Warrior Moms: What Makes Us and Breaks Us

Yesterday I encountered a scary mommy moment.

Luke (4) had been battling an asthma flare-up for several days. My husband, Brantley and I had been giving him breathing treatments every four-hours in addition to the two steroids he had been placed on.

His symptoms had begun to improve until yesterday morning around 9am when he complained of a headache. By ten o’clock the pain had spread to his neck, which had quickly become so stiff that he was unable to turn his head.

I called the pediatrician who we had seen last week when the asthma flare-up started. He told us to go to the Children’s hospital emergency room so Luke could be examined. He was going to call ahead and let them know we were coming.

After a thorough exam, the attending physician, Dr. Arnold explained that Luke didn’t have meningitis, but a condition that caused inflammation and spasm of the neck muscles. This condition, torticollis, was actually caused by the viral upper respiratory infection that he’d been battling.

Our instructions for treating this was to alternate Tylenol and Motrin and to massage the muscles of his neck to help them to relax. Otherwise, his neck would stiffen back up, drawing his left ear over to his shoulder.

Brantley and I breathed a sigh of relief and we headed home with our little patient.

We prepared for a day of rest and relaxation for Luke. Brantley heated up his favorite blankets in the dryer while I got his favorite Scooby Doo videos to watch in bed. I gently rubbed Luke’s neck, which he didn’t like at all because the spasming muscles made it painful. I hated having to do something that increased his pain, but I knew that it would help in the long-term.

“Mom, can I use your Tempur-pedic pillow?” Luke asked.

“Bitches be trippin,” I thought to myself as I grabbed my Tempur-Pedic pillow and held it tightly to my chest.

Yes, he was under the weather, but had he really just asked if he could use my Tempur-Pedic neck therapy pillow, aka The Precious?

“Here Puddin’ Pop, why don’t you try one of your Dad’s really soft…”

“Lori,” Brantley interrupted. “You’ve got to be kidding me! Give him that pillow,” he said through gritted teeth.

“I was just warming it up,” I lied as I relented and allowed the marshmallowy softness to be taken from my tight grasp. “Anything for my boy.”

As I sit here this morning with a crick in my neck from sleeping on a standard pillow, I want to hear YOUR story. You know you have one.

When was the last time you offered to walk to the end of the earth for someone, only to later realize that the end of the earth was really far away and you didn’t have on comfortable shoes?

I want to hear about it. No judgement. I’m kidding, of course. I will totally judge you. We are humans, after all and we LIVE for shit like this. Go on and share. Make me feel better by comparison.

PS: Luke feels better today. The range of motion in his neck is greatly improved, blah, blah, blah.

Road Trip- Birmingham Edition

At my little sister’s behest, I went to Birmingham over the weekend to meet the rest of her bridesmaids. Having vowed not to take Luke on another road trip alone, we were accompanied by my loving baby Daddy. Brantley and Luke dropped me off in Birmingham at my sister’s house, and they proceeded to spend the day with my parents.

Fun was had by all. My older sister, Heather, was there and I got to spend some time with her and Leigh’s other bridesmaids, as well. We went to the downtown art walk, and then went to dinner. There was a lot of talk over where we would eat. Everyone wanted sushi. Then, someone said, “But, Lori doesn’t eat sushi.” Well, I wasn’t about to be the one that killed the whole night. I explained that I had only eaten it a couple of times, and that I just didn’t know what to order. I wasn’t worried about not finding something I liked. Like my son, I will pretty much eat anything. So sushi it was.

I had Heather order something for me because she knows my food likes and dislikes. Our entrees came and I dug in, sort of. It was disgusting. I cannot even describe the tastes and textures that were going on inside my mouth, but I didn’t say a word. “If this is what good sushi tastes like, then I’ll just be polite and eat my food,” I thought to myself. Heather looked over at my plate and asked for a bite. I said “yes,” but was thinking, “Someone, anyone, please take some of this food off my plate.” Heather gagged. “Lori, that’s disgusting. Have you been eating that? That’s really, really bad sushi.” My plate was sent back and I shared with Heather. When you add to that evening one-too-many glasses of wine, the damage to my body had been done.

When I got back to my parent’s house Luke was already asleep, but had an almost constant cough throughout the night. I laid in bed with him and could hear him wheezing from across the bed. He’s allergic to cats- two of which my parents have. However, in the past it has taken several days of exposure to bring him to that point. To make matters worse, we had forgotten (yes, forgotten) his inhaler when we changed suitcases at the last minute. After he had coughed and cried himself awake for the fourth time we decided we had to go home. The time was five-thirty and we had an approximately three and a half hour drive ahead of us.

We said our goodbyes and headed home in the car. What had just been a cramp in my stomach through the night started feeling worse. I have no idea how fast he must have been driving, but Brantley whipped the car into our driveway at 9:43 AM, and that was with four stops for me to throw up.

It was quite a whirlwind trip and I was more glad than ever that I hadn’t had to do it alone. Three cheers for Brantley who can add to his list of talents- blowing Luke’s nose as he sits in the backseat while simultaneously driving a car (with his knee), and holding my hair back.