Torn – What To Do When She is Sick


Torn in Two


Torn – as though equal and opposite forces were conspiring to slowly rip me apart.  Every working parent I know feels this way. You have a job and a sick child and a problem. When you have a child with Primary Immunodeficiency this is a frequent occurrence. How many days can you miss from work before you lose your job? How young is too young to leave a child home alone? Who could you ask to watch her this time? Is this one serious or could she really make it at school? Is 99.9 really a fever?

Today was one of those days and it doesn’t get any easier. While I am blessed to work with my husband, in most cases one of us can stay home. The flip side to that is there are people at the office relying on you to cover not only your bills but theirs as well. Sometimes work can’t wait.

Today, Courtney’s migraine is on day four. She was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondolytitis. The Methotrexate has migraines as a known issue. However, there is the hope that the benefits will outweigh the side effects.  When I woke her today, she had been throwing up all night. I went through my routine to try to get her up and when that was unsuccessful I gave her some more migraine medicine and I went to work. More than 5 hours later, she had not called. I called and a quiet voice answered. “Hello”

“How are you?” I asked

“I just want it to stop? Can you come home?”

“I have to be here for a meeting at 3:00, I will come home as soon as I can.” Silence answered me, then a quiet sob

“Mommy, please make it stop.”

I immediately picked up my purse and headed home. I knew I had to be back by 3:00, but I needed to deliver some frozen yogurt and a hug. I raced home, administered yet another round of medicine and some frozen Tappy’s original with Oreos. My little trouper took her yogurt, her pills and retreated behind her blanket. I raced back to work, tears streaming down my face. I reapplied my makeup in the parking lot and entered my office to have a sales meeting. No one knew.

Across America, parents encounter this situation. Regardless of why your child is sick, each time you have to make a decision. It doesn’t get any easier regardless of the age. No one wants to see his or her child suffer. If your child has Primary Immunodeficiency, it just seems to happen way too often. We balance the pros and cons each day and hope that we made the right call. Seems like there is always enough guilt to go around.

If you are in this position, give yourself a break, you are doing the best you can. Let me know how you manage.

Blessings, Kelli

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