Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sickness Redux

When will it end?

No, I don't mean winter, which has seemed longer than usual and even as it snows outside as I write. I mean the weeks upon weeks of sickness that have hung over our family like dollops of mucus.

It really seems like someone has been sick for as long as I can remember, perhaps extending as far as Isaiah's birth in October. A little more than a week ago, it seemed like we had made it; spring had arrived (on the calendar at least), and the clocks had been booted back an hour. There was more sun than we had seen in months, and everything just seemed as if it were looking up. But now we've slipped back into our old, ill ways.

And this latest slide has been a precipitous one. Isaiah awoke on Wednesday with his eyes so puffy it looked like he has gone 10 rounds with Muhammad Ali. So, Michelle carted him to the doctor. Isaiah had hit upon an unusual trifecta of sickness – conjunctivitis in both eyes, a cold and a double ear infection. Talk about your cocktail of maladies.

Amazingly, the little guy has made barely a squeak despite being barely able to see, much less hear or breathe. Michelle said that on the morning she took him into the doctor, he even managed a weak smile for her. Maybe it was his way of reassuring her that everything would be alright.

The next day, Michelle carted Nathaniel to the doctor for a checkup from an ear infection he had been diagnosed with two weeks earlier. Nathaniel, we now know, will need a third set of tubes in his ears to relieve the fluid that has pooled there. While the fluid is not infected, he is on some kind of medication to keep it from being infected before we can get him into surgery for the next set of tubes. Poor guy. The tubes do help, there is no question about that. But I really don't like the fact that he has to be put under anesthesia for the procedure. The last time he was put under, I held in my arms as a technician put the mask over his face. He looked at me with his big, blue eyes. I saw a flicker of panic, and then it seemed as if he were questioning me: "Daddy, why are they doing this to me? Daddy, will I be alright?" It was absolutely gut wrenching, and I hoped then that I wouldn't have to go through that again.

But now I know there will be another time.

I can only hope that Isaiah doesn't have the same fate with his ears. He was healthy for the first four months, give or take, but he's making up for lost time now.

And, I don't feel so great myself. Where's my blanket?

1 comment:

Leeann said...

Dear Richard,

How well I remember those days. There were times when I truly wondered how we would survive it all. There is no doubt that there were times I truly felt depressed by the pall of constant illness.

I totally and completely know the look you were referring to with Nathaniel. That is one of the only things that absolutely broke me as a parent. Chris did the same thing to me and I came stumbling out of that room a complete and total mess. I looked Rob dead in the eye and told him I could never, ever do that again. And I never did. Not only that, but each successive time that Chris came OUT of anesthesia was worse as he got older. Rob became the designated one for that as well, as Chris would fight, kick and headbutt his way back to consciousness. I am so very glad to leave that time behind me.

You'll be happy to know that these never-ending days of illness do end. There are fleeting illnesses here and there but not the weeks-long stretches. Older kids sleep through the night with their colds, can vomit into buckets, and can go to school with a cough lozenge in their pockets. And then, somehow, we adults become the whiney ones!

I emailed Michelle and told her to be checking the mail b/c a package should be coming for all of you. Hopefully it will lift everyone's spirits.

Much love to all of you and a special kiss and hug for little Muhammed Ali.