(Our two guests, three and five years old. Granted, they are from a tall family, but I think Miss N looks tiny next to them in this picture.)
The second day we had them, one came down with strep throat. Monday the second one also came down with it, followed by Miss M with an ear infection. I’m not at all saying the girls gave my girls illness, since mine already had colds before they got here. But Tuesday Miss N came down with some illness, spiked a high fever that wouldn’t be controlled by Tylenol.
I was doing fine. Sure, I am physically tired – with all of the sick kids I’ve been up at least once per night the entire time they’ve been here, and since I don’t go to bed until midnight, that makes for very little sleep. All in all I was doing fine and doing my best to comfort the ones who were missing their mommy and keep my own entertained.
Until Miss N got sick. She always gets sicker than her sister (and in this case than our houseguests as well).
The night I was up with Miss N with a 102 fever, I lost it. I started sobbing after I tucked her back in bed. I couldn’t sleep, in spite of my extreme exhaustion. My mind went back to two Christmases ago when she was so sick. All it was was strep back then, but I thought she was critically ill. Since Miss N came down with it, I have felt emotionally, spiritually, and physically beat. The strep test in the office came back negative, so likely this is just the result of the ongoing cold she’s had. But it still gets to me. When she has a high fever like that, she stops eating, gets dizzy, and overall stops functioning. It’s sad, pitiful, and for me scary. Especially when the Tylenol didn’t bring it down. Motrin brought it down to 100. (Edited to add, since writing this, she has been diagnosed with mild or beginning pneumonia.)
(When I look at this picture, she looks sick to me. Motrin was in her, so she's happy and enjoying the activity, but this picture makes me sad.)
Trust me, I know there are moms out there with kids far more ill than this, or who have chronically ill or terminally ill children. A little virus or strep bug is nothing in light of what other moms are going through. But when your child is dizzy, can’t walk, and can’t eat, and she’s already a tiny thing, well, it bugs you. Or I should say it bugs me. (Edited to add, I guess I had good reason. On Tuesday when she went to Dr. appt. number 1, she weighed 36 pounds. On Thursday for Dr. Appt. Number 2, she weighted 33.7 pounds. For a child her size, that’s a lot of weight loss.)
I am wondering if I should be learning something here. Why could I handle cranky, sick kids until my kid got really, really sick? Is that going to be my weak point spiritually? Satan can attack me all he wants, but if he touches my kids, I become defeated? That’s somewhat scary. Or is it just the result of pure exhaustion and the disappointment of not being able to do all of the fun things I had planned this week?
I feel as though there is something I should be meditating on here, like some great spiritual truth I should be learning. But I’m not sure what it is. Maybe I should just think on it more when I am more rested.
Now, back to work.