I thought we had escaped the fury of this sick season. February had arrived and other than minor illnesses, we had remained a pretty healthy family. Despite having two toddlers that attend nursery, primary, preschool, dance, play dates, etc. But I spoke too soon. It all hit, and it hit hard. It started with colds that passed through the house. Along with a stomach virus. The plague seemed to have mutated in some way and we all ended up with strep, ear infections, sinus infections, and pink eye. In total we have visited the doctor seven times this past month, not to mention my OB appointments for baby girl! Needless to say it has been difficult. I know it's just illness, and it will eventually pass. I know these problems are "first world." I think about others who are enduring such serious trials and I am reminded that things aren't so bad.
Today I thought about my dear friend who lost her mother and brother in a tragic house fire recently. I thought about my friend and how her newborn baby was just hospitalized for RSV. I thought about my other friend with Shingles and many other unexplained health issues. I thought of my dear friend Josie who is fighting severe bipolar, depression, Lyme's Disease, and a recent discovery of black mold in her home. When I think about all of this and more I think, it's okay. I can do this. It WILL pass. It never gets easier to watch your children suffer though.
Yesterday I took Leo to the pediatrician. He said that it looked like he had pink eye (AGAIN) and also a really bad ear infection in his right ear (AGAIN). I left with a prescription for an oral antibiotic and also prescription drops. We gave him the drops as instructed but by morning things were looking really bad. He began to look like Will Smith in Hitch. His right eye was completely swollen shut when he woke up, like he had been punched. He was crying hysterically. Screaming actually. I felt the anxiety build in my chest as I watched Ernest get ready to leave for work. The tears started to flow from my eyes. Leo became more hysterical as he saw me become hysterical. Oh the beauty of that motherly bond. How was I supposed to take care of Leo by myself? Why were things going so terribly wrong when I simply followed the doctors instructions? My mom suggested that maybe Leo was allergic to the drops. We decided to discontinue them until we figured things out.
In the craziness of the morning shuffle I text my little brother. Something brief, out of desperation. "Can you come over? I haven't slept in four days and I need help." He was there in the blink of an eye. We got things under control and Ernest took off for work. The kids were calm. Ken told me to go to sleep. I collapsed in my bed. While I slept, Ken played with the kids, fed them, cleaned my house, and took care of everything else. When I woke up it was time to put the kids down for a nap. I sent Ken $24 on Venmo, just to thank him for his kindness. He would have refused the money if he could have, but that's the beauty of Venmo. It just sends. So there you have it, the day I took a $24 nap. It was worth every penny.
By the way, the benadryl seems to have worked wonders and Leo's eyes look much much better! I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow. I talked about this quite a bit on my Instagram today, but motherhood continues to take me by surprise. The intensity of the love I feel for them. The exhaustion from years of choppy sleep. The worry. This feeling that my children are an appendage. I cant quite disconnect from them. Even if I am out of town or on a date, a part of my heart is literally missing. I need them and they need me. There is something so incredibly humbling about the fact that these children were sent to me. I feel the weight of that responsibility. I want to do right by them.