Monday, February 20, 2012

When a parent gets sick

Recently, Patrick was sick with a stomach bug. This was the first time one of us has been really sick since Orion came into our life. I did not want me or the baby to get sick, so Patrick had to limit his contact with us and wash his hands constantly. It seemed to work as neither I nor the baby has yet to vomit. I did not get sick but it did leave me feeling like a single parent. I honestly do not know how single parents manage! My hat is off to you and wish you nothing but the best of luck. I am thankful for my husband in sickness and in health.

Patrick’s illness started Thursday night and continued until Sunday night. Friday went by without too much excitement. Saturday was such a beautiful day that it seemed to prove global warming. We live in Northern Virginia, it is late February and it got up to 59°. I am not sure what got into me but I was in super mom mode. Among other things, I cleaned the kitchen, went grocery shopping, and took both dogs and the baby for an afternoon walk. By the time I got Orion in his crib at 8 pm, I was exhausted. Yes, I did go to bed at 8 on a Saturday night. But I wasn’t asleep for long as Orion was up a few times throughout the night.

On Sunday, Orion was the only one who got changed out of his pajamas. It was late afternoon by the time I realized I had yet to brush my teeth or wash my face and I could not be bothered. It wasn’t until around that time that I realized Orion was cutting his 5th tooth. I knew 5 and 6 were on the way but didn’t even think they would pop up at a time like this. I was so exhausted and tired of Patrick being sick and Orion being fussy that my brain was not working.

Now that I knew Orion was working on a tooth, I could at least give him something to make him feel better. Oh how we love Hyland's teething tablets! I am amazed that we all got 8 hours of sleep on Sunday night! Monday has seemed to be easier to deal with because of a good night’s sleep. Patrick is not yet 100% and my on again off again week long migraine still pays me a visit. Thankfully, Orion has been less fussy and has not been in crazy play mode. His new tooth doesn’t seem to be causing him too much trouble today.

What can a parent do when they get sick? Sadly, the answer is nothing; you still have to be a parent. You can ask for help but if you are like us living without family in the area, you might not be able to get help. The best thing you can do is to try to not get sick in the first place. Wash your hands, avoid sick people, drink plenty of water, eat your vegetables, and get a yearly flu shot. There is still no guarantee that these steps will prevent you from getting sick.

The reality is that you will, at some point, get sick. Things that need to get done will not get done. Dishes might pile up, the dogs won’t get walked, and the floors won’t get cleaned. It really doesn’t matter as long as the kids are being taking care of and you are trying to get better. You have to push through it and hopefully your spouse will be able to help.

I know I will get sick and I have been waiting to get sick for months and months. I have spent a lot of time over the past 6 years being sick. A diagnosis was a long time coming but eventually it turned out to be M.S. Luckily I have been on a wonderful medication, Copaxone, for the past 3 years. It was this drug that gave me the good health to get pregnant. I stayed on the drug throughout my pregnancy and still take it daily.

I am trying to not fear the inevitable. When I get sick, I will deal with it because what other choice do I have. I am no longer the warm gooey center of my universe, Orion is and I wouldn’t change that. I just hope we never get sick at the same time!

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