When Kids Get Sick…

“What do you mean, I just have to lower her fever?” I asked incredulously, when the nurse told me over the phone I didn’t need to bring my daughter to the hospital just because she had a bit of fever and a common cold.  The first time my oldest got sick, I literally expected a team of top pediatricians, a few surgeons to assemble and discuss how to treat my kid. Was I in for a rude awakening. Namely, we were on our very own. So, I’ve learned to lower the fever.  Over the years, I got the hang of all those little sickness nuisances, without immediately calling for an ambulance. Now, I can tell when the good doctor is needed and when my expertise will do. But as soon as I mastered a cough we were on to a skin rash, when I knew all about the soar throat, we fell of a bike and needed stitches… I am always one step behind, trying to catch up, pretending I have everything under control… Still, what I do know (with just a disclaimer that I am writing just about regular little, common maladies and not serious conditions I know nothing of), is that when the kids get sick now:

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  • See a doctor.

At the end of the day, I am not a doctor, I am a Mom and while I don’t run to our pediatrician the second my kids tell me their tommy hurts, I do call or go there if it’s something I don’t feel I can cover with my zero knowledge of medicine. Fine, I am more  the better safe than sorry kind of person.

  • It’s not your fault.

I am not a bad Mom. I didn’t break them. Kids all over the world get sick, we get sick… Nobody is to blame. It’s viruses and bacteria and well, nobody is safe. I rather focus my energy on fixing the problem, than appointing blame.

  • It’s not the end of the world.

It’s a disease, not the apocalypse. I keep telling myself, it’s all a part of life. We’ll deal with it and move on to something else.

  • I will probably get sick in the next 48 hours.

That’s almost a given. While I might not get all the symptoms, I am definitely getting a soar throat, runny nose and well, you could call it the annoying combo. No, scrubbing my hands, washing everything, meticulous hygiene won’t help. I will eventually kiss my child, take a sip out of her cup… And forget ginger, honey, lemon, vitamin C… it won’t help. I will catch something.

  • Fake it till you make it.

Keep your cool. I’ve got this. Nothing I haven’t seen. When my youngest fell of the bike and she was bleeding all over her forehead, my first reaction was to run and hide. Then the oldest started crying when she saw the pure shock in my eyes and I realized, “0h, yeah, I’m the Mother here” she expects me to fix this. So, I pretended I had everything under control.

  • Have a glass of wine.

After dealing with my little patients for hours on end, I like to treat myself for a job well done – basically just surviving. Hey, I am a Mom, I’ve got this covered, or so, they think. But to be able to keep doing it all, I have to comfort myself as well, a glass of wine, piece of chocolate, well, that’s my medicine, when it all quiets down.

  • Don’t wish it was you.

Every time something bad happens to my kids, my immediate reaction is to wonder why couldn’t it be me. But then I remember, it’s all a part of life and if they don’t experience the good and the bad, I am crippling them, not preparing them to one day become complete adults. Besides it’s again energy better spent fixing the problem than dwelling on what ifs.

  • Don’t read on line forums.

If you do, you will run into your own trap. I have never found any truly useful information there, but in seconds after reading it, I became convinced my kids have every disease possible, I will never be able to fix it, the doctors can’t be trusted,… nothing can be done.

  • Yes. It could always be worse.

Finally, in the whole scope of things, it could always be worse: the fever could be higher, the cough tougher, the rash worse, more stitches… and that’s what keeps me rooted. Because basically it sucks when the kids get sick, plain and simple, but we deal with it.

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