My Life is Not Just Mine

Addison picThis past May I was terrified that I was going to lose my six year old son, Addison. He was taken by ambulance from the smaller hospital to the larger Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He had a high fever and his face and neck were very swollen. He couldn’t turn his head and could barely open his mouth.

At the hospital, they put him on the strongest antibiotic that they could. I was told each day that they might have to do surgery the next day. Finally, on the third day, he was responding very well with the antibiotics and the swelling was down drastically. He was released that night and given medicine that smelled horrible. The doctor told me that he could have died in his sleep if I had waited one day longer to bring him in. Today he is fine, but the thyroglossal duct cyst that caused the swelling is still there, and in the coming months he will have to have surgery to get it removed.

My two year old daughter Hannah doesn’t talk. She can say a few words like mom, dad, and “bub,” our nickname for Addison. hannah picAnything else is very hard to understand. She recently started speech therapy every week, and I’m hoping it really works. The speech therapist told me that a two year old should know 50 or more words. Hannah only knows seven. Hannah also has some problems with her breathing occasionally. The doctors will not tell me whether or not it’s asthma until she has been through three winters. This winter will be her third. She has to use an inhaler and a nebulizer when it acts up. Sometimes she can’t stop coughing.

Both of my children kind of have anxiety issues as well. They are both very emotional and sensitive. Hannah has gone into full blown anxiety attacks to the point she can’t catch her breath. Addison mainly has a panic attack when I mention a doctor’s appointment or having to go to the hospital for check ups. I think that the anxiety could be a trait that they I inherited from me. Not sure if it’s been scientifically proven that it can be passed on but it sure seems like it.

It’s hard trying to not let me kids know that I’m worried. Being a single mom, there are a billion things you have to worry about—from making sure my kids get a good education to keeping them healthy to keeping them fed and clothed and on a good path for the future. It’s hard to juggle everything. And even though I try to hide it, my kids can usually still tell when I’m upset. Addison recognizes before anyone else when something is bothering me. He’ll ask me what’s wrong, and if I’m okay.

I’m constantly thinking about my decisions and what kind of consequences they will have on my kids. I recognize that my life in not just mine. It is also my children’s. Whatever I do affects them, as well. I’m trying to become a better person and make our lives better, for their sake and mine.

Was there ever a time that you were really worried about your child? How did you deal with it?


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