On the crazy up-and-down, round-and-round carousal that is parenthood, of course a fun and laughter-filled weekend with friends and family would be followed by illness. I found out yesterday that my daughter has Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Huh? Although many people, me included, would I argue that I have a perpetual case of Foot-in-Mouth Disease, I had never heard of HFMD until yesterday. It sounds pretty damn gross, but it actually sounds much worse than it is. It is a viral illness with the primary symptoms being blister-like sores all over the body but concentrated around the hands, feet and mouth… ok that is pretty gross… and a high fever. And when I say high, I am talking Snoop Dogg hotboxing with Willie Nelson high – my daughter hit 104.5 last night. The good news is that the fever does come down with medicine, as well as scream-and-cry inducing cool baths; the bad news is that it doesn’t seem like good news at 3 am when her fever has shot back through the roof.
There is nothing worse than when your child is sick. It is not just how horrible you feel for them, but how totally helpless it makes you feel. You can have a medicine cabinet stocked full of anything your child might need, you can have your doctor on speed-dial, you can read books, websites, medical-journals, mommy blogs, and doctor advice sites. You can prepare for the worst, but nothing can prepare you for IT – for that feeling that nothing is really in your hands. Not even your child’s life. And nothing can prepare you for how insignificant that makes you feel.
I wonder if it ever goes away – the worry, the heartache, the pain of watching your children suffer without being able to do anything. I think not. I guess I hope not… I wonder what it would mean if it did.