My life is the dream that everyone wants, and no one cares to admit. I have a wonderful home, I have a great family, and I have a beautiful baby girl who sleeps through the night without pain, or effort. My shower has a setting that drenches me with $100 bills; and I use the bills that don’t come out wet to light my cigars when I sit in front of my Citizen Kane sized fireplace dreaming about what my next conquest will be.
That is of course the dream that everyone wants right?
My reality is somewhat different. My daugther (The Moo) is ill with Infant Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), so for the most part nights are sleepless, and The Moo is in more pain than anything that small should be; my relationship with J is mostly buggered due to our attentions being focused solely on the infant; I live in a shitty top floor duplex apartment with very loud and noisy neighbours–on whom I’ve called the police twice; and I’m lucky if I find a single $10 bill in my wallet these days. Touché jeeves.
To me however the only thing that really matters are the moments when The Moo is in pain. She is a riot otherwise. She’s cute, she’s cudly, and she’s a happy baby when she’s not feeling the bitter sting of reflux and stomach contents. She’s on medication–Losec–that she takes once a day that is difficult to administer who’s side effects seem to be taking their toll on her. Quite a lot for a 6 month old to be dealing with, and yet when I think about the other people who’s children have congenital diseases remedied only by surgery at even younger ages, and I go…yeah, it’s not so bad after all.
My wife and I barely sleep, though I must admit I sleep longer than she only because I go to work in the morning. The majority of the time my wife is up with the Moo all night because the reflux causes The Moo to have somnia interruptus–she sleeps only in 45 minute chunks. Then she plays for 2 hours. To which the pediatrician reacts with a wagging finger meaning decidedly not normal.
So we with either hold her all night–more particularly J does–and we soothe her, and care for her as best we can. We don’t go out. We don’t see family. We don’t see friends. We hang out in doctor’s offices and emergency rooms. We keep our apartment like a tornado went through it, hoping that it serves to invite one–just to break up the monotony of it all. As a result we are miserably non existent, and terribly off course. With exception to work, and work people, human contact is absent. My wife’s human contact is far less as it includes only myself and the Moo.
We continue the path of treatment knowing that she can will grow out of it, and with each passing day we wish and pray and need for this to all go away sooner, so we might have some semblance of life with a happy baby…look forward to those happy times…create happy memories of youth. I bought a video camera for Christmas to record the Moo’s first one. Instead it’s used to shoot video of her sleeping at night so we can show the pediatrician. Any remaning element of fun that we once had in our lives is gone, squandered, lost…only to return once the Moo’s ailments yield either to age or medication.
We are now beyond the meds. The peds want tests tests and tests to confirm or deny the presence of aliens, bacteria, small larvae, intestinal malformation/rotation, and/or acid reflux (GERD). We will see. We continue to hope. We always wait…sometimes silently, other times with tears…
A horrifying waiting game this has become, with almost no end in sight. Yet then each day I come home and I see the tower of strength that is J. That she is the one who holds it all together, and without her interaction in both the Moo’s and my life this just wouldn’t be holding together. Thankfully matters of the heart do not only rely on me, since my heart has grown weak, and my body has aged faster than it should.
J is the light at the end of our tunnel. And with time (we both know) the Moo will become more like a regular child, and the tests tests and tests will subside…as will the pain…as will the screaming…as will the insomnia…
And the tears of moo I collect from the Moo in the cup of my hand. There they will stay until the pain leaves her and the sun comes out to dry them away. Then we will be a family free to be a family like we have never had the chance before.