Our kids for the most part have been blessed with good health throughout the years, but it is almost impossible to make it all the way to adulthood without some sort of illness or injury. Of course we have made it a practice to schedule regular visits to the doctor during the first years of our children's lives to monitor their growth and development and also so that they could received their suggested immunizations. Yes, it is sad to see the baby cry the first time their trust is betrayed by the doctor or nurse with the needle, but with some ibuprofen and hugs and kisses, kind and gentle medical professionals, and stickers and or lollipops, the children eventually learned that the trips to the doctor's office were really not to be feared. We are firm believers in immunizing our children against the dreaded diseases that once took so many children's lives or caused so much harm to their health.
I'm not sure if I can even remember all of the reasons for visits to doctors and hospitals with one or more of the six kids. Of course they all have had colds and flu and sore throats and earaches. It is so sad to have an infant or young child with an earache or strep throat! I am grateful for antibiotics and pain relievers. I'm also grateful that none of our children have had to deal with a tonsillectomy or tubes in the ears etc.
We did have a scare with one of the daughters when as an infant she developed an extremely high fever and was hospitalized for several days while they tested for meningitis. Another daughter was hospitalized for a few days with the RSV virus as an infant and came home with oxygen and a nebulizer for albuteral to help her breathe easier. That was frightening to see her poor little chest as she struggled to breathe, but she has been blessed with good overall health since she has been in school. We have had many bumps and scrapes and bruises, several sprains, a hairline fracture of a foot, and a very bad break of the arm of a toddler daughter who landed on her arm while sliding down the slide at the playground. That accident required a cast for most of the summer, which is pretty sad for a young child during the swimming season!
The Christmas when one dear daughter was an infant was a baby we were unknowingly gifted with the Chicken Pox while at the church's Christmas party just a week before Christmas. All four of our children at that time came down with the uncomfortable illness, and we had a lot of comforting baths and soothing lotions to help us through that Christmas season.
One night we were awakened by a commotion in the boys' bedroom during a lightening storm, and rushed in to find one of the boys having a seizure on the bedroom floor. We called an ambulance for that occasion and spent some time in the emergency room that night. We had follow up tests done, but there was never any indication or cause found for that particular incident.
One year DH was away from home for a few days on business while several of the children had been sick with the flu. When he arrived home it was very apparent to him that our five year old daughter had lost a considerable amount of weight and was very listless, so we made an appointment right away to see our pediatrician. He took one look at her and ordered blood and urine tests, but told us his suspicion right away . . . juvenile diabetes. We went right to the hospital, and the doctor's diagnosis was correct. That was a very challenging week with our young daughter in the hospital, and other young children at home. This was just a few months after one of our moves, and of course we had no extended family nearby to help out. We were very grateful for our church family and a few very kind neighbors who helped to care for the children and get them to school while we cared for our daughter in the hospital each day. There was a lot to learn about caring for her disease, and it was a big adjustment for the entire family as we worked to balance blood testing, insulin shots, diet and exercise. Dear daughter has been very responsible over the years and now as an adult keeps her disease in good control.
Many people struggle at some point in their lives with anxiety and depression, and our family has not been exempt from these struggles. It has been a challenge to find the right answers to help each individual. We were not always the best with regular checkups as the children entered their adolescent years, and ended up changing doctors fairly often due to changing and limited health insurance plans. We are very grateful to the wonderful mental health professionals that several of our children have found at their college and university health clinics, and for the helpful counseling and balancing of medications that have assisted them through the challenging young adult years.
Of course it's an on-going effort on the part of each individual to do their best to live healthy, happy, and productive lives. We're grateful to have had health insurance through the years, and for the many other resources and professionals, and friends and neighbors who have helped us to care for our kids and their health on this journey of parenthood. Yes, we have been blessed.