Remember Freddie? That was just the beginning.
I wrote a post a while back talking about my experiences with my first husband, Freddie (yes, I changed the name…). I wrote about how that experience made me so much stronger. What I didn’t know at that time though, was how much stronger I was still going to have to be.
I also mentioned the birth of my daughter, and that while I was in the hospital recovering from a C-section, Freddie was out scoring drugs. I believe this was the root cause of the hypertension that I am now dealing with.
I think my baby could sense that I was stressed. Either that, or my body decided it was time and said “Enough! Time’s up! She’s coming out now.” Either way, my baby was born 5 weeks premature.
What I didn’t know, was how dangerous a hospital can be to a premature baby. There are germs in a hospital that won’t affect you and I, however, those same germs to a premature baby can be life-threatening. In this case, they were.
The six days in the hospital were bliss. I had nurses looking after me and my daughter. We learned how to take care of her, how to feed her, and all too soon were sent home with her. What a joy!
However, on the 12th day of her life, my whole world came crashing down. My 5-week premature, 5-pound baby starting convulsing. She stopped eating. She didn’t even have the strength to cry. I had just had major surgery and my husband was at work when I received a call from a good friend – just checking in. I practically screamed at him — “Come over and take me to the hospital right now!”
He did. I got my daughter into Emergency where she was checked over right away. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong because she was so small they couldn’t do some of the tests they normally do. So they decided to treat her for all their suspicions. They gave her what I call a ‘molotov cocktail’ of drugs designed to blast whatever germ she had picked up before it killed her. Thank god they managed to save her life.
However, later that night they sent her to Children’s Hospital to have more thorough tests done and for long term care. There, they determined that my daughter had meningitis.
Meningitis has a 10 day incubation period. My daughter was only 13 days old. We were in the hospital for 7 days. Do the math. And stay out of hospitals, if you can help it!
Once they determined what the problem was, they cut back on all the drugs they were dosing her with and only gave her drugs for the meningitis. But the original ‘molotov cocktail’, although it saved her life, had long-lasting consequences.
My daughter lost partial hearing in her left ear. I can’t tell you how many times the school has notified me that they ‘discovered a significant hearing loss’ — I just laugh and roll my eyes, and wish they would read her paperwork each year!
Since then, she has had every doctor’s test known to god and man. Her blood work has never been quite right. Her joints aren’t very strong, her immune system is poor, she has allergies, eczema, asthma, and is accident-prone. The school nurse actually put a term to it — she says she has “oto-toxicity”, which basically means that since birth she was contaminated with toxins (remember the ‘molotov cocktail’ that saved her life?) and her little body has been trying to deal with them ever since.
I did some research and discovered that she need ‘bioflavanoids’ to boost her immune system to help her deal with the variety of issues she has for the rest of her life. But did you know that there aren’t any children’s vitamins that have ‘bioflavanoids’ in them on the market? Until one day I discovered Usanimals. These amazing children’s chewable vitamins helped my daughter rebuild her immune system.
She is turning 21 next week. She still has all these issues, but she has found ways to manage every one of them.
Just remember, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. She is very strong. So am I.
But what I want to know is – who decides how much strength you need to have in life? Because I’m not done yet.
Wishing you health and happiness,