A mothers nightmare

I hear her struggle. I see the tears. I feel the pain. And there is nothing I can do to help.

I try to be strong. Calm her down and comfort her. Assure everyone that everything is ok. Accept what the doctors decide, but still push them to do more.

Third day in the hospital and about to be released. Both the nurse and the pediatrician says she’s fine, that she can go home and that I shouldn’t worry.

What they don’t know is that I have had an almost 5 year long roller coaster with this child. Endless times of ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma attacks, croup, viruses, the list is endless. I know my child. I know her limits and I know her weaknesses.

Her temperature is up. Only by 0,6 degrees, but this is not how her body reacts when she’s getting better. I fight the doctors, try to make them see what I see.

A few hours later, panic hits our room and it fills up with nurses and doctors. She’s not breathing. I’m cold. Completely cold. Perhaps it’s my security background kicking in and clearing my head? Either way, I know exactly what to do.

They trust me now. Trust my judgement. They know now that I’m not a hysterical mum who can’t understand that the child has a normal cold. They understand that I know what I’m talking about, that I know more medical terms than most mothers do and that I’m able to see what my daughter needs and when. They let me in and hear me out when I suggest options for her medication.

I don’t worry easily. I’ve learned to see when I need to and when I don’t. And this time as well, my instincts were right.

The night comes and the struggle goes on. She wears a mask almost all the time now. And the biggest problem? We’re reaching the limit of how much medicine her little body can have. The doctors are working on a plan for when the limit is reached.

4am. Limit reached. She can’t have more of what kept her going through the past four days. She sleeps 10 minutes at a time before screaming for mummy, struggling to breathe. Plan B is on.

The morning comes and so does her doctor. She’s breathing better, her fever is under control and plan B worked. But we face a new problem. Her lungs are blocking – again.

I’m happy I’m stubborn. I’m happy I trust my instincts. What if we had gone home yesterday? What if the doctors didn’t trust that I know my child best?

More changes are made. Different medicine, different intervals, different treatments. The day is long. She’s tired, her body exhausted. I’m tired. Tired after almost a week without sleep, but also tired of feeling so helpless.

I can’t help thinking about all those parents who spend weeks and months in the hospital with their kids. Those who don’t have to worry about when they get to take their child home, but instead hoping that a day will come that they can. Those who fear the night every night, scared it will be the last.

I’m not gonna deny that this is hard, that I’m frustrated or that I’ve been scared. This situation is all of that. But I don’t have to be scared of never taking her home or her having a life threatening decease. We’re lucky.

Finally, we have it under control! For the first time since arriving she sleeps. I sleep. She plays, she laughs and she is without pain. Just another 24 hours of treatment ahead and we can most likely go home!

I feel relaxed now, I’m not worried anymore. This is not over, but it will be soon.

Tomorrow we get to go home as long as nothing new happens. Not back to normal, but at least home. We need a machine to help her breathe for a little while and she needs to be with me 24/7. We will see a specialist soon to look for possibilities to prevent this from happening again for a while.

Through all this I feel so incredibly grateful. For the doctors who trusted my judgment, for all the nurses helping her all week, but most of all for all the amazing people we are surrounded by on this island. Especially those serving Burger King on a daily basis. Thank you!

 

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Time for Spanish!

I’m approximately 6% fluent in Spanish. Yeah, not nearly good enough. Last year I set a goal of learning basic conversational Spanish and I managed it. I love learning new stuff, but for some reason I find it difficult to learn languages.

In September my two beautiful little girls started Spanish school. Not even the teachers speak English, so I didn’t have a choice anymore but to use the little I know. And it has of course helped me learn more as well.

Over the past few months I’ve been trying to use the Duolingo app, only to find myself starting over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, this app is great! I just get bored. And quite frankly I have been way too busy to focus.

Since New Years my daughters homework has advanced. A bit too much for me! She has to read stories and answer questions about the text. I think it’s great, but I can’t keep up with my poor Spanish.

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So it’s time to make a change! My good friend Tabira is gonna join me in the process and we’re going all in. We have hired a tutor to come twice a week, so now we have no choice. We have to learn!

Today is our very first class and I have to say I’m excited. Tabira has a crazy schedule changing every week, and also from day to day. And don’t even let me get started on mine. It’s gonna be quite a puzzle to synchronize the times, but luckily she’s pretty much as stubborn as me.

So, any tips as to how to learn Spanish in a heartbeat?

Day off?

The Spanish people love their holidays, and they got so many of them. To be honest I rarely even know what they’re about.

Recently we had one that was San Sebastián(?), at least that’s what I think. It was big celebrations around the island. Eventually I want my kids to be more engaged in all of this, but for now I’m trying to get used to it all.

Today is another holiday, not exactly sure why, but I think it was something about “virgo de candelaria”? I have no idea actually.

Anyway, it means a day off! At least for the kids. Sometimes I find it hard to entertain them on a day off. Especially when fever is involved and we can’t go anywhere.

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Amelia has been working on some of her designs, done activity books, tidied her room and finished her homework in all her languages; English, Norwegian and Spanish.

Emine has been coloring in her books, practiced her writing and played with her dolls. She hasn’t been well this week and is actually still in her pajamas. To be honest, I never got out of it either.

What do you do with your kids on the public holidays?

The public holidays means nothing to my deadlines, so I’m gonna spend most of what’s left of the day doing some online work. In the meantime the kids are having a Spanish lesson in disguise -Disney movies in Spanish.

I’m so lucky to be able to always be there for my kids and schedule all my work according to them. I’m always available, and that was always my dream before I had kids – to not be a parent that gets to see them only for a few hours of dinner and homework, exhausted after a long day at work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always busy and often exhausted after the day, but I get to prioritize them. If you have that opportunity, take it!