Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I knew that I would not get a "Not Me! Monday" in yesterday (even though I had some good ones), but I did think I would still be able to get out a post.

I was going to have a smarmy commentary on the plight of children in my carpool who apparently have swine flu all the same obnoxious flu symptoms, including So. I even discovered in her class alone, out of 17 kids only nine were in attendance yesterday. I would joke about how it's inevitable, spreading like wildfire. And if you did not catch it from the kid with the runny nose in class, or from the kid sneezing droplets across the room at your synagogue, or from the kid who is in your gymnastics class, you would certainly get it from your neighbor's, best friend's, cousin's, dog's, late owner's, sister's, husband who licked your ice cream at 31 flavors yesterday.

I was going to sarcastically intonate the unusual fact that I actually took my child to "sick call" at the Doctor's office - ME. I never take my kids to the Doctor. What for? I know what they have - it will pass.

But I was a bit more concerned this time. Not because it might be the big "S.F.", but because I have a 4 week old in the house. Those who are young, old, week, infirmed or pregnant do need to take more precaution, and Bam certainly falls into the category of young.

I spent the past two days trying to keep Bam as far away from So as possible. I had to consciously make sure that whatever So touched did not come into contact directly or indirectly with Bam. And then I realized - that is the WHOLE FRIGGIN' HOUSE. This includes me, who tends to a sick child and then tends to a baby. My hands are raw from all the hand washing. And furthermore, I have to keep Ro and Ate away from So, and in case they had too much contact with So, I must keep THEM away from Bam.

But all this is really a moot point when you consider the fact that So was probably already contagious on Saturday, before ALL the symptoms showed up, and before you register that her complaint of being cold was not in reference to the annoying Chicago weather, and she was all over Bam that day.


So I had her tested, and because I do have a 4 week old who has not had any immunizations yet and is still strengthening his immune system and is not allowed to take Tamiflu himself, all the other kids were put on Tamiflu. This includes Ro and Ate who are taking it prophylacticly, because if we prevent them from getting H1N1, then the baby will have less of a chance of catching it, and I will have less of a chance of being institutionalized.

But here is yesterday's tragic clincher...

In the midst of all this, I receive an e-mail -

My good friend's one year old son has suddenly and unexpectedly become critically ill. He does not have the flu. He was not feeling well for a few days, some head aches maybe. They actually just flew the night before yesterday to Chicago from their hometown for a wedding. Yesterday morning, their one year old son could not be aroused easily.

It seems he may have encephalitis. He is now in a critical state in a medically induced coma. He has signs of strokes causing brain damage to areas of his brain that lacked blood flow.

This all happened, practically - overnight.

And it made me realize, here I am doing every thing I possibly can to keep my baby from getting, something that can potentially be extremely harmful to him, and the bottom line - it's not up to me.

It is not up to us.

How does G-d choose who to strike.

I can tell you first hand, that the parents of this little boy are exceptional people. They do a tremendous amount for their communities. They have been running a youth group for years. In fact, the wedding they came to attend in Chicago is for a girl from their youth group.

They don't deserve this, not that anyone does, but certainly, they do not.

And a one year old boy? He does not deserve this.

We have no control over things such as this. It is not in our power.

Except for the power of prayer that we can control, we are just puppets in this world.

I can do all the things the CDC tells me to, take all precautions to avoid spreading disease, but sometimes G-d sends his own message in the mean time.

I have learned a valuable lesson, through tragedy and sadness...

...and I am praying for my friend's son with all my might.

(Please Daven for Rephael Menashe Kopell ben Naomi)

5 have shown Orah a little love:

Anonymous said...

Nothing to say, other than I hope that Hashem bring a complete and total Refuah to this boy and his family!
- Miss. S.

Rayli said...

so sorry your daughter is sick. And I hope that one year old recovers soon.... so sad.

Julie said...

i have chills...

we are so powerless

I find myself spinning my wheels to keep my children well, how could we not, we have to TRY. It's exhausting.

But this poor little guy you write of...oh so scary, oh so sad, oh so tragic

I am praying for him

it is eye opening to the fact that we only have so much control in the first place...if any

(again, i find myself signed on to the wrong google's just me, julie wifemomnurse )

Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels said...

We are already praying for the little one. I read about it on Shosh's blog. I hope everything turns out ok for him. Let's hope G-d's plan is a happy one for his family.
I hope So feels better soon and no one else gets sick in your family. Especially little Bam.
We will probably not hit the Dells this summer. We will hang in La Crosse for about 2 weeks visiting family and it's a bit too far away...and way too expensive for a family of 6.

Brie said...

poignant and beautiful. thanks Orah. He is in all of our tfillos. Just keep doing your hishtadlut to keep your family safe and daven daven daven.