Friday, November 5, 2010

Florence Nightingale

Once again I've been torn away from my writing due to my children's needs. How DARE they??? Truth be told, I don't mind. Actually, real truth? I'm a little obsessive, apparently.

I have been assuming that when children are sick, you just don't get much sleep or do anything other than hover over them constantly with a watchful eye. Little did I know that other parents don't do that. Say what?

My daughter missed all of the last week of school. She started with a reaction to her new earrings. That resulted in a big cyst behind each ear. It turned into a fever so off we went to the clinic. (side bar-as we are new to the city we have no doctor here so the clinic is our new best friend!) While we were there, they checked her slight cough and said to take the earrings out and put some Polysporin on daily. The cough? Likely just a cold starting.

We went home and started following the advice. That night, her fever rose steadily higher. I spent the night with her in my bed, kicking my husband out to sleep with a hundred Webkinz in a cozy, pink floral cloud. He LOVED it.

The next day, the fever was even higher. I spent the day bringing her drinks and snacks on a tray in my bed. We watched movies and napped. Well, she napped. I spent my time staring at her and wiping her face and brow with a lukewarm facecloth and trying to remember when I last gave her Tylenol.

We entered the clinic doors once more, this time to hear the news that her slight cold was a chest infection. She started Amoxicillan to combat the nasty germs and hopefully bring the high fever down a notch or five.

When my kids are sick, I basically don't sleep. In our house, if you have a fever or bad cough or a gastro deal, you sleep with Mommy. Yay me! Honestly though, it's easier for me that way. If they were in their own beds, I'd just spend the night walking the halls checking them over and over. I ensure they get meds consistently. I place cloths to cool them down and bring them drinks to sip throughout the night. At some point sheer exhaustion takes over and I succumb to a fitful slumber, despite my best efforts to valiantly stay on the alert.

I thought that was just the typical Mommy duty for those sickly times. I have come to learn that not all of my Mommy friends feel the same way! Many of them said they give their kids some meds before bed and close their doors. They tuck themselves in their own little nests and don't rise again til morning, or until their child might come to seek them out.

Really????? That's a completely foreign concept to me!

I'm not looking for some sort of Florence Nightingale Award for exceptional care taking. I know that my need to hover is just who I am and part of my OCD nature. Sure, some little part of me likes carrying trays and preparing chicken broth and toast and tea. I mean, how often do they need me and want me so sweetly and appreciatively? I credit it to my childhood aspiration to be a Pediatrician. I have a real need to nurture the people in my life. That's surprising even to me cause I'm such a non-sappy cynic most of the time.

We're all recovered here now and back to the daily grind. At least the rest of my family is feeling healthy and rested. Me? I'm starting to feel a little under the weather. I guess that's one of the hazards of sleeping with the sickies and letting them cough into your chest as you hold them close.

It's a price I'll be happy to pay over and over again. Hopefully I won't HAVE to mind you! (I wish health and wellness on all of us!) When the call comes though, I'll be ready-thermometer and cool drink in tow.

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