Saturday, October 10, 2015

What I Did And Did Not Do Today

Someone is riding a bike down the railroad track bed and there is wailing at the church next door and the sun is going down and I've got a blister on me finger.
Well, thumb.
I got it from sweeping. Isn't that funny?
Okay. Not really.
I don't feel funny. I feel exhausted but it's all from worry. Jessie and Vergil spent ALL day in the ER today. Their midwife took one look at August and said, "Nah, this isn't normal."
And, after all day in the ER, they have two diagnoses. The ER doc said that if it was his kid, he'd put him on amoxicillin. And the pediatrician they saw thinks it's some sort of inflamed milia deal and that they shouldn't do anything but should see a dermatologist on Monday.
So of course, Jessie doesn't know whether she made a huge mistake by being in the ER with a newborn all day or whether her mistake was not insisting that he be admitted to the hospital and given IV antibiotics.
Being a mother is terrifying.
They did do a swab of the rash but the results of that won't be in for two or three days. And the dermatologist they have an appointment with is the guy who originally diagnosed Jessie's psoriasis as a cat-exposure thing.
What are you going to do? Be all Christian Scientist and pray about it?
Be all totally holistic and blame everything on GMO's and gluten intolerance?
Let's face it- there are some things which medical science is really good at. Heart transplants, setting broken bones, doing joint repair surgeries, controlling diabetes, treating certain types of cancers, taking out diseased organs like gall bladders- these are just a few of the things doctors are really good at. I mean- look- if I cut myself badly, I'd go to a doctor to get it stitched. If I got a UTI, I'd be in that office as quickly as possible, begging for drugs to cure it. When I knew I needed medication to help me control my anxiety and depression, I asked a medical professional for help.
But there are so many things which lie in the nebulous world of could-be-this, could-be-that.
And when it's your child and they tell you completely different things- what are you to do?

I've always said that Freud had it right. It is ALWAYS the mother's fault, no matter the problem. Because if she hadn't given birth to you, you wouldn't be having this problem whether it's a shy bladder or a genetically passed down disorder.

In the meanwhile, August seems to be not troubled in the least. He is not fussy. He is not feverish. I find this to be reassuring. If some horrible infection were overtaking him wouldn't he be putting out white blood cells and running a fever and showing some sort of behavioral reaction? But no, he's eating, he's sleeping, he's hanging out being a baby, peeing and pooping, etc. He doesn't seem to be bothered in the least. So he's not itchy or in pain.

And here we are. I did the bare minimum of what I needed to do today. I checked my phone constantly for updates. I texted all the kids and Mr. Moon who offered to come home RIGHT NOW. I did sweep a lot. I watered plants and chickens. I got that package mailed. I collected beautiful eggs and cut up grapes to feed the chickens which is their favorite treat. I made the bed. I did a crossword. I did laundry and hung the clothes outside. When they were dry, I folded them up and put them away. I answered comments. I fed the cats. I ate leftover leftovers from the Mexican restaurant. I duly noted that in a few days a giant comet is going to pass within millions of miles from the earth. I took the trash which included one of my old pairs of walking shoes.

I did not clean a toilet for thirty minutes. I did not feed the homeless, go walk for breast cancer or an animal shelter or domestic abuse victims. I did not get a tattoo and I did not meditate. I did not read a magazine. I did not watch TV. I did not cure cancer or ease the suffering of the dying or clean the baseboards. I did not drink green tea. I did not contact my representatives to tell them that they should do something about gun control or abortion rights or civil rights or gay rights or transgender rights or the legalization of marijuana. I did not write a love letter or a poem or a chapter of a book or a song. I did not take in a foster child or eat a salad. I did not find a lump or die from an aneurism. I did not make love and I did not kill anyone.

I did give Maurice her flea treatment.

And now I believe I will go bake a potato.

I hear a train whistle way down the tracks and the chugging of an engine.

I have lived another day of my life and who knows how many of those are left?

Who knows? Not me.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. It is hard being a parent. It is pretty much a crap shoot based on love. I look back on how I raised my kids and always wonder if I did the right thing.

    Your blog is your love letter. It is.

  2. Oh I feel for Jessie and Virgil. Parenting is hard and not knowing for sure what this rash is. Mother blaming is alive and well sadly. I know as a parent I still question myself and I'm sure will always do this . Big love to you Mary xx

  3. I'm so relieved when you said that August is feeling well. I hope that the plague of worry soon finds resolution. What good parents they are.

  4. It does seem reassuring that August is behaving perfectly normally, from his newborn instincts, and does not appear
    to be distressed (even when his poor parents are!) so I hope
    whatever it is will be fading away by the time he sees his own pediatrician. Unknown medical freakouts are made ten times worse when they occur on weekends.

  5. Poor baby. Poor baby's parents. I hope this will be diagnosed correctly and treated as quickly as possible. Spending time in an ER is like being exiled to the dark side of the moon.

  6. Oh no, so sorry to hear about August's rash, and the miserable trip to the ER. It's so hard to know who to trust. I hope the rash resolves soon and think a dermatologist might be the one to trust. My daughter broke out in several different kinds of rashes at the end of viral infections. One looked like chicken pox, but it wasn't. I got used to the pattern with her, fever, sickness then a rash. She was usually feeling fine by the time she looked the worst. Isn't it such a mystery?

    I hope you get lots and lots more days on the planet, and I hope you write every one of them :)

    Your picture of your shoes cracked me up. I wish I had your commitment to walking. I'm trying to be a better walker and hope I can make it a habit while I still can.

    Also your new neighbor sounds interesting. And your tidy garden rows and the fact that you can garden this time of year make me very happy.

  7. This is my two cents...if it was very serious or life threatening August would have a fever...he would have diarrhea...he would be spitting up a lot...I am sure they are using all organic and no fragrance for bathing,lotion etc. Eczema or other skin rashes do not usually start until 3 months old or so....but then again...

  8. I'm surprised they aren't giving him 'precautionary anti-biotics'. That's what they did with Dade, when they didn't know what was wrong. I am one of those holistic people you hate, and they over rode my fears and concerns with dire threats.

    He had three days of an anti biotic and penicillin, just in case, and a battery of bloods and tests. They couldn't find anything wrong, and when the culture came back clear, the incredibly nice consultant paediatrician whose wife is a lactation consultant asked me how *I* thought he was and listened when I said that I was getting PND from all the things and let us go home.

    Then Dade got recurring chest infections for three years until I got him the homeopathic remedy of Penicillin, and he's never had one since. He also got thrush, which they didn't warn me would happen, and I got it too and it caused me months of agony and stress. Crunchy stuff healed that too, where the over the counter stuff didn't. Fun times! I wish I hadn't gone to hospital with him. But it could have been a heart defect... so what choice was there? Jessie should go with her gut. It's all you can do.

    It's true, there's no guilt like mother-guilt. No wrong like mother wrong.

    I'm sorry for pouring out my unhealed tale of woe on your blog. It's a bad time of the month, it's 3.30am and I can't sleep for thinking of all the things that I've got wrong...

  9. There is no worry like worrying about your child and your child's child. This is all going to be ok though getting through it is hard. I suspect the melia diagnosis is the correct one (it's often mistakenly called baby acne) but I imagine all those varying diagnoses must be maddening. That August does not seem distressed is the best sign of all. May this resolve quickly. Love.

  10. Ditto what Angella said and a big dose of love for all of you.

  11. I'm so sorry to hear that about little August. But I'm with you, if he is eating, pooping and sleeping without fuss or fever, it is a very good sign.

    Dear Jessie must be beside herself with worry, I wish that wasn't so but it's what mother's do, especially if it's the first. And especially if they are very good mother's like Jessie.

    All those things you didn't do today?..I didn't do them either.
    And it was a pretty good day.

  12. Baby worry is the worst. I agree with everyone that it's an excellent sign if August is happy and doing everything he's meant to do. I hope they find out what it is, or it clears up by itself. We had a horrible time with a rash in ER with my youngest once, and it got resolved a few days later by a lovely calm doctor who made all the worry go away (with no drugs, just reassuring words). I hope the same happens here.

  13. I'm sure the worry is a nightmare. But Jessie has done a lot by getting him to a doctor, and you're all doing your best, so I hope no one's agonizing too much about did-we-do-the-right-thing. It's an unanswerable question. You just have to do your best, and you are.

    I have to go look up melia!

    And yes, it seems like a HUGELY positive sign that August is not fussy or in any apparent distress.

  14. Birdie- Perfect. "A crap shoot based on love." That is it, exactly. Just keep loving. That's all we can do sometimes.

    Leisha- Any and all regrets I have about my life center around what I did or did not do for my children. And thus it will always be.

    NOLA- They are wonderful parents. I would say the best but Lily and Jason are pretty terrific too. My grandchildren are incredibly blessed.

    A- And they ALWAYS occur on weekends. Why IS that?

    Allison- That is the truth. As Jessie said, it's always a circus.

    Mel- Lily was my hivey child and now Gibson is hers. We seem to have some funky skin stuff in this family. You'd think we'd be used to it by now. I'm glad we can garden here this time of year too because it is the BEST garden of the year in my opinion.

    ain't for city gals- Yep. They're using all the right products. Unscented, all natural, etc. And yes, his continued regular baby-activities are very comforting.

    Jo- I don't hate holistic people and you know that! I believe in many, many natural remedies. But like you- there comes a time when it seems to me that it is best to try something else. And of course the mother-guilt takes us there. We have to do everything possible. Don't beat yourself up for having taken your baby to the hospital. What if it HAD been a heart defect? I asked Jessie what her gut told her and she said that it told her she didn't know.

    Angella-Thank you, sweet woman. He is a strong and healthy little guy and I know he will be fine. It is somewhat maddening though, watching his perfect skin break out. How do we humans make it?

    Joanne- Thank you! Your words help.

    liv- You're sweet. Thank you. You didn't do any of those things either. Well, neither one of us is going to win a Nobel Peace Prize are we?

    Mwa- Thank you. It is so reassuring to hear that others have gone through this too and all turned out well.

    Steve Reed- You are a good friend and I appreciate you! Here you are, looking up stuff about babies and did you ever think you'd be doing that?

  15. You did a lot of stuff!
    Again, I think certain skin things take time to sort out. Try to be patient and worry less.
    (I might as well have told you to dress in drag and do the hula, it's just as likely!) HA!
    That was a Lion King reference, in case you weren't aware. Anyway.
    It's going to be one of THOSE days.

  16. The funny thing is, when I looked up melia, I wound up with web sites about a Spanish hotel chain. I eventually found the skin problem, though. :)


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.