August was good for quite some time and then suddenly, it feels, he was not fine.

It started with a nasty ear infection, and despite having ear tubes, it spread to both ears and to his eyes, and nose. I had no choice but to put him on antibiotics.

Before we even started the antibiotics, some of his old, terrible behaviors had returned: he hasn’t spun in months and suddenly he was spinning again. My heart hurt.

The antibiotic has not really helped. Well, the ear infection seems to be gone and the spinning has stopped, but he looks terrible. The dark circles are back under his eyes. He’s anxious and overly-excited. At school he squirreled himself into a corner and it took three agonizing days for me to realize he was scared of a friggin’ ceiling fan in the room next door to his.

And as I was turning all of this over in my mind, trying to figure out what my next move would be I though of the word “prostrate.”

Parenthood. Motherhood. It will break you. It will make you realize that all the control you think you have is just an illusion. If you don’t pray, I honestly have no idea how you make it through.

And right now I’m feeling a little bit like that. I’m feeling flattened by whatever has happened to August. Has he accidentally gotten gluten? he’s sure acting like it. Has he developed a new allergy? Have the antibiotics added some new layer to his stomach issues? Is this a setback or has something happened?

And when you’re flat, you pray. Or at least I do. And I ask God to help me out, or least help my kid because this thing is bigger than I am. Or bigger than I can handle on my own.

So for one of these reasons I find myself thinking about the word “prostrate” a lot. About lying yourself down and just letting things pass. Or about admitting that something is bigger than you are.


Note: I wrote this on Friday. We discontinued the antibiotic and started a probiotic and he seems to be doing better.

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  1. I know that. I wrote a bit about it myself not too long ago:

    And I hope and pray with you that your little guy gets better, that his symptoms are relieved and that you all find some ease.

  2. So glad he’s doing a bit better. You have so much on your plate, one of these days our life will be calm and we will wonder how we made it through these years and we will also probably be a little bored :).

  3. Poor little tyke, those circles under his eyes make my heart break for him and for you. Thinking good thoughts for you.

  4. Parenting is really hard especially when special needs present themselves.
    Praying with you.

  5. Hidden gluten is everywhere, I still get nailed from time to time and then feel so stupid (or angry) when I find the culprit. I found I am sensitive to amounts under 20 ppm so a lot of foods that are labeled gluten free actually make me react, as do items that they have “processed the wheat out of” like maltodextrin and modified food starch. So it is possible he is reacting to gluten even if you have been very careful. A lot of medicine has gluten in it as well unless you specifically ask for gf medications and even then there is suspicion that there is significant cross contamination. I feel for you and your little guy gluten can really make you feel miserable, and trying to avoid it can be a nightmare, hope he is feeling better soon.

  6. Kristen says:

    My daughter had an undiagnosed hearing loss due to fluid in the ears. Autism was suspected. Fluid was noticed, but she rarely infected, so it was overlooked until she stopped talking. At my insistence a hearing evaluation was completed. She had tubes placed at 2yrs3mths. Immediate improvement in almost every area of development. Around 3yrs1mth, all progress stopped and the spectrum behaviors came back full force. The pediatrition immediately saw a tube was gone, but insisted it wouldn’t cause trouble like that. We replaced the tube and took her adenoids at 3yrs3mths. Then I noticed true improvement. Both tubes feel out about a year later. Progress, progress, progress. Last winter, at a month shy of 5, her behavior went downhill. I dragged her to the ped. Fluid present. Her doctor still denies that fluid can cause her behavior to plummet like this. I think she must be super sensitive to it. Due to her age and how well she had done for a year, I decided to wait it out. A month later, the fluid was gone and my normal happy child was back. I totally get the prostrate. I’m not sure how many nights I cried myself to sleep in front of the computer desperately looking for a solution. If it gives you solace, my child labeled severely language delayed at 2.5. She made amazing progress with language, somehow teaching herself how to read while learning to talk. At 5.5, she is happy, social, and is so advanced academically, we, as a team with her school, have decided to have her skip kindergarten. A year young, she is being placed in the advanced groups for first grade in math, reading, and science. The work, the worry, the fear is all worth it.

  7. You may have already considered this, but I would guess that the spinning was triggered by all the infection in the middle or inner ear, and may not be reflective of some sort of “regression”. That is sort of the “seat” of the vestibular system, and you could see why, if a child has previously had “issues” (like spinning) that indicate some processing difficulties in the vestibular system, that a terrible ear infection may contribute to a recurrence. It’s like his system is trying to orient itself, and is being stymied. Spinning is probably therapeutic for him, as would be bouncing on a large ball, swinging, etc. Good luck.

  8. I have extreme vertigo and while spinning is the last thing I would do while under attack, maybe for him it acted as a counterbalance and provided some relief.

  9. Oh, can I relate to this. I often feel like I am not strong enough or big enough or tough enough to handle the stuff that motherhood brings. It is DEFINITELY outside of my control. That is so hard! Sometimes I wonder if God brings these situations into my life to remind me that I need to depend on Him. Praying is a good choice in times like this. Knowing that you don’t have to handle it all on your own or figure out all the answers yourself can bring such comfort even in the mist of the problem that you are facing. Glad to hear that August is doing better. Praying that continues.