Be Sick
By Lisel Fahl Perselay
About the Author

If I should be sick, please be extra special kind and loving to me.  I canít take care of myself yet, and everything you do for me to help me feel better will only help me see myself as a loving and worthwhile person and I need you so much.

I need you especially during the night because thatís when itís the worst.  Most of the time Iíll only have a cold, but you know how it feels when you wake up with a stuffy nose or a runny nose.  You canít wait to blow it.  And you certainly canít go back to sleep without taking care of it.

Iím the same way, but itís worse because I canít tell you whatís wrong.  Please call my doctor to see what is best to do.

It might be helpful if before I go to bed, you:

The easiest way to elevate my bed is to put a large, thick book, between the mattress and box springs; or if my crib is the type that can be raised on one end, then do that.  You only need to raise the mattress about 2-4 inches, but it should be level across the top end of the bed.  If there is just one book placed in the middle of the top end of the bed, Iíll easily roll to a corner of the bed, which wonít help me much.  You might also want to put my car seat in the crib and let me sleep in it.  You can prop it back a little, and use some towels to keep it in place.   Just make sure the bed is as low as it can be, and remember to raise the side rails, so I donít fall out.

Next, either a cool or warm mist humidifier generally works the best in getting me the moisture I need.  If you donít have one, though, at least crack a window for me, so the moist air can come in.  If itís a hot, humid night, though, please run a fan or an air conditioner for me.

Lastly, if my doctor says itís ok to give me some Tylenol, please leave it close to my bed.  If I wake up in the middle of the night you can give me some quickly; and you wonít have to go looking for it, turning on bright lights, and waking me up more than I already am.
Remember, you want to go back to sleep as much as I do.


If I should cry out, come to me as fast as you can, and talk gently and sweetly to me, and let me know by the tone in your voice that you understand how badly I feel, and youíre going to help me feel better.  Try not to turn on a bright light; hopefully, you already left a small light on in my room, anyway.  Look at my face and make sure I donít have mucous all over me; but if I do please clean it off either with a tissue or a warm washcloth.  Donít ever use a cold wipe in the middle of the night.  How would you like a cold, wet washcloth on your face in the middle of the night?  Youíll never get me back to sleep that way.

And speaking about cold, wet things, if you need to change my diaper in the middle of the night, please donít use a wipe.   Theyíre so cold, and I donít feel so good anyway.  Again, a warm washcloth would feel so much better, and immediately dry me off with a little towel.  Please go as fast as you can in changing me, so I can get back to sleep faster.

After you change me, please hold me and rock me.  If Iím used to going to bed with music, please put the same music back on for me.
I need to be held right now and I know you must be tired and wanting to go back to sleep.  But I promise it wonít take long -- maybe 10-15 minutes.  Iíll be in an upright position so my nose will clear up and Iíll be able to breathe better (certainly long enough to fall back to sleep); and being held and cuddled by you will make me feel loved and happy and secure.  Donít you feel better when you try to go to sleep feeling happy?  If, on the other hand, you just put me back in the crib, Iíll begin to cry because I truly need to be held, and then my nose will run more; my head will start hurting; Iíll get even more awake; and then no one will get any sleep.  And if you yell or talk harshly to me, it will only make matters worse.   It will make me feel you donít love me and that will make me very sad.

Remember, you are my everything --I need you for everything--I adore you--I canít bear the thought of you not being there or not loving me.  I know you need your sleep, and I would not bother you if I could take care of myself.   Please remember that I will be there for you when you are no longer needed by the people you work for.  I will be there when you get old or when you get sick.  Please be here - now - for me.

                         I NEED YOU SO MUCH TO MAKE ME FEEL LOVED.

The author wishes to sincerely thank and acknowledge the technical assistance of Mrs. Amy Gole, R.N., Director - Parentcraft; Overlook Hospital, 908-522-2946.

©1997 Lisel Fahl Perselay. Reproduction or transmission of any form or by any means is prohibited without the written consent of the author.

Please send e-mail to: lisel@westfieldnj.com to be notified by e-mail when the next article in the series appears here. Comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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Lisel Fahl Perselay, Biographical Sketch

As a new mother, Lisel Perselay attended various parent education courses offered by Overlook Hospital's Parentcraft Division, in Summit, NJ, as well as their Mother's Exchange Program, which she highly recommends.  When these articles were published she was a "working mom", with AT&T Corporation.  She was also a member of The Mother's Center of Central New Jersey  and  the Westfield Day Care Center Auxiliary. Lisel has a Masters in Business Administration. She and her husband and their two daughters have resided in the Westfield/Mountainside area for over 10 years.

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