Reassurance can come in some strange ways, sometimes.
Lilly has been struggling with urinary tract infections (UTIs) for some time now. Every time it seems we have a handle on it, it comes back, like some monster that won’t die. I’m starting to suspect that the bacteria has begun to build a resistance to antibiotics. She just finished her latest round of cephalexin a few days ago; now she’s complaining of pain in her lower abdomen again, and pain with cathing.
Fed up with going to the doctor only to have more antibiotics prescribed, I’ve decided to try a different route: D-mannose. It’s a concentrate of the active ingredient in cranberries that helps with UTI’s. It’s better than drinking gallons of cranberry juice (which Lilly doesn’t like) with all the sugar in it that can cause more problems. I asked for advice on the spina bifida support group that I’m part of, and many people have recommended this natural product, along with some probiotics. I did a bit of research, and feel it’s a viable route for Lilly at this point.
I couldn’t get my hands on any D-mannose at any of the three pharmacies here in our town, so I had to order it online (and pay an exorbitant amount of shipping to have it get here today). I’m going to try it for a several days, but if she doesn’t seem to get better, I’ll certainly get her to the doctor.
Lilly woke up this morning at 4:00 am needing to be cathed. Afterward, she was in such pain it brought her to tears. I gave her some generic AZO, and waited an interminable 10 or so minutes for it to kick in and her pain to subside. It finally did, but while my daughter was lying beside me in bed, writhing in pain and crying, the old meaningless questions roiled through my head again: Why does she have to go through this? Why my child? How are we going to deal with this over and over and over? Where am I going to find the strength to keep soldiering on with this? (Not just the UTI’s, but everything involved with SB).
She finally went back to sleep, and so did I. I dreamed Lilly and I were together in some big building. The building was filled with zombies (stick with me here). I had to protect her. I couldn’t carry her, she’s too big and heavy. She can’t run fast. The zombies were everywhere, endless, overwhelming. I picked up some meager but sharp weapons I found on the floor, one in each hand. I didn’t want to do this, didn’t want to be here, but here I was. As we hustled down hallways and zombies came near, I stabbed them in the chest. Over and over, I stabbed those monsters. Then I realized I’d done it wrong; you have to stab them in the head for them to die, or they’ll only come back. I doubled back and stabbed them again, this time in the head. Every time, I waited for that scratch or bite that would doom me, but it never happened. Stab, run, hide. Stab, run, hide. It went on and on; it seemed I had never known anything else.
The mission never changed: keep her safe, keep her alive. We finally ended up in some small room or closet. I was trying to bar the door when I woke up as my husband came into the bedroom to get ready for work. I was never so happy for him to wake me up in the morning.
My first thought was: thank god, there’s no zombie apocalypse. My next thought was, yeah, okay, I get it. I can do this. I’m a warrior. I’ll do whatever I have to, and we’ll somehow get through it. Tools will be provided. Help will arrive.
You may not know why there’s a zombie apocalypse, but you still have to deal with it. There’s no time to ask why; you just have to keep stabbing.
(This was supposed to go on my other blog Beautiful Detour, about Lilly and spina bifida, but my scatterbrain put it here instead. Enjoy!)