Figuring out life...slowly.

I feel life is either a grand adventure or a never-ending tunnel of doom. I am trying to find a middle. Somewhere.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The joy of having a sick child. Big A wheezed and coughed last night and tossed and turned. I decided we should stay home today and go to the doctor. I figured he would need steroids and albuterol treatments. I was wrong. He had a cold. A run-of-the-mill cold. I overreacted.

It is such a guessing game with kids. When my late husband was still alive (dying but alive), Big A had an asthma attack. After arranging for someone to stay with my husband, I went to the doctor. I thought steroids and a shot and good to go. Uh, no. Here is how it went:

Nurse: You need to come back here immediately! He is retracting. (She is in the office behind the window in the waiting room)
Me: We're fine. We can wait (Me in waiting room being oblivious)
Nurse: Now, Ms. Kagey (commanding)
Me: OK (wondering why she was freaking. This was nothing in the grand scheme of things. I had just gotten back from the Big University Hospital ER with husband)
In doctor office now with two breathing treatments done
Dr: You have to take him to the ER
Me: I can't
Dr: Ms. Kagey, you must (impatient)
Me: I can't. My husband is dying. He can't go to the ER (not realizing how ironic that statement was)
Dr. He is not breathing well. You have to
Me: (snapping out of it) Local one? (thinking please God-not Big U)
Dr: No, Big University One
Me: (well, fuckitude. Of course that one)Let me find someone to watch husband. Does Big A need to go by ambulance?
Dr: Just take him (I know he thought I was a dumb-ass)
Me: I'm going. Husband will want to go and he just got out of the hospital. He can't go back because he is on a chemo trial so I'll have to convince him to stay home. I'll nee someone to stay with him and then call his mother and my mother and get someone to pick up The Dictator (my oldest). Are you sure?
Dr. (suddenly gentle) Ms. Kagey, you have to. His oxygen sat is falling.

And to this day, I have no idea how we got to the ER, how husband ended up there and where The Dictator stayed. To say I was out of it would be an understatement. Since then, watching Big A struggling to breathe while I tried to decide who needed me the most (Big A won-Husband had to take back seat for the night), I have tried to be more cautious about his asthma. It creeps up fast.

I have been accused of being single-minded and I am. It was one of my coping mechanisms when Husband was so ill. I had to concentrate on him and his health situation and I couldn't be distracted. Did the doctor give him the right medications? Was he being truthful about his condition? Did the insurance cover this PET scan or that surgery or this chemo trial? It was literally his life. I spent all day, during the time he was dying, talking to his doctors, talking to family, counting out medication, coordinating with home health and hospice and trying not to fall apart. Big A paid the price of my single minded focus that day and I still feel guilty.

Thank goodness, at this day and at this time, he has my attention and my focus, and it is just a cold. We get to snuggle and have a sick day.

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