Confessions of a trach mom . . .

Before Parker came along, I was the kind of mom who doled out kisses if you had a boo boo, but if you didn’t suffer from a severed limb you didn’t really go to the doctor. I never missed a check up; got all vaccinations on time; and when both Berkeley and Griffin were diagnosed with anaphylactic food allergies, I read everything I could get my hands on and made sure their worlds were safe. But, I was still not one to get up in arms about green snot or a cough. It just isn’t my style, and besides, it really puts a damper on my day to sit around in a hot waiting room with hoards of screaming, hacking, snotty kids.

Apparently, Parker’s doctors picked up on this. After carefully commending me for not being an antibiotic chaser, they warned me that things needed to be a little different with Parker. Kids with trachs are highly susceptible with germs, after all, they do have an open hole into their lungs with very little to protect them from the nasty bugs that are out there.

 When Parker got home I suddenly became one of those moms I used to secretly make fun of: purell, lysol wipes, frequent frantic phone calls to the doctor, actually washing pacifiers- these things had never been a part of my life before. But now they were.

I will do what I have to do to keep my children safe and healthy. But all that stuff still doesn’t come naturally to me even after a year and a half. And, I will admit that it has worn me out. I admire those who have been on this road for years and years with no end in sight.

Here’s where the real confession comes in . . . on Tuesday Parker and I flew down to Cincinnati for his pre-op appointment. As usual, he charmed everyone he met with his red curls and delightful personality (a trait he gets straight from his mommy!). But, he also garnered many a comment about exactly how active he is. Nothing gets by him and he is into absolutely everything with a level of curiousity that would rival a monkey named George. 

Inevitably the nurses would say how I have my hands full and then laugh when I told them that I also had two other young boys at home with equal energy and much more worldly experience so their antics are more sophisticated.

Finally, I admitted that secretly I’m looking forward to a few weeks at the hospital. I’ve been anticipating what reading I’m going to do. I might even watch a grown up TV show or two.  I’m even looking forward to conversations with intelligent adults without Berkeley and Griffin hanging off of my leg and demanding orange juice or teddy grahams. So what if my conversation is with doctors who want to talk about the recovery process of my youngest son who just had a major surgery, it is still adult, uninterrupted conversation. And, hopefully, I won’t have to remind them 162 times each day to wash their hands or use “squirt.”

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3 Responses to “Confessions of a trach mom . . .”


  1. 1 Linden April 4, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Suzanne, I just wanted to let you know that I found your “confessions” completely natural as well as heartwarming. I was beginning to think you weren’t normal because (outwardly at least) you are handling all of this so well — it’s good to know that you are human! If you were closer, I’d definitely have offered to take care of the two older ones for you to give you a periodic break! Know that I am praying for you, Parker, the doctors, and everyone else involved with Parker! ~Linden

  2. 2 Linda Wray April 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Suzanne,
    I wanted you to know that we are keeping your family in our prayers and love these updates. I’ve seen your children playing together and interacting with others and its nice to see them all get along soooo well-Parker fits in with everyone so well that we tend to forget about his trach! So congrats on doing such a good job! Linda

  3. 3 Cindy April 5, 2008 at 5:09 am

    I just happened to come across this site while researching vocal cord paralysis. My daughter was in an accident a year ago and suffered a traumatic brain injury and neck injury. She has been diagnosed with BVCP. We actually have our first appointment with Dr Cotton on Tuesday April 7th. I just wanted to wish you good luck with the surgery hope all goes well.


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