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!