Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If you can't say something nice....

Okay, so I have only shared these feelings with Stefan before, but here I come, Internet! As you have read, I am back to work. While I like what I do, and I probably wouldn't choose to earn a living a different way, I DON'T like feeling torn all the time between being away all day and being at home. Well, we had to take Scarlet to the doctor yesterday because she has been experiencing a lot of congestion. For 10 days, she was kind of "snotty", and I figured if it was a cold, it was just going to have to run its course because there was nothing I could do. And before you get all, "Oh, she is in daycare, of course she is sick...", I'll have you know the congestion was there the day she started daycare, so it had nothing to do with it. Actually, I wasn't really sure it was a cold because she didn't have any other symptoms. Her nose wasn't running, her eyes looked good, no fever, no cough, etc. It was just upper sinus congestion when she was having a bottle, laying on her back, or sucking on her pacifier. When I picked her up from daycare on Monday, her nose was running, she had horrible naps, looked like she didn't feel well, and she was wheezing. If you don't know the past history of my boys' health, let's just say these symptoms were not welcome and I was immediately on the defensive. I took her in right away, and to make a long story go by quickly, the doctor said he was sure it wasn't a cold. She does have an ear infection because of all the congestion; however, he is sure that she is experiencing reactive airway issues because of the change in seasons. To say it plainly, the beginning signs of allergy-induced asthma. This is how we started our parenting life with Spencer, but much earlier than the age of 6 months. Slade was even worse, and when I got pregnant with Scarlet, both Stefan and I were very fearful that we and the baby would endure the same troubles. But when she was born, things were so smooth. I really thought we were in the clear. And then comes my first full week of work, and we are at, what feels like, back to square one. I am so disappointed and angry.

Today, Stefan took the morning off with her and I took the afternoon. Yesterday, her pediatrician told us she was not at all contagious and because she is on steroids and breathing treatments, we should see an improvement. We are so familiar with this route and we truly hate it. I didn't have the heart to send her to daycare today, even though she got the go ahead from Dr. Sundar yesterday. I wanted her to have good naps and feel comfortable, and really, I still feel like I am mourning my work situation. I know I don't have it bad, but it's my life and this is how I feel. You don't have to understand other than to know I struggle.

As I was leaving work this morning (my half day begins at 10:13!) I shared with someone why I was leaving, and I am not sure what goes on in peoples' heads. Her first comment and reaction was that she was thinking that it must be something in the daycare that was making my kids "sick" all the time. Then it was that it must be our house or the way I clean. After that, the idea was that I was feeding them food that wasn't good for them or that they were allergic to, and gee, maybe I should consider getting them allergy-tested because you know, of course, I must not have already done that. As IF! I am not a total idiot. But comments like these, or even the thought that someone is thinking things like this, drive me completely insane and really make me feel like I am doing something wrong or that I am a complete failure as a mom. Then I waste time going over in my head everything I should do, could do, should've, could've, second-guessing myself. I know this isn't true, but it's not the first time I have heard these "theories" and answers from friends and people who should know better! In fact, even people I would consider close to our family have hurt me more than they will ever know with "ideas" like this. And it's really infuriating. I mean, if someone else's child had an allergy, a genetic condition, a deformity, or was delayed mentally or developmentally, the LAST thing I would ever do was question what the parent was doing wrong that they made their kid suffer. I wouldn't ask what they did while they were pregnant, or what they ate while they were pregnant to make their child so "sickly". I wouldn't tell them that the medicines they were giving to their child might cause latent developmental delays after they had just shared that said medicine was finally something that was working for their baby. I wouldn't share my "worry" for someone else's child in such a way that the parent feels stupid and has to answer and actually justify what kind of treatment they have sought for their kid(s). What parent would want their child to suffer?

All of these examples have been thrown at me first hand about one or more of my kids more than once, and I am tired of it. If I hear it one more time from someone who is "well-meaning", they just might regret it. Even our doctor(s), since I have made the effort to delve into these conditions and symptoms (and when I say delve, I haven't yet come up for air), have stated time and again that what my kids experience is genetic, and it hits boys moreso than girls (another reason I was hoping that Scarlet escaped this reactive airway curse).

I know it could be worse. I know it could be life-threatening (and it has been), I know it could be incurable, I know there all sorts of terrible things it could be instead of what my kids go through. But my mother's heart doesn't consider those things when I hold my baby close and listen to the air whistling through her lungs, or see my baby hooked up to machines in the hospital, or when I have to give the medicine that has yucky side effects. My heart doesn't care, at the moment, about the plight of every child around the world. I can't. My heart is glued to my own three, and I hate when they suffer, and I am incapable of making it better, no matter how hard I try.

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