Last year at this time I wasn’t feeling so well. I had been coughing for a few weeks and it was getting to where I couldn’t sleep. Allergies, I figured. So I took a cough suppressant. Then the next day I broke out in a rash. Must have been allergic to the cough suppressant, I figured. But eventually the rash got so bad it became a serious concern. So I went to the ER, assuming I needed some Benadryl or something. A few hours later I was admitted to the hospital. With pneumonia. It’s actually kind of a funny story. It’s just not the story I’m telling today. The point here is that I had pneumonia last spring.
There was only one logical, healthy reaction to this: assume
Lily had pneumonia every time she coughed.
The biggest problem with this reaction is that she coughs.
Like, a lot.
We’ve realized quite recently that her cough really IS
allergies. (We are grateful for this discovery, as we- and doctors- thought for
a bit that it was asthma. Toddlers with inhalers are sad.)
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Back to a few months ago, when we were constantly convinced
Lily had pneumonia.
It was another one of those days when she was coughing so
hard she was throwing up. We decided enough was enough. So we took her to the
ER. The doctors in the ER insisted
it was nothing. We insisted it might be something. They finally agreed to do a
Again, I feel the need for a disclaimer. There are a lot of
judgey Moms out there. Shame on you. But just in case, you still feel like judging, here’s the disclaimer. We do NOT run to the doctor
for every little thing. I have a rough-and-tumble kid, and I let her be
rough-and-tumble. We insisted on the x-ray because it had been months of
coughing. (Literally? Yes.) And I was convinced that I gave her pneumonia.
(Which isn’t really how that works. But. Mommy guilt and all.) This was her
first x-ray ever, and they will continue to be saved for emergencies. K?
And now, a word about our Lily. She is TOUGH. She loves the
doctor. She is brave. So we played up this whole x-ray thing. She was going to
go into a room where a robot would take a picture of the INSIDE OF HER BODY!!!
She was skeptical.
Then she was taken inside the x-ray room to see the robot
and put on a special vest. Then she was left in there alone, and the lights
went off. Then the robot made terrifying loud noises.
And then I saw it from a 3-year-old’s point of view.
Her parents had just put her-alone- in a room with a robot
who could see her insides.
It wasn’t just a sad scream, or an angry scream, or an
attention-getting scream. It was a terrified scream. She was really, truly
scared. And we couldn’t go in to help her. It was awful.
Fortunately for her the technician couldn’t get a clear
picture because she couldn’t stay still. That gave Daddy the opportunity to go
in, put on a vest and join her. She didn’t love it, but she tolerated it.
That was one, tiny moment. And it made me want to put Lily
in a bubble so she would never be sick or hurt or scared again. I can’t imagine
how I’ll make it through another moment like this, let alone a lifetime full of
But if I had put her in a bubble, I wouldn’t have watched
her play her first soccer game yesterday. And I couldn’t watch her swim the
entire length of the pool. Or climb to the top of the rope spider web, hang
from the top rope, and drop down.
And the magic of those moments is worth the fear.