I would have to say that my least favorite part about being a Mother is having to deal with sick kids.
It seems to really take a lot out of me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have a tendency to worry far more than necessary about seemingly trivial illnesses, which definitely takes its toll on me. When it comes to the varying possibilities of sicknesses, it seems as if the grass is always greener on the other side. When I am cleaning up mounds of puke off of the carpet, I would do anything to chase them around all day and wipe their noses every two seconds. Yet, when my day is completely occupied by wiping noses, cleaning up puke doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea.
It’s hard, as a concerned Mother, to know when to really worry about certain symptoms or to simply ignore them. I am constantly researching and trying to figure out if I need to take my child to the doctor or just deal with it at home. You always read about those rare cases in which a Mother didn’t take her child’s symptoms seriously enough and than her child became severely ill or even died. I don’t want my child to become one of those statistics! As such, I admittedly take my children to the doctor far more than they need to. It’s better safe than sorry, right?
Almost immediately after my kids start feeling sick, I ask Jon to give them a priesthood blessing. I am very much aware that a blessing won’t necessarily make their sicknesses miraculously disappear, however, it brings me peace of mind to know that everything that can be done for them is being done. After that, it’s up to the will of the Lord.
Lizzie has amazing faith. She asks Jon to give her priesthood blessings quite often when she’s sick. On more than one occasion, she has been sick one day and then, after receiving a blessing, is completely better the next day. It truly is a miracle.
But there are definitely the times when, even after receiving a blessing, the sickness lingers for days (or weeks) and is shared with the rest of the family.
In retrospect, the following experience is quite humorous. At the time, however, it was absolutely miserable. Our entire family got the stomach flu at the exact same time. Prior to being sick, our home was only a little over a year old and was still in pretty good condition. Afterwards, you would have guessed it to be at least thirty years old by looking at the stains all over the carpet. I didn’t want to clean anything. It would have been much easier to simply pack up our essentials and abandon the house.
One night during this bout of sickness was particularly miserable. I decided to sleep in Bryce’s room on the floor with him because he kept puking. We played our own little game of puke tag all night. He would puke and I would clean him up. Then I would take a turn. This process repeated itself for hours. At one point I was in the bathroom across the hall from Bryce’s room and I started seeing stars and my limbs started tingling. I cried out to my husband (who was doing his own puking in the other bathroom) and he rescued me with a liquid of some sort. At this point, Bryce was awake and walking and puking all over the hallway. Fortunately, Lizzie was sleeping peacefully for the time being.
The next day was simply a continuation of the night. By this time, our house truly stunk, as you can probably imagine. I started feeling a little better, fortunately, because one adult in the house needed to take Bryce to urgent care because the poor little thing was extremely dehydrated. I was the lucky adult. I took him to the doctor and they gave him some anti-nausea medication that worked wonders. Lizzie seemed to be doing better. About ten minutes after putting her to bed, however, she puked all over her bed (which was covered in towels by this time because every other blanket and sheet in our house was in the process of getting washed). I decided to take her to urgent care as well. We barely made it out of the driveway before she projectile vomited all over the car. I turned around. The stench was horrid. I was literally dry heaving as I cleaned up Lizzie and the van. We got back in the car and eventually made it to urgent care…and then went right back home without being seen by a doctor because the wait time was four hours!
But we survived.
Even when you are beyond miserable and you feel as if you just can’t make it another day, it helps to remember that (for the most part) sicknesses don’t last forever.
I tried to remember that fact last Thursday when I went to check on Lizzie at 11:00 at night before going to bed. As I entered her room, I immediately smelled the stench. You know, the pungent, sour, and very distinct smell of vomit. Oh my goodness. Lizzie had puked all over her bed (and herself) and had fallen back asleep on top of it all. The puke was everywhere. It was all over her face, in her hair, on her pajamas, on her pillow, and on her comforter. Somehow, it miraculously managed to avoid each and ever one of her stuffed animals. Lucky creatures. 🙂 She had also puked on the side of her bed adjacent to the wall. As such, the puke had run down the wall, gotten all over her bed skirt, and there was nearly an entire cup of it under her bed (both on her carpet and on top of a Little People Ferris Wheel toy…poor, poor toy). I started dry heaving and called for my husband. Lizzie was awake and crying by this point and when she gets that way, she doesn’t want anyone but me. So while I bathed her and changed her clothes, Jon did the honors of transferring the soiled bedding to the laundry room.
I prepared myself for the worst, but Lizzie didn’t vomit again until Saturday morning. Really strange. And fortunately, (knock on wood) no one else seemed to have gotten sick.
I hope that it stays that way.
Yes, sick kids completely wear me out. It’s not just the chasing and the wiping and the cleaning and the washing. It’s the worrying. It’s the way that my schedule gets thrown off. It’s the way that we have to quarantine ourselves inside of our own house.
But I must admit that I am grateful for these times.
It’s times like these that help me to truly appreciate the normal, somewhat mundane days that make up my life. When my kids are sick and not acting as crazy as they usually are, I miss them. I miss their hyperactivity. It miss their spunk. I miss their appetites. I even miss their tantrums.
I know that sicknesses won’t last forever.
I also know that my children will not be young forever.
It is my goal to put forth a genuine effort to enjoy this season of my life. This time when I have the privilege of wiping noses. This time when I have kids constantly hanging on me and yelling in my ears. When I hear squeaky voices telling me that they love me. When little arms are wrapped around my neck and when I am covered in wet kisses from head to toe.
Even with the puke, I really couldn’t ask for anything more.