Saturday, November 24, 2012

Confessions of a Mom


I admit it!  I know it may not be a good thing and maybe it didn't set a very Christ like example, but I'm the angry woman who ripped into a couple who brought their child to church WITH RSV!!!!

Elizabeth was a newborn and had been really sick all winter long.  It had been a while since we had made it to church and I really, really wanted to go.  I loaded her up and took her to the nursery and sat in church, but this nagging feeling kept at me and so I went down a few moments before church got out and there is a mom comforting her child who is red with fever and has a barky cough I recognized right away RSV. 

If this had been Beka, I might not have worried, but this was Elizabeth and we had been in and out of the ER for months battling one thing after the other and it always, always went straight to her chest.  She was miserable, I was miserable, Chris was missing work and here was this woman who brought her child to church sick?!  And Lizzie was sitting in a worker's lap next to this person and her child. 

I lost it and ripped into the mom for being rude and disrespectful enough to bring a child to church who was obviously sick and told her to she needed to take her baby to the ER, immediately.  From a distance I could see her child struggling to breath and I could hear her rattling.  I put the mom's ear to her child's back and told her to listen.  Then I had her listen to Lizzie, who happened to be clear at the time.  She immediately got up and rushed out and I'm presuming she rushed straight to the ER.    Hopefully, her baby was okay, but sure enough a few days later, we too were at the doctor's office.  That was the point when Elizabeth's pediatrician called our insurance and demanded that they purchase us a nebulizer for Elizabeth.  Ten visits in a short time was causing her to worry. 

What is the point of me sharing this?  This is my point... not every one is blessed to have a child with a strong immune system.  There are children born with liver, kidney, blood, heart and the list goes on in the names of diseases.  When you knowingly take your child to a family function or to a friend's house who has a child who has these diseases you put that child at risk.  This also goes for children who are post transplant.  There is a reason why some of my friends and I don't get to see each other often, they have a sick child and as a parent who spent years battling the Asthma Monster I get how important it is to keep your illness from a child whose immune system may or may not be so great. 

So the next time you have a holiday or family gathering coming up - if your child becomes ill think about the people in your family.  Is there a baby who was born prematurely?  They would be very susceptible to catching your child's illness and getting it worse than your child.  Does anyone have a child with asthma, allergies, a weak respiratory system, liver disease, kidney disease. . .I think you get my point. 

I hope you all have a happy healthy holiday season.  But let's think before making a selfish choice please. . . your choices impact other's lives.

In Christ,
Maureen

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Improvements and Road Rage


Today we had Lizzie's check up with the pediatric opthamologist.  While I love her doctor and as a rule I don't mind a drive (we drive normally 20 minutes from Everett to Redmond), I do have one pet peeve.  Being late.

I really, really, really dislike being late.  I prefer to be early, but I have children so let's be honest, that doesn't happen often these days.  I'm lucky if we make it on time or just a moment or so late.  Today though my navigation system decided to take me on the scenic route.  So what should have been a 30 minute drive at the most, turned into over an hour long drive with me stuck behind cars driving three miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone.  I was less than thrilled.  Especially when I thought I'd forgotten my phone at home so I couldn't call Dr. Lenart's office and let them know we were running later than usual.  Thankfully, I found my cell phone in my back pocket once I arrived, but it didn't improve my mood when we were in the office for all of five minutes and then done. 

Now I'm not one of those people who is going to get out of my car and start yelling at people.  That does not however, stop me from growling or muttering not so softly about driving.  You know it's not that I want to speed, I would just like to drive the actual posted speed limit!  I don't think I'm asking too much.  So no more listening to the GPS device, we will always take the highway, I leave earlier than needed anyway for a reason - I don't want to be late.  My time and the doctor's time is valuable.

Okay off my venting soap box.  On the good side, Elizabeth's vision has improved a line from 20/60 to 20/60.  This is good, because it means the letting her play video games, or doing school while she patches is helping her, which we needed to know.   And now we don't go back until January to see if we can make more progress with her vision.  For now we keep patching until we hit a plateau or it stops improving all together.

Oh and I discovered that when you are annoyed and driving, listening to Red isn't such a good idea.  It just agitated me more, Taylor Swift on the other hand, was more calming and I was able to take a few deep breaths. 

I hope you all have a good week.
 In Christ,
Maureen


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Single Parent Homes Equal Deprived?!

A woman asked about any other mom's doing the single parent thing who had children with severe illnesses today.  It's a good question, can you do it?  Absolutely, I know several single mom's whose children face Biliary Atresia or Autism and other health concerns who are have little to no support from the other parent. 

I grew up in a single parent home.  We didn't always have the money to do the stuff everyone else did, but we had a mom who would have done anything for us and would fight to the death to keep us safe.  Okay so Christmas wasn't a grand, financially extravagant vacation for most of my years, but it was for my brother and sister for several years when Mom was teaching, until health concerns made it too difficult for her to continue.  And you know what, I am more grateful and well balanced than my siblings.  I grew up understanding that we don't always get what we want from life without working hard.  While I spent my teen years babysitting to pay for what I wanted to do with our youth group or school activities, Matt and Meg didn't do this.  Instead they chose to gripe, and moan about how we were broke. 

I learned that hard work and determination will take you far.  Matthew has a great work ethic, because he realized Mom wasn't going back to teaching full time and he had to buy what he wanted himself.  However, Mom did do this.  She was home everyday when we got home.  If we were sick, even though we didn't have health insurance she made sure we went to the doctor - she kept how bad off we were from us as long as possible.  She also made sure we were able to enjoy the little things.

Christmas while not rich in gifts was rich with family, good cooking and memories I will carry with me for a long time to come.  I spent years taking piano lessons and I even got to study voice in college, which Mom encouraged me to do.  I may not have had the latest trends in clothing, but I had something better, clothes made with love by my mom and my Grandmother.  I still cherish and refuse to share the quilt my Grandma Taylor made, because it is made from snippets of clothing she made for my family over the years.  Swatches from Matthews jam shorts, Mom's dresses so she would look nice for work when she finished her Master's Degree in Chapter One Reading, Christmas dresses for Meg and I.  Those are memories that no amount of money will ever replace.

Would it have been a little easier to grow up in a house with two parents?  Absolutely, but we didn't and what we may have lacked in money, my mom more than made up for in love.

If that makes me deprived, then so be it, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Have a good week.
In Christ,
Maureen