By Kelli Mulloy
Torn - as though equal and opposite forces were conspiring to slowly rip me apart. Every working parent I know feels this way. You have a job and a sick child and a problem. When you have a child with primary immunodeficiency, this is a frequent occurrence. How many days can you miss from work before you lose your job? How young is too young to leave a child home alone? Who could you ask to watch her this time? Is this one serious, or could she really make it at school? Is 99.9 really a fever?
Today was one of those days, and it doesn’t get any easier. I am blessed to run a business with my husband, and in most cases one of us can stay home. The flip side to that there are people at the office who depend on us. Sometimes the demands of work can’t wait.
Today, Courtney’s migraine is on day four. She was diagnosed with ankylosing spondolytitis and the methotrexate she was prescribed lists migraines as a known side effect (we hope that the benefits will outweigh the side effects). When I woke her this morning, she was exhausted from throwing up all night. I went through my routine to try to get her up and when that was unsuccessful, I gave her some more migraine medicine and went to work. More than five hours later, she had not called, so I called home to check. A quiet voice answered:
“How are you?” I asked
“I just want it to stop? Can you come home?”
“I have to be here for a meeting at 3:00; I will come home as soon as I can.” Silence answered me, then a quiet sob.
“Mommy, please make it stop.”
I immediately picked up my purse and headed home. I knew I had to be back by 3:00 but I needed to deliver some frozen yogurt and a hug. I raced home, administered yet another round of medicine and some frozen Tappy’s original with Oreos. My little trooper took her yogurt, her pills and retreated behind her blanket. I raced back to work, tears streaming down my face. I reapplied my makeup in the parking lot and entered my office to have a sales meeting. No one knew.
Across America, working parents encounter similar situations daily. If your child has a primary immunodeficiency, it just seems to happen way too often. Regardless of why your child is sick, each time you have to make a decision, and each time you are torn. It doesn’t get any easier regardless of your child’s age - no one wants to see his or her child suffer. We balance the pros and cons of the decisions we make each day and hope that we made the right call. Still, there is always enough guilt to go around.
If you are in this position, give yourself a break, and remember you are doing the best you can. Let me know how you manage — I’d love to hear from you.
This blog was republished with permission from LIVE With PIDD at http://www.livewithpidd.com/