I Wish I Knew


The most common question I get from people who know Catherine right now is, “How’s she doing? Is she over the pain?” I wish I knew. Most times, she seems comfortable, but frankly, she seemed comfortable even just after surgery. Of course, that was due to drugs. So now when she’s sitting quietly in her chair, we assume she must be comfortable. But I don’t really know.

This past weekend, we were at the park. I looked up and saw her crying. Catherine doesn’t cry often, so when she does I immediately pay attention. In fact, she doesn’t actually cry. She makes what Brian and I call “the crying face.” She opens her mouth yet sound doesn’t come out. She squinches her eyes and her face turns red – just like a kid having a major meltdown. But there is no thrashing and screaming from Catherine. She just makes the crying face.

I took her out of her chair and sat her on my lap. The crying face disappeared immediately. Was she in pain? Possibly. Did she just want Mommy? Also possible. Was she just tired of being in the same position? One would certainly think it would get old to sit in a wheelchair for a long time. But the reality is that we don’t actually know for sure.

We’re not giving her any more meds for pain. She gets occasional Tylenol because she’s technically in “some discomfort” until she turns 7 in February. So, when you ask me how she’s doing, I’ll tell you fine. But the God’s honest truth is that I wish I knew.

Hand Painting at a Festival
Waiting to get Catherine's hand painted at a fall festival. Sarah got her eye painted.

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