Soft whimpering…my body becomes alert. More whimpering. I recognize that sound of distress and know his ear is aching again while he tries to sleep. We’ve been told he has a high threshold for pain. That’s why his eardrum has ruptured in the past. I worry that it will rupture again. I can’t bear the helpless feeling of waiting for the pediatrician’s office to finally open at 9am.
I slide out of bed and head toward the bathroom. “I’m going to get you a warm cloth for your ear, Bud. I’ll be right in,” I softly call to him. My husband has been sleeping on his floor so he is quietly talking to him. I enter his room and he’s already on the floor waiting for me. I lean against the foot board of his bed and he sleepily leans into me. I put the warm wash cloth on his ear and gently swirl circles on his back. After a minute or two he swats the cloth off, puts both arms around me, and leans his head on my shoulder. He’s getting bigger now and I’ll admit I savor every moment when he wants to cuddle like this although I hate to see him sick.
“My ear is really aching. We go see the doctor, Mom? I get the medicine and then I’ll feel better?”
“Yes,” I answer, “We’ll bring you to the doctor in the morning and he’ll help you feel better.”
“I’ll take tomorrow off to take him to the doctor,” I say. My husband replies, “No, you’ve been out a lot this year. I’ll cancel my meetings and take him. ” We know it is an ear infection. We just don’t know the extent yet. He’s in pain but we’ve seen him worse. It is after 3am. My husband has slept on the floor for two nights now because our son doesn’t like to be alone when he doesn’t feel well. I say, “How about if I get in your bed with you and Dad can get some rest in his bed for a bit?”
We climb up into his bed and get under the covers. He has requested his Lion Guard soundtrack and although he isn’t feeling well I marvel at the fact that he still sings along a bit. I finally hear some soft snoring and my body starts to rest. I wake at almost 6am and leave him to sleep a bit longer. He is sleeping soundly and very late according to his typical schedule. Good, I think, his body needs the rest.
*It was an ear infection but thankfully it didn’t rupture.