Adding Insult to Injury, or… When Only Mommy is Well by Heather Bowles
Good morning, ladies! I know you are used to hearing from me on Saturday mornings, and I apologize for the late post, but my family has kept me hopping for the last three or four days. It feels as if I am the only person in good health in the whole world right now. Earlier in the week, my dear husband had an accident at home that caused him to lose a lot of blood, and because of his diabetic tendencies, any open wound, especially on the lower extremities, as this one was, is especially dangerous. It was so serious, in fact, that he was ordered to stay home from work and off his feet for 48 hours, which meant not only caring for our child, but catering to him as much as possible to see that he followed the doctor’s prescribed order of rest. Even being home five of the seven days this week, he somehow managed to contract a nasty head cold, which he has since passed on to our daughter, and she has been running a fever of 101 degrees for the last two evenings.
Needless to say, I’m not getting much rest, but I feel surprisingly good. Normally, I would catch anything to which I am exposed, but through sheer force of will, and more than likely, a great deal of positive thinking, I have yet to catch the bug. My only issue is my milk supply seems to be drying out. I’m certain it is a direct result of the lack of rest because any time I’m able to get a five hour stretch of sleep, I produce fairly well at the following pumping session, but otherwise it has slowed to a trickle, and none of the remedies I’ve used in the past appear to be working. I fear Tabitha may be losing her ready supply of mommy juice sooner than I had intended, and it concerns me that her immunity may be compromised as a result. I reassure myself that I blew well past my initial goal of providing her nutrition until she was at least six months of age, but everyone knows that the bugs we are exposed to today are far more virulent than they were when we were children, and they have become increasingly difficult to treat with antibiotics.
I read a scientific article last week that cited a study stating fully ninety percent of children today are chronically ill. I’m not sure what this means for their future, but I imagine it may shorten life expectancies and reduce the quality of life that young Americans enjoy in the coming years, and I’ll do anything… anything at all to save her the misery of a sickly childhood. Speaking from personal experience, I wouldn’t wish it on any child, and much less my own.
So… what are a mother’s options? While my husband is desperately trying to finish a degree that will eliminate his need to mingle with unwashed masses of people in a customer service capacity, I seriously consider ordering our groceries delivered just so I don’t have to touch another filthy grocery cart handle again. Psychologically, that is the last thing I need to do. Making myself even more isolated from other human beings can only contribute to my struggle with depression. As productive as I am at home, there is something to be gained from adult interaction that I miss when I don’t at least get to tell a total stranger thank you once a week for taking time to listen and bagging my groceries in paper instead of plastic. In giving my gratitude freely, I gain a positive feeling that follows me all day, especially when I see their equally grateful smile in response.
What preemptive measures do you take to keep you and your family healthy? And what do you do to make other people’s lives easier or more pleasant?