Saturday, November 12, 2011

Perfect Attendance

Last Friday Sheep came home with a certificate!  An award for PERFECT attendance and let me just tell you I couldn't be prouder!  Crazy, right?  I just beamed and gushed over this thing until she finally started looking at me funny and asked me if I had been drinking one of "mommy's drinks" - ha!  Little does she know . . . .

When I was about her age, I was diagnosed with allergies and not infrequently, what they used to call 'asthmatic bronchitis.'  Nowadays, it's simply called asthma, and I've got it!  Regardless of what it was called, I missed plenty-o-school and more than a few girl scout trips, sleepovers, birthday parties - you name it.  Can you remember where you were when the space shuttle Challenger exploded?  That was back in the space program heyday (for those of you just tuning in, yes, the U.S. used to have a space program!  But I digress . . . ) when you used to get to watch space shuttle launches during class, no matter what else had been planned that day!  Needless to say, this was a day you did NOT want to miss!  But miss I did, and witnessed the whole, terrible, awful thing from my couch at home, coughing, wheezing and all alone!  I will NEVER forget it!!

Fast forward to 2005, and my tiny, little sheep has been coughing for THREE WEEKS, with no relief, despite all sorts of home remedies and over-the-counter cures.  After three trips to the doctor, her pediatrician looks at me and simply asks if there's a family history of asthma.  "Yes," I replied with tears in my eyes.  Bingo!!!  Ding, ding, ding!!!  Listen to all she has won!!  Medications!  Breathing treatments!  And frequent trips to the doctor!  But wait!  There's more!  Plenty of SICK DAYS and occasional trips to the ER!!!

My father had asthma.  I have asthma.  I also have a master's degree in human genetics!  It's not like I didn't know this was a possibility - but hearing it was just devastating!  So I did what all crazy moms rational people do when faced with an inescapable truth - I said thank you, grabbed the goods (I know better than to turn down a free sample of anything) and ran outta there, cursing her doctor and questioning where she had ordered her medical degree!  Like they say "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt!"

But experience has also taught me that asthma will not be ignored!!  Soon afterward, Speed had business out-of-town and we decided to combine it with a visit to family during Mardi Gras!  While Speed was away (an HOUR away) and Sheep and I were alone in our hotel, with no transportation, Sheep had her first, full blown asthma attack, and within a matter of hours she went from running up and down the halls to barely breathing at all - and I knew I could deny it no more!!

Poor little thing!  And the Mardi Gras ball just hours away!!  There she was crying and her momma just bawlin' right along with her!  Because after all, this was how it always seemed to happen for me growing up!  I ALWAYS got sick before some big, important event that I couldn't possibly miss, no how, no way!  And all I could think was, please God not her too!  My asthma's much more controlled as an adult, but watching her so small and helpless and miserable brought back a flood of memories I was unprepared for.

Luckily,  I was better prepared medically speaking because I had brought her nebulizer and some medicine 'just in case.'  And, thanks to her doctor (a miracle-worker I tell you!) and more than a few prayers, she rallied, recovered and a good time was had by all that weekend!  Oh, she still takes medicine in the fall and winter months.  And we keep the breathing treatments handy.  But if you've ever wondered whether God answers prayers, I've got the certificate to prove it!

1 comment: