So, it turns out that baby’s brave battle with micro-organisms coincides perfectly with the temper tantrum stage of development. To add to her frustration, mom has this annoying habit of forcing her to use her right arm when lefty is perfectly capable of planting the sticky (stickers). Like AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!! in decibels that would cause tsunamis in the sound wave. Hello, buzzing in my left ear (she is always within millimeters of my ear drum when she emits these piercing screeches!)

What’s that?! Try not to scream back, you say?! But how will I be sure she hears me over the din in my ear?! 🤯 Jokes. I handle it like a pro: lower my voice, so she is forced to stop screeching to hear what I am saying (ha ha ha); try to verbalize how she might be feeling “are you feeling abit frustrated?! (Nah, I’m just hangry) That’s ok. But you don’t need to scream at mummy. Use your words (stole that last one from the big sistah)”

Of course it doesn’t work. She persists with her mind numbing screeches, designed to wake the dead and piss off the neighbours. And the ringing never subsides. But it’s hard. The guilt. What if I am pushing her too hard? Maybe I should allow more freeplay? What do I know about physiotherapy anyway?

And then there are the night terrors. Mine and hers. She cries in her sleep. Started doing that in hospital. I would jump up and check on her each time and she would be fast asleep. What if the fevered hallucinations are now haunting the mostly blank canvass of her dreams.

“Man gone.”, she remarked matter-of-factly in the isolation ward one day. The previous day, she had gestured to the corner above my head and babbled something in a frantic sounding voice. 😳

I try to counsel her about what happened. I draw her pictures of viruses and life saving drips. She likes the picture of the one eyed meanie bug. 🤨 maybe I should do a art class!

“Hopisal”, she mimics when I talk about what happened. I am not sure if she understands. Perhaps we shall see when we return to hospital for the MRI next week.

I hope I am doing enough.


Author: Candice Nolan

Storyteller. Seeker. Podcaster.

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