So, yesterday I gave a little bit of a background about my brood, and mentioned some of the mountains we had to climb, one of them being mental ailments. Let me qualify that by saying they were mine, and explain a little.
One of the twins was born very tiny–3 pounds 4 oz. And they were really cheating on the four ounces, rounding up a 3. something ounce. Meanwhile his brother weighed 5pounds, 10 ounces. My husband took one look at the preemie diapers they sent home with us and said, “It looks like a kotex pad!” No matter what it looked like, I still remember that they were too big. Even at a hair over 3 pounds, he was 17.5″ long, effectively making him look like a scarecrow. We affectionately nicknamed him Buzzard, something my mother never got over. Nowadays Buzzard is over five feet tall, weighs 100 pounds, and finished up his first cross country season last year with a respectable mile split of just under 6 minutes. But I digress…
Shortly after Buzzard was born, he began vomiting. You might think, oh surely she doesn’t mean actual vomiting, she must mean he was spitting up. No, I mean vomiting. Of the projectile variety. Somehow, it was difficult to convey to the pediatrician. They seemed to think I was an hysterical, overwrought, overtaxed mother. I must mean spitting up.
I can tell you for certain I did not mean spitting up. It took 11 months to convince someone that something was amiss, during which time he had two “rather large” hernia’s repaired, those being the surgeons words, not mine.
At 11 months of age, the pediatrician agreed to have an upper GI done, just to shut me up with regards to my incessant nagging regarding the perceived “vomiting”. The radiologists who performed the upper GI were appalled that he had not been brought in sooner. He had what is called a malrotated small intestine. The short story: Everyones intestines lay in a certain order of twists and turns in their abdominal cavity. Buzzards didn’t. They were a jumbled mess that kinked off like a twisted garden hose. He needed surgery, immediately, because when intestines lay like that, the portion that kinks can lose blood supply and die, creating a necrotic and perforated intestine. I don’t exaggerate when I say it was one of the worst surgeries he had (there were more to come). But the worst thing about it was, he was now conditioned to vomit. His gag reflex had done nothing but vomit for the first year of life, and it wouldn’t forget so easily, nevermind the fact that we had spent a year running him to the kitchen sink to puke, and now he vomited on command when we took him to the sink and turned on the water. But that’s another story.
Everywhere we went, we would take something for him to throw up in. Gross, huh? One time we were in MacDonalds, and my husband had taken all three into the ball pit so they could climb through the tubes while I sat outside with the babysitter (whom we regularly took everywhere with us) and chatted. After roughly 10 minutes, a stream of kids came screaming out of the play area. It was like watching a cartoon where the characters are filing single file out of a burning building at mach speed. Holding up the rear was my husband with Buzzard at arms length in front of him, his little legs dangling in mid-air. It seems he threw up in the top of the tube, where it began to drip through the seams to everyone below. You might be thinking right about now, that’s not funny. Well, it is if you’re on 450 daily milligrams of Wellbutrin, (which by the way is more than the recommended dose).
I’m not ashamed to admit that I required drugs. It was a hellish existance. On more than one occasion, Buzzard would expell copious quantities of liquid on the kitchen floor (I not having made it to the sink with him), and his twin would take advantage of the seemingly harmless “rain puddle” to play in while older brother would run around, hopping up and down, and announcing that Buzzard had vomited. There were days that the only thing I accomplished was keeping the “vomit laundry” done up. I don’t know why we thought it was so funny, other than we’d gone way past shock and resentment. I think we were just in survival mode. And if it took a hefty dose of antidepressants for me be able to laugh, than so be it. Antidepressants AND laughter, are the best medicine. An occasional glass of wine doesn’t hurt either.