Sick Child

Attachment-1 (43)It’s almost 10.  Might as well be midnight.   4 am wake-up and I’m up and listening in a quiet terrified way to my son breathing.   He had large tonsils and the cold he has isn’t helping.

What can I do?  Take him worried to a room full of sick people and get told he just needs his rest?  Mess up and not take him?

I wait.   His breath gets more ragged.   I record it so I have evidence if I decide to go.   I wait some more.   I shift him in his bed;  making him sit up, and find a better sitting position.

I double check the humidifier again and pray.  I’ve confirmed more than one that he’s had meds recently.   He shifts and I ruffle his hair gently.   And wait.  And pray.

What helps people breathe?  I search the Web on my phone from his bedside for a few minutes in a calm panic.    Then I put it down because it only adds things for me to fear.

What to do?  Last time I went he wasn’t sick.  The last time I didn’t he got worse.  Way worse.  It’s expensive and I don’t want to waste grocery budget on fear.   Nothing is two expensive though if he’s in real danger.   What to do?   I cry inside and then calm myself and pray.   Praying makes me scared.   You only pray when it’s serious.   You pray when it’s a game.

I wait and try to pray without making it serious.   He wakes up.  I ask how he’s doing.    He says fine.  I tuck him in and pray over him.   He sleeps restlessly and I wait ten minutes.

I wake him up and take him to our smallest bathroom.   I run hot water in the shower for the steam.  The lights and sounds really w as keep him up and we talk.  He is chipper but sounds so meek and so small.

After a bit he asks to take a shower. I adjust the water back down from scalding and wait behind the curtain listening to his breathing improve.   Finally something right.  I cheer internally but worry about the cold air in the bedroom.   He every so often asks me to adjust the water.

The shower is over.  He gets out.  In a very sleepy little boy voice he asks for help getting dressed and tucked in.  I cover him in as many blankets as I can.  I tousle his hair and pray over him and his sister again.  I make sure he hears me say I love you.

He closes his eyes and I go back to my bed.   Both doors are open and I lay in the dark listening to him breathe.  Listening to the family breathe.

Worry keeps me up so I write it all down to calm myself.  My writing wakes the baby and my wife grumbles angrily at the world as she wakes up and calms him back down.

Everyone is sleeping.   He still breathes oh so hard.  I still worry.   But it isn’t like he’s trying to breathe through a gas mask anymore.   I don’t hear that terrifying straining.   Just rough sick breathing.

I wait and pray hoping sleep will come.  Begging for this to just be a silly tale of night fears that I’ll tell to others in the morning.

I hope I did the right thing.

I wait.
I pray.

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