Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Slow Healing

Friday, May 15, 2009

Slow Healing

Believe it or not, Erik is still not feeling well after almost four weeks, although for the most part, he has been pretending to feel peachy in front of others outside of our home. He has been lazing on the couch and watching us exercise in the morning instead of holding our hands and doing the moves with us. He has burst into tears at the tiniest things. He is not eating much of anything most of the time and then binges because he is hungry at other times, which makes him sick. He put himself to bed for a nap yesterday and asked me to read him a book.

Not normal.

This morning I thought things were improving. He was perky when my neighbor came to join us for some exercise. He flirted with her, rolled his toys around, and played his piano. I took him to school, and he seemed happy.

At lunchtime, my cell phone rang. It was Erik's teacher. She reported that she couldn't really put her thoughts into words but wanted to let me know that Erik was just not himself. He filled his diaper (a first at school in itself) with a large amount of toxic waste (although she stated it much more politely) and kept repeating things like "NO" and "I DON'T WANT TO." I thanked her for the call and waited for the school bus to arrive.

As Erik got off the bus, he had the driver racked with giggles and was his usual, chipper self. When we stepped inside the house, however, he politely declined lunch and went off to play with his trucks. My parents arrived to pick him up for the afternoon, and when they asked him if he was ready to go, he said he didn't want to.

Not go to Boppa and Gua's house? Something is definitely wrong.

As my parents climbed into their car to leave without him, I told my mother I would take him to the doctor today. Erik sat in exhausted defiance on the grass next to his tricycle. I sat down next to him and quietly explained that his Boppa and Gua were going back to their house. He seemed to be okay with that -- until their engine roared to life. The boy snapped out of his trance, looked up at me with instant tears shining in his eyes, and cried, "No!" He stood up from his soft place in the grass and began to run toward the car. They opened the back door for him, and he climbed in.

Why is it that Erik seems so vulnerable to everything on this earth to me? My brain reminds me of the stomach bug going around town that reportedly takes this much time to pass. I'm even in the medical field and am quite aware of what to look for and when to take my child to see a physician. He is hydrated and rested. But things are difficult enough on a daily basis without this crap. Especially for Erik, whose GI system doesn't work all that well without medication twice a day to begin with. Somehow I think the universe should just provide a free pass for us regarding this kind of childhood illness, but it doesn't work that way. I soothe and care for the normal bugs, cuts, and scrapes without much of a second thought but am always aware that every injury and illness has a deeper, ominous flavor because of Erik's physical challenges, and I can never completely silence that voice deep inside of me that attempts to send me into a panic. It doesn't have the power to do that anymore. However, its whispers still haunt me and always will. I can't imagine that as Erik's poor little body ages that this will improve at all with time.

That scares the daylights out of me.

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Blogger Tara said...

It scares me too. I'm thinking of you and Erik and I hope he gets feeling better really soon.
Take care of yourself, too.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure hope he's getting better and on the mend. Unfortunately, some "bugs" take longer than a week to vacate.

As long as he's hydrated, that's the best.

Rotavirus is certainly something to consider.

There are days when I shout, "That’s enough!" We're human and some days are a bit heavier to carry our burdens.

Here's hoping this weekend is filled with great things, especially smiles and laughter from Erik!

9:02 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I'm sorry he's been sick for several weeks and just hasn't been himself. I hope you can get some answers as to what is bothering him and that he feels better soon!

7:22 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Scares me too. I think it always will. Somedays it whispers somedays it shouts...but the fear never goes away. To think I might miss something, scares me to death.

Thinking of you and really hoping things get back to normal soon.

5:53 AM  

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