Lemon Juice

posted by Momo Fali on November 4, 2008

I do my best to look at life through rose-colored glasses. I’m not saying life is always easy, because it’s not. But, no one will ever be able to convince me that any good comes from being gloomy. That negativity stuff? It can be soul crushing.

But sometimes, you get slapped in the face with something so bad that you can’t find the slightest tinge of rose anywhere. Sometimes, when life gives you lemons you just end up making lemon juice.

My son is sick. He was born sick. The concept of being thrilled about a newborn is something that is completely and utterly foreign to me. When I look back at the birth of my two premature children, I recall anxiety, and in the case of my son, fear that I would lose him before I ever got to see him smile.

That fear kept me from bonding with him. I kept an emotional distance because I didn’t want it to hurt if he wasn’t going to survive. It took me a long time to recognize that, but it’s true, and I hate myself for it.

When my boy was an infant, if not sleeping, he was crying because he was hurting. He didn’t want to be held because he associated touch with pain, thanks to all the poking, prodding, IV’s, nose tubes, and catheters. That made it easy to create a gap between us.

He doesn’t want me, I can’t soothe him, he’d rather be left alone.

Now tell me, what kind of Mother distances herself from her sick child? This kind. You can’t really own up to something like that with rose-colored glasses on.

But eventually, with the right medical cocktail, he stopped crying so much. After lying around lethargically for 13 months, he had his first heart surgery and started to crawl. His pale face with the blue circle around his lips grew chubby, bright and pink. He was awake, alert, and happy, and that black hole in my heart started to close right up.

Somewhere along the line, I can’t say when, I stopped counting hospital stays and started counting my blessings. Compared to a lot of other families, we are one of the lucky ones.

And, after my son survived a strep pneumo infection that almost took his life when he was two, and after he stopped breathing after a surgery when he was four, I became fully aware that my boy means the world to me.

After I finally fell madly in love with this kid, I watched as he struggled and damn-near clawed his way out of more illnesses than I can count. He has had more IV’s, EKG’s, blood draws, CT Scans, x-rays, surgeries, tests and biopsies than most people will in their entire lives, and yet he finds a way to make me laugh every day.

He is kind, sweet and funny. He is also as ornery as the day is long…and I love it! Go ahead and embarrass me, kid. It means you’re alive and kicking.

Losing him now is not an option. The thought of it just makes me mad. Which brings me to this post.

Today he complained of neck pain, then he developed a rash, then he wouldn’t eat, then he came down with a fever. The pediatrician thinks it could be a bacterial infection called adenitis. He was immediately put on antibiotics, and we will be following up with the doctor tomorrow.

This could involve draining an abscess, IV antibiotics, and a hospital stay. And, anytime we’re dealing with something bacterial, there is a risk to his already defected and malformed heart.

The thought of this, of him going through a bad illness yet again, causes me to take off my rose-colored glasses, throw them to the floor, jump up and down on them, and as I’m walking away from the crumpled heap of metal, I turn and hock a big, fat, thick, loogie on the twisted mass.

I hate that he may have another up-hill battle and that he will suffer in any way.

This kid taught me that love can be scary and it’s not always easy, but that letting something true and pure into your life can be the most fulfilling experience you will EVER have. He has shown me strength beyond measure and more happiness than I thought possible. I love that kid a lot.

Huh. See that? I already fixed my specs.

    Comments

  • meleah rebeccah


    Oh No. I am so sorry to hear this.

    My thoughts and prayers are with YOU and that beautiful boy of yours. He is an amazing child and YOU are an amazing mother.

    (hugs)

  • Kimmylyn


    Oh Momo.. I have no other words that I will pray that this infection leaves as quickly as it came.. I hope it does not involve a hospital stay..

    Your spirit and love for your boy in this post beams through in this post..

    Positive thoughts and prayers are being sent your way..

  • Undomestic Diva


    Ugh… so sorry. My sister has been ill for three years and docs can’t even get “it” a name. So while I don’t understand what you’re going thru, I understand what you must be going thru and that sucks. My thoughts are with you.

    Sweet post, btw.

  • Kathy


    I’m so sorry your little man has another battle. It’s such a kick in the teeth. Prayers and hugs coming your way.

  • BusyDad


    Momo this took a lot of insight and courage to write. I usually come here for laughs. Tonight it’s just raw emotion. And I am touched by it. My best wishes for a speedy recovery. I’ll bet he’s already cracked a couple of one liners that are in your post hopper 😉 You can’t keep a kid like that down!

  • Smart A$$ Mom


    Well, shit. That’s all I can think of. It is too scary to think anything other than happy thoughts. Even if you can’t for a moment, a day, maybe a week-know that by blogging this you have a trillion people to think happy thoughts while you just be pissed. It’s your right.

  • Rhea


    Wow, I’m so impressed with this post. You reached inside and shared your innards with us. That takes guts (pun intended hehe).

    I don’t blame you for the hesitance in the beginning. It makes sense, even if it isn’t pretty.

    I hope this isn’t another big uphill battle for him. I really hope it isn’t. Hang in t here!!

  • Heather


    I’ve been thinking of you ALL day, since getting your “tweet” on my cell phone this a.m… Your post was bittersweet and beautiful. And I am praying that he doesn’t have to endure another uphill battle.

    Hugs,
    H

  • Twenty Four At Heart


    My heart goes out to him – and you. As a mom there is nothing worse than hurting for your child. Please keep us updated on how he’s doing!

  • Tara R.


    Prayers for a speedy and complete recovery.

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4


    That just sucks!
    Big prayers for a speedy recovery–with attitude I know he will fly through it all 🙂

  • amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay


    so sorry baby. I am here if you need anything. xo Kiss him and you for me.

  • Aunt Debbi/kurts mom


    So sorry to hear this. My thought are with you little guy that he may recover quickly.

    Debbi.

  • worldmomma


    Beautiful post. I’m so sorry to hear he’s ill and hope he comes through it quickly.

  • Mrs4444


    Poor kid; he sounds like a trooper. Your post is beautiful; nicely done. I wish you luck.

  • Ashley


    Love and hugs to all of you…

  • heather.pnr


    I am so sorry. Will be thinking of you and your son tomorrow…

  • Stella


    Oh Momo!!

    I am SO sorry! If you need to take off those glasses and stomp on them again, you do it. Sometimes it helps. I’ll keep an extra pair for you.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Always.

  • Walking With Scissors


    I am so very, very sorry. Your son is a fighter, though. Look at all of the battles he’s won so far! Hopefully he’ll win this one quickly and get back to embarrassing you in public places right away. (((hugs)))

  • Moonshadow


    Many prayers being sent your way for strength and recovery.

  • O My Blog!


    I too will pray for you and your son. >hugs<

  • DysFUNctional Mom


    You’re amazing. I’ve never been in your shoes and can’t imagine how that would feel. I’d think it’s only natural to try to protect yourself from that kind of crushing pain.
    You all are in my prayers.
    xoxo

  • Jenny from Mommin' it Up!


    You made me cry and I am praying for you & the boy. And you know, me & God are TIGHT. So no worries. 😉
    Truly it's a beautiful post Momo!

  • Secret Agent Mama


    Momo, you and your son are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Mama Dawg


    My eyes teared up when reading this post.

    You are an amazing, amazing mother and woman. Your kid is equally wonderful.

    My prayers and thoughts are with you.

  • Kat


    I am so sorry to hear that you guys are going through another illness with your little boy. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong.

  • Jodi


    My thoughts and prayers are with your amazing little man, you and the rest of your family!

  • Ashlie- Mommycosm


    Thinking of you and your son…sending some positive energy your way.

  • Weaselmomma


    I can’t imagine the fear and the emotional roller coaster that you have been on since he was born. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope he gets better soon.

  • Bean


    Mo! I’m sorry! Please let me know when you know.

    Btw, you bonded with him more than you remember. You were CRAZY about him from the start! And the bond between you and both your kids, shows today.

  • Neil


    Prayers to both of you. I think your positive energy will help a lot.

  • Daddy Joe


    I am sorry to hear that your son is sick and hope that he recovers quickly. Thank you for sharing this story though. It is making me misty and really wanting to hug my kids though.

  • PG


    my heartfelt prayers and positive thoughts are yours and your sons’

    he’s a champ, he’ll kick the infections ass.

  • supermommy


    Thoughts are with you and your family at this time. Hope your little guy pulls through this in no time.

  • Redneck Mommy


    So beautiful. You made me mist up.

    Loving a sick kid is hard and brutal and more damn beautiful than anything in this world.

    I know.

    My biggest sloppiest kisses to all of you.

    Get better soon kid. Your momma needs you to embarrass her some more.

  • Dawn


    I am thinking of you both today!! You’re in my prayers.

  • Amy Amy Bo Bamey


    I am not sure I can find the right words. My first thought was Well, Damn that sucks! It is so hard to see a sick child and you have had to see it so much with him. I hope he knocks this down soon so he can continue to embarrass you. My thoughts will be with you and your strong beautiful boy!!

  • Stacy (mama-om)


    This was an amazingly written post that reflects your strength as a mother! I love hearing stories about your son, and I hope that this infection leaves as quickly as it came.

  • Kori


    I am just going alone with what redneck momma said; it is hard, and yet so rewarding. My thoughts are with ALL of you.

  • Heather


    Hugs, Momo.

  • Mamapajama


    There is nothing stronger and more beautiful than the love of a mother for her child. NOTHING! You words were powerful and made me tear up. Don’t thing for a moment that I don’t thank my lucky stars for having healthy children. Money, power, status,feh…it all means shit if your child is sick.

  • Birdie


    that was so beautiful Momo. I know you would take his place in a heartbeat if you could. I’m praying for his quick recovery and for your family too. Hang in there. You’re never alone!

  • Lynn


    I’m so sorry to hear about your son. Hope he gets well soon.

  • kaila


    I can identify with the beginning of your post about not bonding right away. Having lost a baby at 8 weeks old years and years ago kind of distanced me from GWLH for quite some time. I was afraid to bond. As far as the second part of the post, I cannot identify, and I feel for you and that awesome little boy. Best heartfelt wishes to you and yours.

  • Marge


    A lot of lemons make a lot of margaritas. Hang in there. I’m pullin’ for you, your son and all of your family. Love and hugs to you.

  • Corey~living and loving


    I am sending many prayers and good thoughts your way. I hope your son heals quickly!

    wonderful post. I love to read of a parent’s fierce love.

    hugs!

  • ria


    In an odd sort of way, I’m almost envious of you because, when we go thru rough times with the ones we love, we realize what is truly important and we cherish them more. Those of us with kids who are “healthy as horses” can perhaps forget to cherish each moment. I know I did that today… I’ve been sick, and I barked at my son one too many times to “let me alone so I can rest.” Thanks for putting things into perspective for me! God bless your family!!!

  • Tom


    Wow. I truly admire your attitude and your son’s fortitude.

  • Rachel


    You brought me to tears.
    You have shared his struggle with me before as well as how much you’ve gained from all your experiences.

    You are amazing. I am proud to ‘know’ you.

    I am praying for strength and peace for you, health and rest for your son and knowledge and patience for your doctors.

    Bless you darling, now pass the freaking kleenex

  • Chuck


    Oh Momo. You and that boy of yours continue to teach me so much. My prayers for a speedy and complete recovery.

  • Angie


    I have no words. But I will pray. I have your address, can I send him a card?

  • Spottydotty1


    So sorry for his pain, and your huge helping of Motherly anxiety. There is no worry like that of a mother for her children. It feels like a vice grip on your heart. I will pray for you both.

  • Irish Gumbo


    Hey:

    I’ve seen your tag on DGM and one or two other blogs, finally got around to checking this out. And, what a post! I didn’t know your background, but I identified right away (see irishgumbo.blogspot.com if you like, story for another day).

    I am sorry to hear about your son. Sickness in any form is quite distressing. I have my fingers crossed, and prayer flags flying, to set up some good vibes for you.

    Peace to you and yours,

    IG

  • transfattyacid


    Today – well yesterday here – is the second aniversary of my daughters death – even that is a lie – because she died on 3rd November and was born two days later. But we tend to dwell on her birthday and not the day she died.

    The missus and I bought a card and wrote a message in it – and I had a little chat with our son – who woke up teething – about the card and why mummy was crying when she went to see to him.

    I don’t understand how you feel – just as no one can possibly understand how I feel about my daughter (they can try but they don’t come close) – but my thoughts and prayers are with you and your boy – not least because over the months I have been reading your blog, his antics have caused me to laugh out loud more often than I care to remember.

    You hang in their girl and rest assured that there are more people than you realise out here rooting for you and that boy of yours.

  • Ed (zoesdad)


    Good thoughts for an effective round of antibiotics. You’re in my prayers.

  • nola


    Positive vibes coming your way. He is a lucky boy to have you as his mother.

  • Anonymous


    I know your blog must probably be the last thing on your mind right now, but please keep us posted. Our heart goes to you and your beautiful boy.
    V

  • Jo Beaufoix


    Oh my lovely Momo. I am sending good thoughts and prayers your way sweetie. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Hugs to you and your family, especially your little man.

  • Mz. Nesbit


    well, that really fucking sucks. and i am truly so sorry this happened.

  • Immoral Matriarch


    I missed this post yesterday, I’m sorry.

    I hope recovers quickly and fully. I love your rose colored glasses, and the fact that they’re so easily repaired.

  • Mr Lady


    Momo,

    How the HELL did I miss this post? God, I don’t know what to say.

    Anything I can do, any second of the day, you’ve got it.

  • Mimi aka pz5wjj


    Oh… I hope he gets better.

    I so relate to the bonding thing… my son was born with only 1 kidney and until I knew he was going to be okay, it was hard to bond with him. Thankfully, he’s 110% fine, but I can relate to the feeling of not wanting to bond.

    I hope your son gets well soon!

  • Dapoppins


    Amazing kid.

    Amazing mom.

    Hugs to you!

  • Ms Picket To You


    all my biggest best vibes are going out to you all.

  • tinseayanna


    It hurts somewhere that you cannot explain when you watch your child struggling to survive. When she was eleven, my daughter had bad asthma. She had never ever complained about it, but just carried on through till one night she asked me to sleep at her side, so I was THERE if she NEEDED me. I couldn’t sleep; I could hardly breathe, because I was holding my breath all the time I saw her battling to draw hers, whilst she spasmodically slept. When at last she woke crying and told me her lungs ached, I was speechless and felt so inadequate. How can you heal hurting lungs? Never in my life was I conscious of my lungs, let alone feel them aching. I could only cry, hug her and rub her back till I took her to hospital and the machine took over. A part of me died watching her fighting to breathe and not being able to remedy the pain as I had always done in the past. She overcame the illness. She still has asthma and copes with it in her own way, having the responsibility of a daughter of her own to care for. I cannot imagine how you keep so strong. I am glad your ‘glasses’ were not irreparable. Maybe one day I shall need to borrow them.

  • Jaina


    ::hugs:: I’m know I’m late in catching up and there are probably many more updates, but I am so sorry to hear this. I will be keeping all of you in my prayers. ::hugs::

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins


    I’m catching up, too.

    Hope he’s doing well!

  • AlisonH


    Catching up after two weeks of mostly being separated from computers. And oh, honey, I’m so sorry all of you have to go through that; hug him from me. I’ve added my prayer into the mix. Sounds like you’ve got a doctor who’s on the ball.

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