When your child is sick.

On Sunday I sat down to write a  "We've been sick! John started a new job! We're still alive!" post. And we have been dealing with sickness and some life change over here. Two weeks ago Syd got the stomach flu (at Disneyland! And then in the car! Aieee!) and then a few days later I got it and suddenly two weeks had passed in a blur of lanudry and popsicles and saltines and we were just like BLERG. So on Sunday afternoon Syd was down for her nap after a long weekend. She vomited on Friday night and was feverish all day Saturday so we thought she was fighting another bout with stomach flu. She started coughing a little on Sunday morning but I didn't think anything of it until she woke about 45 minutes into her nap crying and gasping for air.

To say that I went into Total Freakout Mom Mode would be an understatement. I had Elijah in the Ergo carrier, and even though he was drowsy he started wailing the moment I put him down (as he is wont to do). I scooped Sydney out of her crib and held her in my arms as she cried and gasped and got on the phone with the pediatrician on call. OF COURSE I got the one doctor who I cannot stand because she always dumps the medical decision-making back in my lap (this is another long story …  we stay with this pediatrician's office because we really like the other two doctors in the practice. The doctor who owns the practice is a total JOKE. I am hoping that one of the two doctors we like breaks out and starts their own practice one day soon. ANYWAY). So I hung up the phone, feeling exasperated. Wasn't SHE the doctor? Wasn't SHE supposed to tell me what to do?! The kids were both crying hyserically. And that was the end of that. I knew I had to take her in to urgent care. So I started making phone calls. John was at work (married to a pastor! He works on Sundays! Which of course is when the kids always, ALWAYS get sick!). My friend couldn't come so I called my in-laws, who immediately headed over. I called John and he came right home to stay with the baby until his parents arrived so I could get going.

I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe that they'd just prescribe antibiotics and send us home? Tell us to rest and eat popsicles? When the doctor (who also happens to be our beloved family doctor … the one who diagnosed John's ruptured appendix, convinced him to go to the ER and basically SAVED HIS LIFE) after listening to her lungs told me that we needed chest x-rays something inside me withered up and floated away like a gum wrapper lit on fire. But there was no freaking out allowed for me. I am the Mama. I had to keep my tone of voice upbeat and keep myself from crying because my daughter needed me. As I donned the heavy apron in the x-ray room, as I arranged her special blankets around her head so she'd be comforted, as I explained the noises the machine made and kept her still I found myself praying over and over again "Help me Jesus. Please help my baby. Please help me."


And her lungs were mostly clear. No pneumonia. Just a really, really bad upper respiratory infection. There on the screen I saw the shadow her heart, the bones of her neck and chin and her perfectly curved ribs … the same heart and bones and ribs that had grown inside of me for nearly ten months. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and an inhaler and cough syrup and sent us on our way with four stickers. I dropped Syd off at home with her grandparents and went to collect what I needed for my sick girl.

I made it all the way until I was driving home from the pharmacy with a pediatric inhaler mask before I burst into tears.

This is the first time my daughter has been anywhere near seriously ill. Guys? It sucks. It sucks so much.

Her fever has been gone since Monday. Yesterday she showed the first signs that she was feeling a little better … mischief! Today she is coughing like an 80-year-old smoker. I am counting down the minutes until I can call the pediatrician's office again. Just pray for me. Pray I don't get the crappy pediatrician. Pray that today is the day she shows dramatic improvement. Pray for no more x-rays. This has been a hard week.

And did I mention that John started a new job on April 4? It's a huge blessing and I'll tell you more about it one day, but he's been gone A LOT since then and it's been a lot to adjust to for all of us. And did I mention that the baby also has a cough and cold?

And guys? Pray for people who have chronically ill children. They are my freaking heroes. I cannot imagine going through this knowing that it might never go away. Trucking through with the thought that this might be just one event in a long chain of events that includes more doctor visits, more drugs, hospitalizations …. I cannot imagine. Today I am extra thankful that my husband has a job and therefore we have health insurance. I am thankful that my in-laws live nearby and can be there for us at times like these. I am thankful that I live in a time in history when an illness like this is not life-threatening for my child, where there is technology and a pharmacy and things that can be done to offer my daughter immediate relief while her little body is being healed. I am thankful for Sesame Street on Netflix Instant and popsicles and Gatorade and chicken noodle soup. Today I am most thankful that by this time next week she'll almost surely be back to her old self.

But man am I drained emotionally and physically. Blessed and thankful and drained.


Four stickers!


9 thoughts on “When your child is sick.

  1. Raven says:


    Sprog was a chronically ill child. He was hospitalized for long periods 5 times before the age of 4. He had pneumo and bronchitis several times, RSV and a weird blood infection that no one has ever heard of, not even the drs

  2. Mama Bub says:

    You held it together for far longer than I would have been able to. I sobbed straight through my baby’s abdominal x-ray. So much that my husband had to be the one to take her in because I was such a mess. It was not one of my finer moments.

    I’m glad things are on the upswing. Sending well kid vibes your way.

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