Tuesday, December 21, 2010

sharing the sickies

i know it's nothing new or probably even interesting or blog worthy to many mom's out there, but this is my first experience with multiple sick kiddos simultaneously. You know, the whole swapping germs thing. Wow, see....they do know how  to share!

Well, it all started about a week and a half ago. It started with Jonah sounding congested in his head. He never complained about it, just sounded stuffy. A few days later, Lily cried and cried and cried at bedtime. Then started throwing up. We decided we needed to get her to the ER to get this looked at.  It was the night of the worst snow storm known to man in the northwest indiana region. They even declared a state of emergency! No one was even supposed to be on the roads except police and emergency vehicles. Well, we braved it anyhow (and I didn't even know about the state of emergency until we got home, actually) and somehow, by the grace of God, made it to the ER in the next town over. Sure enough, Lily had an ear and throat infection. She was given some ear drops and a Tylenol suppository (she WILL NOT take oral meds, she is SO stubborn), and within 10 minutes was running the halls of the ER. She fell asleep in the car on the treacherous ride home, and slept pretty well once we got home. I must thank my dad and step-mom for coming over in that nasty weather and staying with Jonah as he slept so we could go. It made it much easier to not have to wake him and take him with us. I am so grateful for the amazing family we have.

As I said, Lily will not take oral meds, and even after prescribing an oral antibiotic by the ER doc, she refused it. I called our pediatrician the next morning and explained her refusal of the antibiotic. If I tried to hide in food or something else, she always knew, then refused it, and wouldn't eat/drink anything. And putting it straight in her mouth was not an option, she would spit it out, or sometimes, even throw it up, on purpose.

He called in a chewable AB, one i could crush up and try to hide it in something. This too, did not work. She would know it, and if I even tried to put the powder straight in her mouth, she would gag and throw up.

I tried to no avail. In the midst of all this, she was feeling better though, and I didn't want to call our dr to say she wouldn't take it. I feared they'd say she needed IV antibiotics, and I didn't feel she was bad enough to need that. She was improving, with no signs or symptoms of discomfort or fever.

Jonah then, the day after Lily was in the ER, developed a cough, most likely due to drainage from the congestion in his head. I know Jonah and his coughs. This would mean he'd have a cough for a few weeks. He always does. I kinda forgot about how he could be contagious, because a few days later, you guessed it, Lily got a cough and runny nose too.

This isn't something I'd normally worry about on its own. The dr's would never give anything for a cough, so we usually would truck on through with Vicks, and humidifiers, and lots of fluids (Popsicle's!). But a few days went by, and Jonah woke up saying his ear hurt. And of course, it was a Saturday. So a trip to the Urgent Care was in order.

We decided to ask them to take a look at Lily's ear, and explained to them how she wouldn't take her meds. They looked and said it looks slightly swollen, but nothing that would indicate giving another antibiotic.  BUT....and this was the kicker, Lily was diagnosed with acute bronchitis.

WHAT?! Are you kidding me? I about dropped dead right there.

I didn't believe the dr. She wasn't coughing much at all. I thought he was just a medicine pusher. So I didn't get the meds filled that day. I played the wait and see game. Stupid me right? Because 2 days later, she was up coughing at night. A tight, rough cough.

Ugh. I was wrong.

Oh yes, and Jonah DID have an ear infection. Wonderful.....

 So I was back at square one and knew I had to find a way to get these meds in her if she were going to get better, and keep it from possibly turning in to pneumonia.  Luckily, her doses of the meds were fairly small, and they were much thinner in consistency, so I thought I might be able to sneak it into some juice, and she'd never even know.

God must have felt I needed a break, because it worked. And as long as I mixed the cherry meds with fruit punch and grape flavored meds with grape juice, it was a success. Because at least, at some point she would drink all the juice.

All the while, Jonah, the best medicine taker in the world, has been improving like a champ, and is even off of needing a pain reliever for his ear. He will be taking his antibiotic for about 5 more days, and his cough his so minimal it only occurs when he is running and playing too hard.

But Lily's cough seemed to get more frequent. I just didn't get it. Shouldn't she be coughing less? And it's not like she is coughing constantly, mostly in the first hour or so after she wakes up, and also if she plays and runs too much. But she wasn't coughing very much AT ALL when she was diagnosed. My only guess is that she was diagnosed by when they dr heard in her chest and not the productivity and frequency of a cough. And now that I think back, she has been "messing with" her chest, almost like it was bothering her. Which since has gotten less since I finally put her on the med's.

She is doing well all in all. Acting totally normal, just with a cough and slight runny nose. And with a humidifier, med's and Vick's Baby Rub before bed, she sleeps really well. She even slept from 9pm to 5:45am last night, which is AMAZING. (Okay, so maybe I was sleeping on her bedroom floor....but still!)

But the part of this that makes me mad isn't the toll it is taking on me having to care for sick kids (it's tough, but it's part of life), it's having to miss so much work, and having to pay out so much money for dr's and med's, all at Christmas time. It's like, merry freakin' christmas, you can't pay your bills this month! Awesome.

don't get me wrong. I am happy we at least had some money so we COULD take the kids to the dr and that we COULD get them the medicine that they need. Because I know there are some mom's out there who would be in a far worse place than us. I pray for them. But I pray for us too, because it IS hard. And then having to choose to work more and more, to make up for the time spent at home caring for the kids, is tough too. Because I'd love to be home, keeping a close eye on Lily, but I have to work, and it just plain sucks. It sucks that Todd and I try to do it all the right way. Struggle to pay our bills each month. Live frugally, even at Christmas. I shop at the Goodwill. We don't spend money on ourselves. We put the best food on the table that we can. But still, seem to never get ahead. Again , I know there are people worse off than us, and I am not discounting their trials and tribulations, but we too are struggling. And any amount of a struggle is just that, a struggle. No one should have to choose between caring for their kids and going to work. I don't think that is a fair spot to put a mom in. But it is our life, and we take it for what it is. We are grateful to have grandma's and grandpa's who will care for and watch our kids, keeping them out of day care and baby sitters, especially when sick.

The good. The bad. And all the in between.

And last night, I lost it. I had had enough. I left work early to get home to the kids. I was relieved when I discovered Lily was much better than I had envisioned her.

Ah....such is the life of a mother right? The push and pull and tug of life and love and health and kiddos. Tough.

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