special memories while sick

When I was a young child, I was plagued by recurrent ear infections (EI’s).  I am told that I once had 14 EI’s in 10 months.  I finally got tubes in my ears when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and for the most part, that took care of my problem.

I’m sure it must have been frustrating for my parents to see me in pain time and time again, and to not know how to truly make the problem go away.  They did the best they could, but the EI’s persisted.  Thankfully, I managed to emerge from that experience with eustacian tubes intact and with no hearing loss.  (I got it tested a few years ago by an audiologist, and I have perfect hearing.)

When Jujubee was six weeks old, she contracted her first bout of bronchiolitis (baby bronchitis) which landed her in Children’s Hospital for 24 hours.  Since then, with some degree of regularity, she has continued to get colds that go right to her lungs.  This tendency led me to try homeopathy for her.  It has helped in that it has slowed down the rate at which she gets these colds, plus it seems to help her recover more fully in between bouts of sickness.  Perhaps it’s the fact that she’s getting older, but the time between bouts seems to be getting longer and longer, for which I’m thankful.  I’m also thankful that thanks to the homeopathy, I have not needed to have her on constant asthma medication, as her pediatrician thought she might need to be.  When Jujubee is healthy, she IS healthy, and she doesn’t need to take medication prophylactically.  For that, I credit homeopathy.

But, every so often, she still gets sick.  This evening as we sat down to supper, Jujubee was crying over some perceived wrong, and as she bawled, I heard a husky quality to her cry that my well-trained ear picked up on immediately.  “She sounds like she’s getting sick,” I said to my husband.  However, like always (like always!) I put it in the back of my mind and hoped for the best.

Yet, not unsurprisingly, about an hour after she fell asleep tonight, I heard the familiar croupy-sounding cough coming from her bed, in between her sobs.  Yup, she’s sick again.  Nowadays, she doesn’t get bronchitis-like symptoms anymore, she gets croup-like symptoms.  I gave her a dose of leftover oral steroids from the last time she was sick, gave her a drink of water, and after some kisses, snuggles and hymns, tucked her back in her bed.

Around 11pm she started coughing and crying again.  Back upstairs I went, but this time I brought her downstairs to our dimly-lit living room where I could rock her on the more comfortable rocking chair.  It’s a little warm tonight, so I didn’t want to hold her too tightly in my arms for fear of overheating her, especially when she’s already hot from crying.  However, it brought tears to my eyes when, as I rocked and sang to her, she reached for my free arm and pulled it around her.  She wanted to be snuggled with both of my arms safely around her.  After a few minutes, I took my arm away to see what would happen, and she gently grabbed my arm and pulled it towards her again.  🙂

One of my favorite memories from all of those EI’s when I was a little girl was that of being held by one of my parents in our dark house at night and being sung hymns to while I leaned against either my mom or my dad’s chest.  I remember that very, very strongly.  I especially remember my dad’s voice, how it rumbled in his chest as I lay with my head against him, but I know my mom sat up with me many nights, too.  Getting that special attention was the best part of being sick.

While I hate that my Jujubee gets sick like this, I’m glad that we have this special snuggle time together, and I hope I’m making good memories for her, just like I have from my childhood.  I sing to her and snuggle and rock her, and tonight, for the first time, she was able to tell me that those snuggles and songs are special to her, too.