My 2020 Birthday: We Can Do Hard Things

Today is my 39th birthday. And I’m spending it in the hospital. With Marjorie. Again.

A seemingly innocent cold once again turned to pneumonia. Thankfully, she actually showed signs this time giving me time to act before completely cratering like last time, resulting in five days in the PICU.

A few days ago I noticed she had a runny nose. Nothing else. Then a cough started, but nothing alarming. And yesterday, I noticed her breath pulling from her abdomen, a sign of pneumonia I learned in January. After seeing that, I immediately put her in the car and headed to urgent care.

Once the urgent care doctor heard the rattle in her chest they directed us to the ER. Thankfully, her oxygen levels were stable so I was able to drive her. No ambulance this time!

We arrived (once again) to Wolfson’s ER. And once again we were in wonderful hands. As always, admission is a blur of nurses, doctors, X-rays, IVs, blood draws and questions.

And when they find Marjorie’s extensive history, the questions start over again in more detail. We are *that* patient. And because we are, Marjorie knows who has access to the toy closet and how to collect!

We got to our room around 11pm (I think). I feel grateful we are in a regular room and not in the PICU again. After another onslaught of nurses, doctors and exams, Marjorie was finally left alone around 1am, which meant I finally sat down at 1:15am.

The room was quiet except the whirr of her oxygen and the beep of the monitors. I looked at my watch and had to laugh. It was officially my birthday If this is not the most 2020 birthday, I don’t know what is.

Marjorie rested last night and at shift change this morning at 7am, she told the nurses and doctors, “Today is my mom’s birthday! She is 40!” I quickly corrected her that it is my 39th, although I think she has aged me beyond my years.

Praying Marjorie will start weaning off the high-flow nose cannula and the antibiotics start working. And for those wondering…no, this is not COVID. It is bacterial pneumonia in both lungs (again).

The irony of this all is that I will be back in this hospital in one month for my prophylactic double mastectomy on January 7. I guess Marjorie just wanted me to get my bearings (again) downtown.

Another hurdle in life. Another punch on our frequent hospital stay card. Another opportunity to be grateful for the little things like health and another trip around the sun with the people I love most.

My last year in my 30s. Ten years of recovery and LIFE. Cheers to my birthday being so on brand with 2020! All I can do is laugh. Thankful I have plenty of time to celebrate and will keep snuggling my girl and bribing her with barbies and reminding her what Glennon says…WE CAN DO HARD THINGS!

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  • Keller Torrey
    December 7, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    God bless you McCall and Happy Birthday. With love from a fellow Green Cove camper, counselor and mom of same. Keller Torrey (the elder one)

  • Sandra Bradley
    December 7, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Happy Birthday! And yes, we CAN do hard things, just like Glennon said! Prayers for you both!

  • Vicki J Anderson
    December 8, 2020 at 10:47 am

    Praying for Majorie! I knew her precious Namesake! I worked with your grandmother at Dr. Woodward’s office for years! You are such an inspirational writer! I know your family is very proud of you and gran is watching from above and beaming about how you are handling the challenges you are facing! Prayers are assured for your darling daughter and your upcoming surgery!