Noah has had mouth sores for months, and I assumed they were just normal canker sores. I guess to some extent they are, but they never seem to go away completely and when one canker sore starts to fade, the next appears. He often has three or four canker sores in his mouth at any given time, and some are fairly large.
In Friday’s post, I spoke of the meltdowns the kids had Thursday night and how I could not get out of the house like I wanted. Well Friday morning showed me more of what added to Thursday’s problems. I finally took the time to look into Noah’s mouth. The size and number of his canker sores was unbelievable. He had a large canker sore on his tongue, under his tongue and on his right cheek. He also had several smaller ones throughout his mouth.
I’m not big on running to the doctor for every little thing (with five boys I better not be!), but I did take him this time. These canker sores have been going on for months and, at this point, the poor kid cannot swallow and can barely talk. He has even started drooling on himself from the pain. I feel so bad for him!
Our regular doctor is away so we saw someone new. She said that more often than not, mouth sores like these develop from a virus caused by stress. She asked if Noah had anything to be stressed about.
Our regular pediatrician travels to third world countries curing children of all sorts of ailments. Everyone I know adores him, but at that point, I selfishly wanted him there with us to talk to Noah (and me!) in his reassuring tone. Yes, Noah had been under stress, but how could I explain our last few years to this new doctor?
Noah’s white blood cell counts came back low (another sign that he is under stress) and there is not much I can do to help him except reassure him and try to keep our home stress free. The thought of trying to do that gives me canker sores! He can take salt water or baking soda mouth rinses, oral medications, Chloroseptic, and ibuprofin for the pain. Other than that, there is not much anyone can do for these painful recurring canker sores.
The effects of divorce on children do include stress and stress ailments on even the smallest of children and by the time we left the office, Kaleb was really beginning to get fussy too, so I put him down for a nap soon after returning home. He spent the weekend clinging to me and running a high fever Saturday evening. Sunday night I took him to bed long before his “normal bedtime,” but not before a normal two year old should have been in bed. Have I mentioned that nothing in our lives is normal? 🙂
Lying next to Kaleb and watching him struggle to talk gave me an idea. I got a flashlight and checked his mouth. There were huge canker sores on his tongue and inside his lips. He also has smaller canker sores dotting the roof of his mouth and insides of his cheeks. Viruses are contagious, and Kaleb had caught the canker sores from his brother.
I was exhausted and thought, “Stress is contagious too.”
So once again I find myself wanting to cry for these poor kids and the pain this divorce has inflicted on them, physically as well as emotionally. Not that I think the canker sores are entirely caused by the effects of divorce, but I cannot help but wonder if we had less stress if Noah would beat these canker sores once and for all or if he would at least have some stress free, pain free periods.
At least now I have a greater understanding, and with understanding comes the ability to cope. The boys needed me home Thursday night. They have been so fussy lately because they are in pain emotionally and, certainly for Noah, that pain is coming out physically too.
The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey
Exodus 3: 7-8