I have found that one of the most challenging things as a parent is knowing what to do when your child is not healthy. This weekend, we are facing the challenge of an allergic reaction and the dilemma of trying to decide what to do about it. Do we wait and see what happens or do we wake up everyone and head to the ER? Do we give him an EpiPen or do we try to make it to the doctor’s office? Do we give him more medicine or let his body fight on its own? There are so many decisions that need to be made about a child’s health, and here are 3 things that I have learned in my 6.5 years of being responsible for tiny humans:
- Trust Your Gut My full time job is to take care of 3 kids. I have known these kids since before they were born. I spend every day with them and have become an expert on knowing what their needs are, what motivates them, and how to help them thrive. I know what their “normal” is and when something is not normal, it is an indication that something might be wrong. As an advocate for my kids, there are times when I just have to trust my gut, ask lots of questions, and speak up on their behalf.
- Trust Your Doctor I am very happy with our pediatrician and the whole group of doctors at the practice where we go. Early on in the parenting journey, I found that there were lots of decisions that we were going to have to make in regards to our children’s health, and I landed in a place where I decided to trust my doctor. He has years and years of experience, has done lots of research, and has plenty of degrees under his belt. There are times when I need to do my own research, but sometimes I foolishly think I know more than my doctor simply because I have done a Google search. I realize that I have not been responsible when it comes to the health of my children when I claim to know more about medicine than the medical doctor. Trusting your gut and trusting your doctor need to go hand-in-hand, and I recommend finding a doctor that you can trust too!
- Trust God I hear the phrase all the time to “take control of your health.” While it is a great thing to be proactive about being healthy, we need to understand that there are things that are beyond our control. I can do my best to make smart decisions, but sometimes God’s plan for our health is different than what we expected. God created and cares for these little humans and has a plan for their lives, so trusting Him with their health is the best thing for me to do. This one is really hard for me, a slightly paranoid and overly anxious control-freak.
Parenting is hard and navigating sickness is stressful. As I sit here at 12:40 am and finish writing this, I am feeling nervous about what the next few hours might hold as we try to get control of our son’s allergic reaction to amoxicillin. Trusting our guts, our doctors, and ultimately our God is how we are navigating through this scary episode.