Friday, April 27, 2007

diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration oh my!

'Tis the season for kids to catch the Spring cooties and our family was not exempt. Fortunately though we just had to suffer through the sniffles and sore throats....the RSV and the rotaviruses that test a parents ability to forego sleep are hopefully a dim memory. My sister however, is in the full throes of that stage with her 18 month old. She had her first experience with a late night trip to the ER when her son was so lethargic that she literally feared for his life. "Dehydration" was the diagnosis from extreme vomiting and all that other nasty stuff. A few hours on IV fluids and some antibiotics and they were happily on their way home. God bless the USA! There aren't too many of us that aren't within 15 minutes of an ER. Ah, and when we return home we tuck our babies in to their beds, make a bed on the floor next to them so we can hear them breath, and try to erase from our minds the haunting visions of an alternative ending. It is at these times that I imagine mothers all over the world that are not so fortunate. Mothers that love their children just as much as we love ours. The only difference is the resources we have available..doctors, nurses, ER's, all night pharmacies... right at the tip of our insurance cards. But too many Moms have nothing but prayer and desperation. Imagine losing your child from a simple bacterial infection... an infection that $3.00 worth of meds would cure. Imagine watching your child slowly breath his last breath, because you had nothing but impure water available to try to replace the electrolytes lost through vomiting and diarrhea. These are the conditions for millions of Parents and their children all around the world. My kids are whining all the time for more of their toys dujour of the moment. While children in other countries whine for food, or to not hurt, or to get warm. Not sure when it will happen.. probably when our children are a little older and not as needy.. but this will be my lifes calling. It's already happening...everytime I shell out $13.99 for a Webkin, or $10 in Happy Meals, I start mentally calculating how many lives that could save. In the meantime, I will pray that as humans we embark upon a collective journey with a vision outside of our personal comforts that believes every parent should have the resources they need to care for and cure their sick babies.

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