The drama continues, you guys. For a household that’s pretty low-key – even with the hustle that’s just part of the package with four busy kids – we have been craaaaazy for close to a month now. We’ve been up all night, skipping school, racing to the ER, the pediatrician, the after-hours pediatric clinic, the pharmacy. And the drugs! Liquids, pills, steroids, inhalers, I mean, you name it.
Because that’s what happens when your family is ridden with, in order:
- walking pneumonia
- a broken wrist/sprained elbow that turned out to really be a broken elbow/sprained wrist
- an antibiotic-triggered panic attack
- a double ear infection
- a non-specific virus with suspiciously flu-like symptoms.
For whatever reason – spoiler, I’m like ninety-nine percent sure it’s the apple cider vinegar I take religiously – I managed to avoid so much as a sniffle, which means I was the one running this thing. I wrote last time that I was sorely reminded how “teamwork” is the operative word in our general parenting strategy, because with my husband down and out – so, so down, poor guy – I was left to lead the charge.
We’re not without backup, of course. But our go-to, my mom, chose the single worst time ever to take back-to-back trips to Denver and Toronto, leaving me without a lifeline – and with her eight-pound chihuahua!
My husband’s parents both work full time, and a lot of our crises were the middle-of-the-night sort, or involved racing around during the regular work day to get one kid to school, one to the doc (again) and another to the orthodontist for the “I’m getting my braces off today, we can’t reschedule!” appointment that we had booked two freaking months ago.
All my super awesome friends rallied, and I when I really felt the pinch, I did have amazing people ready to scoop up all my kiddos, take them home, make them popcorn, and give them free rein in the pantry.
That’s what happened when I got one of those terrifying calls from your husband – the one where he says he’s not doing well, he’s not sure what’s wrong, but work is sending him to the ER and can you meet him there right away.
It took a day or two to pinpoint the problem – a medication that caused major anxiety with worrying physical side effects like a racing heart and full-body tremors. And in the middle of that situation, our daughter’s cast was removed and then promptly re-casted when x-rays showed what the first ones didn’t; our six year old got a cold that triggered croup that triggered a raging infection in both ears; and our oldest got a non-treatable virus that just needs to “run its course.”
Oh wait – you know what else was going on in the middle of all this? Freaking life! All the karate and soccer and baseball that make up our current after-school routine, and that I had to cancel and/or chauffeur to as needed. Lunches still needed to be made for whatever kids were well enough to make it to school and the fridge desperately needed to be filled with more than Gatorade and popsicles and amoxicillin. And then there were bathrooms to be cleaned, and laundry to be washed, and all my writing projects that unfortunately don’t write themselves.
A little perspective is always good, and mine came in the form of an email about a nine year old in our community who has been diagnosed with some rare form of terminal brain cancer. He plays soccer with the son of a friend, and it just hit close to home.
Pneumonia and ear infections and croup are all miserable, but everything we dealt with here over the last month is entirely manageable. Everyone is getting better, and that just isn’t something to be taken for granted. I’m grateful. A little overwhelmed, but grateful.