Skip to main content

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

I have had a bad week. Scratch that -- two weeks. I am a fairly private person, but as the last few weeks have been so horrible I hope you will find it okay that I share it with you.

Two weeks ago my husband lost his job. We are fortunate, in many ways, as while I am part-time my salary covers most of our bills. But bills were not my concern. Our insurance was with my husband and Cobra was more than my mortgage so it wasn't an option. We decided to wait to see if he found a job quickly and if not would search out private insurance options. Thankfully God took care of us and my DH begins his new job on Monday...but it wasn't quick enough.

Last Saturday my daughter, Rylie, began to run a high 103 fever. We gave her Motrin and she fell asleep in my arms. By 5 am on Sunday the fever was over 104 and climbing. We rushed her to the ER. After well over an hour we were taken back and the first words out of the doctors mouth were "Oh, you're paying for this." He assured us this wasn't a charity case but he felt the fever was viral and that any additional testing would only be a waste of our money. We were sent away after paying a couple of hundred out of pocket, knowing nothing more than what we knew going in.

That day her fever held tight at 104 dropping to 102.5 with Motrin, but again going back up after 2 hours. We were instructed to give her Tylenol and Motrin alternating every 3 hours until the virus ran its course. The meds didn't take well to her system so by Monday on top of the fever, exhaustion, etc, she now had a severe upset tummy. We take her to her Pediatrician and I suggest dehydration. They shake it off, but request a urine sample. Seven hours later we were able to supply them with a urine sample. SEVEN HOURS TO GET ONE SAMPLE! They agreed it must be a virus and sent us home with the same Tylenol/Motrin spill, not even touching on the fact that it took so long for her to provide the sample.

Finally, Wednesday night the fever breaks. We take her off the meds and she stays at around 100 through the night and by Thursday morning she has no fever at all. But by noon she's pale, more lethargic, etc -- absolutely pitiful. I ask my husband to go get her some Pedialite, my instinct is too strong now. I know she is dehydrated. Within an hour she has downed two cups. A few hours pass, more liquid, and she is a totally different child. The color has returned to her cheeks. She's playing -- not a lot, but more active.

Today, she is 100% better, but this experience taught me a very valuable lesson.
There is no amount of training, degree, specialization, etc that can trump a mother's instinct towards her child.

My gut told me that Rylie was dehydrated. I mentioned it countless times, but was assured that it wasn't the case. I should have bought Pedialite the moment I noticed her upset stomach. I should have argued with the doctors and bitched beyond measure when the doctor mentioned our lack of insurance. I replay over and over, even now, what I should have done. The guilt is overwhelming to be honest, but I am convinced that God ingrained all mothers with a special chemical known as Mommy Guilt. It runs rich through us and threatens to pollute our minds at any given turn. There is no cure.

So that's my story. This is why I haven't blogged or tweeted or written this week. Monday I'll resume regularly scheduled programming, but I hope that if nothing else this post has let you know that you are not alone in whatever trials you are struggling with. The more I learn about people and the world, the more I learn that problems are universal and smiles are contagious. Cut those around you some slack; cut yourself some slack, and smile -- often.



  1. Melissa, that must have been such a stressful experience! I'm glad you followed your instincts and hope your daughter is okay now. Don't feel too guilty - it's always easy to think about what you could have or should have done after the fact.

  2. Wow what a stressful couple of weeks! I'm so glad everything turned out alright. It's lucky that you were so strong and thought to get the pedialite. I know what you mean, though. Sometimes doctors just don't even pay attention to the obvious. It's incredibly frustrating.

    Glad you're back and I hope Rylie is feeling better now!

  3. Oh my...thank goodness Rylie is on the mend!! I can't imagine how stressful the past couple weeks must have been, but here's hoping that this one brings you well-deserved peace of mind! Take care, and I will definitely take your smiling advice to heart! :-)

  4. Thanks! Sorry for the major emotional drop. I promise to be super positive and keep things writerly going forward. :)

  5. Melissa--reading your story brought back memories of the time our young daughter fought a high temp, too. It's truly a scary glad to hear Rylie's much better.

    I think, instead of "mommy guilt," God ingrains mothers with "mommy intuition" or instinct--which you certainly had full strength. What a wonderful example of a mother fighting for the good of her child.

    Love the line "problems are universal...and smiles are contagious." A timely reminder for whatever any of us is going through. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kenda - isn't it so amazing how there are millions of children/parents across the world, yet nearly all of us have similar stories? :) I love that aspect of parenting. With every situation there are moms and dads out there nodding in understanding.

  7. Melissa, so glad that your daughter is on the mend. That can be so stressful seeing your child sick.

    And best of luck to your hubby in his new job.

    I will keep you in my thoughts.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Pitch Wars 2017 Wishlist!

Hi! How are you? Excited? Nervous? Hating your MS? Loving your MS? Yep, I get it. Been there, have the wrinkles to prove it. But that's what retinoids are for, and besides--

Wait, let me back up and do this introduction thing properly. And, you know, by "properly" I mean Hart of Dixie style.

So, you're probably wondering who I am and why I think I'm a rockstar, when I'm just a brand new little newbie mentor. Well, here's the thing--I'm not really one of those "I think I'm a rockstar" kind of people, so we won't be going there. Sorry. BUT I can tell you who I am. Here goes.


USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa West is the author of more than fifteen novels, each set in the South and ready to steal a reader’s heart with Southern charm, sweet tea, and a whole mess of gossip. Her novels have received high praise and recognition from RT Book Reviews, Seventeen Magazine, Fresh Fiction, and Harlequin Junkie, among others…

Outlining -- a.k.a pulling your hair out

Outlining...yes, that organizational craziness that forces you to look like the poor cat above. Yep, that's what I'm talking about today. After reading a fellow blogger’s post regarding plotters vs. pansters, I began to research various outlining methods. The snowflake method is a very common approach that involves starting with a summary sentence (a.k.a pitch) then expanding out.
Some claim this hinders creativity, while supporters feel it keeps them on track. I've decided to use elements of the approach (click here). I like the pitch sentence to begin with. This took me quite awhile, but in developing my pitch sentence for Twisted Root I found that it helps to think in broad terms. A+B=C But the more interesting element of this model is the disaster moments in the story. You know, those moments where you become the evilest writer on the planet and your characters are tortured.
The Snowflake method suggests that you have 3 disasters (more with sub-plots) and an ending, ea…

Make your readers uncomfortable

I have this one scene in TWISTED ROOT that is…intense. It is so intense that I’ve had reactions all over the place from my CP’s and betas.

Let me start by saying I have a ton of people read my work. An 8 person crit group, 2 crit partners, and 2 that I would say are alpha readers—friends who read tons and have strong editing backgrounds.

So I receive crits all over the place, and this scene has created some interesting responses. One critter went crazy for it, loved it. Another referred to it as slightly icky. I loved that response. :) Another blushed when we discussed it in person. And all of the male critters I have thought it was awesome—go figure. Men have a much higher threshold for uncomfortable-ness, than most women. (JMHO!!!)

Now I’m not saying I don’t adore all my readers. I do. I couldn’t write without them. Each one makes my work stronger. But here’s the thing, I’m keeping the scene, as it is (for now). Wanna know why?

I think as a writer you should make your reader uncomfortab…