The Illusion of Control

What do you do when you feel out of control or powerless?

Me? I work.

Ben Blair is at the hospital with Maude. His French is one billion times better than mine, and he needs to be there to communicate. Maude is still very sick. Her fever went down in the night, but was back strong as ever this morning. She’ll have her third set of x-rays this afternoon and then we’ll get a current assessment of her status.

I am taking care of things at home and feeling frustrated that I can’t do more to help my sick child. I am in need of a distraction and work is the only thing that sounds appealing, so I’m going to post a few things today to keep my head in a happy place and give me the illusion of a little bit of control over my life.

Thanks in advance for indulging me. : )

54 thoughts on “The Illusion of Control”

  1. Hope she gets fine soon, I know what is like to not be able to fully communicate in a foreign language, we live in a french island and my french is pretty basic. But I’m sure she’s going to get better, hang in there ;)

  2. We all have our ways of coping. Don’t sweat it. Things will get better. You are doing a great job. Get well soon Mimi!

  3. Dear Gabrielle,

    I’ve been checking in here every day to read about how Maude’s doing and how everyone’s holding up. I imagine having your kid in the hospital with nothing you can do is one of the worst feelings. Really the world just stops the minute something’s up with your children.
    And if working makes you feel better than that’s what you need to do! Everyone handles these things differently. Hope Maude’s x-rays turn up clean this afternoon! Get well soon Maude!

  4. Thoughts and prayers winging their way over the ocean for Maude’s recovery…and for Ben and your peace of mind and heart.

  5. When I read you, it takes me right back to my son’s hospitalization for pneumonia two years ago. Hugs to you.
    You know, he spent five days in the hospital here in Toulouse with the same problem – couldn’t control the fever/infection. I think he was taking two different antibiotics. On the third day his fever stayed away for 24 hrs so they kept him two more days for observation. The liquid in the pocket of his lung didn’t diminish but since his fever stayed away he was sent home with oral antibiotics. Two days later he was re-admitted when the fever returned. And xrays showed the lung had even more liquid in it. The second time, he stayed 8 days in the hospital and was sent home after the liquid was practically gone.
    Once home, he had to rest (no school) and continue the anti-bios for two weeks. And then he became his normal self again – full of energy! Two months later they did an ultrasound and xray to see if everything healed properly. And it had!
    Part of me just feels like sharing my story. Part of me wants to warn you to be cautious when they send Maude home. And part of me wants to reassure you that children are resilient and have a great power to heal :)

    Hi Maude!


  6. Hi Gabrielle -I am thinking of your family and sending up prayers for both comfort for your family and that Maude will be recovered and home soon and enjoying her lovely days in France once again.

  7. I think we all understand about you needing a distraction. I hope that your faith combined with all our (your fans/friends) prayers from around the world will help her get well and give you comfort. I hope she is feeling better soon.

  8. The same thing happened with our daughter and I did the same thing that you did…thinking she was better one day and then the re occurring fever and lethargy. She was hospitalized also and I felt the same way you did…bad Mama. There is nothing scarier than your child being ill! I’ll be thinking of you all and the return of Mimi’s good health! Thank goodness for caring Doctors and Nurses, for good medicine and hospitals…can you imagine how Mamas coped in the olden days…no thank you!

  9. Our prayers are with Maude and your entire family. I’ve heard that French healthcare is wonderful, and I’m confident she is in excellent hands. Wishing her a speedy recovery.

  10. Dear Gabrielle,

    I am so very sorry to hear about Maude. I will keep you all in my thoughts and send some healing energy her way.

    I am also a cleaner. Frustration, sadness, anger, feeling out of control — all lead to a very clean house. I would be so much happier if it inspired creativity instead. At least the cleaning part is less expensive than my old habit of retail therapy.

    I hope you find a little comfort in your pursuits today. Many hugs to you and yours.

    Sue Pea

  11. Sorry to read that but do you need any help for translating ? it wouldn’t be a problem for us to come and visit Maud and talk to the doctors so we can help you with the translation tell me and we will be there.

  12. My heart is heavy for you this week. We set the absolute highest expectations for ourselves and are bewildered when things take an unexpected turn (one that couldn’t have been predicted, by the way). Add to that the heartbreak of being away from a sick child. I am thinking of you and your family. Especially Maude! That cutie-pie.

  13. Aliesha Fullerman

    Just wanted to say I’m thinking of you and your family–sending happy thoughts your way from Ohio!

    My aunt and I attempted to make macarons yesterday and I was picturing your beautiful photos of the macarons you served at Easter the whole time…you and your beautiful, adventurous family are such an inspiration! I am sure you’ll all be healthy and back to normal in no time!

  14. Dear Gabby,
    I woke up this morning wondering how both of you are doing. You and Maude are never far from my thoughts and I pray you will find some comfort today and that Maude will be doing better very soon.

  15. keeping it together at home is a very important job! Hang in there. I’ll keep sending good thoughts your way.


  16. I clean when I feel frantic and out of control . . . and pray.

    Hang in there — I pray for a quick recovery for your precious Mimi and for comfort and rest for her and your family. Thinking of you all and sending ((((((((hugs))))))))) your way.

  17. Still thinking about her! (And you!) Remember that her fever is a good sign, it means her immune system is working hard! I hope she pulls through soon.

  18. So sorry to hear your little girl is still dealing with sickness. Hopefully she’ll be able to come home soon. Love and prayers to you and your little one. In the meantime, do what you can to feel in control. When I feel out of control, I do nothing, and then I feel even more out of control. I wish I could do what you do and work instead. Lately I have no motivation – so you’re an inspiration to me about staying positive and keeping your head in the game!! :-) Not to mention I love reading your posts.

  19. Pneumonia is something quite common in kids, but it can take a lot out of the parents! ;D Keep your head up, and thanks for the updates! Sweet little Maude sounds like a trooper.

  20. Sending happy thoughts and prayers to Maude and the whole Blair clan! Maude is actually my inspiration, if you will, for the week: I will be having my first child sometime soon and I’m nervous about the hospital, since I haven’t been since being born myself. Maude is brave, and therefore, I will be too. :)

    Bonne chance!

  21. Can I say I understand what you’re going through, yet I can’t imagine? Keeping you guys in my thoughts. Maude will be all the stronger for this.

  22. I’m sorry to read that; poor Maude. Poor mom and dad!

    I organize, cook, or clean. I keep the things I can keep in order that way. Cycling helps me with not stress and dwell in a not very healthy way over crummy things that worry me a lot.

  23. Hi Gabe, hospitals in France are so great, the best in Europe — Maude is in good hands. I’m sure she will be home soon! Thinking of you! xxx Esther
    (Maude, next time when you’re in Amsterdam you’ll have to teach Sara how to make those awesome bracelets!! Feel better!!!! xxx)

  24. Please know I am praying for Maude, and so our my children. We all know what you are going through, as my husband spent 3 weeks in the hospital here in Littleton this Feb/March for the same thing. I won’t scare you with the details, but it sounds like you caught this in time so that she will come out of this just fine. My husband did, and I can tell from what details you have provided, that she is going to be fine – just the fact that the hospital is even considering releasing her this weekend is a great sign!

  25. Sick kids are the worst! I’m sending many well wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery for your daughter. All the best …

  26. I am so sorry your baby is so ill! Fortunately, you are in France so you can have piece of mind that the care she is receiving is at least as good as what she would receive at home in the US. While living in France, and subsequently while visiting, I have been to French hospitals and have always had top-rate care. Your baby is in excellent hands! And, many people around the world are sending her well wishes and healthy thoughts!

  27. Oh, hang in there! I sympathize with the stress. Do whatever works for you, and we’ll keep Maude in our prayers.
    Me, I tend to (a) eat, or (b) avoid stress through unconsciousness (i.e,. sleeping).

  28. Continuing to keep your family in my prayers. Just wanted you to know that I made the crepes (Joie de Vivre from Ashlea Walter 2/1/2011) for dinner last night, and they were amazing!!

  29. You adopted a great strategy to control the worrying. As comforting as you find the French countryside, being in a country not your own and a child requiring hospitalization is a best frustrating. I was relieved when I saw that you were back to doing what you do so well………… writing to all of us who read your blog daily. There is strength in the framework of routine and doing what we do best. Tell Maude she has a whole flock of folks rooting her to wellness and a happy summer.

  30. oh no Gabrielle!
    I can only imagine how tough this is for you. Your child is sick and you’re in another country!
    Everything will work out and you will be getting the best attention. Children bounce back and so will Maude. I will be praying for Maude’s recovery and I will also say a little prayer for you tonight.

  31. The greatest power we have is the power of prayer, please know my prayers here in the Bay Area are with you all!

  32. I went through this last summer when we were staying in Japan. My almost 1 year old came down with a fever our second day there. We ended up bringing her to the doctor but I refused an x-ray b/c she was scared, had only had a fever a few days and didn’t have a cough. They did not check her ears for an ear infection before suspecting she had pneumonia. We left the doctor only to return a week later as she was getting worse. After a chest x-ray we found out she did in fact have pneumonia. The cultural/language barriers were so hard for me. I am used to my doctor talking about my options instead of telling me what I have to do. It was a big cultural learning curve for me.

    I know how hard it can be in a foreign country. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

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