I Wish I Could Take It For You

So, it’s been an exciting week in the Agnew household.  After an incredible Easter weekend, we got to celebrate Gloria’s birthday on Monday.

After about a week of wrestling with the effects of pollen, I decided to go to the doctor to discover that I have an upper respiratory infection.  Don’t worry – I’ve been told I am only contagious if I was covered in pollen and was giving hugs to others.

“Have you been doing any yard work?”

“Sure have, doc.”

“Like what?”

“Cutting grass, mulching leaves, stirring up dust, and burning brush in the pollen.”

“Did you wear a mask?”

“No, sir.”

“Consider this payback.”

Fair enough.

Yesterday morning, as I was finally able to begin to breathe again due to some helpful medication, Obadiah complained that his leg was hurting when he woke up.  He was limping like he had a giant bruise on his thigh or had dislocated something.  It reminded us of something that happened when he as about 18 months.  He woke up one day and was hobbling like he was an old man.

After doing some preliminary investigation, we decided to take him in to see the medical professionals.  Turns out our suspicion was confirmed and Obadiah was diagnosed with toxic synovitis.

It sounds much worse than what it is.

Toxic Synovitis

Toxic synovitis has a scary name, but it’s not a scary condition. This temporary inflammation of the hip can cause limping and pain in the hip and leg. This can be unpleasant for a child and unsettling for a parent — especially when symptoms start suddenly — but toxic synovitis usually goes away within a week or two, and causes no long-term problems.

Toxic synovitis (also known as transient synovitis) is a common cause of hip pain and limping in children. Doctors don’t know its exact cause, but many kids develop it after having a viral infection (such as a cold or diarrhea). Because of this, some doctors think that toxic synovitis is caused by substances produced by the body’s immune system to fight the infection.

Toxic synovitis can happen at any age, but is most common in kids between 3 and 8 years old. It’s also more common in boys.

It’s basically a cold in your hip and it’s not contagious.

So, consider this the one thing you learned today!

The Trauma

The main way to treat this unique condition is Motrin and don’t put weight on it.  Hence, the crutches.

Even though it isn’t that serious of a condition, you still have to get blood work to ensure there is no infection leading to something more serious.

That’s where I got called in to help.  Obadiah is brave (except when it comes to animals and needles).  After I sent Amanda to get him his medication from the pharmacy, I was hoping we could get the entire episode over before she returned.  When she walked in the waiting room, she could hear him in the back.

While the nurses were great and attempted to bring everything plausible out of their cabinets that should help in such a situation, we were simply wasting time.

“Sir, I’m afraid your son is just going to get more and more worked up the more we talk about it.”

“Ma’am, you are just going to have to tell me what to do.”

As I sat my son in my lap and held my arms around him, he looked at me with terror and screamed, “Please, no!  It hurts!”

As I covered his eyes and turned his head towards me, I couldn’t tell whose tears were running down my face as we embraced cheek to cheek.  I tried to whisper in his ears, but it probably turned into a shout as I had to rise above his volume.  Part of me wanted just to pick him up and run out of the room, and part of me wanted to hold him down and do what needed to be done.

At some point in this monologue, he quieted down some:

“Son, your father loves you very much.  If I could take this for you, I would in a second.  I would gladly take this needle for you if I could.  Dad doesn’t want you to hurt but if we don’t do this, you may become very sick.  Daddy loves you so much that I can’t let further harm come to you.  It’s almost over.  Hang on.  The worst is over.  Jesus had to suffer so that something good could come out of it too.  Just hang on!  And it’s over.”

In tears and sweat, he just collapsed on me.  As we walk out, Amanda looks pale having to listen to the entire ordeal.  I assure the people wide-eyed in the waiting room that it’s not as bad as it seems back there.

When I carried him out to the car, he put the whole roll of Spiderman stickers on his shirt that the nurses gave to him.

“Dad, I got all these stickers because I was so brave, right?”

“Umm…something like that.”

“I can’t wait till Eli sees my crutches.”

“I Wish I Could Take It For You”

As Obadiah went home and told those there about his harrowing experience, one of his grandparents said, “Obie, is there anything I can do for you?”

“Well, just love me all my life.”

“I can do that.  I wish I could have taken that needle for you.”

“I wish I could take it for you too.  Ha, well, I guess I already did.”

As we took it easy for the rest of the day, Eli ran laps around the house on crutches, Gloria patted Obie to make sure he was OK, Mom was keeping up with the ever-changing Spring Break, and I was reflecting on the emotional morning.

Willingly holding my son down in order to inflict pain now for joy later was an intense experience.  And it also caused me to reflect when someone else did much more than that for me.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.  -Isaiah 53:10-11

Father, thank you for not abandoning the plan when you heard your son in anguish.  It was worth it.  Jesus, I pray my life reflects everyday that it was worth it.