When Sickness Hits Your Child

When Sickness Hits

*Before we get further in this post, just know that these photos were taken in October, so everything is okay right now. *

I’m thinking about my sister again. Not in a sad way. One where I really want her here so we can do random last minute shopping and laughing at the fact that we were nuts enough to go shopping in the first place. Instead of being able to do that, I decided to try to get caught up on blogging, and came across these photos of Lil Miss Twizzler in the emergency room earlier.

This time was pretty hectic. It was around the anniversary of Mr. Houseful and I, and I had just gotten better from having a horrid chest infection, and I had apparently passed it on to my smallest girl.  What started as a cough turned into a horrible wheezing incident and we noticed that her entire chest was caving in every time she took a breath.

I had seen this very thing before. Actually, I had seen it tons of times, with my sister, Jessica who was a raging asthmatic. She  visited the hospital so much, she was like VIP. Not exactly the VIP list you want to be on though.

We decided to pack her up and visit the ER. The problem that I was having the most is the fact that on this particular day, she mirrored the LOOK of my sister so much that I got incredibly sad. I started thinking about things that I probably shouldn’t have been thinking about at that moment. The great thing is, I challenged the doctor. I realize that I haven’t gone through medical school, or clinicals, or taken boards, but I am a mother first, and I won’t stop with the questions until I’m satisfied that they have all been answered.

We had three nebulizer treatments, several hours worth of PBS Sprout, chest x-rays, and prednisone thrown in there for good measure.

I was exhausted, and Lil Miss was chatty – which is a side effect of nebulizer treatments. She wanted to talk about Peg + Cat (her favorite PBS show at the moment) Caillou crying like a baby (her words) and how she wasn’t coughing anymore. Please not that coughing  in our house is usually followed with Sir Twizzler pretending to cough, and then getting chastised for “coffeeing” Lil Miss Twizzler. Got that?

Anyhoo, what do you do when you know the drill with having a six little one? I mean, I had been through this dozens of times in my sister’s 18 years of life. I think that I stayed calm better than my mom most times. Probably out of the fact that I was separated from that mother/child bond. Sure, she’s my sister, probably the closest thing I had to having a twin, but there was that wide ocean of the ability to think straight.

I didn’t have it with Lil Miss. I overreacted, and panicked, and wanted to cry. I snapped at the ER doctor, who happened to give me his personal phone number just in case I had more concerns. I scoffed at the nurse who gave my two year old a bottle. However, my scoff did not compare to the one that Lil Miss gave. In the end we ended up laughing.

My advice to you, as a parent, is this.

Never go to the ER alone if you can help it. You absolutely need someone there with you in case you would rather rip the spines out of every single person citing extreme incompetence. Yes, I know that they don’t know your child better than you. Yes I know that a lot of doctors and medical staff don’t have great bedside manners. However, when you’re IN a moment of frustration, you tend to spout frustration and make things worse.

Case in point. When I was checking the little one into the ER reception desk, there was a gentlemen there that decided to obtain his Medical Degree as I was registering her. He chided me for bringing her in so late, and stated that she was having an asthma attack and that I needed to get someone to see her right away.

My response was simply, “Thank you, I’m handling it.”

He started again, and the registration clerk sensing my irritation called him up to get him registered and sent back to a waiting room.

It’s okay to have an extreme case of the feels for your children. It’s sometimes absolutely necessary too. Just stay focused, and aware that sometimes the bear needs to stop growling long enough to see all the options.

The end of this very long diatribe is that it turned out to be an upper respitory infection and not full blown asthma. She hasn’t had an episode since that day in October, and I’m still here.

In case that it would have been something more serious than that, I am sure that I would have had to enlist the help of friends and family, and THAT for some reason scares me more than anything. Being vulnerable. Having others watch over my other children. Feeling helpless.

It’s a long road to getting this parenting thing right, and I’m already 13 years in. Please tell me that it gets better SOMETIME.

Have you ever had to deal with a sick child? Tell me about it below!


  1. Poetry's Truth says:

    My baby girl gets croup every Fall. She’s now 11. I am a ER nurse and I take her in when it flares up. My oldest who is now an adult has had asthma since he was 3. I tell everyone to ask questions and ADVOCATE for yourself and loved ones. We understand it’s stressful especially for parents. I tell people to ask question. Healthcare providers are HUMAN the aren’t God and I wish MORE folks would take charge of their health care.

    • Natasha Nicholes says:

      Hi there Poetry’s Truth! I know how horrible it is to have to deal with the ER on a regular basis, and I think that even for some of us “pros” who are there more often than they want to be, keeping focused is difficult when it’s just you. That’s why I am so grateful that my husband was there with me to handle things with a calmer edge, because sometimes my “advocation” can come off very brusque. I know all too well about the human aspect of healthcare providers as they are capable of making mistakes just like we are. Having a degree in the medical sciences surely doesn’t make you all knowing in them, but it does give them a hand up in knowing quicker ways to alleviate pain and discomfort. Thanks for stopping through. 🙂

  2. K. Elizabeth @ YUMMommy says:

    I hate it when my kids get sick. They always get majorly sick and an ER visit usually our routine. It is stressful and tempers will flare at times. I think we have all been their as protective and concerned parents for our children.

    • Natasha Nicholes says:

      Oh yes! It’s like life says, why just do a regular asthma attack, let’s throw them in the full throes of a complete shut down, and make the mom crazy. I’m so glad that my husband was there with me.

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