Bear with me, this is gonna be a three parter!
First, a funny…..I have to access my home computer from work in order to get on SHARE every day. For some reason, they have never figured out why I lost access to SHARE from work, but that’s the way it goes. So I access my home computer and then get on SHARE. It workss, slowy and painfully sometimes, but it works. Yesterday, I had accessed, was on SHARE, and working on a blog. Yesterday was also the day our housecleaner came to clean. So, I’m blogging away, and all of the sudden, the period key starts going crazy. I thought maybe something had happened on my keyboard here, and I was trying everything to make it stop. No go. The backspace key here and the period key on my home computer were doing battle, with the backspace key quickly losing. Then I realized…..Maria was cleaning. She had probably put something down on the desk and it was resting on the period key. Sure enough, I got home last night, and our other keyboard was sitting there, pressing down the period key. I just started laughing. Then I thought she must have been freaked out seeing all the stuff going on on the monitor when no one was there!!!
And now, the problem. We survived most of Winter without Ryley getting really sick. He got it a couple of times, but not for as long nor as bad as he had the previous year. So, I was starting to breathe easier…it’s May, the yucky stuff should be gone. WRONG….Ryley started with a runny nose a few days ago. Allergies, no big deal, usually. Two mornings ago, the cough showed up. Yesterday at school, he had a rough naptime, unable to stop coughing. I had him do his peak flow meter last night, and yes, there we were……very much in the “yellow zone”. We haven’t been there since February. Just when you think it’s safe…….Oh well…back on full meds, waiting for that wonderful behavior that seems to go along with full meds for him, and hoping it doesn’t get worse. I can’t really complain….his health could be worse considering……and the meds aren’t really that hard to deal with anymore. He is starting to realize that things are different for him, that a cough isn’t “just” a cough, and that not everyone takes the inhalers, nose sprays, and singular that he does everday. He is getting to that age where being like everyone else is starting to become important. I’m wondering what kindergarten is going to be like……..
When we talk about prematurity and Ryley’s birth, the focus is correctly and understandably on him. He was the one who endured 93 days of the NICU, all the pokes, prods, tests, etc. Very rarely do we talk about what happened to me, physically, before and after his birth. It is shoved to the back burner most the time, something I don’t really let myself examine very much. But I bear some physical scars…..reminders that my life was threatened as well……..When I walked out of the hospital five days after having Ryley, my legs were so weak I needed help walking. I had a staph infection…..I had the worst kind of staph infection you could get. Wow…..seems weird to say that. I could have died from that infection had they not caught and started treating it correctly in time. I had the kind of staph that attacks your heart. In the days following Ryley’s birth, I had much more bloodwork done, I had regular ekg’s and an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart), and after many conventional tries was taken down to outpatient surgery to have a picc line put in my right arm so that they could get the antibiotics I needed as close to my heart as possible. That picc line was in for four weeks……for four weeks, I pushed antibiotics into that picc line three times a day…..I had bloodwork (those tobasco bottles) twice a week…..I went to the infectious disease doctor once a week…….All of this was done in the midst of going to see my very tiny little boy in the NICU everyday, recovering from a delivery, and pumping every three hours. I’m not saying any of this to make myself out to be a hero. I’m not, in the least a hero. It is just what happened. And I wanted to say it because it is part of Ryley’s story, and because we are all scarred in one way or another from our babies’ too soon or too sick arrivals. This is me. This is what happened to me. I see that scar on the inside of my right arm every day. Most days, I don’t even think about it. But sometimes I look at it, and I remember………The reason for that scar, that staph infection could have taken me away from my son, could have taken my son from me if he hadn’t come when he did……It is a visual reminder of what we went through.