Worry and Fear, In The Moment

Emptiness. Numbness. Undefined hunger. I wonder if it’s logical to feel hungry or not?

And slight nausea.

I stare into space for minutes and years.

It’s unclear what to do.

So I worry.

Terror stares back in white silent screams.

The waves of panic break and I realize in bursts that I’m in quiet stillness.


Fear. Worry. Terror. In reaction to thoughts.

What will happen? What can I do? Should I have done it sooner? Did I miss something?

And here the preoccupation on whether it makes sense to eat or not.

An invented conundrum that could be solved by the eating if my apparent paralysis allowed such a thing.

A sip of wine now.

Making a phone call. No answer. Staring, staring, staring.

And I still haven’t eaten. Is it wrong to eat, I wonder? Too nonchalant? Disrespectful of the fear?

A layer of hunger under an icing of worry, thickly spread. Eating the hunger means eating the worry.

Another sip of wine and the lack of phone-ringing screams in my ears. I check my phone. Volume up. Second email sent.

I’m going to write this all night until I know.

Phone call. Finally. Bad news and uncertainty. Spending the night at the hospital. Possible pneumonia. My baby.

Shuffle into the kitchen. Eat something unhealthy. Go to bed, phone plugged in and clutched in my hand all night.

I wake periodically. Did I miss a text?

Somewhere in the middle of it, sleep.


The next day at the hospital, I hold my baby after bathing her with a soapy  washcloth. I ask them to change her sheets as I slip her into clean clothes. One foot of her footie-pajamas was roughly cut open in the middle of the night to adjust her oxygen monitor. I throw the pajamas away. I do not want them. Her blood oxygen level is currently 92 percent of normal.

I hold her close. What a deep privilege it is to take care of her when she is sick. Her breathing is fast and deep. She is tired.

She opens her eyes and says “Mama”.

“Yes, Mama takes care of you”, I respond, and she closes her eyes again.


She drifts off to sleep. I could hold her forever.

I realize that I have been already holding her for seven hours with few breaks. Funny, it didn’t seem that long. Awkward position of aching back be damned. THIS is a privilege. And I wont give it up.

8 thoughts on “Worry and Fear, In The Moment

  1. This is a beautiful, sad, and poignant post. Reading this in conjunction with the last post, it sounds like your daughter is home now and all is well? Or is she back in the hospital again? I’m so sorry for what you’re going through/went through!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Kirstin. She’s home now. Sorry about the confusion! I wrote this several days ago as a means of focusing my energy while waiting at home with my sleeping son. I just read it and decided to publish because for me it captured so well the feelings and flitting thoughts of fear.

  2. Hope she feels better with each passing day. When my child is sick (touchwood) I become a nervous wreck. I guess penning down feelings can help quell some of that unbearable tension

  3. Thanks. She’s still recovering after another setback but her trajectory is seeming more clear now…not before her brother also became sick too, but that’s just how these things go. The worst of it was the above – the not knowing what was happening – and yes, writing helped to give me a point of focus in the feelings of helplessness. I recommend it! :)

  4. Sometimes I look at your latest posts and my heart just cries out. Because I can somehow identify with what you express even though I don’t have children of my own. But often I simply can’t find the words to comment…. because nothing I could say in passing could be so well crafted as any one of your beautifully worded snapshots.

    Mostly I don’t comment because you have already expressed the thoughts so thoroughly that there is nothing to do but taste them. This one has a very potent taste, but one that I just can’t resist coming back to. To share with you, from a distance. I love your children…and I love you.

    1. I love you too, Marcy, and found your comment beautiful. Please feel free to comment whenever you feel moved to do so. You identify with it because you are a beautiful, caring, nurturing person. That’s why you “get” it! xo

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