Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sick and Sleepless

I was, er, "blessed" with two kids who don't sleep well when they're ill. Lily remains our good sleeper, and other than some night stirrings when she's sick, you can generally get her to go back to sleep on her own (parents with kids like this don't know how lucky they are). Claire and Molly are the ones who demand parental attention. And both Claire and Molly as babies and toddlers think the best cure for feeling ill is to sleep on mom. Problem is, mom gets no sleep that way while child fitfully sleeps.

And that just about sums up my night last night. I'm running on fewer than four hours of sleep, a little shaky and a lot worse for the wear. And my own head cold has ramped up too. But I'm not allowed to notice that, now am I?

Unfortunately for me, tonight will follow the same pattern (Molly wanting to sleep on me, me getting no sleep) on a night when we are preparing for Lily's ear tube surgery tomorrow. Lily has to be at the hospital at 6:45am, so for the moment I've punted the hospital duty to Kyle because I know I can't do two nights of 3 1/2 hours of sleep and get Lily to the hospital on time tomorrow. I'm beat.

I took Molly (and Lily) to the doctor's office at 9:45am this morning. What she has is viral and there's nothing we can do to help her right now. Her rapid strep test came back negative despite a raw looking throat. But what I didn't like is that she had five days of fevers barely a week ago, and now she's on her fourth day of a fever this week. This morning at 6am I logged her at a 104.2-degree temp. Her skin was burning hot, and she was miserable. It's at those moments I feel most helpless as a mom. I couldn't help other than give her more Motrin and beg her to drink some Gatorade.

I was, however, able to help her at lunchtime today. I got the first test of my Heimlich maneuver skills which sent the adrenaline rushing. Molly was goofing around eating curly fries at Arby's and she tossed one into her mouth. Unfortunately for her, it lodged in her throat in the wrong way and she couldn't breathe or gag it up. I grabbed her, paused a half second to decide if I should yell for help (I didn't), turned her upside down and whacked her hard on the back. The offending piece of curly fry shot out of her mouth and she looked utterly stunned but didn't cry. The Arby's employees who see us every Tuesday rushed over to make sure she was OK and she smiled coyly. Yes, all was OK, and I momentarily forgot just how tired I was.

I beg again - could we return to uneventful days please?

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