Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nightly Ritual

We stood in the bathroom, debating whether medication was the route to go.

"If we give it to her, she's just going to throw up. She just took a bath and drank some Pediasure."

"If we don't give it to her, she's going to cough until she throws up. That will mean new pajamas, new sheets, another bath, and several more hours of wakefulness."

"I don't know."

"Well, we need to decide something."

"I don't know which is better."

"We just---"

Just then, the child standing between us vomited onto the bathroom floor, effectively ending the matter at hand.

"Yicky yicky."

"Did you throw up, sweetie?"

"Frow up. Yicky yicky. 'Cue me." (excuse me)

We scattered in the well-worn way we always do. Nearly mechanical, we can do it in our sleep. I fetched the wipes, Josh stripped her down. He wiped her off and passed her off to me. He scrubbed the bathroom floor, while I finished cleaning her and went to get a fresh pair of pajamas.

"Not DAH ONE!" She said, shrill with conviction when she surveyed the pajamas I chose. "Poinkoink one." (pink)

"This one? THIS pink one?" I asked, showing her the other options.

"This one?" she parroted, unsure, watching me for a clue.

I tried one of our word games, "Which one?"

Her face lit up in recognition, "Which one, which one? A dah one!" pointing at one pair of pink pajamas.

"You want to wear THESE pink ones."

Shaking with excitement, "Poinkoink ones!"

Once she was in her bed, quietly watching a LeapFrog video on the computer (vomiting makes her too wired for sleep, but activity just gets it going again), I collapsed onto the sofa next to Josh and picked up my novel. I felt Josh peering at me, through the back of it and looked up to meet his eyes. Every bit of silence in the room screamed, "Will is always be this way?" Instead, he spoke.

"How does it even happen?"

"I thought we'd have ten days at least, with the antibiotics shot in her system. I know it doesn't do anything for viruses, but you'd think we could get TEN DAYS."

"Does BubTar bring the germs home, without ever catching them himself? Other than the rash, he hasn't been sick. And well, KayTar, she's been sick since he started school, is there anything to be done about it?"

"Just wait. It will have to stop sometime, won't it? She can't just stay sick for 10 months of the year."

She cried out, ending the conversation. Josh went to check on her. I remembered BubTar needed a load of laundry done and went to start it. Josh pops in with KayTar's pillowcase and shirt, the coveted poinkoink one.

"Toss these in, too."

"She threw up again?"

"A little, not too bad. It only got on the pillow."

He left to finish tending to KayTar. I let the washer top slam of its own volition.


Around 11:45, we turned out her lights and huddled quietly on the sofa. Going to bed is too hopeful, too risky, too agitating when you might be stripping beds and cleaning vomit in a few minutes. I went back to my book; he played a video game on mute.

"Ten days..." I whispered, from behind my book. "Couldn't we have had ten days?"

He patted my leg to say, I know, I understand.

Minutes passed.

Quiet prevailed.

We staggered off to bed.


moplans said...

I think we are having the same kind of days, though you must be more war weary that I.
I want to hold onto the idea that it will get better but worry this just sets me up for disappointment.
It has gotten better though, for both of our kids.
The basic prognosis for my kid is that as she gets bigger she gets better. Though you don't have a diagnosis for Kaytar, what I have learned about these types of issues - motor, sensory, language, feeding - is that they all get better with time.
I get exhausted just reading your posts Kyla. Hang in there. You are a superstar mom.

Ben and Bennie said...

Rock solid, girl. Rock solid.
I do know how frustrating/tiresome/wearisome/worrisome/etc/etc/etc those "rituals" can be. I can only say you've got big time admiration and support from a family in the upstate of South Carolina.

NotSoSage said...

Oh, Kyla, I can hear the weariness in your "voice". I wish you and her ten, twenty, a hundred, a thousand and one days. You and Josh are taking such good care of each other, too, through it all. It could so easily not be the case. That is a large part of my admiration for you.

Oh, and I almost cried when she said "'Cue me" after vomiting. She's so, so awesome.

kittenpie said...

Aw, honey. It's exhausting, sick children. I can hear how tired you are, and wish I could lend a hand from here. Maybe do a load or two of laundry for you in my big honking machine, mayb sit watch for a little while and pat her wee head. Instead, I send you some woefully inadequate internet hugs. (Or bezuggles, as Pumpkinpie dubbed them lst night in yet another silly moment.)

Beck said...

Poor tired you guys. Praying for at least ten days for you guys.

Run ANC said...

You guys are handling all the bumps in the road so well. Hang in there. If you come to TO, bring some laundry with you and drop it off at my place.:-)

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with my daughter. When she cries, she gets mucousy and then vomits, when she has a cold, when she's sick in any way, she vomits. When she vomits she gets dehydrated and then gets constipated but I can't give her her cereal because she vomits it up. And when she's constipated she vomits.

It does get better though. She used to vomit way more than she does now.

As for illness. Katie was sick ten weeks one winter, I counted, I couldn't take it anymore, she we started getting her flu shots which has helped a lot. We also religously wash her hands because she touches everything and then sticks them in her mouth and up her nose.

I'm sending you a hug and aren't you glad you have a washer and a dryer? I know I am:)

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention, give meds by suppository if you can.

Kathy Gillen said...

The throw ups are so tough...on Kaytar and you. I'm so sorry about your rough night. Although this sounds funny, given the topic, you wrote about it beautifully. Blessings and a good night sleep to all.

Amy said...

I am so sorry Kaytar is still sick. It just sucks and it isn't fair at all.

Wishing her a speedy recovery!!!

Janet said...

Ten days isn't too much to ask. It really isn't.

Poinkoink, though? So cute.

I have often wished for a laundry fairy around here. If I did have one, though? I would release her to you.

Julie Pippert said...


Using My Words

Becca said...

I am so sorry! You must be exhausted. Wishing you thousands of good days in a row!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, how frustrating.

As Lisa B said, you're definitely a superstar mom. And it's great that you and Josh are such a team in caring for KayTar.

InTheFastLane said...

This sounds so frustrating. I hope for 10 days for you the next time.

joker the lurcher said...

i know this is probably something you have thought of but one of the parents of an autistic kid that i know makes the bed up with several layers - sheet, plastic sheet, sheet plastic sheetand so on and has several duvets handy so changing the bed is a bit easier in the night. might not work for you but i thought i'd mention it. thinking of you all.

Aliki2006 said...

I am so sorry you are going through all this.

Can you give her anything for the vomiting? Our neurologist prescribed Tessa some suppositories, which we give her when she has her episodes, but I imagine they would work for any nausea and vomiting. It doesn't sound like she can stand to lose any weight at all through being sick, poor girl.

Katie said...

So perhaps no sunshine and roses for you today, or even tomorrow, but one day soon enough. (((hugs)))

natalie said...

Poor KayTar...Poor KayTar's mommy and daddy.

Reading your story...hearing how you and Josh support one another, good days and bad--that's inspiration.

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh my friend! I feel your weariness in this. And I am so sorry. I am praying for you to have a break. Time to catch your breath.

And I suspect that it may be Bubtar bringing it home. That's what the doctors said when Ben was so sick for so many months after he was born. He said my older kids were bringing it home, and their immune systems were strong enough to resist the germs but his weren't. We ended up having to give them a quick scrub down before they walked in the door each day.

motherbumper said...

You are so freakin' strong Kyla (and Josh too). I really wish I was close by and could give you a break and help clean up... oh how I wish I could give you at least 10 days.

Junie's Blog said...

That was better than a novel but I hate that it is your actual life. Poor Kaytar. :( It's just gotta get better.

crazymumma said...

You sound exhausted.

But you know what, you and Josh are a well oiled machine. And that is going to get you through the hard times.

I hope she does not throw up for a good long while....

Kristin said...

Ugh! I'm so sorry she's still sick. I hate that you can't get even 10 days. Hang in there, like you always do.

Kaytar is lucky to have all 3 of the rest of you on her team.

cinnamon gurl said...

10 days is SO not too much to ask.

You guys rock!! And you're handling it so well.

I have everything crossed for your ten days.

flutter said...

Oh babe. It will not always be this way.

Christine said...

oh damn, kyla. i wish ten days had come your way as well.

this must be so frustrating.

hang in there, friend.


ms blue said...

Oh I love "Poinkoink ones!"

You are so strong. (hugs)

Cristina said...

I can't imagine how tired you must be and yet you exude so much calm and fortitude. I don't think I could do it - find the strength to have such grace during challenging times. You are such a wonderful mom.