Thursday, January 8, 2009

Empathy Training, 101

So, last week, I was up all night due to an ear infection. Yes, I have 4 children and NO, not a single one had an ear infection. It was me. ME! A 39 (plus...) year old woman with an ear infection. This is not right. The pain woke me up out of a deep REM sleep at 3:00 am and for the next 3 hours I was downstairs sobbing, actually sobbing with heaving chest and tearful hiccuping, due to the pain. As the sun burst through the dusky horizon, so too my eardrum burst... much like an icepick would hack through one's head. Ah, it was so lovely. The icing on the cake was that my ear began to drain... of course, this was no surprise to me as I've had my experience with ear infections. But, it was draining blood. Yes, I was bleeding out of my ear. Freakishly gross, I know. So, the first thing I think of is... "Wow, is THIS what kids go through?"

I've been fortunate enough that my children to do not suffer from the chronic ear infections that plague most of their friends. I know many children who have had tubes placed in their ears from as young as 10 months to as old as 4. Two of my children have had a couple of ear infections (never with perforation of their eardrum) and the other two have not had a single one (yet). But if/when they do, I will be ready with the warm compresses, the ear drops, and most importantly the empathy. If I, a grown up (whose gone through natural childbirth three times), am hysterically sobbing at the pain, I cannot imagine what a poor little child must go through... especially since they cry bloody murder when they fall down on the carpet while running.

Scream all you want little princess... Mommy understands. It hurts like heck.

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