I struggle with anxiety, at various times in various ways. My baseline is quite a bit higher, with both stress and anxiety, than I would imagine the average person’s is. I have considered many different things at many different stages in my life to calm this anxiety, but I really just live with it.
Sunday night anxiety always seems to be greater.
Kiran has had an off weekend. He woke up Saturday morning without his usual cheerful, happy-go-lucky demeanor. I was watching him all day for other symptoms or clues that something might be off. The only other symptom he gave me was being a prolific pooper. He napped well, we ran a few errands, no fever, handled his food for the most part (He did have some “urpiness”, but that, along with the plentiful poop, I figured was due to him not having gone number 2 for a couple days. Both happen sometimes.)
Today, the prolific pooping did not subside. It got worse. I was changing his diaper constantly, trying to keep him dry, clean, and creamed up. It was no use, as his poor little bum got so red and raw, the skin was cracking open and bleeding.
This is not the first time, but I am pretty sure it’s the worst it’s ever been.
And I just feel so useless in these situations. I can’t fix it. I do everything I can – literally change his diaper every hour or more frequently, wipe as little as possible to clean him, let him air dry, lather him up with cream … his flinching in pain makes me cry for him.
And I can’t know – for sure – what is causing it. He never ran a true fever throughout the weekend, and, other than being a little less outwardly happy and a little more cuddly/clingy, he hasn’t had any other symptoms to clue me in to what is happening in his little body. I never know the right thing to do – and especially since I control how much food/liquid and what kinds go into his body – that is always a guessing game as well. He got banana puree for dinner, through his tube, a regular illness go-to. Just in case.
But the Sunday anxiety. I am not ready to balance caring for a sick child alongside staying on top of my school work. I knew it was coming, but I was hoping we wouldn’t be here yet. I don’t know the right answer about school versus no school tomorrow, though I am leaning toward keeping him home with me. If his demeanor hasn’t changed and his bowels haven’t slowed, I am not comfortable sending him to school. I think a part of me has already made the decision to keep him home no matter what, because I really don’t know what we are dealing with here (but am assuming some type of viral gunk, and I don’t want him to share that in the preschool classroom).
For whatever reason – and there are many I am sure – Sunday night anxiety is the worst. Any other night of the week, dealing with this same stuff, I would be handling myself better. But tonight, it all feels heavier and harder, and the tears flow at a much lower threshold. And I feel like I can’t make the right decisions and I can’t handle any of it, and I will fail. At all of it. Mom. Caregiver. Student. All of it.
And I can know that I will wake up tomorrow, and I will handle it. Whatever it is. And we will make it through yet another day, however we make it. But somehow, knowing that doesn’t ease what I’m feeling right now.