The sad fact is the here and now is quite an uninteresting and pathetic sounding post. We are sick. We have, in fact, been sick for more than five weeks. It started with 10 colds which grew into 7 cases of bronchitis and a ruptured ear drum. Despite finishing antibiotics and many breathing treatments, there are 7 asthmatics in our home, people are still sick. We've been to the doctors more times than I can count and threw in a trip to Children's hospital for kicks. We've run the gamut of flu tests, strep tests and chest x-rays. And, by the way, since its a brand new year with a brand new deductible the out of pocket expense has been astounding. My husband seriously flipped out when the pharmacists informed him the cost of inhalers alone was $1200. Yikes.
|Doctor's office selfies|
But that is the least of the expense where big families and sickness come together. Which reminds me why we are so careful to keep a healthy lifestyle. Up until two nights ago, Allen and I had not had two consecutive hours of sleep since December. Christmas was a bust. We are a month behind in school. The kids have missed their classes at the college and many other commitments. We have suspended Addison's early intervention therapies and missed appointments and meetings. We haven't been to worship since before Christmas. Work on the house project has been at a complete stand still. Not that anyone knows a whole lot about the house project since I haven't posted since last April... but just saying.
On January 12th, I headed out of town with Addison for his monthly therapy. As I kissed everyone and drove away I thought to myself, maybe they will be better in a week when I get home? While I was away I received daily reports of the carnage. Kids coughing until they throw up. Fevers not controlled by medication. And Nathaniel's complaint, "I cook but no one will eat a bite!"
So we were out of town just chugging through therapy sessions when Addison became violently ill with a stomach bug. By the time we were able to get his medication and get him stable he was too weak to stand up and cyanotic. We brought him back to Maryland so we could have access to his doctors at Children's Hospital in DC. He surprisingly bounced back from both illnesses very quickly, considering he is usually the concerning child who ends up in the hospital with each sickness. Within four or five days he was eating his typical diet. Unfortunately, because of his hypoglycemia he lost two pounds in just about three days and it will likely take him several months to regain that weight. But we are glad he was able to recover without a need for serious intervention.
Mostly, after a week the rest of us have bounced back from that ordeal. Unfortunately, the additional strain pushed Carmella's bronchitis into pneumonia. More doctor visits. More chest x-rays. More tests. More steroids. More antibiotics. It has been a long, hard ordeal for our girl. She is weak and mostly unable to eat. She ate a banana one day and I was overjoyed. She is up and walking on her own again, which is a huge relief.
While I wish I could wave a magic wand and make them all feel better and we could get back to life, I have enjoyed the cuddles. The last 8 days I have pretty much sat and snuggled Carmella day in and day out in an effort to keep her upright and minimize her coughing and asthma attacks. As I feed her 1/4 of a saltine and 1 sip of juice at a time, we move between her bed, the sofa, the family room, her tent lined with a down comforter and my bed, depending on the time of day. And I pray without ceasing for her little lungs to get better and for her to start eating again.
It is something. No matter how many years I've been at this, it never gets easier to see our little ones suffer. I never stop wondering if we are doing the right things. Allen says that's what makes you a good parent. Still, wouldn't that instruction manual and magic wand be nice?