Why is it that when we catch our children’s illnesses, we get hit with symptoms many, many times worse than they had? My son developed an ear infection about two weeks ago, which after diagnosed and treated, thankfully cleared up with lightening speed. Three days after his diagnosis, the infection jumped to me and exploded in my ear so quickly I went from socializing at a party to curled up in my bed with a heat pack across my head within less than an hour. Thank goodness Eli didn’t suffer as badly… but why did I? I’m still in the throes of this illness—medically called acute otitis media, personally called the worse ear and head pain I’ve ever experienced or imagined. Two visits to doctors over four days, and the pain continued. Only the third visit, on the sixth day...
I planned to have 7 kids. Or at least that’s what I announced to a gathering of family when I was five. I had been asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, and according to my mom, I answered that I wanted to be a doctor, a teacher, an actress, and a mother of 7. Was I delusional or what! Or maybe I wasn’t so delusional… I’ve read so much health and medical information about pregnancy and children, and with the help of my own and my son’s doctors, have responded to so many mini-medical “emergencies”-- it’s not too far of a stretch to award myself an honorary Dr. Mom title. And we all know mommyhood most certainly calls for teaching skills. We moms (and dads, and extended families) are teaching our kids at every moment of our lives… for better or for worse....
I have a tendency to overanalyze—especially when confronted with new situations. Well, being a first-time mom (to beautiful Eli) is filled to the BRIM with new situations! I’m certain you know exactly what I mean. Me in the first month of mommyhood: “Dr. Pediatrician, is Eli’s umbilical cord supposed to look like that? I looked at some pictures of other babies’ cords on the web and I didn’t see one that looked like his. And I read that it should have fallen off by now.” Me in the second month of-- echoing Elizabeth Stone-- forever having my heart go walking (or crying!) around outside of my body: “Doctor, am I feeding him enough? He seems a little small. What percentile did you say he was in?!” Me at Eli’s one-year checkup, fresh from his birthday...
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