So, the last few weeks have been Sickness Central at my house. As much as I would love to say that I handled it like an award-winning mom who is completely emotionally stable, that is not at all the case. I will start at the beginning.
On Saturday, September 20, B started running a fever. I wasn’t too worried since he sometimes will run fever when his allergies are acting up. But our family had tickets to attend a fund raiser at church that night, so it did alter my plans. The Hubs and C went on the event, while B and I drove up, grabbed my meal I had paid for and left. While we were there waiting for our food, our pastor’s wife S came over to speak to us. I told her we weren’t able to stay since B was running fever. She responded that her youngest was home with a fever as well–but she also had one kind of red eye. She peeked through the window and noticed that B had a red eye too! About that time, another friend walked over and said her son felt warm. And, you guessed it, he had a red eye! Well, C woke up with a fever the next morning, and my friend’s daughter developed a fever a day or two after that. After a trip to the pediatrician with both kids, it was determined that what they had was viral–more than likely, viral conjunctivitis which I did not even know existed. Well, let me just tell you people, whatever this virus was, I don’t ever want to see it again. My children were each sick with high fever for SIX DAYS! It was miserable. And on top of the fever, B’s eyes looked like they belonged in a horror movie. This is what they looked like toward the end of the virus:
B was finally fever free on Thursday, and C woke up that Friday with no fever, so they went to Pop and JuJu’s house like they normally do on Fridays while I prepared for my sister-in-law H and friend T to come stay with us while we celebrated the Hubs’s parents’ 40th Anniversary. The kids got home from my parents, H and T arrived, my in-laws came over for dinner, lasagna is in the oven and I’m working on a salad when C starts crying about her ear hurting. Are you kidding me?? She’s never had an ear infection before–ever. In fact, in all my six years of parenting experience, I have only dealt with one ear infection, and that was with B back in May. So I left H in charge of B and dinner and headed out to the after hours clinic with C. Sure enough, both ears were infected. So C started on her very first round of antibiotics ever. Thankfully, she did not complain about her ears any more and was better by the next day. Mother of the Year over here ended up leaving her “must be refridgerated” Amoxicillin in my car the next Friday and had to take her BACK to the clinc to make sure she didn’t need any more meds. She got the all clear.
Then four days later on that Monday, I went in to check on C before going to bed and she felt very hot–another fever. Since the Hubs was on Fall Break, he took B to CC that Tuesday and I stayed home with C. I took her to see my friend K who is a PA at a local urgent care clinic. After a negative strep test and flu test, she decided that it was either viral or just a throat infection and prescribed Penicillin just in case of infection. I started her on the meds that night, and she woke up the next day fever free. K decided it might have been strep any way since she responded so well to the antibiotics. Well, wouldn’t you know B came home from Pop and JuJu’s on Friday running a fever. So we got some meds for him. It must be strep just like C, right? After three doses of Penicillin, B starts complaining that his toes itch during lunch on Sunday. I look, and his feet are covered in little red pin dots! Great, I think–it must be a reaction to the Penicillin. So we stop the penicillin and start him on another medication. BUT the itching and spots don’t go away. JuJu came over on Sunday while the Hubs was at his football coaches’ meeting, and I left the kids with her to go pick up the new Rx. I returned and had a total emotional meltdown complete with sobs and snot. It was not pretty. Through my sobs and tears, I told her that I felt ridiculous crying over strep throat and an ear infection while there are mothers out there with children who are chronically sick and even dying! I mean how petty, trivial, and selfish could I get? Sometimes we need a reality check even in the midst of our own trying times.
By Tuesday morning, B’s rash was still there and turning into blisters even after completely discontinuing all meds. A harried trip to the pediatrician determined that he did not have strep after all–he had hand, foot, and mouth disease. In all my years of hearing about that and having friends whose kids had it, I had never known it to itch. I always thought it started with painful sores in the mouth–of which B had NONE!! Dr. E said that it was possible that C had also had hand, foot, and mouth, but it just never got to her hands and feet, but there was really no way to tell since she was better now. So, we stopped all Rx with B and were able to just wait it out. He did eventually develop two small sores in his mouth. This is what he feet looked like on Sunday when I thought he was having an allergic reaction:
And this is what they looked like the day after his official diagnosis.
So after getting the all clear from the dr that he was no longer contagious, I breathed a sigh of relief and took the kids to Chick-Fil-A. As we stood there in line waiting to order, I looked down as B and smiled. It had been a week of uncertainty, wondering what was wrong with both of them, how to treat it, and how long it would last. And to be honest, it was a week that tested my faith–my kids are normally very healthy. Why had they been sick? And why had it seemingly been non-stop–one illness or ailment after another? Why had God allowed this? Didn’t He know I was tired and worried and had been filled with anxiety? (Please excuse how melodramatic this is–as I mentioned above, I had had a reality check and know it could have been worse than I even care to think about, but just roll with me here.) As I looked down at him and looked at the sores on his hands, I felt the Lord whisper gently in my ear, “Don’t forget to be MY hands, MY feet, and MY mouth.”
That was all He said–but it was enough. I can only imaging the bizarre look on my face as I had that quiet moment with my sweet Savior right there in Chick-Fil-A, but I felt myself smile. Now, don’t get me wrong–I am not saying that my kids got sick so that God could teach me a lesson. But I do believe that he uses circumstances to teach His children, just like we do with our own children. So I smiled.
I smiled knowing that He loves me.
And I smiled knowing that He loves my children.
I smiled knowing that He loves the people I will come in contact with, even the people I don’t know, and that He wants me to show them His love–even if I am hesitant or it might mean doing something “weird.”
And I smiled because I enjoyed having a gentle reminder from Him of my purpose on earth. He has called all of us who believe in Him to be His hands, His feet, and His mouth to those around us. Everywhere we go.
So that has been the sickness saga for the past month at our house. I am thankful that as I type this everyone is healthy and well. And I will continue to be His hands, His feet, and His mouth…even if it means sharing my little blog that has served as my private journal until now.