Unadvertised Medication Side Effects

Being sick is miserable, so I try to pamper my kids to whatever extent helps them feel better.  I can’t make them well again, but I can at least provide some comfort while nature takes its course.  I tuck warm blankets around them, offer a cool washcloth when it might help, make chicken soup, and read extra stories.

When my older kids were small, a tiny voice asking, “Mommy, will you hold me?” led to me climbing into bed beside a sick child and letting a little body snuggle close.

Not now.  Before RA, I sometimes had sick kids in need of care.  Now I have walking germ distribution centers.  Responding to, “Mommy, will you hold me?” with “Only if you promise not to cough on me,” just doesn’t come across as tender and compassionate.

I’ve spent the past week saying,

  • wash your hands
  • cover your mouth when you cough
  • keep your germs to yourself
  • go wash your hands again
  • where’s the lysol?
  • do.NOT.cough.on.me

Is it worth cuddling up in the rocking chair to make a kid feel better for ten minutes, but face higher risk of catching whatever ails them?  Or is there more to it than that?  Maybe it’s lifelong memories of Mommy loving them enough to hold them.  Before, I’d figure that I’d probably catch whatever bug the kids were passing around, anyway, so getting their germs while holding them wouldn’t be the end of the world.  Now, I take into consideration what my meds do to my immune system and send people to wash their hands and face, sometimes even change to a clean shirt, before they can climb into my lap to be held.  I’ve stopped just short of making my sick kids wear a mask.

I do NOT want to get sick.  Somehow I missed “lack of compassion” in the listing of medication side effects.

I hate this.

10 thoughts on “Unadvertised Medication Side Effects

  1. Oh, Socks, that’s heartbreaking.

    And yet, if you want to be healthy and active–and thus, more able to be there with and for your kids–you have to be very careful of catching cold. Getting the sniffles means you can’t take your RA med, and you’ll be in pain, wings clipped.

    I hope that your kids–and you–will be feeling better soon. Sending you warm hugs and comfort…

  2. I have one at home right now with strep. For now, I have decided that when my 3yr old wants her daddy I am going to give her all of me.
    As I am writing this I am thinking of changing that policy.

  3. Oh yes. Right there with you. My eldest had a stomach virus last week and I was torn between “Mommy loves you & wants to take care of you” and “clean up your own mess so mommy doesn’t get sick too.” *sigh* The older two kids understand the whole hand sanitizer before touching mom thing, but the youngest brings me all his germs and love together at once. Take care of yourself!

  4. Of all the choices we have to make as RA sufferers, this must be one of the hardest. However, I have no doubt that your kids know how much you love them and that’s what counts the most.

  5. Not fun all the way around, but a ‘funny’ way to look at it. You could put a mask on yourself, though not sure how the kids would take that. Apparently hand sanitizers don’t kill the Norovirus, where handwashing is being recommended. On the other hand….you ARE TEACHING your kids compassion for others by doing what they can to not spread illness to others, especially the immune-compromised.

  6. Oh dear – what an awful predicament! It must be really hard for you – you feel bad enough (I guess … being kidless) knowing they’re not feeling good, without this on top!

    I hope they’re all mended soon and you can get back to ‘normal’.

  7. Ah…as someone who gets sick easily, I totally understand your delima. I have enough problems though deciding not to hang out with a friend if someone is sick, I’m not sure I could do it with kids. However, please know that you are looking out for yourself (and really the end note of that is so that you can be around and healthy to ultimately take care of them). So it really isn’t selfish. Really. It’s smart.

  8. Pingback: A Change of Perspective « ∞ itis

  9. Thank you. I did come down with a horrid cold about the time this post went up. It’s been awful, but thankfully I’m a little better today. Finally.

    I’ve had lots of time to think about this issue, and have changed my mind. Sometimes my kids need me emotionally, even if physically they’ll survive without a hug or two. The weeks leading up to my getting sick would have been a lot more pleasant if I’d handled it differently.
    Live & learn.

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