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Posted on 14. March 2013

Rise, Shine and Pray for Strength

by Kelli Mulloy 

The alarm rings, and I wake to another school day. I lie there convincing my eyes to open and my body to move, and I wonder, “What will today be like?” I pray my young daughter will feel better, that her headache will not be bad and that she slept. Maybe even just that she will not cry when she wakes up and break my heart. I have been praying these prayers for so long, but nothing changes. It is the same almost every morning, so as I rise, I just pray for strength, for patience, for grace and for courage.

When most parents get their kids up in the morning, it is a mad rush for showers, breakfast, last-minute homework, backpacks and lunches. Oh, how I yearn for the normalcy of the pre-school morning routine. For my daughter, who struggles with primary immunodeficiency, each day is another morning with her head congested, her lungs full of mucus, her eyes gritty and swollen shut. Her head will pound, and she will want to sleep longer.

“Please Mommy, just let me sleep one more hour! I was up four times last night, I am so tired, please Mommy!”

“Honey, you have to get up and go to school let’s turn on the shower and get you under the warm flow of water, and you will feel better.”

“No, I’m tired, I feel awful, you hate me and you don’t know how bad I feel.”

“I know, but you can’t miss another day of school. Come on, I brought you some mint tea to drink in the shower and some ibuprofen. Come on, I know it’s hard, but you can do it.”

I coax and cajole her into the shower, and she sits on the floor. The shower, tea and ibuprofen combine to convince her that school is at least doable.

This is how she starts her day, 75 percent of the time. In my daughter’s case, her immune system does not protect her from respiratory viruses. She has what is known as an IgG deficiency. She gets a weekly infusion of immune globulin to boost her immune system, and this has been very successful in keeping her viruses from becoming infections. It has also virtually eliminated her frequent bouts with pneumonia. However, it does not keep her from contracting those annoying respiratory viruses that make mornings such a challenge. It also does not make it easier to get her out of bed.

I’m trying to find the balance between, “You can’t miss more school!” and “I feel too awful, and I can’t sit at school with a headache and stuffy nose.” As a parent, it is a balance that I have yet to figure out.

How do you handle difficult mornings?

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Comments (5) -

Joanna Tierno
3:10 PM on Friday, March 15, 2013

This is one of the lesser talked about parts of living with PI.  I will admit it is maybe the part I work to cover up the most.  At 41 years old mornings are still not easy.  Still I am a happy person.  I am also a recent hurricane Sandy survivor which ended up proving to me that I am stronger then I ever could have imagined.  I lived with unimaginable conditions (for anyone) for months and I am still here to talk about it.  I may face more challenges than a healthy person, but these build internal strength which is not such a bad thing.  Sending lots of support & prayers!  

Andrea Lewis
11:19 AM on Saturday, March 16, 2013

PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FROM A FELLOW SUFFERER:  
I completely sympathize.  I have sensitive lungs left from the chronic respiratory infections I contracted before being diagnosed with CVID.  I'm happy to hear that the water does wonders.  If you don't use it already, you may want to ask your doctor whether your little one should add a bottle of Simply Saline or some other saline wash to irrigate with while she is under the water and can rinse the deposits away.  The warm shower loosens them so she will get more of them if she irrigates then and there.  Another memory of mine is the intense pain of sinuses that become sore as the mucus from the viruses begins to recede.  For some reason dairy products help a healthy coating to return more quickly.  A little bit of ice cream perhaps?  It might reduce the number of times she gets up with pain if her problem that night is having tender and painful sinuses after the virus stops producing a head full of gunk.

Many blessings to you and your family, Kelli.

Wendy
8:17 PM on Sunday, March 17, 2013

Well...I unschooled (a form of homeschooling) my daughter. I am the sick one with myasthenia gravis. She would stay up most of the night reading and it was hard to pry her out of bed in the morning to go to school to learn how to read :-p Unschooling was wonderful and she now plans to unschool her own sons Smile

Kathy
5:39 PM on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What a beautiful heartwarming story.  I have CVID and find mornings hard--it takes me four hours to get moving and then I am ready for a nap.  Sometimes I feel better as the day goes on.  Grace and courage to ou

Marl
4:01 AM on Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You're a great mother, and your daughter is very lucky to have you. You are very patient, and you make a lot of effort for your daughter to go to school everyday. Waking up in the morning can sometimes be really difficult to deal with, but what I usually do is to keep in mind that I have to go to school and I shouldn't be late because I have a lot of things to accomplish within the day.

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