Ongoing Conversations and Childhood Chronic Illnesses

May 15, 2012 by Rieshy

Last night my husband and I went on an impromptu date. We came home to still awake Littles who both, "needed another drink," and an older sister who was frazzled around the edges.  My 6 yo was sweaty so I gave him his Frog Tog Chilly Pad* to sleep with and then threatened them both with exportation to Siberia if they got out of bed again.  Well, I thought about Siberia, for myself.

This morning my 6 yo was so tired that I told him I'd have to do a blood sugar check if he didn't wake up and eat something.  After breakfast I sat next to where he was slumped on the sofa with his Bionicle in hand and asked him to think about how he felt.  "I'm really tired." he answered.  I explained that when he gets really tired his body doesn't work as well.  I patted his stomach and explained how his digestion slows down when his body is tired- and that makes his tummy hurt and makes him feel even more tired and then he doesn't want to eat.

I verbalized it all for him because he is going to have to take care of himself one day.  I asked him if he knew why he was so tired.  "Well, sister didn't put us to bed on time."

Hmmm, the designated sister-babysitter had most definitely put him to bed on time.  I knew this because she and her other older siblings wanted to eat homemade ice cream after the Littles went to bed.  Homemade ice cream is a great motivator for time-conscious babysitting.

"Well..... "

I didn't realize several siblings had joined us until his 10 yo brother spoke up, "If you don't eat it's really bad and you'll get sick."

My 6 yo smiled and responded, "But I get to watch movies all day long.  I kinda like the hospital except for the I.Vs."


I so often lose complete control of conversations.  Teachable moments?  More like verbal train wrecks. Here I am trying to get him to take responsibility and instead we are skating on the thin ice of professional convalescence.

"I don't know mom, my hair was all wet."

He has an extraordinarily high pain/discomfort threshold and a low tolerance for heat.  All sorts of slow boiled frog needs it's frog tog combination of rhymes started to roll through my head. "You were hot, your hair was wet because it was sweaty.  You needed your frog cloth.  You need to remember how that felt and next time do something about it, something besides aggravating your sister and making yourself too tired."

At this point in the conversation I'm picturing a gentler version of the far side cartoon.

I'm just hoping that short discussions over the years will add up to a confident, smart and capable young adult; ready to take care of himself and conquer the world.

* I don't sell these and I only wish I got financial compensation from my blog. However, I will say theses things are fabulous for a child with heat intolerance.  Here's a nifty link to the issue.  I found Frog Togs to be a bit more expensive but far more durable and effective than many other type cooling cloths and bands.  Best of all my son can use one while sleeping and it doesn't get his sheets wet.



Deana said...

Thanks for the tip on the Frogg Togg Chilly Pad. I just ordered one for Max, who melts in the heat. Hoping they work for him too! We may have to buy a stock pile of them!

Rieshy said...

I hope they work for Max. I got it to keep in the car- just in case of car problems- but it keeps ending up in the house because he loves it at night.

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