Especially now that my kids are in their sick "season", people will remark, "Four kids?! I could never do what you do!" Or whenever they see me asking, "Is everyone well?" with their head tilted to the side, in their concerned voice. Well-meaning, I know. I really do know that. And it seems we're, ahem, sick a lot. But there are 6 of us. Four of them are slobbering, mangy children who don't wash their hands well, put non-food items in their mouths and socialize with other slobbery, disease-riddled children. I get sick occasionally, probably from taking care of these germophiles every day and the other part of our sextet works in a cube farm with regurgitated air coming out of the vents all day. So, yes, we're sick a lot.
How sick have we been?
In the last 14 days, Joshua has been to the emergency room three times. He has had 2 chest x-rays, 3 courses of oral steroids and 2 courses of antibiotics. I have spoken with 3 different pulmonologists in the last 5 days. We have seen the pediatrician twice today. No one can figure out what is causing all these problems. He's had tests for RSV, pertussis. Negative. Chest x-rays look good. No fever. Oh, what a medical mystery my son is turning out to be. How much longer before all these steroids have an adverse affect on his growth? Ability to fight infection? How much longer of wheezing and coughing before he has permanent diminished lung capacity?
Reagan is going down the same path with her croup that has now invaded her lungs. Hopefully it can be turned around before she's in Joshua's boat, hanging out at the ER for fun on Thursday, Saturday and Wednesday nights.
Lily has strep.
Darcy fell down the stairs at church last night and is still complaining of pain.
A friend of mine recently wrote a post how she is not the favorite parent of her youngest son. I KNOW that feeling. I'm the one who takes him to every doctor visit, every ER visit. I am the one who can successfully suction his nose and give the medication he hates, but needs. I hold him still to give ineffective breathing treatment after ineffective breathing treatment. I pin his arms down while doctors stick pointy things in his ears looking for infection. Of course he hates my guts. Multiple that by four.
I know what you're thinking: Those poor people. Insert concerned look here. Whisper, "Can you imagine having all those kids? And it seems like they're sick all.the.time!"
But however well-meaning those people are, it doesn't help. Comments on the health of our family are not helpful. You wouldn't believe this, but I am well aware that we've had a lot of sickness at our house. (Last winter, too.) I wonder what I could possibly be doing different to keep these little babies well. You, wondering aloud if we have mold in the house, does not help. Offering up your unsolicited analysis of the current medical condition is not helpful. I'd rather not hear your opinion on our team of medical professionals.
I am barely hanging on. I cannot take the criticism or the advice. I am drowning.
Brian is out of town today, called unexpectedly to a meeting in Houston.
We are looking at the possibility of a move.
I am supposed to start school next Wednesday.
My son is having a bronchoscopy on Monday that will mean an overnight hospital stay.
In the case of people not being able to do what I do, I'll say this: You do what you have to do. It does make it easier when you have support and encouragement and love with action behind it.