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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Empathy

Ok, I haven't had to work outside the home pretty much since 2000. I did a stint when Jeff was on his second deployment but other than that, I've been extremely fortunate that we're able to make it on only 1 income. For that, I give homage to my wonderful husband who works so hard for us. :) And even when I WAS working, I only had 1 child, and it was only for 5 months. There were a couple times when I had to call in to work & say I wasn't coming in because Emma was sick, and I couldn't drop her off at daycare.

Fast forward to now, where I'm back in college, albeit only 3 days a week, and only one of those classes is during the day. NOW when one of my kids gets sick, I'm not missing work, I'm missing class. This can get complicated since one of my instructors has basically said: if you're not dying, it's not excusable. So I'm just hoping my explanation will be enough.

Sarah woke up Sunday night breathing funky. She was already congested from a cold, plus she had pink eye. Poor thing was miserable. But, this was scary, since I'd never heard her like this before, nor any of my kids. I don't have a pulse oximeter at home, so I couldn't get any readings as to whether or not she was getting enough oxygen. So, off to the ER we went, at midnight. Her O2 readings were normal, but she still sounded bad. The doc on call heard her do her weird breathing thing once & immediately said, that's stridor, she's got croup. ::sigh:: I kinda figured that's what it was, but since none of my kids had ever had that, I couldn't be sure. They give her a dose of decadron & a breathing treatment. The treatment she tolerated well, the nasty tasting medicine, not so much. They suctioned out her nose with an industrial strength snot-sucker (that thing's awesome, I want one), and said to wait & see how she reacted. We tried to rest, but something I don't think they realized (or didn't care) but both of those medications WIRE CHILDREN UP. So, instead of resting at 1am, she was all over the place, wanting to climb & explore. I was exhausted, and was trying to keep her from climbing up & grabbing the chest tubes off the shelf. I finally got her to calm down by laying down on the itty bitty ER bed with her. They decided that she sounded good, and at 2:15am we were sent home. With instructions that if she got worse, or didn't get better, to come back. Plus eye drops for her pink eye.

It was FREEZING as we were walking to the car, so before collapsing into bed when we got home, I took a sneak peek at weather.com to see what the temp was: a big fat 0, with a wind chill of -11. Welcome to Michigan. LOL

She's been doing ok this week, but this morning has a juicy cough, a nasty green nose, and was up half the night with the stridor thing again. When I got back from class, I sat with her in the steamy bathroom for about 20 minutes. Jeff was worried about her being upstairs, so we brought her down to the couch where she slept all night so we could hear her if she started to struggle again. So no school for her or me today.

So, back to the title of my post: empathy. I've always had empathy for working parents. My mother was one. And for most of my life, she was a single working parent. Which meant that when I was sick, she had to call in to work. And I remember being sick on a number of occasions. And I was only 1 kid. So with 3, when I start working, or even now while in college, this should be interesting. Definitely something new to deal with.

1 comment:

Megan's got 47 said...

I am so sorry the kids are sick.
That stinks!
Croup is scary the first time you hear it, I can remember the 1st night Megan had it and I freaked.
Good luck with your courses and tell the professor that you'll just bring the contagious sick kid with you if she doesn't mind ;)
Good luck and I can empathize!