When your child is ALWAYS SICK

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Last week, as we joyfully celebrated my son’s first birthday we also celebrated another milestone: another trip to the pediatrician’s office. I’m really starting to feel like I should have a VIP parking spot or some kind of frequent visitor punch card.  For more than half of my sweet baby’s life, he has battled a multitude of illnesses.  All of which my pediatrician says are normal for an infant in daycare and experiencing his first cold and flu season (not what any mom wants to hear).  I’m just not really sure how much more my heart can take watching my son in misery with yet another illness.  My husband and I are exhausted from sleepless nights, weary from rocking him in the middle of the night because his feverish body cannot get comfortable, and heartbroken as we hold him down, again, kicking and screaming, for another shot or medical procedure.

I wish I had answers or a cure to offer, but I don’t. Honestly, I’m plain out of ideas myself. And if you too have a frequently ill child, you know all the doctor can tell you is “this is normal” and offer suggestions for comfort. As the old adage goes, I keep him comfortable and hydrated and just hope that he feels better (and stays better) soon, but goodness it hurts my mommy heart to see him so miserable, all too often.

In the past sicks six months my sweet boy has battled countless ear infections, a stomach bug, a viral illness with fever, RSV, an eye infection, an upper respiratory infection and PE tube placement followed by another ear infection. As a result, this constant battle with illness has slowed his weight gain because he feels too bad to eat or frequently throws up what we’ve fed him. Like so many moms with sick kids, I’m tired, frustrated and a bit heartbroken.  Here are my best suggestions to making it through the remainder of what is a hopefully very short cold and flu season.

1. Accept Help.

Whether it be a neighbor, family, spouse or friend who offers to make you dinner, keep your kids so you can work, or just chat with you on the phone while you rock a sleeping baby, accept any and all help you are offered.

2. Try non-traditional treatments.

I accept the fact that vapor rub and essential oils won’t cure all illnesses, but at this point, I’m willing to try anything to make my child more comfortable when he’s ill.  Ask your doctor for approval and fellow-moms for suggestions or recommendations.  What have you got to lose?

3. Find an enjoyable way to pass the time.

I’ve spent countless days home from work and have indulged in binge watching one of my favorite shows while my sick baby naps.  Netflix, Amazon Prime and social media will be your best companions as you soothe and comfort your sick little baby.

4. Divide and conquer.

My husband and I have become masters at splitting days at home with a sick child so we can both work (at least some).  Many times, trading places in the parking lot of the pediatrician’s office.

5. Find a support system.

Chat with other moms who are in similar situations.  They too have no answers, but can share in your misery and become a welcome listening ear.

6. Trust your gut.

Motherly instincts are strong. Trust them.  I have brought my son to the pediatrician many times when I just felt something wasn’t right.  Sure enough, nearly every time, my instincts were absolutely correct and he was indeed sick.

7. Look for a silver-lining.

Nothing can make an ongoing difficult situation better than finding a little optimism.  I have had to remind myself many times over the past few months that we have so much to be grateful for.

 

With the recurrent illnesses, I’ve struggled to maintain my sanity, but managed to find my silver-lining.  I’m so grateful that my children are not ill with a terminal or incurable illness, I’m blessed to have a flexible job and supportive coworkers when I call in almost every week, and we are fortunate to have a good health insurance plan that has kept us from completely draining our savings to pay medical bills.  For now, my son is finally on the mend and will hopefully stay well for many, many months.

Do you have a child who is always sick? How do you deal?

Jennifer is a native of Houma, LA, but moved to Baton Rouge nearly 10 years ago to be with the love of her life. She and her husband are proud parents to a spunky five-year-old daughter, Kendall, and curious two-year-old son, Keller. Jennifer works part-time as Speech Therapist treating the adult and geriatric populations. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking food from scratch for friends and family, shopping, exercising, volunteering in the community and exploring the wonderful world of wine! Jennifer believes that love is shown through food (as most Louisiana natives do) and enjoys filling the tummies of those for whom she cares. Jennifer is a member of the Junior League of Baton Rouge. Jennifer and her family are proud residents of the Baton Rouge area and love the culture and fun our community has to offer.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I certainly feel your pain on dealing with a sick child. When my little girl first went in to daycare she was sick all the time. We’ve done tubes, lots of trips to the doctor, antibiotics and plenty of late nights. The support system and being willing to take help are definitely important factors people need to accept. For me being a mom and an independent business owner I have to always have a plan for when she suddenly gets sick and I have clients the next day. So I’ve always got a plan on how to face these things when they occur. My mom, my dad, his mom and the neighbors are all on speed dial. Remember they’ve all been there before too!

    Articles like this one are good. It lets others know they’re not alone out there.

    • Michelle, Thanks for reading and giving such positive feedback. I know there are so many moms in the same boat. You are so lucky to have lots of family nearby to help out, unfortunately that isn’t the case for us so we do the best we can.

  2. My kid doesn’t go to daycare and we’re in the same boat. He’s now 2 and has been on 18 rounds of antibiotics, had two sets of PE tubes (first set got clogged), has had pneumonia twice, bronchiolitis 6 times, croup 3 times, diagnosed with asthma, and has had countless other minor illnesses like pink eye and upper respiratory in the mix. I agree with this advise. Especially the motherly instinct. Even my husband doubts my trips to the Dr, because my son NEVER runs a fever (has only had one once in all of this). But only once do I remember leaving the dr when they said “it’s a virus, just wait it out.” Even then, we were back two days later with pneumonia ?

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