Harry Saves the Day, and Dr. Penguin to the rescue!

Being a Mother has its challenges, but it has been especially challenging as of late. We finally have an answer to the question, why my son continually gets croup, has trouble breathing, and has an E.R. visit or ambulance ride every time he gets a respiratory infection. He has Asthma.

I am learning, because I know nothing about asthma. Perhaps, if I had, my Son could have avoided numerous trips to the E.R. for the oral prednisone he so desperately needed to reduce the inflammation of his airway.

There are many things that I have learned about my Son. He gets really anxious and agitated when he is having difficulty breathing. Because he is four, he does not always tell me when he is feeling unwell. He just becomes more active.

He hates taking oral prednisone. I got one of his favorite stuffed animals from one of his favorite books. “Harry the Dirty Dog,” and pretended Harry was taking his medicine. I told him, “Harry does not like the taste either. So he is gonna open his mouth and I am gonna pinch his nose so he cant taste it, then he gets a shot of orange juice for being so brave.”

“I’m gonna be brave like Harry Mommy! Let me try it! Let me try it.”

My Son was able to take his medicine. Let me tell you, I tried it. It is bitter as hell, even with the flavoring the pharmacy puts in there. Thankfully, just like Harry my Son was able to take his medicine.

The penguin nebulizer the doctor gave us to take home was a genius idea. Whoever thought of this was brilliant. My Son was a little scared of the noise at first. I told him, “That’s the noise that Doctor Penguin makes when he is trying to make you feel all better.” 

So begins the saga of Doctor Penguin and his adventures. So I began to do what I do best. Tell stories to my Son of Doctor Mommy Penguin, and her little baby that she was trying to help get better. I talked in the goofy voices that each of the characters have. My Son, laughs and giggles and loves this so much. To make a long story short… It worked! He is now taking his medicines as long as I tell him the stories that he requests.

My Nightwish series, has been put on hold for a while, because I am not working on writing and illustrating Doctor Penguins adventures at my sons request. He has had quite a few adventures this week!

“Tell me a story Mom… read me your book…Oh yea! And please draw Doctor Penguin for me in my book. “

and this is why I am writing children’s stories and YA fiction. It has made this difficult time much easier on us both. Sharing something so unique and special has brought us so much closer. It helped him to understand what was going on inside his body, and why he needed the medicine so badly.  Harry the Dirty Dog might have saved the day, but mama penguin came to the rescue!

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The Giver

On Christmas, my Son was looking at all the gifts he had received. He pulled out one of the books we had gotten for him. Looked through it and then handed it to me and said, ‘Mommy I think my friend would like this, she needs it more than me. She loves Vampires.’ (It was a Vampireology Book)

It just touched me. He gets a concept that most adults fail to learn. The gift of giving. He couldn’t wait to give his friend this gift. I saw pure joy on his face when he was able to deliver that gift to his friend.

You did good Son. This Christmas you made me proud to be your Mom.

To see your soul…

To see your soul...

To see your soul walking outside of your body, is a most unusual thing. There he is with a smile on his face, ready to greet the day no matter what life brings his way. In seconds that all can change. It can happen so fast.

One minute he was talking. The next minute he started coughing and was blue and could not speak. He began motioning to his vocal cord trying to talk. No sound came out. During this time I tried not to show my fear, rubbing his back as I did so many times when he was a baby.

I literally saw my life flash before my eyes. My soul as well as my Husbands soul, walking outside of our bodies wrapped in this package.

I now know what it means for ‘life to flash before your eyes,’ now.

All these memories and moments come into your mind, like a movie playing.

The first time he smiled. His first word. The first time he walked. The first time he crawled. His first Birthday. First Christmas. The first time he found music. The first time he cried, because he understood deaths finality. His first day of school. The first friend he made. All the times I held him in my arms, when he needed reassurance. Or more simply, all the times I held him in my arms because I loved him.

That little chubby face looking up at me when I brought him home from the hospital. The time he smiled at me with his little milky grin when nursing. It was cute enough to make you cry. Just because you were so happy to be in this little angels presence.

This soul. My Son. One part me, one part my husband. The rest of his soul, bits and pieces of other family members scattered thought him. He lives in us and we in him. That is the beauty of life. It goes on.

Its why this little boy means so much to me. He is my soul, staring back at me and looking through me. He knows me better than anyone in this world.

He used to kick me wildly from the inside when I played the violin. He got hiccups whenever I sang to him. He knew how I felt before he was born. He was kicking my ribs, when my Husband and I said our vows. I know he knew how nervous I was. I like to think that he was just as nervous.

One day he heard Ave Maria on the T.V. He looked at me with those big blue, all knowing eyes and said, ‘Mommy they played the song at your wedding.’ I was shocked. But then of course he recognized all the songs I sang to him when he was a baby in my belly.

My child is still a very observant and caring child. Always thinking of other people before himself.

He is my own soul walking outside of my body. It is the most beautiful thing to witness, and yet, the most painful. That is what it means to be a parent.

 

 

The Magic of a Book

Yesterday -my family and I- we went to the bookstore.

I live for small moments like this… seeing the look of pure joy and satisfaction on my Son’s face, when he discovers the magic found, within the pages of good book.

He takes off running, towards the storefront of the local Barnes and Noble-and then practically runs towards the escalator.

The second story, holds many magical worlds within the pages- just waiting to be discovered.

My Son takes off running, as he reaches the top of the escalator. He sees the brightly colored children’s section…and begins pulling books off the shelves.

He says, “I want to read this one…and this one…I want to read all of them!”

My Husband and I, know how he feels. Between the two of us, we have amassed a small library. We have a room in our house, dedicated to books and music.

Many years later… I find, I still have the same enthusiasm of a small child; whenever I enter a book store, and hold a book in my hand.

I know that one day, my Son will be too old for me to cuddle and read books to him. (That day is soon approaching. He already can read simple words and prefers, to read simple books all by himself.) But, I hope he never forgets the feeling of finding magic and discovering new worlds, all within the pages of a good book.

IV. Chasing Dreams- What the hell is this supposed to mean?

   I thought nothing of the episode of food poising that I had. The next morning it happened. I felt fine. “This is strange!” I thought. Then it began to add up. “OMG! Maybe? Could it be!?” I grabbed my keys and was out the door as quickly as my feet would carry me.

I ran down the aisle when I got to Giant Eagle.  I grabbed the first box of pregnancy tests I found. I felt nervous and giddy as the cashier rung them up. I raced home to the bathroom where I would wait on my final results.

Those moments when you are waiting for the results to appear on the window are the hardest. I saw the result. Now I had to figure out how to tell my boyfriend.

It was the moment of truth… I handed him the test. He said, “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” I said, “You see those two lines on the strip? That means I’m pregnant!” He smiled and we kissed. Our long lost dream had manifested itself. Don’t give up hope. Not yet… Not yet…

III. Chasing Dreams- Pipe Dreams

We were chasing our dreams, and my dream of being a mother was no longer a possibility. With every passing day, accepting that I could no longer possibly become pregnant became harder. I grew more depressed. Every time my wonderful little red friend would visit, it was a reminder of my failure. My infertility. I would sob and be depressed for the whole week. I would be angry taking it out on the only person that supported me, the love of my life.

After carrying on like this for three months, My significant other couldn’t take it anymore. So he did what he could do and made a proposal. His proposal was to try, and continue to try to have a child. If we did get pregnant he promised he would marry me. It gave me hope. I agreed. They crying stopped. At least we were trying. Weeks turned into months, months turned into a year. Trying no longer became fun. We both looked forward to getting it over with.

We went out one night. Had a few drinks to go with our dinner. We were both relaxed. We had awesome sex, for the first time in a long time. We thought nothing of it. We had stopped trying. Whatever would happen would happen.

It was always in the back of my head though. My pipe dream destroyed. On Mothers Day I went shopping with my Mom. I saw a Mother with a little baby. I lost it. I cried in the middle of the store. The tears kept flowing. They did not stop. If I couldn’t have a baby, I simply was not happy.

Then we were at a wedding. My partner in crime and I had a great time. It was his sister’s wedding. For the first time in a long time I had forgotten about my lost pipe dream. I was so caught up in everyone else’s happiness and it felt great! I started feeling a little sick to my stomach. I took one sip of beer and couldn’t touch it. The chicken, and I love chicken, smelled so gross. Then my significant others mother asked, “You think your pregnant?… No, no, I couldnt be!” I said almost immediately after she asked. I danced all night. We had a great time.

We went back to the hotel room. I was very tired. My hips hurt. I started thinking about what his Mother said. In my heart I was saying maybe, but my head was saying, “That’s not possible.”

A few weeks later we after we went out to eat, I was pretty sure I had gotten food poisoning. Projectile vomit for 45 minutes. It was coming out of my nose and it burned. It was so bad I couldn’t breathe when I was throwing up. My significant other was holding my hair back. It was so gross even he couldn’t handle it! I heard laughter from the other room. My husband was laughing at me and kept saying. “Oh God, hahahaha… oh God!” Little did he know I would be having the last laugh!

Written by V.C. Christian

II. Chasing Dreams- Infertility

   It hit me like a box of rocks, and it hurt. It really hurt! I sat there, on the couch looking at my one and only soul mate. I burst into tears. “What’s wrong?” He asked. “Today, at the Doctor’s appointment they told me I couldn’t have children.” I sobbed even harder. He hugged me. We were chasing our dreams. Our every hope and dream of a family now gone. My other half did all he could do. Reassure me that he loved me.
I told him I felt like less of a women. “A woman that can’t produce childeren! What the hell kind of women is that!” He kissed me and listened to me. Then he told me he loved me, and it didn’t make me any less of a woman. He said we would travel just me and him all over the world. We could do things that people with children could not do. That dream of having a family was just a pipe dream. Now…Back to reality. We were chasing a different dream. The only dream we had left.

Hey you! Behind that desk, are you happy now?

I see you everyday I work. I come in at six a.m. and I leave at two p.m. You.. yea, I’m talking to you… hiding behind that desk. I’m not blind. I see you are on salary. You make up your own hours. You don’t care.  Sometimes you come in at 8 a.m. It’s usually 10 a.m. though. I see you walk quickly down the hallway. A mad dash to your office… where you will sit all day and pretend to be busy. Your usually talking to your kid or your hot mess of a girlfriend on the phone. I’m not stupid. Your still getting paid the same, to sit and hide in your office all day.

Here I am… knee deep in shit, and I really am. I got a resident over here that has dementia and loves to play in there poop. I have a new admission that has irritable bowel syndrome, and half my hall has been quarantined because they have c-diff. Call lights are ringing and the hallway is lit up like a goddamn Christmas tree. The nurse is trying to help me as much as she can, but she has got to get her meds passed and check blood sugars before lunch arrives.

All the other Nursing Assistants are knee deep in shit too, not to mention the five people with Alzheimers, just one of those aids has. They keep trying to get out of the short term care unit, because you neglected to put them in the locked unit for fear they would no longer be “skilled,” and you would loose your precious money. Meanwhile we are ready to piss ourselves because we were not able to take a restroom break or lunch break because we all fear we would get reprimanded and fired.

You.. yea, I’m talking to you… hiding behind that desk. You think you could help me out here! You were once a Nursing Assistant, an Registered Nurse. You used to work the floor. Did you forget what it was like? To have compassion? To treat these residents with respect and dignity?  To not just see them as a dollar sign when they walk in the door? Did you forget to show your employees the same respect as well?

You.. yea, I’m talking to you… hiding behind that desk. You think you could help me out here! It’s Christmas again! Every single call light is on and ringing. Half of these people need to go to the bathroom. You think you could put them on the bedpan, or commode for me? Im drowning! Three people need ice water. You think you could at least do that? I promise you won’t have to get your hands dirty. I got a family member thats upset. You think you could come talk to them? It’s your job to make sure complainants are addressed.

No I will handle it. Do the job of many different people. I wear many different hats. Don’t you see? You hide behind that desk and close your office door. Never do you hear the complaints of residents, because they are dissatisfied that the  administrators did not care to introduce themselves. No they dont even know who you are.

Never have you heard a person sob, because this is their first time receiving treatment in a nursing home. Never will you listen to a wife, talk about the husband she has been married to for fifty-two years, that just passed away, right before she fell and broke her hip.  Now she is here. Never will you hold the hand of a dying person, and console their family members. This person was their Father, their Mother, Spouse, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, and so much more. To me they were a friend.

You.. yea, I’m talking to you… hiding behind that desk. I see you, papers pilled high around you now. Your stressed out and sweating. And you know what? I don’t give a damn. Squirm like the worm that you are! Should have thought about that while you were on the phone, taking personal phone calls. Ignoring these wise and wonderful human beings. These elderly, their family members, your staff. Word has it if census does not increase you will be fired. Was it worth it? Was all the money really worth it? Hopefully this experience was humbling.  I can only hope it gave you a lesson in compassion.

You.. yea, I’m talking to you… hiding behind that desk. Get the hell off you high horse and the horse you rode in on!