Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Is There a Healthy Kid Anywhere in America?

Honestly, I would like to meet a kid in elementary school that is healthy. All the kids in my neighborhood are taking turns coming down with something that just knocks their socks off. The Boy's 1st grade teacher has told us that she's been missing 3, 5 or 8 kids on any given day. Monday, when I called my local doctor's office (and it's a big medical building with like 8 pediatricians and an urgent care unit) , they were BOOKED SOLID. So I had to go 2 towns over to have The Boy seen.

Three weeks ago, The Boy had that lovely runny nose, bad cough and fever thing going around. He ended up getting antibiotics for a respiratory infection - the cough was bad enough to kick off the gag reflex - always a good time. He missed 4 days of school one week. The next week, he was doing well and made it to Friday before spiking another fever. It was on and off over this past weekend. On Monday, it resurfaced so we took him in. The Boy had his first ear infection ever at the ripe old age of six and a half. So more antibiotics only because he'd had fevers for more than 72 hours at this point. Bummer. But I'll take the antibiotics over the bad alternative. The Boy is really good about drinking his milk with acidophilus in it.

The only part of illness for The Boy that reminds me that he has more anxiety than some kids is when the discomfort hits at night. I mean, no one is their best when they're woken from sleep due to discomfort or pain. When his ear woke him up one night, he panicked. So when I got there, he was asking if he was dying and telling me he thought he was going to throw up. I don't think he was nausiated. I think he was panicking - having an anxiety attack. I felt his chest and his heart was pounding out of his chest. It was awful. I got him to calm down and take deep breaths. So that was good. But he was drenched in sweat and I couldn't do a think about his ear pain.

The other part of illness that is hard with The Boy is getting him to take meds. Unless it tastes totally like liquid candy, it will be a battle. Lil' Bro (who is only 3) will pretty much take anything I put in his syringe. He might make a face if it's yucky but he'd probably take Chinese herbs if he had to (which I take and let me tell you, THAT is some nasty stuff!). With The Boy, what should take 30 seconds can be dragged out to more like 20 minutes. He does everything from just freak out crying to refusing to take it to saying wait! and asking a million questions. It's so frustrating because you know he feels bad and you're trying to be patient. But honestly, I just want to scream at him when he gets like that. What I ended up resorting to was threats. I just told him, from now on, every time I say it's time to take his meds, he better walk right over and take them with no delays or protests. Every time he freaks out, throws a fit or tries to delay, something new goes off limits. Surprisingly, it worked. Today, Hubby was able to give The Boy his meds twice with no drama.

But the anxieties that come out during his illness are exhausting. I have no idea how parents of children with serious anxiety disorders do it. I understand and appreciate The Boy's anxiety being mild. But it really does make me think parents of kids with serious problems are my heroes. God bless them all.


Kendra said...

I have such a hard time being understanding and patient when my kids are sick. Brady has a double ear infection, and has been very very sick since Thursday. Incessant crying, needing to be held 24/7. . .I just don't do sick very well. I'm a bad, impatient, hard nosed mommy sometimes. Obviously, I need to be more patient with my 11 month old - he is just a little baby - but I sure like your "tactics" with a 6 1/2 year old. Age changes things, and I agree, while you have to give them grace when they are sick, obediance without arguing still has to be important, doesn't it? That's a hard one. I hope everyone at your little house gets all well!! No fun . .
love you

Trish Ryan said...

Hang in there - you're doing great! I can't even imagine how frustrating that must be, standing there with the meds you know will make him feel better, arguing with him to take them. It sounds like you've found a solution, though, so praise God :)

(If you hadn't I was going to tell you how I wrap my dog's pills in peanut butter and cheese to trick her...but I've noticed that not all parents take kindly to my well-intentioned dog-tested parenting advice...wonder why that is???? :) )