Grown-ups can handle being sick, for the most part. (Unless you have a cold, and you're a guy.) But outside of those perimeters, I'm able to handle a nasty cold or even a bout with the flu.
But I'm not good with my kid being sick. Not good at all.
It's not that I overreact and lose my cool. Over the weekend, when Birdy woke up from a sound sleep and covered everything in her crib with vomit, my husband and I handled it with as much grace as we could manage. She'd never been sick in that way before (kid had her first "legit cold" last week; we've been luck that she's been very healthy for the last twenty months), so the learning curve for all of us was steep. Chris and I had to figure out how to unearth her from beneath all the gross, puke-covered clothes without getting ourselves completely covered, and Birdy had to try and wrap her head around the fact that breakfast and lunch were heading out the way they came in. (Also, "puke" is a horrible word. It's onomatopoeia at its nastiest.) And after several hours, when it became clear that our little Bird wasn't able to keep anything in her system and we were nervous about dehydration, we shuffled off to the doctor.
After a long night and hours of observation, the vomiting stopped. This weekend, Birdy spent the day lounging around on the couch, watching the same episode of Sesame Street over and over again, and alternating between sleeping snuggled with her "bim" (her name for her special blanket) and her "mama" (her not-as-special-but-still-warms-my-heart-when-I-hear-it name for me).
And then I caught her illness. It's been fun (lies), and we've learned the following:
- The washing machine and the dryer are capable of running for 24 hours straight, without a break. Even through the night, and without waking the sleeping baby. Nice job, Samsung.
- That small children are capable of expelling mass amounts of blech in a matter of seconds.
- There isn't a diaper in existence that can properly contain toddler diarrhea. I know that's graphic and gross to read, but let's keep in mind that cleaning up after this statement is worse than reading it. So cut me some slack, and see aforementioned bullet point about loving my washer/dryer.
- Pedialyte that claims to be "flavorless" is lying. Somehow, Birdy knows the difference between a sippy cup of Pedialyte and a sippy cup of water. She would never lose at a Pepsi Challenge.
- Seeing my normally happy and energetic toddler reduced to a small, sad lump on the couch breaks my heart in ways I wasn't prepared for.
- There are doctors and nurses who show such unflagging amounts of compassion and intelligence, even as they examine a distressed (read: sobbing and puking) child at 2 am. Those medical professionals are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
- That even though I test my blood sugar several times a day, I couldn't watch while they tested my daughter's heel. (Her result was fine, but those five seconds were the longest in history.)
- I learned that snuggling a sick child may cause you to catch sick child's sickness.
- And then I learned about trying to care for a recovering little one when you're becoming sick, yourself. Explaining to the baby, "I'll make your breakfast as soon as I finish throwing up," is a weird sentence for an almost-two year old to grasp.
- Family members who willingly enter the Thunderdome of Pukefest 2012 are brave and invaluable people. I'd have been lost without my sister and mother coming to help.
- (Which is why I hope they forgive us when they end up sick as dogs.)
- Ketones are those things you read about, when you have diabetes, but until you have them for hours on end, you forget how much they suck. My own illness brought about moderate ketones, and the back pain, nausea, and overall blech of ketones, stacked on top of the instigating illness, just sucks.
- And no matter how long I've had diabetes, it's still weird to intentionally eat carbs when you're high, just to flush the ketones. I can't wrap my head around that, entirely.
- A 160% basal rate wasn't enough to wrangle in my blood sugars, which blows my mind. How much insulin does an illness need to function?
- A diet of popsicles, tea, and Saltines is what we've both been on for the last three days, and I'm suddenly craving a cheeseburger.
- I am really looking forward to seeing Birdy run around, yelling with happiness, and upending everything in her bedroom. Because this quiet, sad little Bird isn't the Bird I'm used to. Damn this illness and how it has sapped my kid of all her happies.
Watching your kid go a few rounds with an illness sucks. Battling that illness at the same time also sucks.