When my friends contemplate to me about how they will handle children, stating that they aren't sure if they have it in them to be parents, the comment I usually make is that no one is truly ready. Parenting is on-the-job training, whether you have one kid or six kids; no two snowflakes are alike, no two raising-the-kid experiences are alike.
Similar, but not the same.
As always, my on-the-job training is always challenged by my oldest. I've mentioned before, every time is the first time with him, so if I am going to fall on my face, usually it's because his foot is the one that tripped me.
I imagined this week to be an easy one, that we would coast through this little procedure and he'd be eating popsicles, drinking milkshakes, and bouncing back. We'd hang out, I could maybe run a few errands and work on some projects around the house, and by this time, he'd be well on his way to feeling better.
I noticed yesterday morning, my mind started the nag-nag-nag of woman, something was just not right; that Nolan was way too lethargic for just pain meds. I started to mentally add up his sips and realized that he'd not been drinking much, only when I gave him his medicine, the nasty tasting but effective liquid codeine he got during the day. Hmm. "Son, when did you pee last?" garnered something I didn't bargain for: he held up his fingers in a O. Not at all. Not all morning. "What about yesterday?" To my horror, he held up two fingers.
I called the doctor's office, but didn't hear back right away. I called again in a few hours, as the day had grown longer and I worried about the office closing and not getting back to me in time.
I spoke with the nurse, and she told me to do what I was already doing. Nolan seemed compliant, so I figured it was worth a shot.
Although I doubted that he was suddenly going to succumb to my onslaught of daily "here, drink this *shake, water, gatorade, juice* eat this *ice chips, pudding, popsicles, broth*" (Nothing is more frustrating to me, who likes feeding people, to see someone struggle so hard at just swallowing.) I was comfortable trying, with a little altered approach, but was a little pissed that the nurse suggested I threaten him with the prospect of an IV, like that would scare him into drinking, like that was the only reason he was being stubborn about it.
I also got a call from the nurse practitioner, and we covered the same ground. I'm not afraid to be Dr. Mom, Nurse Ratched, whatever. But right now, Nolan just wanted Mom. It has been really hard for me all the way around, knowing I'd have to be both.
This week, of bonding and relaxation? I've spent it pacing, squirting meds into his mouth, and holding him, patting his head, holding his hand as much as I can.
In the middle of all of this yesterday, the kids had running club, Ben had a band concert, and we also got progress reports from school.
Ben's sucked. Ryan's sucked. They are usually good students, so I was surprised. And pissed.
And who did I blame?
Me. I've been busy trying to balance working more and four kids in school; along with the volunteering thing I do for the school as well. I realize I haven't been as attentive as I usually am, and granted, the kids are bigger, this should be a piece of cake. Theoretically. It always looks better on paper.
So I had my first meltdown of the day, and as I told Mr W I blamed myself, and he stewed about Ben's really crap report, I told him maybe I could work my hours in a way that weighted the bulk of them to the weekend so I could be more available to the kids during the week. Mr W proceeded to let me know exactly what he felt was necessary on my end, annoyance in his voice, on his face, the least of which included him letting me know exactly how he feels about my volunteer thing...and it ended with my feeling upset. Then irritated.
Granted, the volunteer thing I do is a big thing I dofor the school, no one knows more than I what a pain it can be. But I like it. I am realizing that in my current situation, I need to delegate more, and I am getting there. I like my job, too, and to work more hours has been rewarding to me, even if it means more juggling at home.
For him to attack it like he did yesterday really hurt me--because I hate it that I am the one who always (it seems to me) has to give up something I like for the greater good of our whole. It was particularly uncharacteristic of Mr W to be so resentful, and having him get a little loud about it was too much for me when I was already mentally flagellating myself.
We worked it out. (I think.)
Mr W stayed home with Nolan, and I hit the band concert for Ben (they were good, I love the little band geeks, I love watching their moving lips as they count the music to themselves), when I came home Mr W and I went to run a couple of quick errands, taking the newspapers to be recycled and picking up some food for the kids...when my phone rang as we returned, we were turning on our street, Ben telling me that Nolan was asking for me.
I got into the house and he motioned to me that he was nauseous. So nauseous he didn't mind that I had to give him the lovely anti-nausea, um, suppository. I told him to just let the medicine work, and went into the kitchen to let Mr W know what was going on. And I started to cry. Really, I just had had enough of watching the boy suffer, as had Mr W, and I lost my game face. He stood between me and the other kids--reminding me if I was upset, they would be, too-- and talked to me, calming me down. He didn't bat an eyelash when I asked if he could stay home again with us today; then we went back to check on Nolan, and he seemed settled.
But fifteen, maybe thirty minutes later, he came into the kitchen to tell me it was time for his medicine, and alarm crossed his face. I knew that look in an instant and turned him immediately over the sink while calling for his Dad.
Thank goodness he didn't throw up any blood. But I was ready to throw an IV into him myself at this point, and I called the on call dr who agreed/told me to take him in.
Luckily, I got him to Urgent Care within fifteen minutes of them closing, and they took really good care of him. Two liters of fluids, some anti-nausea meds, and *lordy* 4 mg of morphine later, and my boy was looking better. Sleeping, but clearly, his body was much more relaxed than I'd seen it all day, and in retrospect, in a couple of days (in spite of what I was administering at home).
And who did mentally kick, thinking that I should have listened to my instincts and cart him in at 10 am and not 10 pm?
We got home around midnight. I had Mr W help me get him outside, and after I put everything down, I walked down the hall, and heard the best sound I'd heard all day.
The boy was peeing like a racehorse.
My challenge today is to get him to stay hydrated, as well as keep him more comfortable. I'd been leaning towards the lower end of his dosage scale because he wasn't letting me know it wasn't quite cutting it. I told him it was better to be a little less conservative if it meant he would be more willing to drink.
When I woke him up, for the morning dose, he seemed much different this morning. His color is better, he is actually looking more like himself. I told him I'd get him up in a couple of hours for a pedialyte popsicle.
Hopefully today will be a better day. Cuz if it's not, and I wind up in Urgent Care again...
I'll be requesting a happy IV for me, too.