Maybe not that extreme, but it is draining. Having a child who MUST have a breathing treatment every four hours as precisely as is humanly possible plus 2 additional treatments 12 hours apart plus a once daily steroid is pretty exhausting just to think about. Put it into practice, and you’re on a newborn’s schedule.
Last night I went to bed at 9:30 after the second preventative treatment but set my alarm to go off at 11:15. It did and I got up and got the kid up, made him use the bathroom and kept him awake while we did a treatment. I crawled back into bed after putting him back to bed and cleaning up the apparatus and set my alarm for 3:15. And I got up again. And again at 7:15. Made sure he had his preventative treatment at 9 AM and then I had to work in the middle of the day. Jeff took over two treatments while I was at work and tonight I’m back at it again. Joseph is exhausted. I am exhausted. And we know we’ll be doing it again tomorrow night and probably the night after that too. The doctor said it will most likely take 4-5 full 24 hours periods to begin to see major improvement.
I want to be all lyrical and full of imagery about the beauty of suffering in motherhood. But the truth is, sometimes beauty is in short supply. Sometimes you look and feel every inch of beat-up by the lack of sleep, worry and diligence that you are. Sometimes words do not flow in sentences decipherable by another human being that isn’t your spouse or one of your kids. Sometimes you want to scream at people because “NO ONE IS SUFFERING AS MUCH AS YOU ARE!” Well, except for your kid, of course. And he’s the only one who gets a pass at this point.
And in the middle of asthma-ggeddon, I am trying to figure out how to see my grandmother when she comes to my parents’ house next week. She arrives New Years Eve which will probably be toward the end of the
major lifestyle overhaul intensive treatment. New Years Day isn’t convenient because the kids go back to school the 2nd and 3rd. So those days are out. I have to work on Saturday in the middle of the day so it’s most likely a no-go and Jeff won’t want to travel Sunday before he goes back to school…right now I’m thinking day trip New Years Day OR Saturday evening leave Sunday morning after mass…ach decisions! Why did New Years Day have to be on a Wednesday!
And mass…another thing I am desperately concerned over. See, I was all set to go tomorrow morning before the doctor’s office on Friday. And I thought, I’ll just go alone. No biggie. Until I had to break the news to the blue-eyed son. He was so upset. I told him I didn’t want him to catch or be exposed to any new germs at church and it would be very difficult for us to keep our carefully worked out schedule of treatments. I then saw Jeff mouthing the words “spiritual communion” words I love to hate because it means I’m not physically present and not physically receiving the Body of Christ. I made the boy a deal, if he sounded better after his early morning treatment, I would let him come with me and we’d alter our treatment schedule slightly. But if not, I would stay home with him…le sigh. In the end, I could bring home nasty germs for his compromised lungs. And Jeff is the world’s greatest dad but God forbid something life-threatening happen. In a health crisis, he freaks out.
I am tired and just want to crawl into bed and pull the cover over my head for eight hours on end…that’s not going to happen tonight or any time in the next week for sure. I have to keep reminding myself I survived waking every two hours to breastfeed while recovering from major abdominal surgery. That this is all so minimal compared to what millions of others are suffering. Mothers today lose their children to respiratory illnesses with alarming regularity. All suffering is relative.
Mary our mother, pray for me that I may persevere and become strong as my son needs me to be. St Blaise, pray for healing of my son’s airway.