This has been an insane couple of days. I am in disbelief as to how deep I’ve had to dig to keep going without giving up.
Since Friday night, I’ve been to the emergency room once, the after hours clinic twice, the pharmacy three times, and the x-ray place once, the ultrasound place at the hospital once. Right now we have 4/5 kids with fevers, Jonathan might have another recurrence of mono, I have pneumonia, Mia has a chest cold and a UTI, Cor has a bad cough and an ear infection, Willem, Janelle and Ethan have fevers with little other symptoms at this time. We are a total mess. Three of us are on antibiotics and I somehow have to keep track of who needs what meds and when.
It has been difficult to say the least. Trying to take care of sick kids when I myself am sick is rough. In order to care for these kids of mine, I really need to be 100% or my patience and stamina goes right out the window. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered a few people along the way in the health care system that don’t seem to understand children very well. I’ve lost my cool a few times and boldly “spoke my mind” to a few individuals. I’ve never done that before. I’m always polite and respectful to strangers, but when I feel my role as mother is being negatively scrutinized, I lose it.
Tonight I took all five kids to Mia’s ultrasound. As we waited 40 minutes to get in, Ethan was getting sicker and sicker by the minute. After 30 minutes, he began to cry and finally couldn’t control his wailing because he felt so awful. When Mia was finally called in, the technician was less than impressed with the crying and I was less than impressed with her. Fortunately, there were some very lovely individuals who sympathized with my situation. A kind man in the waiting room encouraged me by telling me about his four kids and his five grandchildren, a nurse walking by us gave Ethan a cold cloth for his forehead (which made him cry harder), a caring technician stayed with Mia while I dealt with a wailing Ethan and a crying Cor outside the door. Of course, Janelle was also feeling sick at this point, but she at least she was quiet about it.
As I sat in the chair trying to comfort Ethan, the tears flowed down my face. It felt so unbelievably hard to be a mom right then and there. I felt bad I couldn’t be with Mia as she cried through her ultrasound. I felt sorry for Ethan that I didn’t have any medicine to make him feel better. I felt sorry for myself for being sick. I had to dig deep to get the strength to walk back through the halls of the hospital with 5 kids in tow and one crying all the way back to the van. More of my tears flowed as I drove out of the parking garage. Sometimes, it does feel more than I can bear. But during these times, all I have left to do is cry out to God for help. And forgiveness for kind of yelling at the technician. And he listened.
When we arrived home, fortunately my sister had been here today, and she had made us dinner. I was able to give Tylenol to all who needed it and I got the kids set up with some food (Ethan had gone to bed already). As supper progressed, Cor started crying inconsolably, and I noticed he was trembling. I had a feeling his fever was pretty high. So went on the the hunt for the thermometer. 104F. I stripped him down to a diaper and his crying got stronger and more persistent. I was waiting for Jonathan to come home with more Tylenol for everyone and just before he stepped in the door, Cor vomited all over the place. This was not looking good. I knew I had to take him to the hospital. I hadn’t eaten supper, Jonathan just came through the door and I had kids with fevers all over the place.
I geared up once again for a 6 hour trip to the emergency room. On my way, I had a moment of enlightenment, and called the our doctor’s office to see if the after-hours clinic was running. It was, so I took him there instead. Within an hour and a half, I was home again with antibiotics and Motrin for an ear infection. I survived the drama once again.
These are the times when I most need to remember to be thankful. Thankful for my friends and family who have sent emails, made phone calls, checked in to see how we are doing, brought meals, made meals, did groceries, cleaned, offered to look after the kids, and prayed. What would we ever do without the beautiful people in our lives who live out Christ’s love daily?
God has listened to my prayers and to the prayers of my friends and family. In the times that are so difficult, when it feels as though I can’t go on, he sends encouraging words from strangers. A cold cloth for a feverish forehead. An offer of help from a kind nurse. After-hour clinics. A free sample of Motrin. Antibiotics. Emails with offers of help.
Tonight I go to bed feeling weary, but well cared for. I feel overwhelmed, but thankful.
Isaiah 9: 2
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.