Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FUSSY (11/17/16)
By Terry Bovinet
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Not the gentle cry of a baby calling out for a bottle or diaper change. But the air piercing and constant screams of a child that the best efforts, any efforts, of two parents could not soothe or lessen, let alone end.
He answered parental love and sympathy with more nerve stretching cries. On many occasions, we joined him with equal parts of exasperation, exhaustion, and concern.
The medical community offered their diagnosis with an unsympathetic shrug of the shoulders and this condescending declaration: “babies cry.” Then these hollow words of hope followed: “he will grow out of it.”
But when? How long will we need to endure this . . . torture?
Their recommendations and prescriptions offered no solution. No end to the dreadful noise. No release from his agony.
We slept when he slept knowing the quiet of an hour, maybe a few more, would end with a continuation of his barrage. Middle of the day. During the evening. Whenever. We slept in those fleeting moments to restore some energy he would quickly drain from us once he loudly announced his return to consciousness.
How many times did I lay him in his crib, meet with yet another chorus of shrieks, rush out the door, and quickly close it behind me to gather myself and my frayed emotions? It did not matter if I stayed by his side. He responded to any gentle words or soft, loving strokes with another unrelenting strain that reported his discomfort.
Did God not hear our prayers for comfort over our son’s continual yowls?
More doctors only served to increase our sense of helplessness. Empty and false promises, mixed with judgmental attitudes, questioned our child raising skills, or lack thereof, and further disheartened already worn out parents.
Until Dr. Goebel. This allergist helped restore health to a fussy child and gave a grateful mother and father a different toddler. And after 13 excruciating months, a contented one.
No cow’s milk. No wheat. No corn syrup. New son.
At that time, some four decades ago, parents and even many doctors did not identify allergies first when dealing with howling babies. With medical advances, hopefully today’s parents need not deal with the emotional, mental, and physical depletion endured with the calls for help - some help, any help - from one whose only form of communication involved incessant wailing.
The baby, now an incredibly successful man in his 30s, still deals with daunting health issues that would defeat others. But now he faces them quietly.
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