The past two weeks have been a tad trying in the Harms household. Two weeks ago today Natalie refused to eat her usual bowl of cereal after Sunday night church and asked to go right to bed. That's usually not a good sign in our house. Sure enough, she woke Monday morning sick, with a cough and slight fever. Megan had been dealing with the cough/runny nose thing that seems to last all winter so we stayed home. They were still sick on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday running on and off fevers, coughing, and overall being miserable. Long story short after two trips to the doctor, an early morning coughing attack followed by respiratory distress and wheezing, a breathing treatment for N and an inhaler for her as well we got a diagnosis of bronchiolitis most likely from RSV. Whatever it was, it was a long-lasting bug. Friday (this week) they were better for the first time. We were home for two weeks, with the occasional trip to the store and one venture out to the library (which was a mistake but I thought they were better). During that time, as I fell farther and farther behind on work, I learned some things.
1. What right do we have to complain about sickness? After talking with a friend who's kids were also sick with something more than just the common cold, she mentioned to me that her thinking was it is part of what God wants us to experience. I struggled with this, because the inhaler made Natalie incredibly grumpy, hateful, and angry. I struggled with not complaining and wishing to be free from sickness, but it was a good quote to think on.
2. Blanket forts make even sick children feel better.
3. I am an emotional mother after all. When Natalie woke in the early hours of the morning and couldn't breathe, I worried, and worry is an emotion. I was scared. and I hurt for them when they were so miserable.
4. This family needs to spend time at home more often. We don't stay home much, because there is so much that is interesting and fun to do in this town that costs next to nothing. But my children need to learn to play with their toys and each other. I'm going to try to stay home once a week, or once every other week, so periods of sickness are not such a shocker.
5. The junior high years may be torturous. Natalie behaved very much like a girl going through puberty when she was on the inhaler. I will need to pray!
6. Even when a child does not feel well, she must respect her parents and obey. However, extra love and attention is in order when they require discipline, but you must not slack on the discipline.
7. I cannot keep up with my workload without sending them to "school" at least once a week.
8. The most beautiful sound here on earth is my two children playing tag, laughing, and loving each other. Especially when I have not heard it for two weeks.
9. I really don't like not understanding what's going on with my kids' health. The doctor told me to give her the inhaler "as needed," but I had a really hard time discerning when "as needed" was, and that was very frustrating for me, particularly with the way it was making her feel.
10. I have the best friends! Some of my friends from playgroup brought us food and movies, and my friends from church supported us in prayer and sent notes via fb to assure us of prayer and help me understand what was going on. Even some fb friends that I do not really know well were able to help me understand about inhalers, wheezing, and such.
11. I need to pray that we do not develop asthma in this house! The inhaler experience is something I would rather avoid repeating. N is prone to it with being a preemie, and it runs in both families. God is able, though, and He can keep it from us!
12. And finally, I am So. Incredibly. Glad. we followed doctor's orders when Natalie was born during RSV season and kept her away from the world for the first two months of her life. I cannot even imagine my sweet little five-pounder with this horrible sickness. We had a fairly easy time of it because N is older and M is so big, but I cannot even imagine.