About two months ago my husband and I had to take our youngest daughter, age 4, into the emergency room. She’d woken up that morning with a high fever, a limp and a swollen knee, and because it was a Saturday, her doctor’s office was closed. For a grueling 12 hours my baby was x-rayed, tested, prodded and poked, until she was rushed into emergency knee surgery. Alhamdulillah, the surgery went well, but it was another 10 days before they diagnosed her condition and she was able to get off of IV meds and onto oral antibiotics.
Long story short, she had contracted Lyme disease, and while I could go on to talk about the how’s and why’s about Lyme, I’m not going to. Instead I want to write about what I learned from and what helped me during the whole experience :
- Prayer : I don’t think I’ve ever made duaa like I did when faced with this situation of not knowing what was happening to my child. It also opened my eyes to when I was sick, several times in fact as a kid, and what my mother must have gone through. Pray for your baby, and pray for your parents.
- Friends and family: I’d told a couple of our friends about what was going on and requested them to inform our other friends. We don’t have any family living near us, and during such times, you realize that your close friends are like family. We are very fortunate to have a beautiful group who really came to our rescue. We also had tons of calls and messages from family members and I am so thankful for all the prayers and love.
- It’s not anybody’s fault : I was flooded with self doubt – How could I have missed the signs? Maybe I shouldn’t have let her play outside so much. Maybe we should’ve just rushed her to the doctor as soon as she woke up instead of waiting for a couple of hours? Such questions loomed in my mind. I had to keep telling myself that what was happening wasn’t my fault.
- Take care of yourself : I think the first day I forgot to eat. Then the next day I didn’t really feel like leaving the hospital. Sometimes us parents forget that we need our strength to get through this, so we have to remember to take care of ourselves for the sake of our child.
- Talk to your other kids : My middle child is more of an introvert, and my oldest daughter is very emotional, so between hospital stays, and all the confusion, I had to make sure my other children knew I was there for them as well. This one isn’t easy, and as much as I told myself that my other kids are going to be fine, I needed to remember that she is their sister too, and they might need to talk about it or even just talk about something ordinary instead.
- Ignore the guilt trippers : I realized that there are always going to be a few people who are going to get to you. It could be relatives, friends or even the hospital staff. They’ll wonder why you didn’t inform them of the situation, or how you could have not remembered whether your child had a rash at some point, or constantly drive you crazy with questions. Now’s not the time to appease them. Right now you need to think of you and your family. Be polite of course, but don’t feel the need to justify yourself to everybody.
- Make sure you understand what the doctors are talking about : Ask them questions, read up on your child’s condition, get a second or third opinion if you need to. Don’t go crazy googling stuff, but make certain your are well informed to make the right decision.
- Say a special prayer for them and thank your nurses : Our doctors were great but they dash in and out to do their jobs – it’s the nurses that constantly check on you, offer you advice, and make sure your baby is happy. Thank God for good nurses.
- Give Sadaqa
- Pray some more: See #1
Although I hope we never have to be in such a situation again, I learned that we are blessed to have had so much love and prayers sent to my daughter and our family in those difficult few days. I realized that little kids are so much more resilient and positive than us adults. My daughter was wobbling about on her leg in a few days and back to walking without a limp a couple weeks later. She had a few nightmares and was scared to see doctors for a while, but I’m happy to say she is past that now. Alhamdulillah for healthy children, and Alhamdulillah for tests that we are able to overcome.
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SubhanAllah! That must have been so scary! My youngest will be 4 in September and I can only imagine how worrying it must have all have been. Hospitals can be scary places for even the adults so she must have so frightened. Alhamdulillah that she is better now
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My mother gets so worried when one of us, her children, get ill or gets geven just a headache. Sometimes I tell her she’s worrying too over but then I know I’d understand it only when I become a mother. She does all these, praying, giving sadaqah everytime one of us is afflicted with illness or when we are facing a difficulty. But, one thing she forgets is taking care of her own self. Parents should take care of themselves too because in times like this the children need their parents strength.
May Allah grant your daughter more good health.
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Alhamdulillah she is better now and I hope she can forget any experience in the hospital that might have traumatized her. I like how you connect in this post spirituality and practical advice how to deal with the situation. I think this holistic approach is important to come out with more strenght from such a test. Alhamdulillah also for good friends supporting you. May Allah bless your family!
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Ah may Allah never show anyone the hospital doors! It’s terrible and I know personally, my mum always taught be prayer and sadaqah are the first things you should always do, in sickeness and health.
So sad and sorry to hear about your daughter getting Lyme’s. But I’m glad to know she’s doing better alhamdulillah, and that you and your husband were able to learn even from this most difficult and scary situation. May Allah swt continue to give us all these reminders and to keep your family in good health. InshaAllah
SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah…So glad to hear your little one is doing lots better now. It is during these tests we are put through that we teach us valuable lessons that help us learn and grow.
Its just scary to read about your how you wouldve felt. Being a mother myself i can relate to the feeling. In fact two weeks back i found myself crying beacuse my daughter had high fever and kept crying. Its so upsetting.
Sadqa is the best way to avoid any ill health and other evils.
For me hospitals have always been a scary place. I just don’t like to go there or to even other clinic until it is really needed. You are very strong. Lots of prayers and duas to your children.
I too get so worried when my children gets ill.May Allah keep all of us safe and healthy..Ameen
Reading this made me all emotional and I love he fact that instead of this situation making you miserable you dealt with it sensibly and are now here to talk about it and help other mothers who are going through the same situation or if they (god forbid) will ever have to .
I hope your daughter is doing well now prayers and well wishes for her ! <3