Saturday, July 21, 2007

An Emotional Purge

For the past week, my daughter has been sick with rotavirus. What a nasty, nasty virus! At first, we thought maybe she was having diarrhea from teething -- she has at least three molars trying to break through along with a couple eye teeth. But she got worse and worse. She stopped eating and started sleeping more and more. The diarrhea was incessant.

By Wednesday, it was obvious that we needed immediate medical intervention. We headed up to the pediatrician who sent us to the ER for an IV of fluids. After two hours of fluids, she was still extremely lethargic and was admitted into the hospital. I spent the night with her in the hospital while Big M was at home with Little M. Bright Eyes would only sleep laying on my chest. Consequently, I only got about an hour or two of sleep.

She remained in the hospital until Friday afternoon. During that time, Big M and I switched off hospital duty and Little M duty. We were constantly TXTing each other with updates, trying to manage the logistics which parent was with which child, updating relatives and trying to take care of ourselves as well.

During all of this, Bright Eyes had a diaper rash so bad that even the nurses gasped at the sight of it. Most of her hiney was raw and bleeding. It was pitiful! They whipped up an amazing diaper rash cream that worked miracles which was a relief.

Through all of this, I held myself together and kept my cool. Inside, I wanted to scream every time they poked my baby for blood or woke her to take her blood pressure. I wanted to cry with her when changing her diaper made her scream in pain. I remained calm for her so she could rely on me for comfort and security. I held her and whispered in her ear that it would all right even as the scary nurses approached with the thermometer.

We got her home but had run out of magic diaper rash cream and didn't have it for two diaper changes. During that time, the rash came back with a vengeance. Someone had told me to give her a baking soda soak so I did. Then, my brain said, "Hrm. If a *soak* will help, why not just put some on the rash area?" And so I did. And she screamed. And screamed. And screamed. I rushed her into the bathroom and used the detachable shower head to rinse her off. I wrapped her in a fluffy towel and sat on the floor rocking her and trying to sing to her as I sobbed.

Big M arrived home during this. Once Bright Eyes was soothed and back in bed, I explained to him what happened and just poured out all my stress and fears and and and... and everything. All the emotions came pouring out of me. My heart healed a bit and my psyche pulled itself back together.

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