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Monday, September 30, 2013

Benjamin Worryman

Ben has been sick, on and off, for a month. Enough! I've been to the doctor three times asking them to find out what's wrong with him, and they just can't put their finger on it. Last week we went back and I asked for a test for mono. We saw one of my favorite doctors in the practice, very kind and thorough, and he said he thinks Ben has had a sinus infection this whole time. I won't even tell you all the things they have checked for! Or all the bodily fluids they have extracted while searching for an answer! We've had quite enough 'togetherness' this month, while Ben has been home sick from school. Time to get back to normal.

I was talking to my brother last week, venting about my crazy little life. He said he has a poster in his office that says "Normal is just a setting on a washing machine." That is a poster I need plastered all over our home! I love it. It's so true, there really is no "normal." But a lot of times it feels like whatever "normal" might be, we are the opposite of that. For instance, any time it says we have an easy day on the calendar, I anticipate and EXPECT all hell to break loose with at least one kid. There is never ever an easy day where everything goes as planned. I'm sure this is true for many families, but really, it seems more true for us than anyone else I know. 

Take last week. Monday went pretty much as planned. I should have known the other shoe would drop. Tuesday morning, Ben was in a snit, fought with Jonah at the bus stop, forgot to take his morning meds. I had Alex go to school to give Ben the meds on his way to work. An hour later as I was getting ready for my day, our wonderful middle school nurse called. 

Uh oh. 

She said Ben was in her office, not feeling well. Gr. I tested him to see if it was anxiety or real illness. Usually if I say "Sorry, I can't pick you up because I have to take Ella to dance class." or something along those lines, if it's anxiety the boys will agree to go back to class. If it's illness they break into tears. So Ben grudgingly agreed to try to go back to class, but let the nurse and I know he wasn't faking, and didn't feel good for real. 

As I sat in Ella's dance studio, the nurse called back. She said Ben was back in her office, with another low grade fever. After Ben broke into tears at the mere thought of going back to class, I said I'd come and pick him up after we finished dance class. There went all my plans for the day. And it really wouldn't be so bad if this didn't happen ALL THE TIME. We picked Ben up, and I got him in to see the doctor for the third time this month to figure out what else could be causing his icky symptoms. 

It was time to go to the doctor that afternoon, and I was trying to cajole Ben into putting his shoes on and getting in the car. He was obsessed with finding a certain teddy bear to bring to the doctor to help him stay calm, and was devastated because he couldn't find it. I stayed calm and helped him look, although we were nearing being late for the appointment. I knew Ben was sick, which makes him closer at all times to having meltdowns. We looked everywhere for this silly teddy bear. Couldn't find it. I did, however, find Ella's cup of forgotten, rotten chocolate milk in the basement. Which proceeded to explode all over me as I brought it upstairs to deal with. ugh.

I ran to change. I didn't have time to shower, and couldn't get the smell off me. As we finally got in the car, Ben and Ella said "EW! Something stinks!" Yeah. That's me. I had to apologize to the nurse AND the doctor for the horrible stench in the room as Ben was examined. Only me. These things can only happen to me. 

Wednesday, Ben was home sick again. Hurray. Not. 

Wednesdays are absolutely insane, logistically. This week on top of everything else, not only am I dealing with one sick kid during the waking hours, but he also isn't sleeping well, and Ella never sleeps well. Wednesday morning, I awoke in Ella's room, hurting from head to toe from being scrunched in a little bed all night. Alex had Aidan ready for school, bless his sweet soul. He had Aidan's lunch made, had him dressed, had given him his meds, and had his breakfast done. AND there was fresh coffee brewing. I know, I married a saint.

I took Ella to school, with Ben. Went home, with Ben. Played legos, with Ben. Went to pick up Ella, with Ben. Ate lunch, with Ben. Took Ella to therapy, yep, with Ben. Brought the kiddos home. Met the babysitter. Took Ben and went to pick up Aidan from school. Went to Aidan's therapy. Went home, made dinner, finished homework time, did baths, wrangled two kids to bed while Alex took Jonah to Youth Group and Ben snuggled in our bed. 

I need about 30 of me.

Ben was sick the rest of the week. But he started to bounce back after a couple days on antibiotics, and this morning announced he "felt great!" Knowing my non-normal life, I didn't get my hopes up too high, even after this announcement.

Sure enough, later this morning the school nurse called (who I am now on a hugging basis with, just let me add) and Ben was feeling terrible. The nurse had already explained to Ben that sometimes even when our tummies hurt we have to stay at school and do what we have to do. Ben didn't go for that and wanted to talk to me. After many times of him pleading for me to pick him up and me saying I can't (because I know these are anxiety symptoms, not illness symptoms), I asked him if it would help him get through the day if he had something to look forward to after school. He said yes. I asked what that should be. We agreed that he could get a lego mini figure ($1) at Walgreens if he stayed at school the rest of the day without going to the nurse's office again. (I'm not above bribery if it will help the kid stay at school) I told Ben that every day he is at school, it will be easier to be there. He won't be behind in homework, he won't be stressed about not knowing what's going on...it'll hopefully get easier. 

I read an article in People Magazine today about a high profile person whose son committed suicide after living with depression for his entire young life. As I read, I saw my life in those words. How the boy needed to be home schooled after 2 weeks in middle school because he just couldn't handle it. How he would react out of proportion to things. So many things hit home. Even with all the resources we are giving our kids, I still worry about their futures. Should I pull them out of school and homeschool? Should they go to a therapeutic day school? Will they get the IEP's I'm fighting so hard for? 

I would like a crystal ball, please. To know if I'm making the right Mommy Decisions along this tough path. You just never know. You do the best you can and hope it's enough.

I do know that today after school, Ben and I will be pounding out the missing assignments. His teachers are concerned about his grades. I'm glad to hear that because I am too! We'll see what we can do. We'll see what this new week of worries brings.

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