There are moments when I stop and think, "He's doing so well, maybe one day he can go to school.", or, "I wonder if we could take him on a vacation in an airplane?", or, "sure, it's respiratory season, but we can get out as a family and have a nice weekend in a crowded mall.".
And then, we find ourselves up in the wee hours of the morning counting number of times our boy is vomiting, or how little he's been peeing, or pooping. Packing bags, and gathering medicines, and on our way to emergency because we know he's sick.
We watch him get sicker and sicker, not knowing what is going on because he can't tell us. He looks at us with scared eyes, wanting us to make it better. But we don't know what to do to make it better.
Yesterday morning, after I woke from my one hour of sleep, I felt dizzy, and nauseous, and sick to my stomach. I had just lived through one of the most stressful moments with Max, without Steve there to take over when I couldn't keep my brave face on. I racked the sick feeling up to being stressed, and not having any rest. I barely made it to the restroom before I got sick.
I came out and thought I just needed to eat a little something because meals are so few and far between while we're there. I barely finished my crackers before I was getting sick again. I let the nurse know that I thought I was sick and I would be staying away from Max's bedside and let them do their work.
Steve arrived about the time I was going in for my third violent vomiting session, and got my sister to come by the hospital to take me home since I didn't think I could sit upright, let alone drive home by myself.
All of this was happening as the doctors and nurses were deciding that Max was too sick to be on the floor and needed constant supervision by the doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit. They rolled him down and I waited for my sister to come up to get me.
I got sick on the way home, and a couple more times once I got here. This illness is one of the most violent sicknesses I've had in years. It's knocked me down. It's everything embarrassing and disgusting that happens with a stomach flu, and yet, I'm on my way to feeling much better after 24 hours. I'm still not at the place where I can be at the hospital, but well enough to eat a little and keep hydrated on my own. And while my stomach still feels like it's got a blender inside of it, my fever is gone and I'm not vomiting anymore.
My being sick has been a sort of blessing in disguise for the moment. As soon as I told the nurse I was sick, she said "Good! That likely means it's a virus he's got! Be sure to tell the doctors when they do rounds". I did, and they all were 'pleased' to know that I was also sick. It gives them a direction to go with. While I've felt awful, and it knocked me out for a couple of days. It's not put me in the PICU with seizures, and fevers of 104f, and uncontrolled shaking throughout my whole body. It's been a setback for a couple of days for me, but has made my son critically ill.
It's moments like these that bring us back to reality. How very sick he can get from the most common of colds. How very diligent we have to be about washing hands, not kissing him on the face during respiratory season, not being around him if we're sick, removing shoes at the front door, staying away from crowded areas, not going to school, or the hospital, or anywhere kids tend to be. Because this little flu bug has knocked him down so hard.
He's being watched after by his dad-dad, who is doing a wonderful job of juggling doctors, and sleeping, and getting away to eat. But, we need to be there together. Steve needs to stay well. Abbey needs to stay well. I need to get better, and Max needs to get better.
The other day Abbey said she was so glad we weren't going to be in the hospital on Christmas this year. I knocked on the table and said "knock on wood we won't be.", then explained to her what knock on wood meant, since she hadn't heard that phrase before. We're all knocking on wood that we don't have to spend Christmas in the hospital again this year, but if that's where he needs to be to get better, then we'll be there with him.