Friday, August 26, 2011
August 26, 2011 ~ Day 259
Ready Or Not!
Tonight over a quiet game of Scrabble after all of our kids were in bed sleeping, I confessed to my husband the realization I had that sometimes (even at the age of 35!) I don't feel ready or qualified to be a parent.
I know, I know. It's a little late for that kind of thinking.
After all, I've been a mother for going on seven years now. I have co-created three children. I wanted all of them very much. I still do!
It isn't the children I don't feel ready for. I adore them.
It's the pressure that I don't know how to deal with... the heavy sense of responsibility.
The way that I can never hand off the reins to someone else more qualified when I am having a terrible day and say,
"Hey - I really have no idea how to be a good mother in this situation, can you do it this time and show me the ropes?"
* * * * * * *
My kid is still sick. Or rather, he's still injured. Now infected.
This has been going on for over a month now, and while at first I sprang into superhero action in my best form ~ I'm getting worn down.
I'm feeling scared and vulnerable.
What if I can't do it?
What if I can't, despite my best efforts and all three heroic races out to the ER, what if I can't get him all the way well?
That doctor really freaked me out yesterday, telling me about the chance of IV antibiotics and hospitalization. She scared me straight into giving my kid a massive course of augmentin only three weeks after he had an awful hypersensitivity to cephalexin.
Now, 24 hours in, he's feeling itchy again. Complaining of pain.
My husband and I are frustrated; edgy... Not again. Not another hypersensitivity reaction :-(
"If it happens again, we'll stop the drug immediately," my husband said.
"Of course. But then what do we do about the infection?"
We're stumped. We honestly don't know what to do. All we can do is pray, and pray.
These are the moments when I wish medicine really WAS what I believed it to be as a kid. Something that could solve even the worst problem. Something to protect and save children. An answer.
Since having children I have learned the hard way that doctors are mainly practicing, that they work hard and care a lot but sometimes make mistakes. That they don't always know what they are talking about - like the pediatrician yesterday who informed me that Keflex was a sulfa-drug when actually it is in an entirely different class of antibiotics, as confirmed by our pharmacist who raised her eyebrows and remarked, "She said WHAT? Who is this doctor again?"
These are the moments when I wish that I had the answers.
I wish that I knew enough to treat my own kid and heal him... without relying on anyone else.
I have a friend in our old town who is a nutritionist. She believes in her own wisdom, and her husband believes in her too. She was able, thanks to a special diet, to have an autism label officially removed from her son's medical records because he improved behaviorally and verbally so much thanks to her treatment.
She once told me that she never uses medical drugs, but always treats her son with herbs and homeopathics. She understands how to use them, and she has been able to heal him from every illness.
What an incredible skill, and what fantastic confidence she has.
She trusts herself to heal her own son, and she actually does it.
I wish so much I knew how to do this, so that I would know how to heal my own children.
If I was a doctor, I would have cultured the pus in my kid's incision yesterday to make sure that the antibiotic he is taking actually matches the infection he's got.
Without knowing what he's got, we could be wasting valuable time AND his friendly gut flora right now on an antibiotic that isn't actually helping him. It drives me crazy sitting here anxiously wondering what I'll be waking up to deal with tomorrow.
Will the infection be better? Will it be worse?
(Can you feel my heartbeat quickening?)
* * * * * * *
The weight of responsibility rests so heavily on me.
My husband reminds me gently that this is something I have to deal with inside of myself - deal with the fear and anxiety that infuse my veins whenever my children face real health challenges.
He tells me that parenthood does not have to feel this heavy. That he loves our kids as much as I do but he is still able to sleep at night and trust that they will eventually get well.
I don't know how he does this. I am truly jealous. (Also a little skeptical...)
Is this a male/female thing?
Is it a mother/father thing?
Or is it just me?
Can I really be the only mother who sits up at night watching her children sleep when they are ill, to make sure they are still breathing?
No matter what the answer, the truth is that sometimes ~ rarely, but sometimes at moments like these ~ I really want to run away.
I want my own mother to come and take my place because she is such a PHENOMENAL mother, and she always seems to know exactly what to do.
I wish my kids had a better mother more like mine, someone skilled and confident and calm, who would steer them safely through childhood and its various mishaps. Somebody wise and intuitive.
They deserve that kind of mother! (Before having children I actually thought I would BE that kind of mother...)
All I can say for myself at this point, is that despite how genuinely scary it is to have the buck stop with ME when it comes to the health and welfare of three human beings, (gulp!)
I keep showing up for the job.
I haven't run away in seven challenge-filled years, and I'm not about to start just because we're navigating through previously uncharted, obstacle filled waters.
I'm not going to give up. Never on them, and not on myself either...
Maybe if I keep on trying, someday I will actually have more of the answers, faith and strength I so deeply yearn for at this moment.