Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I'm afraid to think about what will happen next...

I don’t really know where to start in describing how we’re dealing with all the sickness that has taken a hold of our household these past few weeks.  I don’t want to recant every single detail, but let’s just say three of us have had strep and the flu, Zoey had (has) a virus that has been going on for three weeks, Tera had an asthma attack and stomach virus, I got strep again, Tera got an ear infection, three of us had pink eye, and we think Zoey may have another virus.  I have most definitely lost count of all the prescriptions we’ve filled, but suffice it to say, if we weren’t already pretty close to our pharmacists before, we might be invited to Thanksgiving dinner next year.  The doctor’s office and all the staff must either think we’re hypochondriacs or carriers of the plague.  We’ve had to cancel more appointments and get togethers than I can ever remember.  

Tom and I now leave the house with a feeling of dread about what we can only assume to be an impending phone call telling us one, or both, of the kids is sick.  I leave work each day with things that need to get done, even if I have no intention of it getting done that night, just in case I have to miss work again (although it usually isn’t a situation that allows me to get work done anyway so I don’t know why I do it).  I make sure every afternoon that I leave that my materials are ready to go for the next day so that sub plans are more easily assembled and so that if I end up running really behind because we have too many medications to administer, at least everything is ready to go when I finally do make it work.  

I’m not sure what the lifespan is on a nebulizer, but I’m waiting for the motor to start smoking any day now from having to do multiple treatments on multiple children multiple times a day.  My mom has become too afraid to ask how everyone is doing although she credited me last week for at least being able to retain my sense of humor through it all.  I told her I either have to laugh or cry (I’ve done both).  

I’m so completely exhausted when I get home because all I do is play catch up at work, I’m constantly trying to get better myself, and the energy it takes to keep track of everything we need to do to keep these two kids from getting sicker is oftentimes quite overwhelming.  Multiple antibiotics a day, vitamins, probiotics, regular medications, who’s getting which nebulizer treatment which day (or doing them back to back), emptying and refilling humidifiers, saline spray, suctioning, and eye drops.  And that’s on top of the normal things we need to do, you know, like feed and bathe them (and ourselves).  And this all takes place between the hours of 5 and 6am and/or 5 and 9pm.  Sleep patterns for both of them have been disrupted which has resulted in all of us getting less sleep at night.  The kids at least get to take naps, Tom and I just drink more coffee.  

This has pretty consistently been a bad time of the year for Tera.  She didn’t start out problem free, her first birthday brought her first case of pneumonia, her second February was filled with sickness, her third February, while more minor than previous years still had its share of issues, and this one hasn’t started out so well either.  I had a feeling all along when she had her longest streak ever of being healthy that it was going to end with a bang, and while it wasn’t pneumonia that ended it, it was strep AND the flu.

And through it all, these two girls are such troopers.  Taking all the medication, sitting through nebulizing treatments, and in general just feeling sick all the time.  And then they both still have all the normal kid stuff to do like learning new things, trying to behave, and they both have therapy sessions.  

This was a super stressful time for us when there was just one of them, but now that there are two of them? And that they both have their own health issues to contend with doesn’t make anything any easier. Each day seems to bring it’s own new complication; a runny nose that wasn’t runny the day before, an increase in the frequency of a cough, a goopy eye, or a general lack of improvement overall for either of them.   

And in the midst of this craziness somehow Zoey turned seven months old and Tera will be four in a week and a half.  My girls are growing faster than I can keep up with and while I’m trying “enjoy these times”, we spend half our time together as a family at the doctor or administering medicine.   But it makes me want to squeeze them even more to know that at least we have this time together.  No matter how miserable any of us may be at any given time, we are so lucky to have them; boogers, coughs, and all….

The doctor has no idea how she hasn't been
more miserable and uncomfortable as a result
of her infection.  This is just one reason why
she's so amazing.  
**Update: since finishing this Zoey has been diagnosed with a bad double ear infection accompanied by a sinus infection that has left her coughing pretty much all day.  I’m looking forward to a great night of little sleep while I listen to my little one’s discomfort.  Why does being a parent have to hurt your heart so much?

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