Sunday, June 6, 2010

Anxiety

March 2010


I have always been the strong one in crisis. Bring on the blood, tornado, or angry neighbor, and I will have my bandages/survival kit/pitchfork ready. Enter the new chapter in my life: my daughter Ripley. Oh, she seems all blond and sweet, but under that lives her asthma and peanut allergy. (Here’s where I enter deathly allergic to peanuts, but I just don’t care much for drama).
One wheeze from her, and I have heart palpitations. A child at the park eating a peanut butter sandwich sets me into full panic attack. I have bothered my friends and family with questions like: Does this jello have peanuts in it? Would you mind sanitizing that peanut butter covered counter in a natural cleaner as to not set off her asthma? I finally have found that panic feeling mothers all over the world experience. At an after school meeting recently, she was running around the playground, then came to me, with slightly discolored skin under her eyes and around her mouth with the fateful words: I need my nubby (name attempted to make an abuterol inhaler seem less scary). Searching frantically, this turns out to be part of that 1% of the time I’ve left it at home. I run to my car, hoping for the lost “nubby” under the seat. No. I call my husband to see if he had by chance decided to leave work an hour early and be standing ready with medication in hand. No. Then I look up and notice a light on in the school. Here’s where we chime the heavenly revelation sounds--- the secretaries hadn’t gone home. Nearly out of breath from sprinting, I beg them “ can---I get--- Ripley’s inhaler--- from---- the health room?” Yes?!  While it would not make a good screen play for an end of the world, earthly destruction movie, it sure feels like that for a moment. Ripley uses the inhaler, then throws a ‘bye’ over her shoulder as she heads for the swing set. Huh- I guess it’s just me.

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