We are sick again. Well, Julia is sick. But when Julia experiences something, we all experience it.
That bodes well for the exciting things: the excitement of recognizing that she can move on her own, the realization that grass and bugs are not supposed to be part of her daily food group, you know, the good stuff. It's tough to walk through the scary moments of sickness. This child is so full of life that to see her lethargic is something foreign, like someone stole the real Julia.
So here is the real update: she started with congestion last week...evolved into some scary high fevers...it all culminated when her fever broke and she developed this beautiful rash throughout her body. 3 pedi visits and 1 trip to the ER for good measure brought us to the simple conclusion of Sixth Disease - like a mild form of measles that will just play out on its own. So, that is it. She is a text book case. For those of you who've had a child that has come into contact with Julia I wanted to let you know so that you are aware of the symptoms (but we've read that babies are most contagious before any of the symptoms appear). Sorry moms, only the babies can get it.
Because I work in the heathcare field I have a new perspective for sickness and the fragility of life. She has been sick to some extent since the end of February and there is a nervousness inside of me that constantly is trying to evaluate whether things are "normal". Part of me (the part that HATES to take medicine and would rather give birth than go to the dentist) wants to be really laid back...to just trust that I have helped her build her immunities and she is a strong and robust child. The other part (the part that just arrived 11 months ago when I laid eyes on her) wants constant reassurance that she is going to be okay. So, there is a huge realm of "normal" in her first year of life. Every child is different....we all know that. She's mobile, she goes to day care, she has to get sick to build her immunities...the list goes on and on regarding the reasons kids get sick so much. I guess I say all of that because deep down I know it, but in the quiet moments of 3am when her temperature spikes and there is nobody around or you're entertaining options in your mind as you await test results, none of that matters. As a mom, I would have done ANYTHING to make her well.
It gives me an appreciation for my job - in the ICU I see the helplessness of families. I have never encountered loss like others have, but as a parent, I have entered into a different bracket of understanding. Life is so precious and families are so stinking resilient. Illness is truly a time of reflecting - a book I read recently brought this to light as it talks about the ways in which crisis brings you to a place of stillness. Even without knowing it, when things erupt we respond from a place of quiet strength. That's an interesting perspective that I find true in my work and in my life. Some of the hardest moments of parenthood (the sickensses, the not-knowing, the challenges of being a couple and raising a child) have been truly enlightning and have challenged my thinking in so many ways.
So, all of that...to say that she is okay. Rash and all (it should be clearing in the next few days). On a little ironic side note after writing all of this, we are going to get some further testing done to make sure that she doesn't have any immunodeficiencies given her track record over the past few months. We will be doing that in the next few weeks. We think it'll all pan out just fine, but we appreciate your continued prayers throught that process.
And here is a current picture of our little *red* child:
As you can see on her face, these are some of our happier moments of the week.