Paging Dr. Jedi

So a few (and by few, I mean three) of my friends have said to me today, “Didn’t you buy 99-cent lip gloss once before, and face the same problem that you wrote about yesterday?”

Yes. Yes, I did.

Clearly, I am not one who learns the first time around.

But the second time? I pretty much have it down pat.

Listen, Wal-Mart. You will not lure me into dropping 99-cents on cheap lip gloss again. That was so yesterday, as far as behavior goes. I’m a reformed girl now, who has always known that Clinique lip gloss is the best, and you can’t buy that in your super shopping center.

There. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I can write about other things.

Other things being simply this: The Big Bad Man Cold wore me out this week. Oh, I felt very sympathetic to Hubs and his need to remain isolated and in bed for four straight days. But the coughing at night? And the snoring through the congested sinuses? And the flopping around? Suffice it to say, I did not sleep much this week, sharing the house with the Man Cold like I did.

So now, since Hubs has the magic cough syrup — cough syrup which I had to sign my name to in order to pick up AND provide my driver’s license number for — he has started to sleep quietly through the night. I was terribly thrilled about the prospect of getting a good night’s sleep last night, and I even decided to help the sleep along a little bit.

People, I swallowed a little blue wonderment known as the Tylenol PM at 9:00 last night, and then I read in bed until 9:30, at which time I felt deliciously tired, and I was out cold. Down for the count. I could hear the far-away voice of an imaginary anesthesiologist counting backwards for me. Ten, nine, eight…and I was gone.

I was gone until 1:45 this morning, when I dreamed that our fish tank EXPLODED. Oh, yes. There was an enormous crash in my dream, and the fish were screaming, and the glass and the water were both everywhere. Before I was fully awake, I was already out of bed and on a mission to rescue our three goldfish from death by air on the floor.

And when I realized that the fish tank was still in one piece and that the fish were sleeping on the bottom of the tank (as fish are known to do in the dark), I was surprised, because the SOUND had been so real in my dream.

I crawled back in bed, and heard the little voice say, “And we’re counting backwards from ten. Ten, nine…”

And then the sound was there again, and I realized that it was the boy, shouting out for me from his bed, exactly as the fish had supposedly been doing, when I thought the tank had exploded.

I was back up and running into the boy’s bedroom to see what was wrong. It was the ear. An ear infection which did not exist when he went to bed at 8:00 the night before was suddenly in existence, and the boy was in severe pain. He was bent over in bed, shouting out, “Please! Please help my ear, Mom! I can’t take the pain!”

And the voice was saying, “Counting backwards from ten. Ten…”

Only I couldn’t count backwards then; we had work to do. I got the boy up, and we hosed the ear down with some homeopathic ear drops from a box that states, “Naturally Eases the Pain Associated With Ear Infections.” It didn’t matter that it expired in 2007; I figured since the boy wasn’t ingesting it, it should be fine in the ear canal.

I put him back to bed. I patted his head, and I rubbed his back.

And then I climbed back into my own bed.

“And we’re counting backwards from ten. Ten, nine, eight, seven…” I could feel the deep sleep of the Tylenol PM coming on again.


And we were back up. The boy broke my heart last night, as he could not lay down at all. Every time he tried to lay down in his bed, he’d cry out, “My ear is going to explode! Help me, Mom!” He was crying, and I was crying right along with him.

We heated up the rice bag in the microwave, and we wrapped that around the side of his head. It didn’t do anything. I propped him up; I held him and rocked him; I rubbed his back, his neck, his head, his ear. Nothing worked. He sobbed and sobbed.

And then, finally, about 3:00 in the morning, we discovered that if I grabbed his earlobe and pulled it outward a little, the ear canal was opened just enough to relieve some of the pressure. He whispered to me in the dark, “Please just keep doing that, Mom; it’s the only thing that’s helping.”

So there I was, yanking an earlobe, until my arm got tired. I felt like Moses, as he was called to keep his hands raised high in the air, in order for the Israelites to win the battle over the Amalekites. Just as Moses’ arms grew tired, so did mine, and they’d begin to sag, and the boy would call out, “Please! Keep doing that, Mom!” I needed Aaron and Hur to come hold up my hands and prop stones beneath them.

“And we’re counting backwards from ten…”

Sadly, even pulling the earlobe eventually quit working, and the boy was back to sobbing uncontrollably. He kept telling me, over and over, “Mom, this ear is going to explode! I can feel it starting to blow up!”

What does a mama do in the middle of a night like this? We do what we are called to do; we rock our little ones, and hold them, and we stay awake.

And truly, I think that my own mother was far better at things like this than I am. I kept trying to drift off to sleep, and I’m not sure my own mother ever fell asleep on her nighttime watch, because my mom’s spiritual gift is taking care of people in the middle of the night. I kept thinking to myself, “Be as good at this as my own mom was. Stay awake and love this little boy through this.”

And that is exactly what we did. The boy, bless his heart, was awake from 1:45 AM until he finally fell asleep at 6:30 AM, and so was I. I know that I dozed off for a couple of minutes around 5:00, but it couldn’t have been for more than ten minutes, before the boy called out, “Can you warm that rice bag up again in the microwave for me?”

And warm it up I did. I think I made eight trips to the microwave with the rice bag last night. Or this morning. However you want to look at it.

At one point, the boy flopped over to the side of his bed, while I was snuggled up with him, and he hung his head completely over the edge. I whispered, “What are you doing?” He replied, “I have no idea; I’m seeing if my ear feels any better while it’s upside down.”

It didn’t, by the way.

So at 6:30 this morning, I stumbled to the shower and started my day. Or re-started it, rather, as I officially started things at 1:45 this morning. It should also be noted that Hubs slept through 99% of the sore ear event. He had counted backwards from ten with his magical cough syrup, and the fellow was sleepy.

The boy slept until after 8:30, at which time he got up and said, “Would it be alright if I soaked in the tub?”

So we poured a bath, while I scheduled an appointment with his pediatrician.

The boy may have added a few too many bubbles, but he was pleased with himself.
And, I’m pretty sure I should have gone into the field of medicine, because I totally diagnosed the boy, exactly as his doctor did. One Big Bad Ear Infection. And we’re all going to bed early here at the Jedi House tonight.

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