Laresa Watkins

Finding Bravery

Jul 20, 2014

Maddie has been sick for over 3 weeks now.  It started out with a fever that wouldn’t go away, a rash, a sore throat, and on and on. We have been to the doctor 5 times and urgent care once, just this morning.

Little Maddie has had urine tests, strep tests, blood drawn, and her temperature taken no less than 5 million times.

We have been up many nights, cancelled a lot of plans, and sprayed out a gallon of Clorox around the house trying to rid it of germs.

The blood results finally came back last week indicating that Maddie had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which she fought off on her own without the help of any antibiotics.  That was a total God-thing, ya’ll, because by the time the doctors figured out what was wrong with her, it could have been really serious.

Just when I thought we were getting through this and our lives could return to normal, Maddie woke up last night with pink eye.  Yes, pink eye.  It’s like we just can’t catch a break! I texted my friends and cancelled our plans for tomorrow, and Jason and Charlie headed off to church (for homecoming, no less) while Maddie and I headed to the urgent care.

I just don’t know how mama’s with seriously ill children do it.  You have to just reach down deep inside to a special place to hold down your child while they have blood taken, and to deal day after day with the constant worry.  It’s agonizing!

I know that God works in every situation, though, and I have seen that over the last several weeks.  2 Timothy 1:7 came up in a Bible Study I’m attending, and I wrote it on the board in the kitchen and have been reciting it over and over in my head.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Anytime I start panicking or worrying too much, I recite this to myself and continue on.  God doesn’t intend for us to go around fearful and worrying about everything.  Maddie will be fine, and these few weeks will be just a fading memory….hopefully soon!

Some things I have learned during this short season in my life:

1-Kids are TOUGH!  Maddie felt really bad for several days, and the girl just continued on.  She went to every night of VBS last week, she went swimming (even though she spent a lot of time sitting in a lounge chair eating snacks), she played and played and played.  Very rarely did she let this bring her down.

2-Charlie and Maddie really love each other.


When Maddie had to have blood drawn, Charlie curled up in a chair in the corner of the room with his hands over his ears.  He hated it.  A couple of days later when we returned to the doctor, he said on our way in, “If they try to poke Maddie again, I am going to go dangerous on them.”  How precious is that?  He really takes care of his little sister, and I like that.

3-We have some wonderful doctors.  Seriously, they have been wonderful.  They have called at night and while they are on vacation to check on Maddie.  They have e-mailed each other to make sure they’re all on the same page.  They have made silly faces and tickled and just been really good to her.  Even the PA at the urgent care this morning was good with her.

4-Those doctors are working in a seriously broken system.  We have had trouble getting appointments, trouble seeing the same doctor (which forced us to kind of start over one time), and have yet to see Maddie’s primary doctor.  Even though they aren’t taking any new patients, they have too many patients and just can’t keep up with the demand that is on them.  I don’t know if this is a UNC problem or an Obamacare problem or what, but it is a problem, especially when you’re dealing with children.

5-It’s okay to have a little pity party, as long as it doesn’t last too long.  I had my pity party when Maddie’s fever returned again last week, and I couldn’t get in with a doctor that we had already seen.  I called Mama and kind of lost it.  Luckily, when I am weak she is strong.

6-As Jason says, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.”  After my pity party with Mama, she called the nurse who works with the kids’ regular doctor, who is a family friend.  She, in turn, called me and I told her all of my frustrations, and she really helped us a lot. I didn’t want to bother her, but realize now that if you know someone, you need to utilize them.

7-It’s my responsibility to speak up for C and M.  At our last appointment, I said, “I’m not leaving without an antibiotic.” And I didn’t.  All I had to do was say it, but sometimes that is hard for me.

So, here’s Maddie this afternoon:


Aside from the pink eye, she’s all good!

You know how good you feel after you’ve been sick, like you’ve forgotten how good it feels to feel good?  Well, the feeling is even better when your kids have been sick and they are healthy again.

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