Either we are the most fortunate parents in the world or the worst when it comes to treating child illnesses inside our home. When I hear stories from other parents of long sleepless nights staying up with screaming children due to ear infections, I just can’t seem to comprehend what they are talking about. It’s not like we haven’t had our fair share of ear infections. Actually quite the opposite! In the past six months two of my little ones have had ruptured ear drums. What I can’t understand is that neither one ever made a PEEP! No crying, no tugging at the offending ear, no NOTHING.
So again we are either extremely blessed or I am the worst mother in the world for not being able to tell that my children are very ill. 😦
Last night I’s left ear started draining like crazy. I recognized the telltale sign of a ruptured ear drum and called his ENT first thing this morning to have it checked.
After dropping Tim off at the office, all four kids and I headed to the ENT’s office. With a little bribing beforehand (yes, it works when in a pinch!) we checked in to see the doctor. Turns out I has a double ear infection with a ruptured left ear drum. This is the second time in six months that his left ear drum has ruptured.
It’s hard as a mom not to feel this awful weight of guilt on my shoulders because if I had caught it early enough, it would only be infected and NOT ruptured. I can’t even imagine how much pain he’s been in and never made a sound of complaint other than the typical griping at his brother like normal.
Here he is yesterday while outside playing. This is his usual look of “I don’t want to do something!” As a mom I ask myself, “What am I missing?!?!?!”
If you think that look in and of itself would be a clear indicator that he didn’t feel well, here he is just a minute later doing what he wanted to do in the first place – facing away from me playing cars instead of smiling for the camera. So again, “What am I missing?!?!?!”
Down syndrome has so many different ups and downs to it, but something that many times seems to be a blessing turns into something that makes me want to cry. I hate that my little boy can’t tell me that he hurts and that he doesn’t even know how to respond to his own pain levels. As his parents we have to somehow grow even more attentive and observant of his every mood swing or fall because he doesn’t react to discomfort or pain like his siblings. I’ve heard stories of children with DS who have fallen at school while playing on the playground and go home with broken bones because no one noticed and the children never made a sound. That’s terrifying to me!!!
Sigh…The journey of learning for all of us continues. Please pray for little I as his eyes and ears heal from this latest round of infection. Also pray that Tim and I can grow in wisdom as we endeavor to find a balance of caution and sensibility without smothering I with attention and ignoring our other children’s emotional, spiritual and physical needs.
Parenting is the hardest job I have ever done and also the most rewarding.