Keep breathing

For all of you parents out there, you know what it is like to listen to breathing in the dark. Quiet almost breathless breathing in the middle of the night. You can’t sleep because you need to hear that next breath, air drawn into the lungs and the familiar sound of a child sleeping. I don’t think I slept a full night for 7-8 years. Not because I am extremely worried, three kids in 3,5 years really makes you exhausted. I have listened a lot to kids with asthma and croups. We have done a lot of trips in the middle of the night to the ER and spent nights inhaling meds from tubes with tiny, blue lips. We have even called the ambulance a few times for scary croups that got out of control. But this is in the past, our kids are older now. But it never changes, it’s only different.

I spent last night listen to breathing again. And it breaks my heart. Life is unfair sometimes and it’s not much we can do about it. We have learned to live with food allergies. And it is easy for me to say that it is not that bad since I am the only one not having to avoid anything really. I mostly do the cooking but that’s the easy part. We spend a huge amount of money on groceries, cooking everything from scratch, baking, making sure that we know what’s in the food we eat… But it is never enough. Sofia ate a pasta dish that I cooked last week. It was a little bit of a gamble since it had a bit of cream in it but I figured since everything has been good for a while her stomach could take it. She ate a big portion and started swelling. Her face got red and blue, her lips got numb and her mouth itchy. It could have been a lot worse, she has been through a lot worse many times. I realized after thinking about it for a while that it must have been undercooked eggs that started it. She can’t eat raw eggs or not even crack them. If she gets it on her skin she swells. The next few days got a bit interesting. She got really tired and pale, and we tried to be really careful with her diet. And she got back on track. Stayed home from school one day. Stomach pains and sickness started to settle. I think it was the first time in 5 years she said she wished she didn’t have to deal with it.

I made soup and crepes last night, with ingredients that she can eat. All safe. All good. It took about 20-30 minutes before her body was covered with a red rash, itchy and hot. What now? One more thing to add on the list of food. But what? I don’t have a clue. More medicine.

She went to bed and fell asleep, getting really drowsy from the medicine. I didn’t. I started to listen again. Breathing in and out. In and out. Slow and relaxed. Trying not to wake her when I checked her face and behind her ears. It looked nasty. Listening some more. Counting hours and decided to get a few hours of sleep before my workout at 6. She was breathing.

I got back home at 7.30 and she is all packed up and ready for school. Tired and pale but determined to go to school since it is more work to do all the homework if you miss a day. We made it to the parking lot outside school and sat there for a few minutes before we turned around and went back home. She was exhausted. I talked her into going home. I want to hear her breathe. That’s what we are doing today. Just breathe.

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