okay, universe, you can ease up a bit now

Our boy has been sick for a week with a cold–a brutal cold that has had him feverish and clingy–we’re talking must-be-in contact-with-a-mom-all-day-long-and-most-of-the-night clingy. After thirty seconds or so of being put down, we have heard the refrain, “Pick you up and hug you, hug you!” It’s been an exhausting week. We thought he had turned a corner, but then last night, he spiked another fever as he coughed and coughed, and when I came into his room, he climbed into my lap repeating what I always tell him when he’s needing comfort, “I’ve got you. I’ve got you.” He was burning up and sick as can be.

We got him to the doctor this morning, predicting croup or ear infections. Instead, the diagnosis was a little more surprising: pneumonia with a double ear infection chaser. We were sent him with a handful of prescriptions. Today we learned what our kid is like on prednisolone, something we’ll not be giving to him again. He suddenly acted as though he was healed. Nothing was wrong with him. (Except for his high fever that hadn’t gotten the message.) He was ready to run around outside, play with every toy he has, chase the cats. We kept him as still as we could, but this false health eventually collapsed him into nearly three hours of napping. On top of all this, he was monster-child, hitting me, scratching me, and otherwise being a crazy little critter neither my wife nor I recognized. Fortunately, he’s also responding well to his inhaler, so we’re going to stick with that unless things get worse again. Oh, the decisions we have to make as parents.

I’m so sad that my boy is enduring another year of sick. It seems any time he is in contact with other kids, he ends up with a month of illness. I’m told this means that he’s developing his immune system, that eventually, like so many other kids, his health will even out and he’ll have a few colds a year without much fanfare.

But that isn’t the case now, and I’m feeling a little whiney myself because while I’m not sick (yet), and my wife is not sick (yet), today marked the end of my one break from work all year long, and half of that break, the part during which I planned on having loads of fun with my little family of three, we were holed up trying to get our boy healthy.

On New Year’s Eve, we celebrated three years since our positive pregnancy test, and even though we were all suffering from some serious cabin fever, my wife and I felt so blessed to spend the end of our year watching over this:

I can tell you that there were multiple New Year’s Eves when I would have given anything to be staying home with a child, even a sick child. It doesn’t escape me even now, with my son all kinds of crazy and sick that we are so blessed to have this little guy in our lives. So I’ll take the all-day hug-a-thons, the endless trails of snot, the waking up to soothe our sick boy back to sleep. I’ll take it all because every moment with this boy is gold.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “okay, universe, you can ease up a bit now

  1. poor sick boy!!! Hope he starts feeling better soon so he (and mommies) can start enjoying the healthy life again!

  2. nutella

    Oof, you’ve really been through the ringer! Here’s the a speedy recovery and health for the moms!

  3. awe, I hope he gets better soon and that you guys don’t get it! I just love seeing how grateful you are even when the going gets tough and I am looking forward to having such golden time!

  4. c storm

    Wow, three years! I started reading your blog right after your positive when we were still waiting, hoping, dreaming, and our little just turned two.

    I have so much more experience with prednisone than I wish I did; my eldest has severe and life threatening asthma and has had to be on it…only use it when critical but also be really sure to follow the tapering directions. Coming straight off it without weaning down can set the system up for an even nastier infection. If you have a nebulizer, there are all kinds of fun ideas online for making it easier to use with kids, and people make clever little covers for the tubes and sell them on Etsy. I will say that the peds now say that inhalers are as effective as nebulizers for kids and I really don’t buy it. It is nearly impossible for a child under eight to coordinate his or her breathing so as the get the dose from an inhaler…I would insist on a nebulizer if one hasn’t been prescribed. Sometimes it’s an insurance issue. I eventually just bought a nebulizer out of pocket and had the peds write me scripts for the meds.

    No fun when they are ill. Our little had RSV and pneumonia at 12 weeks and I very nearly lost my mind with the anxiety. Hang in… 🙂

    • reproducinggenius

      Fortunately, his prescription consists of very minimal doses for just three days, so we don’t have to worry about the tapering, but my wife’s dad was on prednisone for over a year, so we know the problems it can cause (which is why we are so dubious about using it).

      We actually use an inhaler with a “spacer” also known as an “optichamber” or “holding chamber.” It holds the albuterol in the chamber so that the child can inhale it more effectively (there’s a face mask for infants and toddlers, but we’ve found letting our son have more control by sucking on the tube “like a big boy” makes it more fun and less traumatic).

      He has only had a few instances when we have needed to use the inhaler, so we’re still holding out to find out whether he’s going to be dealing with asthma long-term. That said, we’re taking any flare-up very seriously, so he’s been on the prednisolone since yesterday, despite our extreme frustration with his horrible side effects because we’re hoping beyond hope that this can be a quick bout with a wretched illness and that we won’t be dealing with these lung issues long term. Unfortunately, I’ve got asthma in my genes, so BG does too.

      Anyway, I’m rambling, but I so appreciate your support and advice, and I’ll be keeping it all in mind (and may be contacting you) as we learn more about our boy’s lungs. 🙂

  5. c storm

    Sorry…you got me going. Feel free to ignore me. I’m a little Aspbergersey and I know a lot about lungs and kids and I know I don’t know when shut up…

    The thing about prednisone if you have a kid who is prone to lung stuff (and hopefully yours isn’t, but he may be) is to balance. It’s a miracle drug in some ways and it can be your best friend in short quick spurts because it can take what might have been a meandering, debilitating, and entrenched lung flare up and stop it dead in its tracks in 24 hours. And it’s hard on little systems to endure meandering, debilitating, and entrenched flare-ups. They’re no good. They can affect learning and mobility, etc.

    BUT prednisone is the big guns. And you don’t want to use the big guns unless you really, really have to. The most effective way I found to avoid having to use prednisone is to be uber-on top of the daily fluctuations in my daughter’s breathing and to be religious about the use of long-term, lower impact meds to prevent flare-ups before they started. Ask about a maintenance regime if he seems to keep getting lung stuff. My daughter was in the test group for Flovent, for example, and it rocked our world we were so excited to be able to do something BEFORE she flared up.

    My theory, and I’ve done a lot of research in developing this theory, is that the better managed asthma or chronic lung stuff is during early childhood, the less of an impact it will have on the kiddo when he or she is an adult. My big is eighteen, now, and only uses an inhaler when she’s ill, which is a day I thought I’d never see.

  6. Next in line

    Our holidays were spent crying and puking. I am also hoping we are getting some kind of great immune system from it. I hope he feels better soon.

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