Monday, September 19, 2005

Grace in the face of adversity

Finally, my wife and I were feeling better after weeks of suffering from some unidentified bug that had us under the weather. We got a babysitter last night, and went to see The 40 Year Old Virgin to celebrate our return to the land of the living.

Then, at 6am this morning, we are awakened to the mellifluous tones of our baby puking his guts out all over his crib. So here we are, back to tag-teaming our way through another few days of the baby being sick. I spent the afternoon with him, and he was miserable. Normally inquisitive and rambunctuous, he just laid there splayed out on the bed like a biology class frog, only moving when he curled up to heave out a little yellow liquid, and then collapsing back into exactly the same pose. All he wanted to do was curl up in my arms and drowse, whispering little groans of misery between his brief bouts of sleep.

And to top it all off, the doctor today decided to give him an antibiotic shot because at the rate he was vomiting, he wouldn't be able to keep orally administered medicine down. The nurse came in and said, "Sorry, but this one hurts." I asked, "during or after?" "Both," she said, "and for quite a while after." I helped hold him down for the shot, which was a terrible feeling. I've never heard him scream like that in his entire life. The fact that he's already miserable, and doesn't understand why we're jabbing him in the leg with a needle as long as one of his fingers, is just heartbreaking.

He's a trooper, though. He only cried for a little while after that, and hasn't really cried since. I held him for a long time after that, and he'd drowse about, silently running his fingers over my arm when awake. That was all the play he could muster, exhausted as he was, but it was enough to keep him calm and relatively content. In fact, it kept us both calm and relatively content, because you can't help but worry and fret when your son is so miserable. He really is a great, great little boy.

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