The uhmmmm has left the building

Why do you only appreciate something once it is gone?  The last week (yes, Boeta has been in hospital for a week already) I’ve been so relaxed and content.  And today that was blown clean out of the water.

It has finally hit me that Boeta is really very sick.  He doesn’t look sick and that makes me forget that it is serious.  Reality checks are cruel.

This morning Annelize, the play therapist, came to visit Boeta.  I excused myself as I always do when she is around.  She was planning on seeing him for half an hour and when she didn’t call me after 45 minutes I peeked through a crack in the door.  My heart broke into pieces.  Alta, Debbie and Annalize were doing the good cop, bad cop thing and were forcing Boeta to eat.  He hasn’t eaten food since we were admitted and even at home he will only eat certain things.  He is quite literally scared of food.  In his mind the food makes him nauseous, so he refuses to eat.  When he sees food he starts gagging already.

In the end they managed to get him to eat a teaspoon full of porridge.  One teaspoon.

Annelize and I spent a long time on the phone later.  She tried to convince me that I wasn’t a bad mom.  She didn’t succeed.  I feel so bad for allowing him to live on NikNaks and milk.  But I can’t force him to eat when the food so obviously revolts him.  I’m his mom.  I have to support him.

I am so scared of raising a spoilt onco-brat.  How can I distinguish between a real issue and manipulation?  Sometimes he seems to be naughty and then it turns out that he’s actually sick / anaemic / etc.  And is his refusal to eat manipulation or a real psychological issue?  I don’t know.  But while Boeta is in hospital I am now on standing orders to disappear at meals times.  The nurses are assuming the responsibility to make Boeta eat.

And what do you know – I eavesdropped on the feeding sessions and there was a lot of coercion and no force involved.  Debbie literally played half a slice of bread into him tonight.  Bit by bit. 

That made me feel even worse for not doing exactly that a long time ago.


9 Responses

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Bianca has had her fair share of eating issues and we’ve often had to resort to the one thing she would eat at the time. Of course now she’s done, we are putting our feet down. When you are in the situation it is hard to see it through others’ eyes. It is also conflicting because we are trying to be more than one thing. We are trying to be a mom and trying to get our sick kids better. It is hard work. And exhausting. We found sometimes the play things worked and sometimes it didn’t. For us the answer was often pronutro or chicken nuggets and I reached a point where I didn’t care if that was what she ate day in and day out. Oh and Bianca loved having her food put out as a picnic – on different plates. You are doing the very best you can and know how and nobody can expect more than that from you. You are doing a great job!

  2. Jou credits daar BO raak al hoe meer. Gebruik dit. 🙂 Groot drukkies.

  3. Weet jy, kinders en ouers is na my mening te na aan mekaar om regtig hierdie speel-speel eet ding te doen … en soveel van die ander goed wat die sielkundiges wil hê mens moet doen om die bloedjie so ver te kry om tog te doen wat jy wil hê. Vir die dood eenvoudige rede dat kinders by ander mense ander persone is as wat hulle by hulle eie ouers is.

    Hier is ‘n nuwe persoon wat ek moet beindruk om sy aandag en liefde te kry, sê die kind vir homself, kom ons humour hom en speel saam. Maar as dit sy eie ma is: Wat?! jy is my Ma, ek ken jou, ek hoef jou nie te beindruk nie, jy moet my liefhê want dis jou werk as my Ma.

    Van ma se kant af, jy is my kind, ek het 9 maande deksels swaar aan jou gedra en jy sal doen wat ek wil hê omdat ek so sê. Ek is die ma, klaar. Terwyl die terapeut weet hy word betaal om geduld te beoefen. En ook net vir die uur of twee wat hy met die kind deurbring. Jy, as ma, moet geduld oor hê na die petalje, nie net vir die relevante bloedjie nie, maar ook vir die ander wat ook om aandag neul. En vir die res van die dag, en more en oormore. Nie net vir ‘n uur of twee nie.

    So, moenie jouself oor die kop slaan nie. Daar is ‘n rede hoekom daar ma’s is en hoekom daar terapeute is. En jy hoef nie ook terapeut te wees nie.

    Gaan koop nou daai sjokolade en ontspan jou boudspiere.

  4. (((HUGS))) my heart is breaking for you, but you are doing your best as a mom, and that is all that you can do! You cannot beat yourself up.

  5. You love your son. You are doing the very best for him in a (excuse me) crappy situation.
    My therapist once said to me when I told her I felt guilty for denying my husband children (the infertilty is my issue) that God does not want me to carry that guilt. I have not earned it, I love him and would love to be super fertile,
    Diff situation, but the same guilt. Not yours to carry!!!
    You are a great mom.

  6. Suzanne, jy en Wouter is great parents. Julle was nog altyd, albei van julle is gebore om ouers to wees. Take a breath, jy doen ‘n GREAT job! Drukkies xxx

  7. you are a super mom and dont for a minute think otherwise ! you got Woutertjie through sooooooooooooo much already.

    at age 4 and sick I wouldnt care if it was manipulation or not I would do anything to make my little guy happy – and if nik naks and milk did it then hell … nik naks and milk it would be.

    even when i was on chemo and helluva naar I knew there was certain things that made it worse and some days any fluid or food would make me sick and so i would just stick to certain things. you cant make wouter tjie feel bad for doing what comes naturally. Isnt he on TPN ? so no problem – he is getting everything he needs.

    repeat 3 times to yourself every hour :
    ” i am super mom and can handle anything. woutertjie and carien love me more than anything in the world. i am super mom”

  8. Suzanne! Given all that you ARE doing, I think you can forgive yourself a few small things. Can’t you?
    This is NOT something to dwell on. You have great nurses who’ll be the bad food-pushing cops for a bit. You can be the mom – the one that brings milk and niknax and hugs when things are bad.
    That’s your job. So shurrup and do it.


  9. Ai bokkie, hoekom betwyfel jy jouself so! Jy is ‘n fantastiese mens en ‘n fantastiese ma!! Hierdie is ‘n unieke situasie en ek dink nie daar is ‘n perfekte manier van optrede om hierdeur te kom nie…jy doen wat jy moet om deur elke oomblik te kom – maak nie saak of jy na die tyd jou vinger na jouself kan wys en sê: wat se stupid manier van optrede was dit!!! Sorg net dat jou kind emosioneel hierdeur kom – die dokters en verpleegsters word betaal om die res te doen (gaan kyk na jou medical bills en jy sal sien hoe baie hulle betaal word om te doen wat hulle moet doen!!!) Byt vas en kry krag van al die mense wat aan julle dink en vir julle bid!!!!!!!

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