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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Breathing Treatment Polka

It's been a challenging day.  I woke up on the wrong side of the bed to begin with and it took a considerable amount of coffee and my morning devotional before I felt like a civil human being.  The babies did not seem to notice, something of which I am proud as it speaks to my self-control, not my natural temperament.  Baby Boy had a chronic case of the giggles all morning long.  Unfortunately, he also had a pronounced wheeze in his chest. He has been coughing for the past few days but I put it down to hay fever since he's otherwise well.  But this morning, his lungs were making noises I couldn't ignore.

My pediatrician had an opening at 9:30, so we hurriedly piled into the car and it was back to Frisco.  The doctor listened to his lungs.  He was definitely wheezing.  My reaction was mixed.  For one thing, it's always nice when you go to the doctor and they actually hear or see the thing you are concerned about.  You stop feeling crazy.  But, for another, I hate for anything to be wrong with my kids.  Since there was a complete lack of any other symptoms, they are guessing food allergy.  I'm guessing dairy.  Baby Boy was really allergic to dairy for his first year and a half.  I thought he had grown out of it but, then again, maybe not.  So the solution was not a bad one.  Some breathing treatments to clear up the present problem and cutting dairy from his diet.  Then if it recurs, we'll go from there.

Breathing treatments are nothing new in my house.  I have asthma.  Eddie had a few respiratory illnesses that required albuterol.  Baby Girl has had breathing issues since she was a mere peanut.  But, so far, Baby Boy was a stranger to the nebulizer and, quite frankly, I liked it that way.

Despite my initial sour mood and the unexpected trip to the doctor's office, I was holding up pretty well.  Baby Boy was a champ, no tears or fussing involved, and afterwards he requested "Books" as his treat.  This means a trip to Half Price Books, which is also a treat for me.  They picked out a children's book apiece (okay, I let him get two) and I found a set of CDs called "Polka Til You Drop" for three bucks.  If that's not a mood changer, I don't know what is!  Okay, okay, keep the comments to yourselves...

The time came, however, when it was time to give the breathing treatment.  My experience administering these has been highly unpleasant.  Baby Girl and Eddie have many similarities in their personalities, one being an ability to scream bloody murder, hold their breaths, and make any medical procedure extremely unpleasant for everyone involved.  No matter how cute the little "duck mask" is or what video I put on, it's going to get ugly.  Baby Boy isn't like that.  He is much more likely to be very sad and cry.  I wasn't looking forward to either reaction.

I got neither:  no screaming and no tears.  I told him what we were going to do, using the duck mask as a selling point.  He didn't really want to, but when I insisted, he agreed.  He was so unbelievably sweet about the whole thing.  He has the sweetest heart.  I could tell it made him nervous, but he trusted me.  He tried to take the breathing mask off, but when I told him that he had to breathe in all the medicine first, he simply said, "Okay, Mommy."  For some reason, this just broke my heart.

I am fiercely protective of my children.  There were times when Eddie was in the hospital undergoing some stressful or painful procedure that I had to restrain myself from physically harming those administering it.  There were times when I was less than civil to hospital personnel.  Okay, once I made a resident cry.  I know it's nothing to be proud of, but I know also that Eddie always knew I was his champion.  Whenever my tone would rise into what Phillip calls my "lawyer voice," Eddie would clap his little hands together with glee like, "you tell 'em, Mom!"  He trusted me even though he knew from experience that I couldn't protect him from everything.

I can't protect Baby Boy and Baby Girl from everything either.  I know this, but it bothers me nonetheless.  Because they trust me to make it all better and to make it all okay.  Overachiever that I am, I want to be able to rise to that call.  I am proud that my kids trust me, that Baby Boy was willing to do something he didn't want to do because I told him it would make things better.  I just pray that God gives me the judgment to make the right calls, to be worthy of that trust.  There is no task greater than being a parent, but none more overwhelming either.  God is helping me through it, one baby step at a time.  He allows me to wake up on the wrong side of the bed but have a right attitude.  He enables me to do what I have to do for my kids even when it's hard.  I'm not going to look ahead.  Though I know there will be harder challenges to face than the detour we had today, I know better than to dwell on that fact.  I'm going to enjoy the rollicking sound of them having "quiet time" in their room right now, fix myself a cup of coffee, and crank up the polka tunes.            

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