Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Day After...

It's official. He has an ear infection in his left ear.

Our dearly beloved Dr. Brockman expressed genuine surprise at seeing us in the office again. Let me explain: We have lived in Charlotte for over five years. In those five years, we have visited the doctor's office for sick visits only once - Kristiana had poison ivy. Daniel and Kristiana had their annual check-ups in December. So for her to see us again less than two months after his check-up is highly irregular. Unheard of, actually.

Once we established that, she examined Daniel's ears, quickly diagnosed his ear infection, and then sat down to explain to us that the reason why Daniel has this problem (apart from all the illness going around) is that he is "a school virgin." This is his first winter of exposure to all the illness and contagion that run rampant in schools at this time of year. So while other kids may be battling the flu, Daniel is dealing with a childhood illness that his schoolmates dealt with years ago. (Here's where I hope and pray that all the salad and fruit and whole wheat bread and homemade sweet potato chili and orange juice we consume around here and the 15 months of drinking mama's milk eleven years ago will serve to keep his immune system strong!) Yet another benefit of homeschooling acknowledged by a physician: less illness!

So he's on amoxycillin tablets twice per day, drinking Airborne with water, and washing his hands as often as I ask.

Kristiana has snapped out of her funk and is her usual quiet, smiling, low-maintenance self.

Here's how our day went: Kristiana and I dropped him off at school just before 7:30 am. (On the way there, we watched the woman in the minivan in front of us put rollers in her hair. Seriously! Every time traffic stopped she grabbed a handful of hair and rolled it. We talked about the craziness of rushing around like that in the morning.)

Then Kristiana and I went to a coffee shop near her photography class and relaxed for 45 minutes. Off to class for her. We came back home for three hours of homeschooling. I left her here to get more of her school work done when I set out to go get him at school. From school to the doctor's office. Then back to school. I sat in the parking lot and did some writing and reading of my own until his day was over. Then I drove him from school to CVS to get his pills. While we waited for the prescription to be filled, we walked across the parking lot to Trader Joe's to pick up some Vitamin C and hummus.

(Aside here: as we entered TJ's, I noticed a woman and a young boy entering the store. I told Daniel that the boy was blind. He didn't believe me, so he walked back to where they were to observe. When he returned, he said, "I wish I was blind." I know Daniel well enough to know that it's not a morbid or flip curiosity. That son of mine is the single most compassionate, tender-hearted human being I have ever known. He truly wants to know the sorrows of others so that he can understand their situation and pray for them. With that, he took hold of my arm and walked back across the parking lot, into CVS, and all the way back to the pick-up counter with his eyes closed. [He is a robust pre-adolescent, so he asked me to tell him if I saw any pretty girls. He didn't want to miss out. I told him that if he were really blind, he'd have to appreciate the beauty of girls through their voices and kind personalities. Whatever, Mom...] This is the same boy who, when we were in Spain nearly three years ago did not want to get onto a subway train until a man on crutches who was behind us could get there. I was too impatient to wait, so we got onto the train anyway. Daniel wept.)

Back to my story of today: We are here at home, and they are both doing their homework. We made it!

One great blessing about the busyness of this day and all the run-around I had to do is this: I had time alone with each of my children, time to talk and laugh and be. Time to tend to their emotional and physical needs. Time to ask and answer their myriad questions. (On the way to school, Daniel wanted to know why people who throw bombs - I explained the concept of grenades - don't get hurt by them. I told them that sometimes those people do get hurt by the grenades they throw. That led to a discussion of the horrors of bombs and grenades and land mines and all things related to war. Later on, he wanted to know why he couldn't sign the form at the doctor's office or the credit card pad at Trader Joe's.)

As for me, I stayed up late last night writing in my journal and reading and talking myself through much of what was ailing me yesterday. I woke up this morning with the resolve to receive each event of the day with patience and gratitude. I was determined to remind myself repeatedly that I have two marvelously strong and healthy kids, that this illness is an aberration from that, and that together we would work it all out. Thanks be to God that we were able to handle all that came our way... and nothing we faced today was worth the angst I felt yesterday.

Plus this morning I had a chance to spend nearly an hour talking to another homeschooling mom who lives in our neighborhood. Many laughs and realizations and lessons learned and words of encouragement to someone else whose perspective on childhood, learning, and family togetherness mirrors my own.

A mug and a half of a mixture of rooibos sweet amore and plum harvest teas sweetened with German rock sugar didn't hurt either.

On this, the day after a serious pity party, all is well.
I am well.

Life is good.
God is good.

Addendum at 11:15 pm -
Did anybody see the lunar eclipse tonight?
Absolutely amazing.


Amy said...

Gail ... God is good. Whether in in an "up" period or a "down" period, He is always there. I'm glad you got quality time with the kids, and I hope Daniel is better soon. Rhett's still battling the flu.

Smell Goods '98™ said...

Ugh, sorry Daniel. I truly hope you feel a lot better very soon. Yes, McVay4 saw the eclipse last night. A beautiful sight.

Virginia said...

Gail -

Sounds like it's rare for your kids to take antibiotics. Be sure Daniel gets active ingredient yogurt or sweet acidophplus - sp.? - milk. He'll need to keep replacing the good bacteria for several weeks after he finishes the antibiotic cycle. Otherwise, he may get intractable yeast infections and have digestive problems.

Also, be aware that antibiotics wipe a lot of kids out for as long as several weeks after they finish them. That can be scary so be sure he knows. I'd scale back his activities a bit for a week or two to give him extra rest and extra emotional transition time (illness plus antibiotics can make them emotionally drained and sensitive).

And watch very carefully for a repeat of the ear infection or that it isn't totally gone.

Lisa said...

This is the true stuff of life. Bless you, my dear, for being present and engaged for it! I love your sweet family and adore reading these play-by-play dramas and imaging that I'm right there with you in the minivan. (Which we soon will be!!!)

I didn't see the eclipse, but awoke in the night and saw the bright full moon shining down and blasting a shadow of a bare winter tree on the blanket of glistening snow. It was breathtaking!