Do not send sick kids to school! I repeat, do not do it! I recently read an article in which a parent was asking that schools police children’s health and punish those parents who send their sick children to school. If you wake up and your kid has a 104 degree temperature or is actively vomiting and diarrheaing all over the house, it’s a pretty good bet that you should keep that kid home. But should the school have the right to take punitive action against the parents?
I get that parents have jobs and they can’t always get time off. Not every parent is a stay-at-home or even has the opportunity to work from home. My family is very fortunate in this way. I work from home and, if need be, my husband can work from home some days so I follow all the rules. I fully realize that most parents can’t do that and they work to pay for food, shelter and utilities. Sometimes, you just have to send your kid in and pray he doesn’t infect anyone else because, quite frankly, the electric company doesn’t care if your kid is sick and the grocery store doesn’t take I.O.U.s.
If my girls are running fevers or vomiting, I always keep them home. Furthermore, if they have to stay home, I take them to the pediatrician because we are lucky enough to have insurance. And if they ever have any continued sinus problems resulting from their illness I will take them to a pediatric ent doctor. It’s not always easy, but it’s what has to be done.
Recently, I was really sick with the flu myself. What I thought was a man cold, because I was being a whiny little girl and complaining about everything, turned out to be the real deal, pull on your big girl panties and prepare to hate your life for the next 7-10 days FLU! The one year we don’t get our flu shots and pow… Right in the kisser.
The worst part of this whole situation was that my girls were also sick so I couldn’t just rest and recoup, I had to tend to them first and then rest. It was brutal. To make it extra special, the night I felt my absolute worst from the killer headache that accompanies this death flu, 5 minutes after finally drifting off to sleep, my 8-year-old ran into my room screaming my name as she projectile vomited all over my carpeted bedroom. The last thing I wanted to do in the middle of my dying was clean up vomit but that’s what I did.
For the next four days of my crippling flu journey, the little one feverish and clingy spent every waking and sleeping moment draped over my body, attached to me like some adorable little parasite; killing me softly as I stayed silent; comforting her when all I wanted was solitude and sleep. I didn’t want to be touched or looked at but I had to suck it up.
To make things worse, when she’s sick she’s kind of mean. She was short and irritable. So was I but I’m the mom. So not only did I get to feel absolutely dreadful, I got to be her punching bag (because who can yell at a sick kid) avoid sleep because of worry and go quietly insane.
So at the end of last week, just as the antibiotics started to kick in from the compounding situation of walking pneumonia, the Big Guy got sick. Fevers, coughing and achy soreness for everyone.
By Saturday morning, the oldest had 104-degree temperature. None of us wanted to move and all of us wanted to die. Still, I had not one second to be sick in peace. No moment to curl up under the blankets and wallow to the hum of the humidifier. Not even one lone moment to nurse my scratchy throat in peace.
Essentially, we had almost 3 weeks of children home. 10 of those days, I was extremely sick myself. I kept my girls home because that is what school policy dictates, that’s what their sick little bodies demanded and it had to be done. None of us liked it. We were all just trying to survive it.
Then I got a carefully worded letter in the mail, “warning” me about my daughters’ absences. The ones they had missed due to the flu they caught at school. The same absences, which I had taken them to the pediatrician for and called daily to let the school know. I felt threatened and appalled because if the other parents had kept their kids home when they were running the fevers, maybe my entire family could have avoided 3 weeks worth of missed school, ballet, gymnastics, violin and tumbling. Maybe I could have saved all that money I had to waste on OTC drugs, doctors visits, prescriptions, Kleenex, and takeout because no one felt up to cooking.
Instead, I got the reprimand for doing the right thing and the parents who knowingly send their kids in sick with fevers, stomach flus and lice are left to go on about their merry ways. I call bullshit.
I’m Bitter. I did all the right things and I am the one being policed. How is this fair? We need a better system.
Parents, I know that its not easy and sometimes it might not even be possible but if your child is sick and you knowingly send them in to school, you know better and you should be the one being given the threatening letters, not me.
What do you think about parents knowingly sending sick kids to school?
Coming off this past weekend where I just spent every ounce of my energy tending to two very sick little girls, you can imagine my dismay when I called my own Mother this morning ( who was supposed to be coming for a week long visit) only to find out she has changed her mind.
It went a little something like this:
Me: “Hi, Mommy (Yes, I still call her Mommy). So, when are you getting here?”
Mom:Hesitation in her voice, damn she must have read my FB updates about sick kiddies, “Well, I am trying to figure that out. When do you think would be best?”
Me: “Well, I thought you were coming tomorrow.”
Mom: “Well, I’m trying to figure out what will work out best for BOTH of us.”
Me: “Mom, the girls have both been sick all weekend. I am exhausted and to be honest, I think I am getting sick too. I could really use your help with the girls THIS week!”
Mom: ” Sick? What kind of sick? I think maybe I should come the week before the 4th of July.”
I think as soon as I confirmed the sickness rumors and she heard the word “sick” all she heard from then on out was white noise.
WTF????? Did she misunderstand that I just asked my MOMMY for help? What part of “I need help with the girls” is she having trouble understanding?
Me: ” Mom, are you coming or not?”
Mom: “Well, what do you think would be best?” ( I thought we just went over this!)
Me: Again, am I not speaking English? “I think I need you THIS week. The girls are getting well and will want to be playing outside and I will want to be in bed dying.”
Mom: “Ok, well you let me know.(Hello? Is this thing on?) Oh, by the way, can you come here this weekend for you brother’s birthday party?” Commence my eye rolling and seizure having.
Me: WTF???Seriously, what the hell is going on here? Where is Ashton Kutcher, surely I must be getting punked! I love this woman but I am thoroughly confused. Apparently, we were playing a game of Chinese telephone that I had no idea that I was engaged in because she understood absolutely nothing of what I was saying.” OK, Mom. I will call you back.”
Apparently, my Mom doesn’t want to come take care of my children while I am sick but won’t actually say no. She’s from the south, they don’t like to be “ugly” about things. So, to recap; as I was being Supah Dupah Mommy this weekend taking care of any and all urges and whims of my poor sick children, my Mom is probably at home , at thsi ver moment, Lysoling the receiver to be sure she doesn’t catch my cooties through her land line. How can she be my Mom and we be such different types of Mommies? I should add that she only lives an hour away and she ALWAYS tells me , “When you are sick, if you ever need me to come help with the girls..JUST CALL!” I did! So much for that idea. Now, here I go back to my whining sick children ( Gabs is lying in bed making a sound like a dying calf) as I try my best not to go delirious with my own fever. Happy Mothering!
Sick Daddy Walking.Really does that even exist? Seriously, when I get sick the world keeps on moving on.Asses need wiped, BooBoos kissed, Dinner made. Lunches packed, Laundry folded.Children chauffeured, dressed, bathed, coddled and loved. The show must go on.(PERIOD)
But when the Big Guy, or any man for that matter, is sick,the world comes to a screeching halt.Full on, falls to the ground, assumes the fetal position and can NOT move.Sniffles are sure to be whooping cough. Diarrhea must be cholera or dysentery. A fever, oh shit,he’s pretty sure its the bubonic plague.Vomiting must be fatal food poisoning.No matter the ailment,the end result is the same. They are dying and you must sit by their bedside and nurse their body while stroking their, (ehem) ego!
My husband and I have had the exact same virus, simultaneously and I had to get up and take care of the kids as he whimpered from the other bedroom ( because apparently when he’s sick he needs to be alone in another room to get his rest…really,novel idea. Can I borrow it sometime?I need some sleep too!)”What do you want me to do ( cough ,cough)?You shouldn’t have to do it all by yourself,( cough, sneeze, sniffle..repeat)but if you’re getting up,I think Gabs needs to be wiped!” Commence eye rolling on my part.
Have I told you about the time I had the stomach flu so badly that I vomited for 9 hours straight,every half hour on the half hour? Well, I did and guess what happened on the 9th hour?I finally felt well enough to walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water for my dehydrated self ( it was about midnight)when my then 4 year old walks out of her bedroom, we meet in the hallway, and she proceeds to say “Mommy, I don’t feel so…BLEH>>>>” all over my feet.As I was cleaning her up and trying to clean up the hallway and …my feet, the Big Guy walks out, only to say, “You Ok?” I say yes (yes, in the vomit was not acid like and had not burned off any of my skin or limbs. But not yes as in, I’m OK, life is dandy with vomit on my toes)and try to explain what had happened…to his back as he was headed back to bed.Guess what I got to do that night, after a long day of puking? You guessed it, I got to stay up all night with a sick daughter who kept puking.What did the Big Guy get to do? SLEEP!But if the tables had been flipped, you can bet your ass that I would have had to stay up and hold the barf bucket, wipe vomit off of faces, and soothe all general ill physical pains and emotions.
Just wondering if this happens at your house too? I love my Big Guy but there is something about a man sized baby that makes me want to gouge his eyes out.I just don’t understand why they get to be all baby like and get pampered and stroked and we have to soldier on. I’m not a soldier, nor have I ever been, and I don’t want to soldier on.When I’m sick, I want to receive the same care and attention the Big Guy and the kids expect from me.I want to be allowed the simple luxury of lying around in my jammies, sipping hot tea, while the world soldier’s on without me. For now,( cough, cough, sniff, sniff, and a trifecta of sneezes)I will soldier on!
My little apparently has the flu. It started with a sore throat and headache, quickly followed by a high fever and chills, add to that projectile vomiting of one big breakfast all over my freshly shampooed carpets and it’s been a banner week thus far. I’m not complaining. My heart is breaking for my Bella. There is simply very few things worse in the world than having to see your child sick. I cleared my schedule and have been dutifully wiping noses, administering ibuprofen and Tylenol, cleaning eye boogers out ( do you know why they are called that? Because it is actually excess snot that has no place else to go. Yeah, I just learned that today.EWWW), incessantly pushing the fluids, and enforcing nap time like I’m the Gestapo. I will do whatever it takes to get these littles well again.
We all know how hard it is when our babies are sick.Sleep is basically non existent for me this week. The hardest part has been keeping the two apart. Bella has pretty much been lying around the house like a limp rag with that glazed over sick look that kids get when they are almost completely out of their head with fever. But Gabs, that firecracker has not gotten this variety of cootie yet and so she soldiers on…right into the cootie infested waters of her sister’s room. I run back and forth rerouting her all day long. It’s become a full time job this week. And since I have been waiting on Bella hand and foot because she is so ill and I am trying to conserve her energy as well as contain her germs, Gabs feels that she should receive equal treatment. So , yesterday, every time Bella called for water, a blanky, a fallen lovey..Gabs called out immediately after for the pillow to be fluffed, her water on the nightstand next to her to be lifted to her lip, or to tell me that I don’t love her as much as I love her sister because I took her temperature first ( you know because the fact that her sister was running a temp of 104 was obsolete and she had none).
Bella is so sick that I can’t even leave my house to go to store to replenish my diminishing supply of Tylenol, Ibuprofen and chicken noodle soup. I was feeling literally at my wits end, and on top of that, I was feeling trapped. Trapped in my house about to lose my ever loving mind. I was so desperate that I had to breakdown and ask the Big Guy to take a personal day and come home as soon as he could. I was desperate! Then it happened, a little ray of sunshine into my day ..actually it was three rays of sunshine.
First, my friend Nicole, called and we talked. We caught up. It was the first real catch up conversation that we’ve been able to have since the holidays and it was needed and rejuvenating. You know how some people’s voices are calming and make you feel easy and relaxed. That is Nicole. She is laid back and awesome. Put it this way, when I am in full on crisis mode ( as I tend to be a lot these days) she is my voice of reason. She reminds me that I am more than just a Mommy,that I am a person, that she is my friend.That this craziness, whatever ledge I happen to be on on any given day, is temporary and it will pass. She also tends to agree with me that I am mostly right and the rest of the world is wrong. For that, I will always love this girl. Her call made me get out of my head and think of more enjoyable things. Thank you, sister!
Then, my friend Sarah called and we spoke. Sarah is one of my closest friends and like one of my little sisters. She is also my neighbor and she is the kind of Mom that I wish I was in many ways. She is the Mommy who can take a knee and a soft voice and meet chaos and tantrums with grace and understanding. I’m serious, I’ve seen her do it. Me on the other hand, I have to make a conscious choice not to roar, and sometimes I still end up doing it. She is one of the kindest and sweetest women I know. She is the friend who I can talk to about everything marriage and Mommy and she meets it with complete understanding and never any judgment. She probably has no idea what that means to me. She reminds me that it’s OK not to be a perfect Mommy, as long as I love my children and do my best by them. On top of all that, she is that friend who knew I couldn’t leave the house and picked up meds and goodies for my girls, just to make them feel better. She’s about 31 flavors of amazing.Thank you, girl!
Then, as I was cleaning the never ending supply of eye boogers out of Bella’s eyes for the Umpteenth time yesterday, the phone rang. I ran to answer it because I thought for certain it was the Big Guy telling me that he would be able to come to my rescue. I looked at the phone and I did not recognize the number AT ALL but I answered it anyway. Words can not describe how happy I am that I did. On the other end of the line, came a voice of a good friend that I’ve never actually talked to in real life..it was Naomi @OrganicMotherhoodwithCoolwhip. We have “known” each other for quite some time and we speak online all the time. I feel like she is an old friend but we’ve never actually met. She called just to say hi because we’ve both been so busy and have not chatted in awhile. She totally made my day. At the minute in my day, when I was literally up to Bella’s eyeballs in eye boogers, Naomi came in and took me away from it. She was like a sweet little dose of Calgon, right there in my cootified, snot inundated, germ infested nightmare. We immediately fell right into a comfortable conversation,like to old friends. Thank you for once again brightening my day,girl!Love you in a big way!
Then, last but certainly not least, the Big Guy called to inform me that he was coming home to help with the sickness duty.My day was made! It’s the little things that add up to mean so much. On a day when I wanted nothing more than to throw in my Mommy towel, three fabulous ladies and one Big Guy became my super heroes. I’m sure they have no idea what they did yesterday, but the reality is that their words, kindness, time, concern, friendship and love…saved my life.
This post is for my fellow Mommy bloggers. I know some of you don’t like to be pigeonholed by the term. I, myself, am pretty proud of it. I have only been writing this blog for about 2 years, but in that time I have surrounded myself with a wonderful community or women and men; mostly parents and bloggers. I have met amazing women all over the globe. My friend and advice pool has increased exponentially. I have also learned that there is a definite pecking order in the community, as there is in any social circle. People with seniority are obviously going to know more about the field and have more experience and insight. This is nothing new. This is the way of the world.
Last night, I was checking my Twitter stream and I saw a confusing tweet about Top Tier (more seasoned) Mommy Bloggers and it linked to a post. I won’t link that post because I don’t like to give traffic to what I think is a malicious rant. I wasn’t sure if the tweet was in agreement of the post or against it. So, my interest was piqued and I had to read it for myself.The jist was that it was a complaint rant ( a whine, if you will) about how Top Tier Mommy bloggers are aloof and “take” all the opportunities and that the only reason they have the opportunities that they have is because they were here first.She went on to insinuate that the entire “community” that they inundate themselves with is nothing more than a handful of other Top Tier Mommy bloggers. The entire post felt to me like a platform to attack. Of course, it is her blog and she is entitled to say whatever she wants about whatever she wants.It’s her opinion but it really felt like sour grapes to me.
I am NOT a big name blogger, by any means. I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of Mommy bloggers.But I can say this with complete authority, these women are where they are because they are talented writers, they work hard to network, they put themselves out there with their writing and most have been working hard at this for years.YEARS!The writer of the post says that the Top Tier Mommy bloggers “worm” their way into every single internet uproar referencing the Today Moms and Babble.com. These bloggers are the authority because they’ve been doing it the longest and gotten exposure for being pioneers in the field. The Today Show and Babble go to them first because the Top Tier Mommy bloggers are the ones who have been here for the longest. FYI, I know several “new” bloggers (especially int he NYC area) who have several media opportunities. So, it’s not just about being in that elite group. You have to be available and engage in social media. You can’t sit on a Mommy blogger throne and just think you are so special that the world must come to you. We are all moms. We grow babies and share our experience, have opinions..the end. Most are not independently wealthy, they are paid in prestige. They are paid in mattresses, trips and cameras.They write because they love to write. They write to maintain their sanity.They write because they have something to say. They keep writing because we are reading. I admire them for their fortitude and ambition.It’s hard to keep working so diligently on a goal that is almost impossible to reach.Mommy blogging is about as hard as actual Mommying, with much less rewards.
I wonder if the blogger who wrote the post has even ever tried to reach out to these so called Top Tier bloggers? I have. I have networked and chit chatted with just about every single one of them via Twitter, FB, our blogs, email and various other blogging platforms. You know what? The ones I’ve interacted with are very friendly, willing to guide/mentor a new blogger, gracious and smart. They don’t shut new bloggers out. But, as a new blogger, you have to be willing to engage, introduce yourself. They don’t know you. How could they? You’ve never met. It’s common sense, just like in your real life relationships.You have to make an effort. You can’t sit on your ass and expect Mohammad to come to the mountain. Most of us are not that fucking special.In fact, no one is that fucking special. Life is about relationships. You get out what you put in.
It’s ridiculous that I have to defend these ladies for doing nothing wrong. This post I read talks about community and the TOP TIER bloggers keeping it very elite and cliquey when she herself is the one who is attacking; shutting them out. They are not writing about keeping people out. She is. I think this is more a case of sour grapes than anything else. This is where the dysfunction comes from in this community.Not from Top Tier Mommy bloggers shutting people out but from whiny bloggers giving up and looking for someone else to blame for their own shortcomings. Work hard, persist and persevere or give up and shut up. Either way, stop complaining.
It’s been one of those weeks. The girls have both been sick for a week, I am sick, my husband comes home this weekend and he is getting sick. Everybody feels like crap, we stay in our jams, there’s barfing, coughing up lungs, spitting ( oh yeah..so ladylike), fevers galore, me putting the girls in luke warm baths to bring down fevers ( any idea what that’s like? Its like bathing a cat!) and thermometers sticking out of every orifice in the house. It’s basically been a three ring sick circus and I’ve been designated the damn ring master of Germapalooza. Just for the record, its no fun being the ring master when you feel like shit. Summer sickness? What is that? At least when I am sick in the winter, I feel like the malaise is confined to my body; my person. In the summertime, with the heat, I feel like the entire universe is conspiring to kill me. It is horrendous.Couple that with having to watch more poor babies be sick, the helplessness that comes with that in itself; I feel absolutely miserable! You all know how badly I felt this week, I mean Monday I called my own Mommy for help. (She didn’t come but that’s another story altogether).Here, I am walking around in a fever induced delirium trying to force fluids and keep track of meds for my girls, charting temps, rationing toast,and wiping noses and asses…all week long…all while trying not to pass out myself. Is that even safe? Fortunately for me, a family who is sick and ailing together..naps together. Ahh, naps, you sweet , sweet bastards you helped me survive this week.
Amidst all of this bubonic bliss, I couldn’t help but take a little inventory of my house and myself. Brilliant , right? I look in the mirror and see the crypt keeper with bed head, eye boogers and fever blisters. Pretty , right? What’s more pathetic is I look at my usually adorable kids and the poor babies, they look like..well, the crypt keepers children. Worse than that, I do care but I am too sick and tired to do anything about it. So, I put the kids on the sofas and we lie there in our ugly silence , sipping tepid water, wiping our noses and watching Netflix! Then , my crazy little over active brain takes over. It’s been known to do that. I’m a thinker, sometimes I wish I could just be vacuous…blissfully vacuous!
In true Mommy fashion, I decided that every morning before I started feeling my worst, I would make an attempt to clean my house. As a general rule, I have been working until I feel faint from the cold meds. (I learned that lesson the hard way while trying to place some decor above the kitchen cabinets. I turned around so quickly on the chair that I got dizzy and lost footing. Thank God I caught myself, the hospital would have locked my girls and I away for good if we came into the emergency room looking the way we did.) After almost falling and or collapsing for the third time, I decided to give myself over to the disease and accept that sometimes we just need to take off our Mommy Super woman cape and say,” To hell with it, I need a nap!” Because in the end, who cares what we look like or the house looks like when we are sick..we’re sick. What is important is that we take care of ourselves so that we can get well…and take care of our sick husbands! At least that’s what I’ve been told!Happy and Healthy Mothering!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of McDonald’s, all opinions of how to help parents get through a child’s health crisis are my own.
Imagine being at the beach on vacation with your family or just spending a fall afternoon on a family bike ride. If you really think about it, you can almost feel the warm contentment that comes with being safe, happy and together in those moments with the people you love. There are so many moments in life like these that we take for granted. We all do until something terrible happens and then we don’t.
Imagine then, as horrible and unthinkable as it may be, that something tragic happens to your child. In that moment, the only thing that you want to focus on is taking care of your baby and making sure they get well. The last thing that should be on your mind is figuring out how to afford it all. RMHC helps alleviate the cost of travel for care and provides support, resources and the comforts of home to families and sick children when they are away from home for medical care.
I’ve seen it happen. The complete fog that takes over when you are thrown headlong into a medical crisis. My nephew Alex was diagnosed with leukemia when he was a toddler and it flipped our entire world upside down. You can’t even imagine how irrelevant everything else in your life becomes. You become micro-focused on the sick child because that is what the heart dictates. The head is overruled and rational thought goes out the window.
It is a moment of such desperation in a family’s history that nothing else matters; even if it should. One crisis at a time. You have to hold it together for your baby. No breaking allowed.
I watched from the peripheral as my brother and his wife went through this. It was a dark time for our entire family but it was the worst moment in my brother and his wife’s life. Their baby was sick and all they could do was pray, be there for him and get the best help they could for him. It was their sole purpose for existence in those days.
Lifesaving treatment is incredibly expensive but it’s not an option. You have to do, you will do, whatever it takes to save your child’s life. The thing is the world goes on, even while yours is falling apart. Bills start coming. You start to drown in them but you can’t focus on that, you have to keep your everything focused on getting your child to the other side of this alive and nothing else matters.
In a perfect world, lifesaving treatments wouldn’t cost so much and parents wouldn’t have to worry about anything other than caring for and being there for their child. But the reality is that life doesn’t stop when our children get sick. RMHC helps families find a way to stay close to their child when they need them the most.
On top of trying to figure out how to be there physically and emotionally for your child, you have to be able to figure out pediatric care, accommodations, and food. Some illnesses necessitate long and repeat stays in the hospital and usually, that’s not at your local hospital. It’s usually the nearest children’s hospital that specializes in treating your child’s illness because that’s the prize; your child’s life.
But hotels, travel, childcare for other children and food all take effort and cost money. It’s hard to try to figure it all out and stay focused on your sick child. While it may seem like an insurmountable challenge to your family, the world goes on. Your child is sick and they need you and that is all that should matter. To the family of a sick child, it’s the worst, most vulnerable moment of their lives but it doesn’t have that same profound effect on the rest of the world. Thankfully, there are places like Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and McDonald’s who do understand.
RMHC helps families stay together through three core programs:
1.RMHC provides comfort, support, and resources for families with sick children just steps away from the hospital.
2. The Ronald McDonald Family Room® provides moms and dads a place to recharge mere steps away from their child’s hospital bedside. It allows them a place where they can eat, shower, rest and recharge so they can be strong for their children.
3. The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® brings medical, dental and healthcare resources directly to children near their home or school.
In 2016, alone, RMHC provided 2.4 million overnight stays to families through the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room Programs. That is an amazing gift to the families of sick children at a time when they need it the most.
McDonald’s believes that families are better together, that’s why they support RMHC. Their commitment is to keep families together when a child needs medical care and that is why from 11/7-11/19, you can donate $1, $3 or $5 at the register or at the drive-thru at your local McDonald’s to help RMHC keep families with sick children together when treatment takes them far from home.
A $1, $3 or $5 donation may not seem like much to give, less than a cup of coffee in some cases, but to an RMHC family it means the world. If you like, you can donate today at any McDonald’s. If you can’t afford to donate money but you still want to help, you can support RMHC by sharing the fundraiser with friends and family or volunteering at your local RMHC. Either way, we can all do something to help.
The world feels like it’s falling apart with the coronavirus pandemic. It’s scary. I’m not the type to buy into fear and hysteria but facts are facts. The coronavirus is an unknown and as such, if you have an ounce of sense, you are probably afraid. You are not alone. Even the doctors and nurses are afraid. You should be afraid. I had an interview with an ER doctor on the front line and I found out everything you wanted to know about coronavirus. If you suspect that you may have been exposed to the virus or have been in contact with a person showing symptoms of the disease, it is recommended that you get yourself tested using a ThermoGenesis COVID 19 test kit at a medical clinic and be quarantined if found covid-positive so as not to infect your family or co-workers.
I wanted to get some real answers so I contacted a front line healthcare worker, an ER doctor. There are so many conflicting reports and the information is changing by the moment. I’m just a mom, no medical background so I consulted a professional I asked the questions in my interview with an ER doctor and I found out everything you wanted to know about coronavirus. She is not the only doctor who feels this way.
The big truth is that healthcare workers are severely wanting of protective gear. We’re basically sending them into the hospitals like lambs to the slaughter. We want them to save us but they are not even equipped to save themselves, they don’t have what they need on hand to protect themselves from contracting coronavirus from constant and repeated exposure.
Why should you care about that (besides that it’s the human thing to do)? You should care because 1) if they all get sick, there will be no one to take care of your loved ones if they get sick 2) if they are exposed and carrying or sick and you go into the hospital to get checked, you’ll probably contract it too. This is going to cost lives. There is no way around that.
This is my interview with an ER doctor on the frontlines. This is everything you wanted to know about coronavirus.
Me: Thank you for what you do. How are you holding up?
ER: Thanks. I’m in full panic mode. There’s not enough protective gear at the hospitals and our medical clinic. It’s not that I’m special, but I refuse to use substandard equipment during all of this so that’s going to leave me (an asthmatic) with very few choices soon.
Me: I hope they get you guys some more protective gear.
ER: They’re rationing protective gear and telling people to use stuff that won’t protect them and I’m not going to do that. It puts me and my patients in harm’s way, leaving us all vulnerable.
Coronavirus is scary for everyone, but especially for me and others in the high-risk group.
I’m willing to do my part, but I’m not willing to die because I’m not protected and those are my only choices right now.
They’re going to kill off all the healthcare workers in America because the government isn’t getting us what we need.
- President Donald Trump has not yet made use of the Defense Production Act to get critical supplies to the front lines of the coronavirus fight, FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
- Trump said Friday that he was using the act and had directed “a lot” of companies to produce key supplies like masks and ventilators.
- On Saturday, the president suggested that he had not done that because private companies were stepping up on their own.
- Gaynor told CNN that donations and voluntary offers of assistance were presently sufficient. “If it comes to a point we have to pull the lever, we will,” he said.
Me: Are they giving it to us straight or is it being played down to the public?
ER: They’re going to hurt everyone in this chaos and the ramifications will be felt for decades to come. It’s not just affecting the elderly. Half the people in Italy admitted with coronavirus are 20-54-years-old.
Me: So, what kind of protective gear are the hospitals in need of?
ER: Right now we are in desperate need of N95s, face shields, gloves, surgical
masks, gowns and hair covers.
Me: Is there a shortage bring manufactured? Or just a shortage on hand? How can we help?
ER: There’s a nationwide shortage. Not enough protective gear at hospitals currently and not enough being manufactured.
If someone has product to donate, I would call the county or state department of health and ask where to make donations. Or even contact your local hospitals (might be better) if you have access.
Me: I read somewhere there is a new quick test that takes about 45 minutes. Is that true?
ER: In regards to new quick testing, I haven’t heard of that yet. But, there have been a lot of fake companies trying to sell stuff to hospitals. If it’s from the FDA then that’s promising.
Me: What advice would you give to people to stay well?
ER: Well people need to stay at home as much as possible. Wash hands frequently. Go nowhere except pharmacy, gas and grocery stores. The more people stay away from each other the less the spread.
Me: What advice would you give people who suspect they’re sick?
ER: Sick people should stay home. Self-isolate from family as much as possible. If you don’t feel short of breath stay home and wait to feel better … like you’d do with the flu.
If you become short of breath and you feel you need to go to the ER, call ahead to let them know your symptoms so preparation can be made.
Me: Anything else I should include so people understand how serious this is? How easy it spreads? How it’s different than the flu? Why it’s more dangerous? What we can do to keep ourselves healthy during this time of quarantine? How this will negatively affect healthcare workers and why that’s important to every citizen
ER: People need to understand that no one alive today has an immune system that has been exposed to this virus so no one’s body is equipped to prevent the infection. If you are in the company of someone who has it you WILL get it.
The majority of people will feel nothing worse than a cold or flu. That’s a best-case scenario.
Me: Do you know, if you catch it, do you have immunity then or can you catch it again?
ER: No one knows at this time if having it once can prevent you from getting it again.
ME: What predicts if a person will experience it like a cold/flu or worse? Underlying conditions? What underlying conditions are. Included?
ER: People with chronic diseases; cardiovascular and lung disease are more adversely affected. People will die.
ME: What is the worst-case scenario experience? What will happen then?
ER: If a majority of health care workers get sick/ die this will make the current crisis many folds worse and leave Americans without adequate healthcare for decades to come.
ME: Are healthcare workers more susceptible just because of being on the frontlines? Or is it because of the inadequate gear? Repeated exposure?
ER: Being on the front lines without adequate protective gear is the biggest risk, and likely multiplied by repeated exposure without protection.
The slower this spreads across America the more time healthcare workers have to give patients the care they need in a manageable setting. This means people need to stay at home so the virus can’t spread. If everyone gets sick all at once the hospitals will be overrun and there will not be enough beds, medicines, or critical care equipment to take appropriate care of ANYONE.
If we’re lucky, we’ll spend some time at home with our families and it’ ll feel like we overreacted and no one we love will die. That’s if we self-quarantine and practice social distance as asked. If we don’t, and we keep going on spring break and going to parties and thinking the rules don’t apply to us, we’ll all lose people that we know.
READ ALSO: Why Spring Break Needs to be Canceled
We need anybody who can donate any masks, but most importantly N95s, to do so.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order requiring all hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient clinics, dental clinics, and veterinary clinics with surplus PPE supplies to notify the state’s PPE coordinator to arrange for a handoff. Vets, dentists, and the like are ordered, by law, to participate in the reallocation of this excess equipment to the nurses and doctors directly treating patients. According to the executive order, any person found to be in violation would be subject to the penalties of a Class C misdemeanor.
WE NEED THIS IN EVERY STATE. Contact your local governor by email or CALL THEM and implore them to follow Governor Brown’s example and get our healthcare workers the protective gear they need. Our doctors and nurses on the front lines should not have to resort to Twitter and using a hashtag #GetMePPE just to do their job.
Our doctors and healthcare workers should not have to fear for their lives in order to save ours.
This was my interview with an ER doctor asking everything you ever wanted to know about coronavirus. If you have more questions, leave them in the comments and I will follow up with the doctor and try to get you the answers.
You know it’s bad enough that we live in a world where I have to feel trepidatious every time I drop my kids off at school or hear a siren. It’s bad enough that I have to live in world where people bully other people for sport and children are regularly kidnapped, raped and murdered. All these things, I think about every day. I think of childhood diseases and cancers and getting hit by a car or stolen an these things scare the hell out of me.
Yesterday morning was one of the worst of my life thus far. We all hate to see our children sick. It makes us feel helpless. For me, it is the worst feeling in the world. Worse than anything else I have ever experienced. I’d do anything for them to never feel pain. Give it all to me. Let me take the pain and sickness and let them only feel well and happy. My mind goes to dark places when my children are sick.
When my nephew was 3, he was diagnosed with leukemia and since then, I have been acutely aware of the mortality of children. It is the one thing that scares me above all else; loving someone else so much that you can’t imagine surviving without them and knowing that at any time, anywhere, it can all be taken away. It scares me more than anything. Yesterday, I found myself in the emergency room with my oldest daughter and I was scared to death and helpless and all I could do was pray.
My 8-year-old woke up yesterday morning and immediately said she had a sore throat and didn’t feel too well. The night before she complained of a slight headache and scratchy throat, so I suggested that we take her temperature and sure enough she had a slight fever, 99.9. School says it’s not a fever until it’s over 100. Mommy says it’s a fever over 98.6. The three of us walk down the stairs through the foyer and make our way to the kitchen. Both girls stand by the counter while I grab some ibuprofen, only this is when things when terribly wrong.
With my back is to her, I stood about 5-feet away grabbing the ibuprofen, Bella screams out terrified, “Mommy, I can’t see!”
“What?” my mind is racing. I run over to her and immediately start putting my hands in front of her face to see if she can see anything.
“Can you see this?”
Staring blanky at nothing and her voice starting to crack, “No, Mommy, I can’t see anything!”
I am swept up in fear because the first thing that comes to my mind is the photophobia caused by meningitis. The very thing I lost a student to in the matter of a weekend. Oh shit! What do I do?
As she was finishing her sentence, her eyes rolled back in her head and she collapsed into my arms. Luckily, I was standing directly in front of her. I was hysterically shouting her name and shaking her. I was terrified. For a few seconds, that felt like an eternity, she was completely unresponsive and my mind went to the darkest place of all; was she dead? Oh my God, she’s dead.
Then she opened her eyes but she was still limp like a rag doll. My heart was beating a million miles a minute. My chest hurt. My heart literally felt like it had exploded. I drug her to the nearest chair (my 8-year-old is 75 pounds and 4 foot 10 she is almost as big as I am). I couldn’t think straight. All I knew was that I had to get her to the hospital now and I didn’t know where the closest hospital even was. As I dialed my husband, 2 hours away, just arriving at work, she said, “Mommy, I’m going to be sick!”
She is shaky and still limp-like. I walk her to the bathroom and hold her so she doesn’t collapse face first into the toilet tank. She is wobbling. I am shaking. I am trying to stay cool because my 6-year-old is watching the whole thing go down. Not crying, not scared just looking to me.
“Gabi, please get your sister some water.”
She did, no complaining or back-and-forth. She kicked into fight mode and she was calm and rational and I have never seen this side of her because usually she is the first one to fall apart. I was amazed. I needed her to stay calm. I couldn’t handle one more thing going wrong. I was on the mommy edge.
I finally reached my husband, I choked out the words,“Bella passed out. I have to take her to the hospital. Where’s the hospital?” Fighting back tears. He tells me to call his mother and he is on his way. I can’t reach her. I frantically call my brother who is 5 minutes away. He tries to calm me down but I am in the other room from the girls and I can barely breathe, never mind talk. He’s coming right over to take us to the hospital. I am hysterical in my mind but trying to keep my cool in front of the girls but inside, I am falling apart all over the place and collapsing in the fetal position in my own pool of snot and tears. I am praying. Constantly.
“Gabi, go get dressed and come back. “ She does. “Stay with your sister while I grab my clothes. “
I ran faster than I knew I could and grabbed whatever was nearest and then I grabbed her clothes and ran back downstairs where I found her pale and meek, sipping water as her baby sister, held her hand and watched her every move. I dress in the living room and then dress her. My mind is still in that very dark place. I can’t unsee her motionless in my arms, unresponsive and I can’t stop feeling like my world just ended. I’m having a panic attack but no time for that now.
I am crying right now thinking about it. No mother should ever have to see that, ever.
My brother pulls up and we race off to the hospital. It’s a good thing that he came because I couldn’t drive. I was in no shape to drive. My mind settled in that calm before the storm place and I was going through the motions of doing everything I could for my child, I wouldn’t allow the fear to rear its head. I had to gag and bound my fear and throw it back in a closet until I knew what was going on. I had to keep my mind clear for what was coming. I asked a million questions and was very specific about recounting the events of the morning and the previous night. I was her unrelenting advocate. I asked for prayers from my friends because sometimes prayers and faith are all that can soothe your soul. I even learned about 555 Angel Number that changed my life for the better.
All the tests came out fine; the blood work, the glucose, the EKG and the 2 hours of heart monitoring. Blood pressure was fine. The only thing wrong was that she was running a fever, which had now escalated to 100. 4 and her throat was red. They gave her antibiotics and sent us home. They gave me no answer for WHY my perfectly healthy child passed out. They told me what wasn’t wrong but said sometimes these things just happen when you are sick. This didn’t sit well with me. This is my baby; my world.
I immediately, contacted our pediatrician to inform her of the situation and she had all the labs sent to her and we scheduled a follow up. I called my brother-in-law who is a doctor and one of my closest friends who is an ER doctor. I gave them the run down, the tests and results and asked for their professional opinions because these are two people who love my child and are qualified. Consensus is that there was a drop in blood pressure from the fever and not eating yet, which caused temporary blindness and then her to pass out. Both said to push fluids because children dehydrate when sick. I felt a little more at ease and then our pediatrician called and confirmed the diagnosis and prescribed rest, plenty of fluids and to come in on Monday.
This morning, my mind is still in that dark place. I can’t stop seeing her limp in my arms. She woke up full of energy but I kept her home today because she still had a slight fever and more to the truth, the thought of sending her out the door after what happened yesterday morning made me sick to my stomach. I just want to hug her and never let her go. I feel crazy and scared and facing my children’s mortality, the one fear that I thought I had bound, gagged and locked away in some space I’d forgotten about years ago.
Thank you all for the prayers and positive thoughts. It meant a lot to me yesterday when I was sitting there in the ER and my mind was going to the really dark and awful place. You were my flotation device when I was drowning in fear. Now, I am off to have a good cry.
How do you deal with these sort of situations without freaking out and how do you get past that fear that lingers in the pit of your stomach afterwards?