Does anybody else get really really mad when their child gets sick? I do. Like really really vein in the forehead throbbing hulk out mad? And the worst part? There’s nobody to be mad at!
You can’t be mad at the school, because what on earth are they meant to do? You can’t get mad at the parents, because they have jobs and lives you cannot even imagine and the chances are keeping their child home every single week isn’t an option for them. And you certainly can’t get mad at the poor babies who are being sick all the time.
Still so incredibly mad though. My baby has barely got a voice. Her cheeks are so red and so incredibly hot you can feel them without touching them. Her beautiful eyes are so glassy and sad as she tells me, “mommy I’m really sick and I don’t feel good”. She knows I would move the sky for her if I could, so she has this hope that I can make this right too.
I’m so eternally grateful to our amazing GP who persevered through her blind terror of doctors when she was little and got her to a place where she wants to literally be him. She gets her Doc McStuffins stethoscope and blood pressure kit and puts it into her doctor bag (she has several different ones depending on what kind of sick you might be) and she makes you do all the patient things – the deep breaths, the aaaaaaaah, the ear and nose check and the thermometer in the ear.
She gets so excited to visit “MY doctor Cave” as she calls him (McCabe is his name) and she is a total angel. I never could have imagined it when we were in the throes of her all-consuming fear of anything doctor related. She does everything he asks, and has him as enthralled with her as she is with him. It makes my heart happy that this at least doesn’t scare her more.
I’ve spoken before about how she is sick every week since starting school. And we have continued doing everything we can to keep her healthy to no avail. Usually, although she gets sick quickly, she bounces back just as quickly; so as frustrating as it is, the thought that she is building a strong and healthy immune system stays with me. These past 6 weeks I’m really struggling to keep that in mind.
The last cold/flu she had triggered the worst separation anxiety of her life, we are still battling our way through that. Though how can I tell really, because she has been SO ill over the past 2 weeks, crying for me seems totally normal. Last weekend she was up all night vomiting on the Friday, fine on the Saturday morning, vomiting again the afternoon and then spiked fevers over 39 all night the Saturday and then was tired but no fever or vomiting the Sunday or Monday (I kept her home on the Monday just to be safe).
Friday I drove her to the sports day practice at the “big school” – there was a last minute alert saying they were taking the kids down to get then used to the venue and I had a “that mom” meltdown because they were transporting them in a Combi with no car seats. Since this is my life’s mission right now, I got a taste of what I’m going to experience when my kid grows up when she went postal because she had to drive with me instead of going in the fun bus with all the other kids. But that’s a story for another day.
At the practice I was quite literally taken aback by how every single little person in the group was coughing, horrible raspy coughs, can’t quite catch their breath coughs, noses running constantly. My heart broke and I realised there is really no way to keep your kid healthy when they are surrounded by their friends like that. I love seeing how their little friendships were there and how Charly has bonded with those kids, and what on earth are you meant to do when they hold hands or hug or cough on each other while playing? We have successfully taught Charly to blow her nose and to cough into her hand; but I’m not there to tell her not to use that hand to pat her friend on the cheek or pick up their bottle and give it to them.
Anyway, after that moment of awareness, Charly had been healthy since Monday. Saturday morning, she started with a runny nose. It was her very first sports day and she was so excited and there was no way I would keep her home because of a slightly running nose. So I put a vest and a high neck jersey under her red t-shirt, and off we went to the sports fields. She had a ball playing soccer with dad while we waited for the day to begin.
It was clear but cold when we arrived. As we waited a thick wet mist came over the field. She was running and playing and sliding in the grass; damp and happy – you know they never feel the cold. I wasn’t sure what to do as she seemed warm enough despite the damp knees. Maybe I should have taken her home? I really really should have packed other clothes at least. I don’t know. Maybe there was nothing I could have done to prevent it from the moment I heard all those kids coughing.
By Saturday evening she had a steadily climbing temperature. Back to trusty Ponstel which works the most effectively for her. It helped for a few hours and then it climbed back up to 39.6, and back down again. Sunday morning, she had a low grade temperature but she had been promised an afternoon with her grandparents while daddy and I went to see a movie.
I was really torn about whether I should stay home with her. But I have been struggling so much with this constant sick and separation anxiety stuff with her and I knew what I was in for if this bug really took hold of her; so I decided to take her to granny and take those few hours out with B to recharge a little. It was a gorgeous warm day so they bundled her up and took her down to the beach for a little while to build sandcastles.
She had an absolute blast and had no fevers until just before we arrived to pick her up. Back to 39, more Meds and early to bed.
And there I lay, patting her with a cool cloth, breastfeeding on demand like she was a baby, as she struggled to breathe through all the snot and the fever just hovered before climbing and needing more Meds. I can’t shake that fear. When she is hot to the touch and talking in her sleep and wanting me to hold her hand. I even brought her up into the big bed because I was worried about the enclosed space of her “castle” bed being too hot. So silly and impractical, but, you know, fear and my baby.
One thing I am grateful for, this Alilo bunny we got from Kids Emporium. “Lilo” has been such a huge comfort to Charly in the middle of the night when she is too scared to sleep. The softly changing colour lights of her ears are almost hypnotic. I find her incredibly soothing too. As her fever starts climbing and she starts crying for me, she now cries for Lilo too. An unexpected savior, but a hugely appreciated one.
I took her to the doctor yesterday morning and he confirmed she has a horrible flu that is kicking the butts of most of the population at the moment. She also has a middle ear infection which accounts for all the horrible fevers. We have finally called defeat and she is on her first antibiotic in her life. We almost had one once before but she threw up the first dose and got better before the next day, so the doc said to leave it rather. I KNOW how incredibly lucky I am that she’s never needed an antibiotic before. That she gets sick all the time but she gets well just as fast. That her immune system kicks those horrid germs to bits already. But come on already! Her little body needs a break! My mommy body needs a respite.
And I just get so frustrated that I can’t do more. That she has to be hot and sore and afraid. That I have to be hot and sore and afraid. That all logic gets washed away when she has these high fevers. Even that makes me mad, knowing that what I’m feeling isn’t really rational.
Any other suggestions you have on soothing a terrified child with a fever very welcome. And on reigning in the fury at the world for letting your child suffer and not being able to help, those tips are welcome too.
Sending all the love xx