Momma Chat: Just a Little Rosy

photo-5Things got a little crazy last week. I was laying in bed with Cy when I noticed he seemed to be running a fever. I texted Toby about it and he responded with something like, “He always sleeps hot.” But I was quite sure it was a fever. It happened to be just a couple of hours after I had started a course of meds for myself that weren’t really supposed to be taken while breastfeeding but my doctor had recommended because I’m allergic to penicillin. I was worried that Cy might be allergic to this new medicine, and Google told me I should get Cy to the doctor at signs of fever. So the next day we went to see his pediatrician, who wasn’t available until the afternoon, and I stopped taking my meds in the meantime just in case. The doctor said it was not the meds, but it might be dengue.

– Let me just interject here because this is the part where my stomach bottoms out and my face turns white because dengue is known as “break bone fever” because it makes you feel like your bones are breaking. And it can be comparatively mild in children, but if you get it again later, any subsequent infections can lead to a hemorrhagic fever. It’s passed by mosquitos. There are lots and lots of mosquitos in Thailand. –

The doctor gave us meds to treat the fever and said it was a little too early to tell. Come back in two days and we’ll test for dengue.

Those were among the more anxiety-ridden two days I have experienced in recent memory. Was it dengue? Was it wrong and still related to something I was doing (my meds, which I had resumed taking)? And what would I do if it were dengue? (Moving to another country had indeed crossed my mind.) Cy needs to run outside and play, live his life in fresh air. How can I protect Cy from every mosquito to cross his path?

We went back to do blood tests. We had to swaddle the poor boy and he watched and cried–not thrashing, or angry-complaining…just totally submitting himself to this new torture–as they inserted the needle, drew blood, switched it out for an IV, and then bandaged it on. The whole thing probably took 5 minutes, but all I could do was sit there and talk to him, stroke his hair, and wish to God there was any other way. I hate needles. I once,as a full adult in college, had a nurse give me a Daffy Duck bandaid after getting blood drawn because I hate needles so much. I hate them even more when they’re any where near my boy.

After two hours of waiting, the results for dengue came back negative. Talk about relief! But we still didn’t know what the problem was. The doctor still insisted it wasn’t my meds, and predicted we would soon see a rash.

The rash came, and thus we learned it was roseola. A common childhood disease, relatively mild, and the rash only lasted a couple of days and then it was all done.

photo-4And I still called pest control to come rid our yard of mosquitos. Because dengue.

All in all, it was probably a relatively minor episode and it’s just my mama-bear brain that blew fears out of proportion, but part of what made this experience so hard was feeling so trapped. I have already been feeling tired and run-down, and a little homesick (mostly just because I’m tired of it being so hot here all the time and tired of worrying about mosquitos when Cy wants to play outside all the time). I wanted to move home. I wanted to go back to Santa Barbara where the weather is always perfect, there’s tons of fabulous play groups Cy could join, there’s mountains he could roam, and gorgeous parks and beaches to explore.

I told Toby that if we lived in Santa Barbara, I’d take Cy to the beach all the time.

“No you wouldn’t,” he said. “You’d be at work and Cy would be in daycare and we’d spend the weekends scrambling around trying to get stuff done.”

He’s right. In Thailand, we can afford for me to take a career hiatus and focus on raising Cy with both of us at home. In the U.S., I would have to work. And while I’m battling heat and mosquitos, I can also get fantastic healthcare for Cy at $15 a visit (without insurance), have a maid come once a week, and be there for all the important and unimportant things in Cy’s life. I feel trapped. And it’s easy to view a different situation with rose-colored glasses, but the truth is, there’s lots of ways to feel trapped.

photo-8And I realize now too, that while I love being able to be home for Cy, it’s a challenge because I’ve never been a routine kind of person and children live in routine. I’ve never lived in any place longer than 4 years since I was 13 (And we’re bumping up on the 4-year mark now–we HAD said we’d come for a year, maybe two, and then we’d see. Well we’re still here.) Except for when I worked at a magazine publishing company, I’d never lived the same daily routine longer than a 10-week quarter since I graduated high school. I live by whims and caprice. I’m disciplined about getting stuff done, but on my own clock, not the one ticking on the wall.

So. This is my opportunity to grow. To realize this about myself and see how I can approach it mindfully. I can’t escape the trappings of this life, but I take advantage of its advantages and I think maybe a change of scenery will help. So we’re going to Bangkok for a week. There will be a big aquarium, and parks, a children’s playground, good food, shopping, and maybe even a boat ride or two on the Chao Praya.

Who can complain? Not I, said the spider to the fly.

Thing I Love About Cy: He loves tipping himself over backwards. When he’s on the bed, or on grass, he’ll slowly lean back with this look of great anticipation on his face, until gravity wins and he falls over and giggles like a fiend.

Little by Little

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11 thoughts on “Momma Chat: Just a Little Rosy

  1. So scary! Roseola is the obnoxious jerk of childhood diseases, I swear, because it looks like it COULD be so many other more serious things. My chicks were behind on their vaccinations when they had it, so I was all, MEASLES! at first. So glad he didn't have dengue, though. Die, mosquitoes!

  2. So great to hear the culprit was found and Cy is all better… comparing hot days with mosquitos to the cool beaches of Santa Barbara can sure make one homesick. I hope you all have a great time in Bangkok! p.s. I just finished The Yellow Suitcase…oh so good. will be emailing you soon regarding the book review :)

  3. a very scary episode, and I am so glad all is ok with Cy. Child rearing can be tough and heartbreaking. I am sure there are lots of Mums out there that resonate with your post. Cy is such a gorgeous little boy, as shown in these pics, I am sure life with him is delightful. Would you want to miss these precious minutes? Enjoy.

  4. I'm feeling all the feels for you right now and believe me I can relate. I'm so glad it wasn't dengue. I would be freaking out right with you. Roseola is a right of passage with kiddos and he will be right as rain in no time. Still hurts a mama's heart to watch them miserable.

    Mosquitos are the enemy. I hate them. So much worrying about them living in Thailand. Really there is so much to worry about living overseas at anytime, but there is here too. Just different sets of worries. In Thailand there are also the bonuses you speak of that make life a little more free. Pros and Cons, Pros and Cons.

    I have to say that I'm struggling having just returned with wishing to be there. I'm struggling with boredom and the mundane. I'm struggling with the shackle that American life can be at times. So many programs, activities, and busy that just doesn't seem worth it at times. We got a half-hearted invite to move to CM with some friends leaving Bangkok next Spring for CM and it's tempting, so tempting. It's confusing right now. All that to say, I know what it is like to battle the rosy glasses syndrome. I'm battling it now. Will pray for a heart at rest within you. Sorry for the book I just typed. :)

    • Yeah, mosquitos are evil. But like you say, there's dangers no matter where you live, so no matter where you go, you're trading one set of problems and benefits for another. I'm sorry you're battling the rosy glasses syndrome too (though I must admit I'm comforted that at least I'm not the only one!). It's hard when you travel, or have lived elsewhere. You always leave a part of you behind. I pray for a peaceful heart for you too — though if you ever decide to move to Chiang Mai I'll be greeting you at the door! :)  

  5. How frightening! He looks so vulnerable and pudgy and little. I'm so glad he's doing better! And that it was "only" roseola. When my son was young we had a scare where we thought he may have to go through rabies shots. We still all remember that scary time. By the way, it sounds like you lived in Santa Barbara. We are going there for Thanksgiving, for a little getaway. Any advice on things to do and places to eat? !

    • Yes we lived in Santa Barbara for about 10 years, mind you we left 4 years ago, so there's probably been some changes. But here are some of our favorite eateries:Italian: Via Maestra 42, on upper State St. (try the pumpkin ravioli in brown butter sage sauce – we had them cater our wedding and serve this, we love it so much)Sushi: for more traditional sushi, try Arigato, on State St.; for sushi fusion (and maybe even a celeb glimpse), Sakana in MontecitoTapas: Alcazar, on Cliff DriveCalifornia style fare: Opal, on State StreetGourmet burgers, etc.: Eureka Burger, near Paseo Nuevo Mall (I think it faces Chapala Street)Great coffee, and they have some baked goods for a small breakfast: French Press on State StreetGourmet Southern style food, great for brunch or dinner: Tupelo Junction, State StreetFrench food: Bouchon, on Victoria Ave.If you're interested in other kinds of fare, let me know and I probably have a recommendation for that too (I used to work at a B&B.)As you can probably tell, it's nice to wander State Street, which is one long strip lined with shops and restaurants that ends right at the beach. Some boat trips might be seasonal, but there should be some kind of dinner cruise or even whale watching cruise, or trips to the islands available. I'd recommend booking in advance. If you feel like some adventure, try looking up hiking routes in the mountains. There's a great view from Lizard's Mouth, though it's not easy to fine. Santa Barbara also has an art museum and a museum of natural history. The Mission and its rose gardens are also a nice casual, easy visit. If you're into dance or theatre, check to see if there's any shows going on through UCSB's drama department or at Center State Theatre, which is in Paseo Nuevo Mall. And you can google botanical gardens; there's a few in the area.I hope that helps get you started! Let me know if you would like any more recommendations!

  6. Hi jAde!!! oh I can relate so much with this post!!!! First remember that I live in Venezuela… which is also in the tropic, and also full of mosquitos and dengue! So I´ve been there… then… the feeling trapped part, not having anywhere to go with your children, or moms groups.. but having a maid… yes, that too. We have a live in maid and things that we wouldn´t living in the US, but I feel trapped a lot. I guess, we just have to stay positive and make the best of it, and bloom! Nothing is perfect, and the grass will always look greener elsewhere!

    Glad your little one is doing great!

  7. Poor buddy, I'm so sorry he was sick but so glad it's not dengue. One of my coworker's son has cancer (he's only 6 poor kid) and he hates needles. My heart breaks every single time his mom blogs about the pokes and spinal taps the poor kid has to go through. Eeesh I can't bear to see little kids cry

  8. Hope you are having a fab time in BKK. So glad to hear that it is not dengue. I can totally relate to the fears one has when our little ones are not well. Just a couple of months back, I had to take J to the ER late at night (two nights in a row, with second (middle-of-the-) night in an ambulance!), because all his symptoms pointed to secondary drowning. (We had gone swimming that night and he had inhaled some water while doing somersaults). It turned out to be the flu (!). While on the one hand, I felt that maybe I might have over-reacted, but under the circumstances, if I were to replay this, I wouldn't do things any differently.