The last few days have been tough. LB has been really sick. He started with a bad cold and a fever. Fevers really scare me and tend to be fairly rare around here. Runny noses, yes, all the time but other than feeling slightly warm with the odd virus, my kids don't seem to be prone to them. That's a great thing because they terrify me. I know that they are supposed to be the body's defense mechanism but I can't get the fear of febrile seizures away. I taught a boy who had two febrile seizures, the parents were told they were nothing and he would be fine and by the time he came to me, it was very obvious that he was not fine and he had major neurological damage. At the first sign of fever around here, we break out the Advil and the Tylenol (I was amazed when the doctor first told me you could do that and we have been told that by several since).
Anyway, LB just kept getting sicker. His nose was constantly running, he had a horrible cough, he was sleeping maybe ten minutes at a time but he wanted to do nothing other than to cuddle on one of us. By Sunday night I was getting worried. Dh and I talked and decided that if he seemed bad on Monday morning, Dh would take the day off.
We got LB up and he could barely open his eyes, they were so filled with gunk. Dh, being a man (sorry, but I have come to the conclusion that men are not capable of these decisions) said that he thought he could probably go to daycare. My "mommy-dar" was going off and I just had a gut feeling that none of this was normal. I insisted that Dh take the day and take LB to the hospital in a neighbouring town (not the big hospital in which they would wait 8 hours and catch 3 nasty viral infections while waiting) but the small one with the kind doctors and the short wait time, knowing that if things were really bad, we'd be transferred to the big hospital. Dh called at around 11 a.m. to say that LB had a probable case of significant pneumonia and an ear infection and the doctor had said that it was a very good thing we had taken him in when we did. We now have two inhalers, antibiotics, strict directions to continue the Advil and Tylenol and have been told to take him back in 7 days. It's been over 24 hours and we are starting to see a small improvement but this is one sick little boy. I was off work today, Dh will be off tomorrow and we will see about Wednesday.
This all makes me very, very grouchy. On the one hand, there is something beautiful about mothering a sick child. I love the way they cuddle in, the way that I can feel like I am being useful and bringing them comfort. I love cuddling them and making sure they are safe. There are those poignant (and exhausting) moments in the middle of the night when you exhaustedly think that this is what parenting is all about.
Then, there are all of the frustrations. There is the fact that I wish I could stay home with my kids so that I didn't have to struggle with myself about whether to send them to daycare. I wish that other people were in the position to keep their kids home when they are sick so we don't catch all this stuff. I wish that I didn't feel so much doubt about when it's time to actually take them to emergency (I always struggle with whether I am wasting time of the hospital staff or whether I might have actually waited too long). I wish that a friend with whom I disagree about flu shots wouldn't look at me with this knowing look that implies that my kids wouldn't be sick if we got the shot (why do people who are committed to flu shots so often convince themselves that flu shots prevent all seasonal illnesses and viral infections when they are normally smart enough to know that the measles vaccine won't prevent chicken pox???) Most of all, I wish that those people who claim that "family should come first" make the most demands on me when they know that I have a very sick child at home? I wish I was better at saying NO.
So, there's my rant. I'm off to listen for the first waking of the evening (which should be anytime) and to pray that Pk doesn't get this. We've already had to use up a lot of sick time.