Monday, September 10, 2012

The Worst That Could Happen

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." I always wondered about that saying. Stronger for what? You get stronger and stronger and stronger...and then you die. In the meantime, you have to have to live with a bunch of bad crap that is supposedly toughening you up.

Since we've had a child die, it feels like maybe we could face just about anything else. I don't know about that. The fact is, bad things still happen and even if they don't cause death, they can still cause grief, pain, and suffering. Where do you draw the line at how you feel? I mean, someone out there ALWAYS has it worse than you do. I "only" lost one child. A friend of mine, however, lost TWO children at the same time in a fire back last winter. Should I quit my bitching because I am "lucky" that I only lost one? I can remember being a teenager, too, and having my heart broken. I cried for days and days and literally felt like the world was going to end. A frustrated adult snapped at me and told me to "get it over it" and that "worse things could happen." But that didn't mend my broken heart, as true as it was. I still felt that sadness and heartache.

I write this because Iris got sick last week. She's still sick. Normally, when one of us gets sick it's internal so even though we feel bad the outside world can't really see what's going on. In this case, with Iris, it's external. They don't know what's wrong with her. Some kind of "virus" that has just made her entire body, from her scalp to her toes, break out in blisters. Her body is raw and red and in parts of it there are blisters that are four inches wide. It's not hand, foot and mouth disease. It's not chicken pox. It's not measles. We just don't know. Could be Fifth's Disease. Could be Roseola. There are no medicines other than Benadryl to give her. Nothing we can do but sick back and watch her red, painful little body get worse.

Yes, we should be thankful that at least she's alive. And we are. But even though we've lived through the worst thing that could happen and should be able to face anything else with dignity and grace, it's still terrifying to see your child this sick.

We're still human.


Sonia R said...

Rebecca, I'm sorry your little one is not well. Looking at her spots reminds me of the time that myself and my sister had measles? the spots were predominantly on the abdomen, chest and face and a few on the back, exactly like these.

She looks so happy through it though, so I hope I'm wrong : ) Just wanted to say, felt I should mention it.

Hope she gets better soon, what a little darling. X

Susan said...

I think it is more complex than bad things better making you stronger tbh. In some ways I am stronger, in other ways I am more vulnerable.

Not sure if I said before - my bf killed himself when I broke the relationship off in 2004. I found him and developed PTSD. It was AWFUL. I was in a bad way - unable to work - for several months. It took a year for the main anxiety sysmptons to abate, and I was only feeling totally - almost-over it when C died. I couldn't see any way in which it had made me stronger - just weaker, more anxious and with some left-over anxiety symptons. Then when C died, the experience made more sense. I was just better equipped to know how to cope with her death. I understood already about needing to ride the panic, about the need for stamina... about how long it would last... about how things might ease. I do really believe I was better equipped (stronger) than I would have been if my bf hadn't died.

However, I think it has left us with lasting wounds. It is harder to believe everything will be ok, even if rationally we know children seldom die. If M was sick I would be wired to the moon. Glad Iris is on the mend now xx

Rebecca said...

@Sonia- We've been to the doctor (twice) and they have no idea. Just that it's a viral infection.

@Susan- I think you're right-in some ways it does make us more vulnerable.

Maxie's Mommy said...

Agreed about the more vulnerable. It makes sense. Poor baby. That looks uncomfortable.