Today was one of those days that it was hard to be a parent. My son Tommy has a stomach bug. One of the lingering effects of being a preemie so long ago is that he can not hurl. He used to have a feeding tube, and his stomach was folded over making it difficult if not impossible to toss his cookies. So, when he is unfortunate enough to get an illness that affects his constitution, he does this god awful retching thing that puts his entire body into this series of convulsive movements until it passes. And there’s not a damn thing really, that you can do for him, but give him a hug and try and make him as
comfortable as possible. One time as a toddler, we even had to admit him into the hospital because he kept retching, his fever wouldn’t go down and the final straw was him moaning, “Mom it huuuuurrrrttttssss soooo bad, please make it stop”. Gulp. Talk about feeling helpless.
As much as I truly hate throwing up. Thinking about throwing up. Watching someone throw up. Smelling it, blech. Anything remotely related to this awful bodily function makes me want to heave ho myself. As much as I hate to admit it, often you just feel better once you finally do let loose. Something about your body getting rid of whatever is not sitting well with it just helps. But imagine that yucko feeling not having anywhere to go to, coupled with the retching I described above. Not fun at all. My poor baby. But, he has been a trooper through it all.
I have to imagine this will not be the last time that I will be feeling helpless and all that I’ll be able to do is stand idly by, as much as I don’t want to. It’s awful when your kids are in pain and there’s not a damn thing that you can do about it. Sometimes there is actually something you can do about it in a literal sense, but you know you can’t more figuratively. Like when you need to take away a privilege when they break one of your house rules. It almost hurts you more when you have to do something that you don’t really want to do, but in doing so, you hope will influence them to be a caring, functioning, contributing member of society. At some time at some point in the future, I am sure someone will hurt him deeply with words or actions. Sadly, all that you will be able to do is comfort or console, and try to provide some words of wisdom that you might have in your back pocket from some similar circumstance that you may have gone through yourself. Of course, you will both survive, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you have to hurt through it together. It’s just heartbreaking. For both of you.
I look forward to when he is feeling better. Watching your child go through something out of your control that makes them feel awful just sucks. Can’t wait to see that smiling face and get back to some of those awesome hurty hugs once again!