i don’t wanna adult today.
I’ve said it here and there on different social media with the funny memes and graphics but these past two weeks it’s been less of a joke. I’ve meant it more than ever. Sometimes being the adult is hard, scary and overwhelming. Add to that being a parent with a sick child and well…some days you just don’t wanna.
“I can’t breathe.”
Those are the words I woke up to at 3am from my 5 year old a little over 2 weeks ago. He has been battling his normal seasonal allergies but had developed a fever to boot. My mom diagnosis had been a spring cold. So when he sat up and whispered those words I thought he was congested at the most. I stayed up a with him the rest of the night watching him in a restless sleep. First thing in the morning we were on our way to the pediatrician.
I told her he was going on day 3 of a fever and seemed to really be congested and having trouble breathing. I assumed it was nasal congestion. They did the normal triage: pressure weight temp etc. Then they did something extra. A blood oxygen level test. I’d seen it recently when my oldest daughter had surgery and had been told that 95% was as low as they like it to be. My Buddie was at 94%.
Moderate acute asthma is characterized by an oxygen saturation level of 92% to 95%, a pulse of 100 to 125 beats per minute (in children older than 5 years) or 120 to 140 beats per minute (in children 2 to 5 years of age), a respiratory rate of 20 to 30 breaths per minute (in children older than 5 years) or 30 to 40 … Source
At the time, I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant but I knew it wasn’t good. The doctor came in and told me he was not suffering from a cold or congestion or even allergy symptoms at all. No she said that he was in the middle of having an Asthma Flare.
I hadn’t heard that word since he was 2. Back then I brought him in for a dry hacking cough. The cough sounded like a dog bark which normally means whooping cough (my oldest son had that when he was 2). That’s the first time anyone mentioned asthma. They didn’t tell me the how or why it was asthma and not anything else. I honestly didn’t care at the moment I just knew my son needed help. He was given a round of steroids and sent home with a nebulizer machine. He took treatments every 4 hours for about 3 days. We had a follow up and all was clear. Colds and allergies came and went. We never heard the word asthma again. Until now.
I sat holding my Buddie as the doctor brought out the familiar yellow machine and slipped that mask over his face. On the inside I was in full panic mode but for his sake I remained calm. I kept repeating to myself: He was fine. I needed to be fine. He was fine. Somewhere in there I heard the doctor telling me we needed get his oxygen levels higher. After the in office treatment he would need a round of treatments every 4 hours at home plus 2 days on steroids.
I called my husband and told him all of what was going on. All I kept thinking was I could have put him at risk the night before because I assumed it was a cold. What could have happened! All because I thought I knew. Now I sat here and listened to much of the same things they’d said nearly 3 years ago. It was asthma. He needed to rest a few days. Schedule a follow-up. Still much of the same was missing.
How could I know when it was asthma and not something far less scary? How could I make that parent judgement call to what was an emergency and what was not? Why had no one taught me these symptoms and terms when he was diagnosed at 2? After those first treatments and follow-ups I was told he was doing well. To just keep an eye out for that cough and that was it. He never had that cough again. So he never had asthma again…right? Wrong. Wrong because now I’m here wondering what may have happened because I just didn’t know enough!
At that moment I didn’t wanna adult – I didn’t want to be the parent – I just wanted to be the mommy. To hold him and make it all better. Simple. This was not simple at all. The terms, medical jargon – things were feeling overwhelming. Who decided parents should make these medical decisions without full knowledge? I avoid Google like the plague when it comes to sick Kiddies because I always end up thinking we are all moments away from death. I call the doctor only when I feel I’ve done all I can. Was I wrong? I couldn’t just be mommy. I had to adult. I am the parent and as his mommy I had to do this. I needed to know and understand but most important for me – I needed to have a plan.
I have to.
I sat up, took a deep breath and I told her. I told her I was not leaving until she gave me a crash course in all things asthma. I needed to know every sign that he was in trouble and what my response should be. I needed to know and I needed to know it NOW before I left this office to adult on my own.
She saw my frustration and apologized for other people’s mistakes. I saw it in her eyes. A mix of helpfulness and sympathy. She knew I was barely holding it together but she gave me the dignity of not acknowledging it in front of my son. She stood there and for the next 30 minutes told me all I needed to make sure my son never had a situation I couldn’t handle. I was grateful overwhelmed and exhausted.
My adult is logical and needs information. Not knowing is painful. Being caught unaware is torture. Asthma caught me off guard. I wasn’t ready and it almost took me out. It made my adult want to run and hide but she couldn’t. She’s more than just an adult now. She’s a mom. That is a responsibility I will not fail to keep. So yeah. I don’t always wanna adult today but I will. I have to.
Lifestyle Blogger, Brand Ambassador, YouTuber & Media Influencer at TheMrsTee
Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging & Vlogging Communities. As a Brand Ambassador, Tiffany has the opportunity to promote and support the brands she loves the most with her own unique perspective. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 BlogHer VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with Modern Social f/k/a iBlog Magazine and BlogHer. Growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.