanket and not to touch anything because there were lots of germies on everything. Since the apple doesn't fall from the tree and he is the cleanest kid I know he said "ok mommy." The baby was sleep so no need to worry about that.
When we got there our sweet friend was waiting in the hall where she could see the elevator. She was so excited she was out sitting on her walker without any pants on. When I got there she said I am so excited to see you I was hoping you didn't get lost. I told her that even though this hospital was closer it still took us an hour to get there. She said they keep telling me to go back ot my room but I told them I have a friend coming and I am waiting for her. We stood out in the hall for a long time and talked. The baby woke up and started reaching for the hall and I tried to appear undistracted as I moved the stroller further from the wall.
I told our friend we needed to go soon, and asked if she needed anything. She told me that she couldn't reach all of her things and needed to pack. I told her that I would help her get her things down if she would tell me where her closet was. She said I will show you, can you help me stand up. She is a bigger woman, and had told me earlier that when she was found in her home the man that found her had to call for the ambulance to help get her up. I told her ok, but I thought we should call the nurses. She said you have helped me many times before, which was true. She asked me to hold her cup so she could use her hands to stand. That didn't work. Then she said give me your hand. I did, and she still couldn't get up. I suggested again that we call a nurse. She insisted that we could do it without them and I only needed to put her cup down. So I did and we still needed to call for a nurse. The first nurse we asked said what why hold on, and called another nurse who also asked he what was she trying to do. Then she said ok we will help you but I need you to wait. She called for more help and reminded the male nurse that for this patient he needed to bring gloves. He got gloves for them both and came. The 2 of them helped her stand so she could walk back to her room.
If you know me well, you can probably imagine what I was thinking. If you are getting to know me by reading my blog...here we go! I immediately had the feeling that my skin was crawling and burning at the same time. I needed to get to her room, and move my kids there without washing my hands! I used my elbow in the handle of the stroller to pull them behind the nurse and our friend. I didn't want to hurt my friends feelings. I was familiar with the organization of the hospital and I can move fast. I parked the kids in the hall and while she got into her room, I snuck into the patient bathroom in the hall and used the antibacterial to wipe my hands and arms. Then I straightened the kids out in front of her door and went into her room. I asked her where her things were, and helped her get it all down. She lives alone with cats, and the cats have free reign over the apartment. She had many things with her and they were full of cat hair and pee. This is always hard for me. I used the bathroom in her room and washed my hands again after picking something sticky up off of the floor. We said our goodbyes and I left. We stopped at the visitors bathroom and washed up again. We headed back for the subway, and when we approached the elevator which I have to use with a double stroller....there was a man cleaning up what appeared to be vomit in front of the door. AUGHHH!
We get on the U-Bahn where both kids insisted upon touching all of the walls and rails!! On the final bus home I notice baby V is sucking on the belt people use to secure their strollers to the rail on the wall. I kept reminding myself that there is a certain amount of germs necessary to build up immunity, that I have breastfed them all and most importantly that God is bigger than germs. When we got home we all washed up and picked up my eldest from school.
While we reviewed our day that night, it melted my heart to hear my 2 year olds thoughts on visiting our friend. That was the highlight of his day. He said it was fun, she was happy and that he was happy too. It reminded me of how easy it is for my "personal stuff" to get in the way of things God wants me to do. We saw our friend on Sunday at worship and I could tell by the smile on her face, the joy in her voice and my little boys peace around her that the visit had done good for all of us. My son is pretty reserved and it takes a while for him to feel free away from mommy. He has let our friend into his circle and it is a blessing to them both.