Don't you just hate it when your kids are sick?
Last winter we had some pretty intense health issues that eventually led to a diagnosis of reactive airway disease and an inhaler for P. We tried a prophylactic medication during the school year to try to minimize absences but the mood changes it caused were just too much. At the beginning of this school year we switched to a prophylactic inhaler, hoping that it would ensure that colds were always just colds.
So far so good, until recently. A pretty gnarly cold has been jumping from person to person and so P.'s as-needed inhaler has been used both at home and at school. Bo ended up on an oral steroid that turned him into a crazy beast - a few steps up from his usual "I don't feel well and I'm PO'ed about it" reaction to being sick.
I'm hoping P. can avoid hitting double digit absences this year but right now I think it could go either way. And it's a little scary.
As I was laying with her tonight, helping her fall asleep with a story and a song and a hand on her cheek, it occurred to me how different it is when P. is sick versus Bo. He's a little hellion about the whole business of being sick - just plain mad unless he's sick enough to sleep away the day. With P. it always feels more like a battle.
Part of it is she simply looks tragic when she's sick, all thing limbs and pale skin and huge gray eyes circled in purple.
Part of it is probably my own reaction to her relatively early birth. Is the reactive airway disease a remnant of her prematurity? Is that why her lungs seem to surrender to ever new germ? Will she grow out of it? There she is, coughing, and I know her airways are constricting a little more with every new cold she catches.
And then finally there's the fact that she's still so tiny. She needs calories to fight off the bugs but she's hardly eaten a thing. So I tell her she can have anything in the house, anything at all, healthy or not, but no. Getting this kid to eat on a good day is hard enough. Forget about it when she's sick!
So this battle? I can't actually fight it, just stand watch while her immune system does the fighting. And I can pray and ask others to pray, too, that this will be an easy winter for her and for all of us.