Getting sick to your stomach for one day is an awful experience. Now imagine it for 18 days. For Olivia, she hasn’t been imagining it, she’s been living it.
Last time I wrote about Olivia’s illness, I truly believed she had turned a corner and was on the right track to returning to her healthy self. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. With the exception of one day, the vomiting hasn’t stopped and she has had constant stomach pains. In the last three weeks, she’s been at school a total of a 1/2 of a day, and that 1/2 day wiped her out. As of now, doctors think the culprit is a virus, but if that’s the case this is one hell of a virus. She’s been back to the doctor numerous times, getting all kinds of tests. Those tests have led doctors to once again rule out very serious diseases, syndromes, and other ailments. Since I’m normally a glass half-full kind of gal, those test results are the only thing keeping me hopeful that she’s nearing the end of this. Every day I keep thinking this is the day she won’t throw-up. This is the day she won’t be in pain. I’ve been wrong every day.
It is heartbreaking seeing your child so sick and miserable and not being able to do a damn thing about it. My husband and I have been meticulously keeping notes on what she eats, when she gets sick, and when she poops and pees. It’s like what we did when we were brand new parents with our newborn. And just like her newborn days, we don’t know what to do to make her feel better.
For her part, Olivia is doing everything she can to get herself well. Against all odds and bouts of vomiting, she has somehow kept hydrated enough to avoid getting readmitted to the hospital and kept her weight stable. She continues to amaze me and her dad with her spirit. In all these days, she has rarely gotten upset, and continues to try to eat and drink. It doesn’t always work, and when it doesn’t, she’s not fazed by it. If it were me, I would have given up hope long ago, but not my girl. She even reminds me when she has to take her Miralax (laxative) smoothie. And if she’s annoyed by the constant questions of rating her pain on a scale of 1 to 10, she doesn’t show it. Not even an eye roll.
Her sisters have also been handling all of this better than expected too. Sure, Erin did have one day when she got upset and asked when things were going back to normal, but one day out of 18 is pretty impressive. Erin’s also given up her bed, so Olivia doesn’t have to climb up to the top bunk. Every night when Carrie goes to bed she utters the same words to her big sister. As she climbs the stairs to her room she says in her high-pitched 4-year-old voice, “I hope you feel better Olivia.”
And while yes, she still is sick, we do have signs of encouragement. First and foremost, her symptoms haven’t gotten worse and for the last several days, she’s kept down her breakfast and (some of) her lunch. I take that as a small victory and so does she. As sick as she’s been, we’ll take anything we can get.