Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Striking a Balance

Do you ever feel like you over-react when you child with disabilities gets sick? I definitely do, but I don’t know how to strike a balance.

Ashley gets sick a lot – usually with cold-like symptoms, and those usually turn into a sinus infection and/or ear infections. I see other parents whose children have colds – snotty noses, coughs, etc. – and they don’t immediately take them to the doctor. But I do.

My over-reaction probably stems from an incident when Ashley was much younger. She was only 3 years old, and was sick with a pretty bad cold. She started to run a high fever, and was having some seizures. The seizure med that she was on at the time didn’t seem to work well when she got sick, or maybe just didn’t work too well anytime.

After several back-to-back seizures, I called 9-1-1. The rescue squad arrived within minutes, bundled her up and carried her to the ambulance. I followed in my car, except I didn’t really follow because with the help of a fireman, I had to scrape the ice from my car windows – I just headed to the hospital. I knew something was wrong when I actually arrived before the ambulance.

Ashley had gone into a major grand mal seizure in the ambulance. She stopped breathing, and the attendants were using a breathing bag on her. Things went from bad to worse that hospital visit when the doctors had to paralyze her to stop the seizures, and then, of course, had to put her on a ventilator.

That ambulance ride turned into a three month hospital stay that was touch and go for way too long. Ever since then, I get overly anxious whenever Ashley gets even a runny nose.

We’ve never had an event similar to that winter’s horrible seizure, but I still can’t relax. It’s been thirteen years, and I still keep a hospital bag packed for her.

Am I over-reacting? Probably. But what can I do to change? Any and all ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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