Friday, June 3, 2011

The week that lasted a year

It must be a year since Sidamo's last day of school, right? It's impossible to think it was just a week ago. Last Friday night, to kick off summer, we had friends over for dinner. The kids stayed up way too late, and one of them in particular handled it with exactly zero grace. While the other kids (and adults) were having fun, this one whined and cried and complained about the no-fairness of everything from food selection to seating to how many times people clapped for one kid's song versus another's. Everything was measured, and nothing came out in this kid's favor.

There's someone else who lost all grace that evening. That would be me. What were designed as encouraging talks to help this kid get it together quickly turned into increasingly frustrated lectures about how we're all in charge of our own happiness, and if we choose to be miserable, no one can make us be anything else. All true, in theory, but probably not age- or event-appropriate.

That point was driven home at 5 the next morning when this kid woke up having vomited in bed from coughing so hard. Poor thing was sick, overtired, and cranky the night before, and mama was anything but supportive. Then the other kid woke, also with an unstoppable cough. We tried to keep them in bed for a few more hours, but no one was feeling any better.

By 11, I deemed Nora's shallow breathing a bit concerning and decided we should take both kids to urgent care rather than waiting through the holiday weekend to see our regular pediatrician. Turns out she was having an asthma attack. The urgent care folks admitted her to the hospital, where we stayed for two nights.

Nora was the ideal patient. She took her nebulizer treatments every two hours around the clock without a single complaint. Even when being awoken in the middle of the night by strange respiratory therapists asking, "Are you ready for your breathing treatment?" she'd sit up, smile, and say, "Yeah! Sure!"

At one point two nurses had to swaddle her, squirt saline in her nose, and suction it out using a crazy mechanized snot-sucking machine. She hated it, but still stayed remarkably civil. The nurses left, and Nora told me, "I don't like that nose water." But when one of the nurses returned, Nora looked at her and said, "You're doing a GREAT job. You really are."

Everyone wanted to keep her, but I snatched her away as soon as her oxygen levels were high enough. Even a non-scary hospital stay with a cooperative kid is exhausting and taxing and stressful and no fun at all. There was little sleep for either of us, we were both stir-crazy, and we were just so ready to be home. We were given an inhaler to keep on hand in case this issue should arise again, but we're hoping this was just a reaction to a virus and will not be an ongoing concern. Fingers crossed.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we had finally taken Nora's pacifier away a few days before. Terrible, awful, no-good timing. The first night in the hospital, she wept and fought and insisted that she's not big, she's little, and little girls can't sleep without pacis. And little girls certainly cannot sleep in hospitals without pacis! I almost ran down to the maternity ward and raided their supply closet. But she eventually did sleep, and, surprisingly, hasn't asked for it since.

We came home Monday. Today is Friday, and even though it feels decades ago, we're still recovering. I can't think it's coincidence that last night, at 13 weeks 2 days of pregnancy, I had my first bout of "morning" sickness, and it's persisting. I think my body must just be worn down and staging a protest. Nora, on the other hand, is going full speed and feeling great. What I'd give for the energy and resilience of a 2-year-old on steroids.


Mama Papaya said...

Oh, how very, very scary. Wishing health for the wee one and a sense of calm for you all.

Stormy said...

That's scary. I'm glad she's doing well.

Having spent 4 days in the hospital with a small child with breathing problems, all I can say is that I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

jayme said...

scary scary stuff. So sorry that you had to go through all of that, but very glad to hear that she's doing better.