Alternatively titled, The Crazy Maker, or Roid Rage…
So I totally jinxed myself, or the Roc to be more exact, when I wrote about avoiding the hospital in my last post…sigh. The Roc started to sniffle and cough on Thursday and I dutifully started up the “fog machine” that night and again in the morning before school. Even though he got a breathing treatment at school on Friday and more when he got home it wasn’t enough, and by the time I was placing dinner on table that night I knew that we were headed to either Urgent Care or the Emergency Room. GC and I agreed that at the late hour the staff at Urgent Care was most likely going to send us up the road to the children’s hospital, so we might as well save the time and at least one co-pay (too bad it was the cheaper one) and go straight to the ER.
We knew what to expect and after an initial exam in triage and a big dose of steroids the Roc was taken back and given more breathing treatments. We spent about 5 hours at the hospital, watched 2 kid movies, (how cool that they had some on demand movies in the room) and listened the the Roc chatter on and on. The steroids really jack him up and he talked and sang and talked and sang at the top of his lungs throughout our ER visit. GC pointed out how the Rocs hands were shaking as he held a cup of juice and said, ” oh boy, here we go,” with a look of fear in his eye. We knew what was coming, and it wasn’t going to be pretty. We were in for a looooonnnng weekend…
and some truly monstrous behavior. The screams of anger and frustration filled our house in short intervals on repeat throughout the day on Saturday. “No!!!!’ “I want it the way I want IT!” “I can’t dO IT!” “It won’t WORK!!” “This isn’t RIGHT!!” “I’m trying to make a BRIDGE!” “This train won’t GO!!” “I don’t like that SHOW!” “I don’t WANT to do a breathing treatment!!” “I won’t WEAR those PANTS!” “I don’t have to go to the BATHROOM!!” “ARGH!!!!!!!!” “Come HERE Mommy!” “Come HERE Daddy!!!” “NOW, I want it NOW!!” “NO, I’m NOT going to take my MEDICINE!!” GC and I looked at each and kept the mantra of “it’s the medicine, it’s not him” going for the better part of the day, until I lost my cool during bedtime.
I went to bed with a stomach filled with dread on Saturday night. Sunday was the party. The party the Roc had been looking forward to and talking about everyday since the invitation arrived 20+ days earlier. The party at an indoor bouncy place, just the wrong thing for a boy with breathing issues – jumping, climbing, jumping, running, jumping, sliding, jumping, jumping, jumping. How were we going to break it to him that because of his difficulty breathing he wouldn’t be allowed to go. We couldn’t risk him relapsing and going back to the hospital while he was on the road to recovery. He was going to be crushed and extremely disappointed. My insides ached thinking about how hard it was going to be to smash his day, knowing that there was nothing we could offer him in return that would measure up to this party. I laid in bed wondering if he would like to go get a new truck at toys r us, or a book from the bookstore, or to make another castle cake like we did for his birthday…but I knew, just knew that the whole day was going to be shot for having to miss this party. We were already dealing with some horrendous steroid induced behavior, and I sank into sleep worrying about the nightmare behavior that was sure to greet me upon waking.
Sunday was much like Saturday, lots of screaming, split second mood swings, immediate frustration, tons of angry outbursts, hitting, spitting, and a few tears shed by both the Roc and me. But interestingly enough, while the Roc was super disappointed about not going to the party, he didn’t have the total freak-out meltdown that I worried was coming. I explained why he wasn’t going to be able to go, but told him that we would try to do some fun low key things together that day. He got upset, cried a bit, (his version which is more like screaming with tear filled eyes, instead of just screaming with an angry tomato red face) then moved on. I thought we would hear about the party all day long, but he didn’t bring it up again. The day was more down than up, and GC and I had a conversation about how scary the Roc’s steroid induced rage is and how if he were like that all.the.time he would for sure be medicated and we just might be scared of him…especially as he aged, not a fun conversation. But then at the end of the very long weekend I saw a glimmer of my Roc.
He was fresh out of the bath and pajama clad when he asked to sit on my lap, I granted access and he grabbed a few stuffed animals and pulled his earlier discarded towel onto his legs. Then he wrapped my arms around him and leaned back against me. I rested my head against his, squeezed him and started to sway back and forth, back and forth, keeping a constant squeezing pressure with my arms. My back was hurting but I kept going, feeling him relax into me, breathing in his soft skin. I almost never get to hold him, to sooth him this way, to mother him the way I wish I could. I kissed his face, his hair, his ears, his neck and told him for the millionth time that he is my favorite little boy in the whole world. He turned slightly and made eye contact when I told him I loved him and then he whispered, “I love you Mommy.”
And the horrid no-good weekend was over.
(except for the midnight tantrum in which my presence in the Roc’s bed was the only way to calm him. I am soooo tired.)