Previa Alliance Podcast

When Everyone Gets Sick

January 15, 2024 Previa Alliance Team Season 1 Episode 89
Previa Alliance Podcast
When Everyone Gets Sick
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever felt like waving a white flag when your kiddo sneezes for the umpteenth time, knowing full well you're about to embark on yet another germ-fueled adventure? That's where we find ourselves in today’s heartfelt discussion, as Whitney and Sarah get real about the marathon of managing childhood illness.

Our conversation pulls back the curtain on the ups, the downs, and the downright sniffles of parenting sick little ones, from the common cold to the more ominous contagions that send shivers down our spines with each school notice.

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Speaker 1:

Hey guys, welcome back to the Preview Lions podcast. This is Sarah and Whitney, and we're coming to you guys today to talk about something I'm sure has happened in everybody's household recently, because it is who's the season? Yeah, there's just not much we can do it is when our kids are sick and constantly sick, and how that impacts us. You know, I think I texted Whitney the other day and I was like hey, yeah, just got through a strep, Now we have bronchitis and upper respiratory and ear infection. Ear infection and like I just don't know how to get off this hamster wheel and it is exhausting. Oh, absolutely it is. I mean, it just feels like doom and gloom.

Speaker 2:

I mean to be honest, once you get out of one thing, you get maybe a 48 hour break, and then the next thing hits and usually our kids trade the things, or even if they're not like sharing the same virus, it's like they're like oh okay, I'm getting better now I'm passing the baton to you. You get to be sick now. Oh my gosh.

Speaker 1:

And it's just like to be honest Whitney knows this like so, with Will and Nick you, even from like early days, him being sick was just like very triggering to me, Absolutely. And it felt like, even though he's not that Nick, you baby now right and we're fine. If we've overcome that, it's still that fear inside of me that still lives there, that like that sickness will be what brings us back to the hospital or to like a ICU. And my heart really feels for these moms who have immunocompromised or you know, they're cancer patients, I you know to have that or the premium moms who are going through this now right, Like their babies are still super vulnerable and just like we're talking about our kids who are healthy and they're not premiums.

Speaker 2:

And they're not. You know, compromise Like a underlying issue.

Speaker 1:

Right, but it's so hard for us, so I can only imagine for those moms. Oh yeah, different level.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely. And I do feel like post COVID it is so much more amplified because of the whole long COVID thing. So you know, especially when you already have a child that's preemie has a preexisting condition that is medically fragile, then you don't necessarily worry about just a long COVID, you worry about the implications of RSV, of flu, of how many times are we going to get strep. Or you know something that for my kids has just been a really mean cold but really hasn't been horrible rhino virus. That's a super common one. I mean, they've tested positive for that. I've lost count so many times like thank you, daycare and the Petri dish that that is. So I can't imagine these moms who have fought tooth and now their babies have fought tooth and now to be here to survive. And now we're in cold flu, RSV season and it's like, oh, we have to be extra careful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I'll say you know, I feel like too. You get these emails from school or from the teacher and they're like hey, just letting you know hand, foot, mouth is going through which we had that recently. I hate hand foot now and literally I open this message or this text message in it. I just felt my whole body Right. It was a response. I was like, oh my God, this is coming, there's nothing you can do about it, waiting on, faded breath and that's a level of anxiety and I think this is what happens to you in there in the season is just like we filled this like what snacks or who's going to get it next? Is the whole family going to get it?

Speaker 2:

And then really is.

Speaker 1:

it's on mom 99.9% of the time to manage the sicknesses, and I know we've talked about this is that once your kids sick, then it's a level of like Okay, when do we call peace, when do we call?

Speaker 2:

When do we go to the ER?

Speaker 1:

You know, where do we go to urgent care? Like when do we judge? Hey, that's getting worse. And that's not like that's a heavy burden that we take on because we don't want them to get worse. We want it to be okay.

Speaker 2:

Right. We want to be as proactive as possible, as much as the sickness allows us to be.

Speaker 1:

Right, because then we I've done this, I know you've done this You're like, didn't say they do get worse, or maybe you thought it was a cold and maybe it's something turns more, and you're just like, gosh, if I would have called earlier, I would have took them in earlier or. I could just listen to my gut, yeah. And then sometimes we're dismissed. Let's be honest.

Speaker 2:

I will say I haven't necessarily been dismissed by medical personnel. It's actually not to throw them under the best, but it's been my husband when he's like it's not as bad as you think it, I'm like no, that, that right there is.

Speaker 1:

That gets me, oh, that sends me over the edge, and I know Be real, I touch. Wow, that's as we have the edge, because it's happened a lot Right. And I just think I that's gonna be hard, because your husband is a doctor and I'm a nurse and I'm just like cool, but I will say I do, which I know this is probably not the right way to do this, but I do go back and be like do you see what they actually tested positive for? Do you see that requires this? Now, I know that's not the best thing to do, but sometimes it's just like I know my child Right and like don't involve it in the gut. I know it, yeah, and it just. You know, we all had the GI bug not too long ago. And why you it just again? I think you get triggered when they're sick because then you remember things that happened previously when they're sick or you know, hey, I'm going to get behind work again. Or let's talk about the laundry situation that happens, especially the GI bug. I mean, at some point you're just like do I throw it away?

Speaker 2:

Right, and it's okay to throw things away, right, it is it absolutely is.

Speaker 1:

You know, and it was like I think there's this level of terror that moms feel when you hear like I will. He had to throw up at like 3am during the GI bug. We didn't know what was going to happen and I just heard mom and it's like that, mom, that you know they're sick or that you know, like oh yeah, you know what's going down. And you're just like woken up from your sleep and like it is just this fear and panic that you're like trying to grab something that they can vomit into and you're trying to catch it. And you know, I'm not as honest about that. My glasses are contact, so like when I wake up it's just like the scene of a movie of trying to savage whatever we can of our life in that moment.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, it's not even salvaging the material things, it's sanity and survival.

Speaker 1:

No, and it's like I'll never forget one of my old neighbors. She was out there posing down our car seat and I was like, oh, I know, I know what happened there. And she's like yep, gi bug hit us and it's just, I don't know. I think it's just this effect that happens when our kids are sick and you just cycle and everything gets harder and work gets harder, your relationships get harder. It's harder to mom If you're already struggling with anxiety, you're sleep deprived, anxiety, depression, like all that just kind of gets worse and there's not really much we can do. Except you know you go to the doctor, you do what you can and you're trying to give them rest, and then if you get sick there and it too, I mean Can we just say for me?

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna say for me nobody told me how hard it would be to parent slash mom while I'm sick taking care of my sick kids. Nobody, nobody told me about that, because I can remember vividly my youngest. She was about five months old and the GI bug hit all four of us and I was the last man standing, but I knew it was coming.

Speaker 1:

And that's so tough. It's like do you find yourself, especially the GI bug? You're just like ever twitch, or like, oh god, it's happening. Or you're just like oh yeah, you're just like oh no.

Speaker 2:

Well, you're a nurse so you can write back this. If I don't know that this is like medically recommended, let me just say that I was surviving. Okay, I was surviving, I was doing what I had to do. I remember, because it hit my youngest one first for a couple of days Now, mind you, she was an infant, so of course it's going to be longer lasting in a baby because they have no immunity. Well then, my oldest one, she just woke up at about 10, 31,. Not just balling, and then I was like go back in your room and she was like no, she was scared to go in her room. She had thrown up all in her bed. I'm like, awesome, love it here for it. So I'm like dragging her sheets downstairs to hose them off in the driveway before I put them in the washer. Right before you get to our garage, we have a downstairs bathroom. I could hear my husband getting sick and I thought, oh, I know what my future holds in the next three to four hours. So, honestly, I went ahead and took a Zofran, yeah, and I just lived off of Zofran and Sprite for about 24 hours, give or take a little bit. I don't know that that's medically recommended, but we did what we had to do. Yeah, we survived, but no one tells you how hard it is to parent your child, who really bounces back much quicker than we do when you feel like deck warmed over and like when me and her, my oldest one, had COVID for the first time at the same time when we got hit during the Omicron wave and I just remember laying in the floor with a KN95 mask on, just feeling like you can crawl over me, I don't care, like I'm just here, I'm just here. And of course, my oldest just had a snot nose. She never popped a fever, no, nothing, whereas I'm like, oh, I want to die a little bit here. Like I'm unwell, I'm very unwell, for multiple days in a row.

Speaker 1:

No, and no one told me either. And I don't know if I thought my head magically, like we don't live near my parents, but I don't know if my head when I was like pregnant, I thought, oh, I'm sick, I'll just call my mom, or I don't know. I just thought, right, maybe my husband would just magically take care of it, I don't know, which that's not realistic with his job. But I guess I just never thought in my head, well, what's going to be happening when everybody gets sick, including myself? Again, it goes back to like that village. It's not really there and a lot of people like and you know, your friends could help drop off something, or a neighbor or somebody could help, yeah, whatever, but like they're not going to be in that house with you.

Speaker 2:

And let's be real, they don't want to be in the house, they don't want to get that germ expo here.

Speaker 1:

Oh, and it's just like I read the smim is like check on your mom friends, right Cause. It's like we're not. We can't nap when we want to nap when our kids are sick. We can't just lay in bed and watch Netflix. So you know, I remember thinking that, like when we all had COVID thinking gosh, wouldn't that just be like I can just lay and sweat pants and watch Netflix, like what a dream. And be like, cause it was like a bad cold, but like you had no energy and I thought, god, that would just be so wonderful. And that's not my reality. It was still like get up, take care of your kids, try to maintain the house, like at some point, like we all need to clean underwear, like someone had to wash it.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and you got to disinfect all the deck. I'm Tom.

Speaker 1:

And he's just like like, goes on. I mean, and that was that? No, no one told me that either. And if the moms are hearing this and they're like, okay, no one said it's me and it's just freaking hard, Well, no, it is hard.

Speaker 2:

No one prepares us for that level of like. As moms, we know we're going to self-sacrifice. No one tells us about like the level that you have to when you're down for the count, and so is the family.

Speaker 1:

And it does breed resentment and it does breed just like why you know you just get down in it. So if you're feeling like, yeah, I've had back to back cycles of sickness in my family, and you know. I'm always the one that calls out, or I'm always the one that's like getting up the kids, or, you know, I'm always the one who seems to take on that load. They're not alone. But what can they do? I mean, it's inevitable, right, but what can we do to do a little bit better during this timeframe?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think part of it is setting your expectations really low, like they need to be on the floor, that's what the expectations go yeah really in the trash. The expectation is you survive. We're at ocean floor level, exactly like we really need to like. We're not even really stepping over it. We're kind of crawling over the expectations.

Speaker 1:

Just know that it's like, it's good. I think too, just saying, okay, I had to my head. You know those doom texts from the school. Right, I had to just say, well, it's gonna be what it's going to be on some point, like if it hits, there's nothing I'm gonna be able to do in this moment Like a hand hygiene, the course the things like you can try your best, but you also can't let it take over your life. That fear of what's coming, Because sometimes our kids, they find it all right.

Speaker 2:

You know, I think it goes back to that old saying of ignorance is bliss. Had you not gotten the email, you wouldn't necessarily be fearing my kid's gonna get flu hand, foot, mouth strep, rsv, covid but we wouldn't be fearing it actually happening. So, especially if it's one of those you worry about going to maybe an event like we take our kids to Disney on ice last weekend and I kept thinking, ooh, I don't really know how I feel about all that extra exposure. But then I was thinking but you know what? I've got a first grader and a daycare kid. The exposure exists. They're not in a bubble, they're actually quite the opposite of being in a bubble. And I remind myself okay, they've already had exposure to things. If they get sick, you have to tackle it when that happens. And I do remind myself, at least here. We are kind of privileged in the Birmingham area to have pediatric urgent cares, to have a really good children's hospital emergency room where I can get my kids medical care on weekends and evenings if need be. Right, and so reminding yourself of what your resources are that are available to you. And I'll say this it's been two or three weeks ago where my youngest one got the flu and so for adults, just so you know, american Family Care does do virtual appointments and they will prescribe TAMA Flu as a preventative if you have a positive case within the household. So when she tested positive, my husband and I did a virtual through American Family Care and they called in TAMA Flu so we could take it as a preventative. And I don't know if that's exactly what was the saving grace or the vitamins or whatever it was of immunity, but neither of us got it and I'm telling you I should have gotten it because she coughed in my mouth multiple times while contagious. So exposure is there, okay.

Speaker 1:

Oh my God, I mean like the catching of Will's throat up. That last time I was just like literally caught in my body and I was like, oh good, here we go. Or sweet baby James, you know what I mean, like the cough in your mouth and you're just like, oh my God, I think, gave me with my eyeball at this point.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

You know, you're just like oh great, now my eyes got flu too. I think too it pulls down to like I think bobs are running on such a low threshold that when we do get the sick train it really defeats us sometimes or takes it out, and I know sometimes like if you can get yourself that hot shower for five minutes, if you can able to. You know, always say if you guys can just lay down and if it's like that you can watch a movie with them, do whatever you can do to survive it and know that like it will get better, you will overcome this. But it does trigger you back too. I know you personally, whitney. There's been life events with you and your loss is that like you know, the girls got sick around and so sicknesses, really hard times, are tied together and it can bring this memories and it can bring back, you know, even if, like you were just like, okay, I remember last time with work, like I had to call out my boss was really nasty to me, or you know, my coworker was, and you remember that, or it was the loss of someone around that same time. You remember that. If it's that, you, you remember that. So it's like you carry your experiences too. So sickness is definitely a gateway, I believe, to triggers and trauma.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, well, and it's funny that you hit on that, because when my youngest got flu a couple of weeks ago, all I kept thinking cause this is the time last year where my maternal grandfather passed away and then my oldest actually got sick literally goes back to school that evening. My youngest pops a fever and has streps, so I was out a whole extra week that I anticipated being out, and so when my youngest this year got flu, I was like, oh God, it's happening again. I'm going to end up being out of work for a whole week and this is just horrible. And how am I going to make this up? And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and all of those kinds of things that I remember talking to my therapist about it, where I felt like how am I going to get my head above water, when she said well, part of it is, you know, you didn't get above water last year. It's like every time you thought you were going to get a breath, you got knocked back down. You never want to experience that again. So your brain is going into fight or flight a little bit as a way to protect us.

Speaker 1:

Better for some.

Speaker 2:

And then she said you know, I really want to remind you too that this is not last year. She was like this is not last year. Unfortunately. Yes, your grandfather is still passed away. We cannot undo that. However, your mom isn't I mean, most likely fingers crossed and prayers up not going to get septic again and be in the hospital for a week and not be able to help you with your kids, because this year it worked out, honestly, the best that it could have, and I hate to say that for my kid getting the flu, but it is what it is. Where it failed during the oldest daughter's fall break at school, where my parents had already agreed to have her on Sunday night and Monday night, and then I was going to get her back on Tuesday because we had parent-teacher conferences, so I had taken Tuesday off in preparation to do that, and so, thankfully, my parents had my older daughter, so she didn't get the exposure like she would have if it had been a regular school week. And so I looked at my therapist and I was like you know what? You're right, like I do have more auxiliary support, this go around, just because the likelihood of my mom getting septic again is probably not going to happen.

Speaker 1:

I love how your therapist said that, though you know it's not this situation, was not that situation, and to reframe and remind ourselves. But I do think you, like we, you hit on our brains, go back to that time or that is Totally, and so we have to ground ourselves and what the moment is, and I'm, you know, and, like all this pep, talk ourselves again, like this is our reality. I did it last time. I'm able to do this, I can handle it.

Speaker 2:

We are, we are capable.

Speaker 1:

It is that voice journaling is that if you've got safe space person to say I'm breaking out, this is what this is making me remind. This is so hard. Again I feel like I can't get ahead. It's not made and let me just see this leak to all the moms like this feels impossible for us all. So if you see this mom, you're like, oh well, she seems very unaffected. How does I can promise you she is affected. She might just be masking it.

Speaker 2:

Because maybe that's just crying when you're not seeing it and like, absolutely, because she feels like maybe that's what's expected of her, but that's a whole nother soapbox, you know all the time.

Speaker 1:

So just know we're going to get through this season, like we do every season, but we're in it with you guys and you know I think again this is important time to talk about boundaries that this is a season that's going to be hard. Every cold and flu season has not been easy for us and I don't think it is for our listeners either. And you know, from babies to toddlers to elementary, on to those boundaries of like you know, you feel like you're on this cycle, for you can never get well to say no to go and ever birthday party, that's okay. If you have a baby, again reminder it is your child you can say no kissing, no touching. You don't have to break that baby you can say baby, how you see fit Exactly, you can say you know what? No, we're going to stay home and rest because you know what we fit on. This cycle we need to break and our bodies yeah. So set those boundaries and give yourself that grace during this time period, because that's how we're going to make it through, but it won't always be like this.

Speaker 2:

This is hard. Let's call a spade a spade. This is hard. We feel like we're not going to win, but remind yourself, it is temporary. It is, and there will spring and summer will come and we will be okay, we will be okay, and it's okay that we admit that it's hard in the moment. That doesn't make us weak.

Speaker 1:

No, I think it gives us power, honestly does well.

Speaker 2:

Like you've said before, we have to name it to tame it.

Speaker 1:

This is what we're going to name it. Sickness to train is hard and again to our moms who are walking that the medicals immunocompromise. The sickness is the premature route. I had to go out to you and we're cheering for you and have a therapist on board please, because this is so hard.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, because it's hard to be a Nick you slash premium mom or a immunocompromised mom to. You know the child that struggles like it's okay to reach out for that help and have it on deck when you need it.

Speaker 1:

And we all need it, I mean we all need help. And it's a safe space. So, and if you guys are questioning, well, what about therapy? What is therapy? Go back into our episodes. We've hit on therapy and we've hit on why it could be beneficial, what would be like and, honestly, the tools they can equip you with. So just go back and look at that, but, guys, we are cheering you on. Wash those hands and, by the way, Before there's a big rush messages on Instagram if there's more topics you guys want us to hear. But download and share and save. So until next time, guys. Right see ya, a little bit of our personal mental health is his point in his physical health. The previous podcast was created for and by moms dealing with postpartum depression and all its variables, like anxiety, anger, and even out the Sarah Parkhurst and licensed clinical social worker, whitney Gay. Each episode focused on specific issues relevant to pregnancy and postpartum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms. You can also browse our podcast library and listen to previous episodes at any time. Please know you're not alone on this journey. We're here to help.

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