Have you ever experienced a season of life where you wondered if that season would ever come to an end? One, where when you think the door is about to close, it swings wide open again? Well I have been walking through that season! Nothing too serious has happened, just a continuous series of fevers and sickness at our home. The first week of September, I, the mom, came down with strep throat. It was a horrific experience! I just don’t remember it being that awful when I was a child and I had strep a lot as a child! The odd thing is, I really don’t know where I got strep from…usually at this stage of our lives we pick up sicknesses from our children. Well after a week out of work I woke up that next Monday morning ready to get back to my job, and I hear this, “Mommy, it hurts inside my mouth.” Oops…I knew immediately I needed to get my sweet girl to the doctor and I am glad I did. I had passed the strep throat on to her. After another week out of work, I woke up the next Monday morning ready to face my pile of work to catch up on, when I realized my little man had a fever and symptoms of the strep throat. Thankfully, he did not have strep; however, he had a list of symptoms that had no “cure” except to ride it out. In the middle of all this chaos we had reached out to our pediatrician about getting a referral for AK to see an ENT about an ongoing issue with her night-time breathing and snoring. We like to use the Children’s Hospital ENT clinic for these types of things, and when they offer you an appointment, you take it! So, just as Lucas man was getting well, we headed off to Birmingham for our ENT visit. We were concerned about the size of AK’s adenoids and the effect that was having on her breathing, her growth, and the development of her mouth. (Parents, always trust your instincts!) The doctor confirmed our concerns and suggested we have both her tonsils and adenoids removed. They offered a surgery date one week from that appointment. It was a bit overwhelming, but we decided to take it because we knew with the holidays approaching and busy work schedules that this was as good a time as any.
Last Monday we took our precious 3 year old daughter to have her first surgery. This child has rarely ever been sick and usually bounces back rather quickly, so you can imagine my concern for her as she was going into this situation.
We fasted and prayed and anointed our precious baby girl before the surgery. We prayed very specific prayers concerning her level of pain, her ability to eat afterwards, her reactions coming off anesthesia, and for no nausea and vomiting. Praise Jesus! The Lord heard and answered every one of our prayers! She was even up and playing like a well little girl just hours after her surgery. She has been a fantastic patient, eating well, resting well and ready to get back to normal life.
Did I mention this was now the 4th week I've missed of work?! I have never been quite so tired as a mom and wife as I have this past month. My house has been neglected in ways I’d rather not admit, my husband has had to take time off work to take the kids to sick appointments at the doctor, and to allow me a few hours to work each week. We haven’t slept well either! If you’re a parent, you know how little quality sleep you can get when your little ones don’t feel good.
I tell you all that to say this: Sometimes you just have dance in the rain storms of life! Sometimes you just have to forget about the rain or in our case the fevers and sore throats and find the good in order to get enough strength to finish the day.
This is what I discovered:
- One on one time with each child was such a blessing, even if they were sick.
- I have an amazing job that gave me grace enough to work from home, doing the bare minimum and still receive their blessing to stay home and care for my family.
- God does answer prayers.
- My husband is a good daddy – even taking time out of his day to attend “mommy and me” gymnastics.
- Our pediatrician is amazing, allowing me to send her text messages late in the evening with concerns about the kids while they were sick.
- Both my mother and my mother-in-law are always there to help when we need them.
- Our church family has cared for us, loved us, and blessed us through this past month.
- I watched my child breathe through her nose for the first time while sleeping just 3 hours after her surgery, even though they told us she would snore for about 2 weeks due to swelling. This was the most precious thing to me, watching AK sleep in peace.
I wouldn't trade one fever or late night for anything else because those are the things I was able to learn and take away from this very long month. Yes, I am still tired, but each day I celebrate what we've over come the day before. Like this morning I was up administering pain meds at 4:15am, which was better than the 2:20am the morning before!
I am so glad that we have been able to walk through this experience as a family because it has made us stronger. It has drawn us closer to one another. It has forced us to slow down, stay in, eat dinner at home around our family table, and enjoy one another’s company. It has also reminded us of the importance of leaning on God to get you through each day, each trial, and each challenge.
We are all on the mend now, and are looking forward to more normal days in the weeks ahead. Bu let me encourage you, if you are facing a storm – take some time to dance in the rain…you’ll be glad you did!