Not knowing why your kid is sick is one of the most difficult things I can think of. And here we go again. It's been more than half a year since our last child went through pain and testing, and now here we go again. This is the third week for our second child with a stomach problem. I have deja vu all day long, in my heart and in my own stomach. I'm sanitizing, sterilizing, asking questions, taking child to doctor, letting child sleep, accepting that illness comes, trying to be thankful for small mercies, taking breaks along the way, remembering those whose kids suffer for lack of clean water and killing diseases, sanitizing some more.
But what I want is to know why. I always want to know why. Why am I so tired? Why does this or that happen? There's power in knowledge: our daughter would still be up till one every night with vomiting had we not figured out why she was sick.
I want that medical device they used on Star Trek, the one that looked like a remote control, that could be run over the body and scanned for a quick analysis of what was wrong.
In the absence of understanding, I point fingers, mostly at myself. Have I cleaned enough? Are they stressed and not telling me? Is something wrong with our house? Is there something psychological behind the illnesses?
What I learned last time is that I need breaks from this, even from the trying to understand, the trying to help. I need stories -- movies, books, the World Series. I need laughter and friends. I need people to come alongside to say it's okay, and not to suggest, even in fun, that I've done/not done something and this is my just desserts.
I keep thinking "well, thank heavens I don't have a fulltime job," and this morning I thought to myself, yes. Thank heavens I don't. I have lots of work to do, but no pressing deadlines or impossible clients. I can do what I need to do, and look after sick people. It's okay.
I tell myself, it will be okay.