I feel like I’ve emerged from a fog. A fog I shall call The Ohio Valley Crud. The Crud descended upon my little girl, Annie, 5, about, oh, two weeks ago. You know the symptoms: stuffy head, runny nose, droopy eyes, talking like you’re in a tunnel. Then, it descended upon me. It was rather annoying, as illnesses go, because it doesn’t completely knock you off your feet, rather, it lingers, teasing you. You MIGHT sink to the couch and your only sustenance is Orange Juice (Tang for me, please) and chicken soup for the next two days. But it never happens.
Another way to describe it is to use what we have deemed The Shawn Index. My oldest, 9, catalogs his physical well-being mathematically.
“Today, I’m feeling about 95 percent.”
“I don’t feel well at all today. I’m about 30 percent.”
Well, for Annie and myself, we were about 60 percent on most days. We’re better now. I’m writing again and Annie’s back at school. So on the Shawn Index, I’d say we’re about 85-90 percent.
But this all leads me to why I’m writing today. I’ve always prided myself on being an organized mom. I absolutely love little baskets, shelves, plastic bins and file cabinets. Got a new way to organize my junk drawer? Give it up, I’d love to know! I can always organize what’s tangible, in front of me—such as that junk drawer, diaper bag or princess room or under the bed storage bins.
But when it comes to my children’s health, it’s as if my brain doesn’t want to absorb these dark moments. I don’t WANT to remember the time Nick, now 8, fell out of his crib and broke his arm at 15 months. I don’t WANT to remember Shawn’s RSV. Or Nick’s. Annie has had Fifths Disease? Uh…yeah, that’s right. No, wait, that was Shawn. Or was his rash a viral rash or allergic reaction to detergent?
Wait a minute, ONE of my children has a very slight heart murmur and I’m pretty sure it’s Nick. I really need to confirm that with the pediatrician the next time we go in. I do absolutely know that Nick has a penicillin allergy. That I will never forget and, obviously, the broken arm and more recently, a busted head resulting in five stitches (We refer to that as the Ninja Nick incident).
I read once where Rose Kennedy had index cards for each of her 9 children to record their physical conditions. To me, that’s a beautiful thing but it’s a source of mom-guilt I doubt I will ever let go. Why didn’t I do that for my three beautiful babies? Oh yeah, I don’t have maids, nurses and a mansion.
Still, I wish I could stash all their health records in a neat corner in my brain and pull out that information as needed. For now, I rely on my mom and sister-in-law, Patti, to remind me which child had what. Sad, though it is, I wonder if there are other moms and dads who have my type of amnesia? Do share…