Monday, May 10, 2010

Panic! (Attack)

This week I had my first CF mom panic attack. I have never feared a germ or bacteria. I've always kind of held the belief that kids should get dirty and get sick and build a strong immune system naturally. Kind of a "let them eat dirt" philosophy. With Jackson I have to spend a significant amount of time sterilizing things. I bought this contraption called the Germ Guardian to sterilize all of his medical equipment. I can't believe I bought something called the Germ Guardian. And that I squealed like Christmas morning when the package came. I've been working hard at keeping things generally clean. Vacuuming frequently, disinfecting mom will be so proud, I even make my bed almost every day now- even though I like to put the comforter on sideways. But I'm also trying hard not to be taken over by the need to control Jackson's environment. I have begun to study Cellular and Molecular Biology and Genetics, in hopes of gaining a better knowledge of the disease and in turn lobbying for medical research funding. The constant imagery and fresh knowledge of all the dastardly little infectious ninjas out there is also a contributing factor to my preoccupation with infection. I'm currently looking for a balance between psycho and sanitary.

Saturday some of our favorite people were gathering and playing on the patio of an uppity burger joint just down the road. Family friendly music events are few and far between and we were excited to go. Even though I had positively exhausted myself with housework that day I showered and got ready and we all headed out for the evening. I didn't realize it was going to be SO crowded. I didn't realize it was going to be elbow to elbow, shared breathing space, standing room only crowded. My lovely friends were happy to see us, Emily made a new friend right off the bat, and we somehow managed to procure chairs for all parties. the band sounded really good that night, too. Mike was visibly irritated at the crowd as a matter of inconvenience. I was worrying about the doctors recommendations to avoid crowded places. Jackson's still too young and hasn't any immunities of his own yet, which poses a problem to even healthy infants. I began to feel a tightening sensation crawling like a spider from my toes, up through my stomach, hand over hand climbing it's way up through my esophagus, choking me, making my ears throb. I fought it down and looked at Emily having a good time, Jackson snoozing peacefully in his wrap on my chest, and my husband, desperately seeking spirits. I didn't want to freak out unnecessarily and ruin every body's good time. I fought it off for a good ten minutes, but every glance around the crowd reinforced my fear. I knew there were germs everywhere. Someone could cough and I wouldn't be able to get away from it. There were hundreds of pairs of unwashed hands just waiting to reach out and sicken my baby with their cooing and good intent. They were too close. I tried to listen to the band. A waitress' butt bumped me from behind as she tried to take another table's order, but they were too close! Everyone was too close and the panic seized my by the throat and came leaping out my eyes. I remember feeling like a fool as my friend asked me if I was okay and I publicly bawled that I had to go and sputtered out explanations of how irresponsible I was to bring him there. I narrowly avoided knocking over my chair in my haste to escape, keeping my head down in an attempt to conceal my cry-face.

On the other side of the patio's protective concrete wall, I could finally breathe again. Nobody was in arms reach of me. I knew the world was still full of ninjas, and germs are inescapable, but I was once again doing what I could to avoid their wrath. Emily was upset, she had been looking forward to the outing all week- but as is her style, she cried for about a minute, then showed me her utmost support and found herself rewarded with a Slurpee. Mike showed his solidarity by voicing his distaste for crowds in general and was in turn rewarded with a case of Budweiser. I myself learned a valuable lesson. This was completely avoidable. I should have listened to my instincts, apologized that we couldn't stay, and left. I was too concerned with disappointing everyone else, who it turns out would have had my back to begin with. Listen to your gut folks. If it feels wrong, don't do it!


  1. "dastardly little infectious ninjas"

    i could read your writing all day long:-)
    gotta love that mommy gut.

  2. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” -Washington Irving

  3. Amy, you make your author granny so proud. I hope you are saving these blogs in a file named "My first book" or some such thing. You have the beginnings of a non-fiction book which would inspire other new mommies of "special" children to understand the heartbreak and the overwhelming love that lies in every mother's heart, and they will know they are not alone, they can do what they once thought impossible because you will show them how. God Bless! Gramma G.

  4. You have no idea how relieved I was to get to meet visit with y'all and hold Jackson at your place. I HATE crowds of all kinds, but I tolerate them for friends and for music when I need to. It sucks that you went through the panic thing... no one likes that feeling, but I hope it still turned out to be a good night for you.