Monday, December 12, 2011

Talking Through My Panic

You know how sometimes your kids will scare you? I mean, really scare you - not just shake you up a bit? Today, I took my youngest in for allergy shots just as I've been doing approximately three times a week for the last few months. Nothing notable happened while we were at the doctor's office other than his statement that these shots hurt more than the other ones. (We had just moved up into a higher concentration of medicine, the last step before hitting the 'real' allergy shot dose.) But all during the 30 minute observation period at the doctor's office, there were no signs of a bad reaction.

No. Why have a dangerous reaction at the doctor's office if you can have it at home later on? His body decided to go into an allergic asthma attack during the 15 minutes I left him at home while I ran to the grocery store to pick up four items for dinner. Picture this: the second I walk back into the house, he meets me at the door begging for his asthma inhaler. I was surprised I couldn't hear the wheezing from the front yard. It was THAT BAD. And yes, I felt like the worst mother on the planet.

Within 10 minutes the asthma inhaler and Benadryl seemed to have things under control, but he's still not completely cured - even at this late hour. I honestly think his arm will be bruised tomorrow from the swelling where he received one of his injections. All of this started at about 4:15 this afternoon and it seems to me that I have been talking constantly for the last five hours. Whenever I stop talking, panic starts to set in and I really, really don't like that feeling.

I've spoken to the after hours nurse twice (once when I thought things were going to be ok and then again 10 minutes after that when I realized his injection site had quadrupled in size), spoken with my husband CONSTANTLY, and finally been coached by my mom who went through the exact same thing with my own baby brother back in the 1970's.

Talk, talk, talk. I talk because I need a bit of reassurance but I honestly think that I also just sometimes need to hear the sound of my own voice. It keeps the demons away to a certain extent. I don't want to hear those voices reminding me that although I chose to have this child and I can do my very best to protect him, he has his own demons to fight during his life and I am not in control of the outcome. Asthma is a demon that is very real in my family. I'm grateful for modern medicine and beyond grateful that we have access to health care, unlike so many Americans, but that damn asthma demon doesn't seem to be going anywhere in the near future.

So to keep my fears at bay, I talk, talk, talk. And write in my blog. And at the end of the evening I do remember to pray. The first prayer that comes to mind is, shockingly, one of gratitude. For my family (especially my husband who listens to all the talk), for the fact that I could relatively easily pay $72 for a new asthma inhaler and epi-pens tonight, and simply for every single breath that we are able to take.

I guess Mary had some health scares with her little boy a couple of thousand years ago. Every mother does. Who knew that being forced to learn about epi-pen use for the first time in my life would make me look at Christmas in a whole new light? We bring life into the world and do the best we can...but I guess it always comes down to faith in the long run.

1 comment:

Megan Willome said...

"asthma, Christmas, epi-pens." Eloquent, Jenn. I'm so sorry he and you have to deal with the asthma demons.