What should I do when my 5 year old birthday boy wakes up with a tender and swollen jaw? At The Lawyer's urging, I make this the priority of the day. (It's not that I don't love him, I'm just more of a wait-and-see kind of gal... but it was his birthday and I could hardly stand the thought of him feeling poorly- and looking like a chipmunk.)
I called our Naturopathic friend and left a message. I called the pediatrician, who asked us to come in. We loaded up and drove the 40 minutes there. When we left an hour and a half later, I had a negative strep result, a newly discovered rash (huh. didn't know that was there!), a list of dermatologists (for the other rash that we've been dealing with for three years), a tentative prescription for antibiotics, and orders for four blood draws to confirm their suspicion of MUMPS. We were also supposed to go home and have T suck on lemons to clear up any blocked salivary glands. This sounded like the best news to me, as everyone was cranky and hungry at this point and I did have lemons at home.
I was on the verge of crying as we pulled out of the parking lot. The big boys were asking, "please!" could I stop at the Honda place with all the ATVs, jet skis, and motorcycles. I drove by slowly, trying to explain that if T had mumps that we couldn't really go anywhere for NINE more days because it was contagious and probably they all would have mumps, or at least M since he hadn't been received an MMR. And I knew that it would have been an awesome birthday stop for T. . . as I tried to hold back my tears and the boys practically salivated at the windows.
By the time we got home, made, ate, and cleaned up lunch, and I read books to M, the Naturopath was returning my call. She didn't think this was mumps and she had time for me to come over right then for a quick check of T. So, we loaded up again and drove 20 minutes to her house. I cried and prayed most of the way there- for my boy, for wisdom and answers, for healing.
After an hour there, we left with the good news that this wasn't mumps. I began giving T drops under his tongue to fight off any bad bacteria and help his lymph system clear. He drank lots of water (and managed to still eat birthday tortellini, cake, and ice cream!) and we continued with the other remedies we have been using.
The great thing is that T is the most cheerful child I know. His name means cheerful. He can get second place and cheer "we almost won!" with the same gusto as the child who actually won the game. He says things don't hurt "much" and tells the pediatrician that he isn't "very itchy" even as he obviously scratches at red skin. He's so quick to smile and easy to cheer up. He has taken most everything I've given him with nary a complaint and still seems to delight in telling me, "I'm finished with my drink!"
I feel inept as a mother responsible for the health and well being of these people. Really, after three years of ineffectively dealing with his rash I wonder what else I should be doing. I would say I'm losing hope, except that I always have Hope. We are now one month in to a six month protocol to deal with Lyme's. We have seen multiple pediatricians, nautropaths, herbal practitioners, and chiropractors. I have a cupboard set aside for oils, homeopathic remedies, supplements, and tinctures. I'm learning what I can and yet always feeling that I don't know what to do or how to go about it. And this is just for ONE child. I have four other children (soon to be five!) who have their own sets of issues, from stomach aches to head aches to cuts and bruises. And I'm trying to take care of myself (especially pregnant) and also keep tabs on The Lawyer. Wearing this doctor hat is exhausting.
I think, however, that "doctor" is part of my calling as a mother. I'm responsible to know (to notice!) what is going on with our children, to find solutions and bring relief and comfort. I often find that I don't have answers or that I'm out of something that might be helpful and don't think I can afford to buy anything else this month. And these times, and times like yesterday when I am crying in weariness and desperation, I call upon the Lord.
I'm so thankful for His names. I find comfort in calling on Him:
I call on Elohim (T's Creator).
I call on El Roi (God Who Sees; who can see T's inmost parts and all that mystifies me).
I call on Ezer (LORD our Helper; to help those who are helping me and to help T and I through this).
I call on Jehovah Jireh (The LORD Will Provide; for answers and wisdom and all that we need).
I call on El Elyon (Soverign Over All; who is over every minute bacteria and virus and every cell and system).
And lastly, I call on Jehovah Rapha (The LORD our Healer).
I know He hears and I know He is good and will answer according to His good will.
But I am out of answers and out of energy. After dosing every 15 minutes added to four times daily for the Lyme, added to the oil applications, the reminders to drink water. . . and the schooling and the chores and taking M to the potty, and frosting the birthday cake and, and, and. . .