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The Writing Mother

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Thursday, August 19, 2004
Siamese Chicken Fish

I have the biggest pansy of a Siamese Fighting Fish. He's the fish that everyone picked on. I'm certain he was probably traumatized early in life by his parents (how does that happen by the way? Maybe the enjoy a little rough... well, I'll keep this family oriented.), however, I chased him around the stupid tank for ten minutes trying to get him to perform... nuttin'. He ran away each time.

I am one of those horrible people who walk into a pet store and push the little plastic cups together to see which ones fight the best. Hey, it's not like I put them in together, and besides, I move them apart. I was in a marriage long enough to know the importance of retreating with ego still intact.

I'm feeling marginally better as a mother tonight. After work I spent some time with M. We just hung out and had fun together. He's still got that nasty chest cold, but his asthma is being kept at bay.

Did I forget to mention the recent drama? Sorry.

Monday night I took M. to the doctor's office because he was wheezy and coughing after day care, and I was sure he had an earache. We waited at the doctor's office for half an hour before I started to notice that wheezing had turned into struggling for breath.

I went up to the nurse at the desk to say he was having trouble breathing. She frowned appropriately, wrote on a sticky and stuck the sticky on a piece of paper. Oh good, that helps, thanks for that, the sticky on the paper has miraculously made him breathe again.

I waited another ten minutes before returning to the line to say, hey, could you write up another sticky? The last one didn't work. In front of me was perfectly-healthy-lady who was bringing in her x-ray form because she "also wanted her right foot x-rayed... could you just, like, add that?" She shifted her weight slightly *to her right foot* while the desk nurse explains that no, the doctor has to see her.

I reiterate the whole son-can't-breathe-thing. We sit back down.

You know where I'm going with this. Two minutes later, perfectly-healthy-lady is back in the holding area, having her foot looked at!

Excuse me? Did someone miss the class on TRIAGE in nurse school?

I didn't beat around the bush. "Why is she back there ahead of my son who can't breathe at the moment?"

"Oh," says skipped-class-on-triage-day-nurse, "excuse, excuse, blah, blah, yadda, yadda... you're next."

I spare you the details, lets just say my son's oxygen saturation rate dropped to 89% within a very short period of time, and before I knew it, we went for his first ambulance ride. He did not think that any of this was very cool.

I called his dad, my ex, from the ambulance, as things had moved pretty fast and it was the first chance I'd gotten. M. was quite stable and his sat rate was rising, but I thought his dad might want to meet us at the hospital.

He met us there. He was mad. He thinks this is all my fault. Yes, I created his asthma, that's right. Genetics-schemetics.

It's because of the horses he says, you're selfish for moving him out to the farm, he says.

We've been here six weeks, no problems so far, then he got this chest cold, I says, and that triggered it.

He got the cold from being allergic to horses, he says.

Ok, I think, I need to pause here before I explain very patronizingly that a cold is from a virus, and an allergy is from an allergen. He doesn't want to hear me, he wants to blame me. I know this. I will let him do this. I do not want to fight.

He's been sick for six weeks, he says.

Whoa, where was I? He so has not... in fact, he's been healthy for six straight weeks, I suddenly realize! That's quite a stretch since he started at this day care in April. From April until the end of June he's had four ear infections, all brought on by colds. But July and August so far? Totally fine! Holy cow! Living on the farm is good for my son!

I don't think he has been, I say out loud.

In the end, we are at a stalemate. He blames me, and I'm trying to discern if he is still smoking in his house without coming out and asking directly - because he'll think I blame him. Yet this is how it stands, my son has asthma. And asthma is not only identifiable, it is managable. I know what that cough sounds like, I know what to do.

And I know that it is not my fault. No matter what he says, I did not move out here just for my sake. If I thought that M. would not thrive out here, I would not be here. I needed my space, I needed space for M. and me. On our own.

I can't make the ex understand that, and it isn't my job anymore to make him understand things. As my mother told me, I am doing the best job with what I have. I will do the best by my son.

And eventually, he will know that.
  The Writing Mother
  posted at 9:43 PM

At 7:49 AM, Blogger AGK said...

Arg. I'm sorry :( {{{HUGS}}}


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