When Kids Are Sick

I’m writing this with Maverick in my arms. At just one year old, he still fits in my lap, and he’s a cuddly little guy. Truth is, part of me is afraid to put him down (but not so afraid that I didn’t stick him in his crib to scream awhile ago because I was weepy and dirty and desperately needed a shower – don’t worry, his dad rescued him).

We’ve done two ER visits and two clinic visits in two days. One more follow-up appointment today, just to make sure he is really truly not going to need another ER visit over the weekend. The vomiting and diarrhea got so bad that he was dehydrated and needed an IV at the first ER visit. He was so out of it that he didn’t even fight the IV. The second ER visit, the doctor wanted to give him an IV but they tried & tried & couldn’t do it. Now his little arms are all bruised, but he’s had plenty of fluids (read: occasional sips of Pedialyte and/or Gatorade, & nearly constant breastfeeding) and his lips are finally no longer chapped.

I know parents who have kids with chronic illnesses or congenital defects that require repeated surgeries and hospitalizations. We got just the tiniest glimpse of what they go through. Holding the baby while the nurses try and try to get the needle in. Watching as they do necessary (but horrific) medical procedures to get him well. Keeping the older kid occupied and entertained while waiting and waiting and waiting. Trying to make decisions on fast food and not enough rest. Curling up on the hospital bed behind him, watching him sleep peacefully because although the hospital isn’t home, we are his home, and as long as we’re there, he knows it’ll be okay.

Homes and I have done a lot of bitching about how many times we’ve all been sick this year. Even now, on the tail end of Maverick’s Tummy Bug of Doom, he’s getting my cold. Z’s sick, too. It’s not fair. With illness, nothing is fair, and it totally sucks, and I’m glad we’re getting better, that this isn’t permanent, it’ll soon be a bad memory, and even though I’m sleep-deprived I can see how lucky we are.