Category Archives: sick

breathing easier

First of all, holy moly! My blog has had three times as many views as it ever has on a single day. If you’re new out there, welcome. I’d love to know how you found me!

 

I can’t believe what a trying two weeks it has been since our boy got sick, but I think we’re finally turning a corner. This hasn’t been without a multitude of scares. In fact, on Thursday, we nearly wound up in the hospital after BG spiked a fever early in the morning, even after two days of antibiotics. We took him to the doctor, and his blood oxygen level was lowish (topping out at just 94 if that means anything to you). The doctor sent us for chest x-rays, and we came back for another round blood saturation testing, at which point his levels were much better (97/98), and while his x-rays certainly showed pneumonia, it was a mild-ish variety that she didn’t think would pose any problems. She did have us lower his prednisone dosage so that we could get rid of the ‘roid-raging toddler with pneumonia (seriously–we needed to give him the stuff, but he was hitting us, kicking us, throwing everything in sight. Yikes.). That day, my parents came to see us, giving us some much-needed support (we left him the next day to sleep in Grandma’s arms while we had a grocery shopping date).

Yesterday morning, when returning a call to the office (they’ve been great about checking in), I spoke with a nurse practitioner who was grilling me about his treatment, and when I mentioned that he took his albuterol easily, she took a moment to clarify and then freaked out on me. If you’re not familiar with breathing treatments, there are a couple of ways these can be done. Albuterol can be administered in an inhaler, and for a child, a spacer is used–this tube on which a mask is attached. The tube holds the medicine in place so that the child has the time to breathe it in. The tube also has a little pipe that adults can use, and we had taken to using that, since BG reacted as though we were smothering him when we held the mask on his face while he took a couple of breaths. Well, it seems that by letting BG be a little more self-sufficient in an effort to avoid traumatizing him several times a day, we were giving him virtually none of the medication. When the nurse told me this, I nearly died. My heart dropped to my feet. I was horrified. She continued to rant about how someone should have educated us more (yes) and then finally offered to have us come in to the office to get him a nebulizer treatment.

Oddly, his doctor wasn’t convinced the nebulizer would be best for him because she didn’t think he would sit still for ten minutes. Another child a bit younger than him was in the room next to us, screaming inconsolably, while receiving such a treatment. When faced with the same treatment, BG eagerly examined how the machine worked (and because it was similar to a humidifier–a machine he LOVES–it was totally fascinating to him), and then he sat quietly, mask held up to his face, and listened to a book his Mama was reading. Until now, he had been so pale, but after a ten-minute treatment, his cheeks were rosy again. His lips were rosy. He was coughing productively. When the doctor saw how favorably he responded, she sent us home with a nebulizer. He has used it several times, and he sits very quietly, holding his mask up to his face, very aware of his special new machine.

The likelihood is, we’re going to need this thing for a long time. Chances are, he’s going to be dealing with wheeziness and even asthmatic tendencies for at least his young childhood if not longer. Knowing that we’ve got something to help him through this a bit more effectively eases my worries some, but I can’t help but be concerned that this is going to color his childhood in some significant ways. As with so many childhood ailments, he may well outgrow this in the next year or so. This is obviously what we’re hoping for.

But I don’t mean to go to dark places here, especially because we’re finally having an upswing. Yesterday’s office visit also revealed a rash that may have been caused by BG’s antibiotic, so we have a new antibiotic, a new nebulizer, and this morning, we had a boy who was ready to get up and eat, a boy who wanted to be up playing much of the day. He’s still quite sick, still fighting ear infections and clearing those sick little lungs out, but he’s improving, and for the first time in a couple of weeks, we heard his laugh many times, saw his smile, even saw him testing boundaries again–a good indicator that he’s coming back to his vibrant little two-year-old self. Oh how I’ve missed him.

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Filed under Boy Genius, sick

sick kid ettiquette

A few years back, before we had BG, we had a friend with a toddler, and we would watch said toddler from time to time. Once, I was scheduled to watch her daughter, and I came over to find that her child was very, very sick, but only after my friend left! Of course, anyone who has cared for a baby or toddler with a cold knows that it’s virtually impossible to avoid coming into contact with the illness, between the nose-wiping, the child sneezing or coughing on you, the child wiping snot all over you, it’s just not possible. So of course, I got sick. And I was furious with this friend. I was teaching at the time. I had to miss nearly a week of classes, sacrifice pay, and get terribly behind all because my friend wanted to go to some event.

Nearly every time our family falls ill, we can trace it back to small children. I realize that we may very well be contracting these illnesses at the grocery store or the gas pump or the letter carrier for that matter, but it always seems small children are at fault.

But it’s not really the children who are at fault, is it?

 We have a member of our family who brings her child to family functions coughing and sniffling and snotting it up all over the place and then lies to us, telling us her child has allergies. A few days later, our family is laid flat by some suspiciously similar “allergies.” I know this family member doesn’t want to miss out, that she doesn’t want her child’s seemingly mild illness to get in the way of her plans, but honestly, I wish she would just keep her at home.

This is not uncommon though, is it? I know we all have to take our kids out in public when they’re sick from time to time. I had to do it this week to get medication for my wife because she was too ill to take care of our son. So we went out quickly. I kept him close to me in the cart, covered his mouth each time he coughed, and I wiped down our cart with antibacterial wipes following our trip. I know I wasn’t able to eliminate all germs he spread, but bringing him with me was unavoidable.

But when it is avoidable, why do people do this? Why won’t people keep their sick kids–or for that matter, their sick selves–at home? Why do they need to share their latest contagions by letting their kids drool all over playground equipment or library books? Why?

I don’t think I need those questions answered, but I would be interested in knowing what you think. What should sick child ettiquette be? Would you lie about your child’s health if it meant you were able to attend an important event? What do you do when your kid is sick and you can’t just stay home?

 

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the sick + an announcement

Oh, my. The first cold of the schoolyear has hit our home. First BG got it; then my wife was bowled over by it. I am still fighting it hard, but am pretty terrified that I’ll have it next. It’s been a rough couple of days thus far. Whereas normally I have the boy until my wife comes home and I go to work, now, because she is so sick, she is staying home and locked up in our room, and I’m on BG duty all day until he goes to bed. Then I go to work for four hours or so. It’s brutal right now. I’m so damn tired.

Today I had a break for an hour and a half when I went to our therapy appointment alone. An hour and a half has never been quite so rejuvenating. I’ve never enjoyed traffic quite so much as I did today. It was actually nice to have an appointment to myself too. I adore our therapist. Today she had me meditating. Lovely. In all honesty, as much as I like our therapist and feel good about this work, I probably would have felt the same about going to the dentist today.

—————–

On another (and far more exciting) note entirely, the blog carnival yesterday generated so much interest that we have decided to make this a weekly event in our queer TTC/pregnancy/parenting blog community. We have put together a blog specifically for organizing the weekly carnival. If you’re interested, you can access it at the Love Makes a Family Blog Carnival blog.  There is no long-term commitment required. Just join in on the weeks you are interested. Instructions will be on the blog. Next Monday’s theme is donor sperm.

Thank you all, by the way, for your kind and supportive comments on my post yesterday. It took a lot to pull that out of myself, and it’s certainly rough to process such personal revelations publicly. On the other hand, it’s freeing to share in this, and the community spirit around this event has been utterly refreshing. So good for us, and hooray for blogtherapy too!

 

Now, I’m off to swallow some vitamins, treat myself with zi.cam, and get myself a few hours of sleep.

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no no no no no no no

So guess which family now has a cold on the heels of the worst pukey sick in history? I’ll give you a hint: our last name is “Genius.” Yeah. That’s us. Sick, sick, sick. As I was still recovering from the ick on New Year’s Eve, I noticed BG had a cough. We were all so wiped out, J and I fell asleep well before midnight. And then the next morning, she woke up with a nasty cold. I’ve been fighting it, so I’ve got the Zi.cam version, which is still a cold but a little one. I can’t fucking believe this.

We are due to start up with BG’s second session of Music Together this weekend, but we’re seriously contemplating taking a few months off. The class is wonderful, but we just want a couple of months to have a fighting chance to be healthy, and going to that class seems to get our son sick on a near-weekly basis. It’s a sad thought because he loves his music class so much (and so do we), but being sick every other week can’t be good for him, and it’s not good for any of us when his moms catch what he has and can barely muster the strength to take care of him.

Once we’re well, we’re officially taking every step we can to be as healthy as we possibly can. Time to kick those immune systems into shape. But for now, it’s back to my tea and blanket.

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lovely

I have contracted my wife and son’s stomach bug, and I am not pleased. I have been pukey and chilled and achey for the past twenty-four hours. I am so glad my wife is home to help care for BG because I can hardly lift him I’m so weak. My food consumption today consisted of water, saltines, and a quarter cup of yogurt. This is not fun.

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i give up

Baby Genius and J are both sick now, thanks to me, so I’m throwing in the towel. I’m done fighting off illnesses or trying to stay healthy–or trying to keep the family healthy.  We’ll all eat junk food and forget about exercise. We’ll stop washing our hands and eat food that falls on the floors. Vitamins schmitamins. We’ll drink coffee instead of water. We’ll give the boy soda in his sippy cup. We’ll encourage him to chew on shopping cart handles.

I know, I know. I’ve gone too far.

I’ve decided it’s all up to fate. My little family is simply doomed to have every virus in North America by the year’s end. We don’t have much of the year left, so we have to pack in as many as we can. At two or three a  month thus far, we should be on the right track.

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Hello, November! *sniffle* *cough*

It’s hard for me to grasp right now that it’s November. It seems like we’ve spent the last two months mired in one illness after another, and this week looks much the same. Baby Genius is slowly recovering from his latest cold, but lo and behold, when my wife woke me to say good bye on her way to work this morning, she sadly informed me that she had caught his cold. I would really prefer not to be next. Really. I’m fairly dismayed at the number of illnesses we’ve got running around here, and I know it won’t get better. BG isn’t even in daycare!

Ah, but it doesn’t have to be daycare, does it? For awhile, BG and I were going to story time at the local library most Tuesdays, and when we didn’t make it, we would pick a day and go to the library just to read. There’s a decent kids’ section where he can crawl around. But in their efforts to make this a kid-friendly zone, the library staff has placed in a box some big blocks. Fabric blocks. Fabric blocks which clearly cannot be disinfected. When we go to the library, BG insists upon getting down to crawl around. You’ll never guess what he goes for first–not in a million years. Okay, I’ll give you a hint: they’re cube-shaped, microbe-soaked toys. Yes, the blocks. And what does Baby Genius do with said blocks? He puts each one in his mouth. In an effort to lighten up and let the kid enjoy life, I often just let him do it, while attempting from time to teach him that blocks don’t go in the mouth. Sadly, my lessons are lost on him, and those microbes? Well, each one of them finds a new home traveling through my son’s immune system.

Then there are the swings. We should be wiping them down, but who remembers to do that when their kid is diving out of their arms?

But the worst of all is our Mu.sic T.ogether class. We sit in a room with lots of other squirmy germy kids, and BG shares their instruments. While there is a “wet basket” for those toys that have been mouthed, this clearly deals with only one source of germy evil. Those instruments that have been handled by the germy kids are the same instrument my kid mouths, and you can see where this cycle goes.

And then there are J’s students. I don’t even know where to begin with them. They are college freshmen living in the petri dish that is dorm life, and while my wife is fastidious with handwashing, there’s only so much one can do.

I know, I know. I’m acting like I’m the first parent in the world whose kid has gotten sick. Frankly, I know I’m lucky that he was sick only once in his first year, and I’m really fortunate that so far he has not had any secondary infections, but I want my boy to be well for awhile. I want my family to be well too, and I don’t want to sequester us in our home forever.

So, what does one do? How do you keep your family healthy with a toddler. Or, are we simply doomed for the next year or two? (please, please tell me I’m not doomed!)

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:-(

The sick continues, and it sucks.

I have long dreaded the first gastrointestinal bug because I knew it would be beyond gross–and sad. And I was right. Baby Genius, a boy who loves to eat everything, will hardly eat, and tonight, once he did, he threw it up. This was the first vomitting we’ve seen, but the diapers. Oh, gawd. Times like these make me question my dedication to cloth diapering, and I honestly considered buying a pack of disposables but changed my mind when I thought about the potential for blowouts.

The poor guy will have these great moments of his usual rascally behavior and then a moment later, he is draped over J’s shoulder or mine feeling awful. He just melts into us, and I feel so terrible that I can’t make him feel better. I’m giving him yogurt several times a day in hopes that the probiotics help stabilize his poor little system, and he’s nursing whenever he wants, but it seems that just waiting it out is all we can really do. His doctor said this could last between 5-7 days. We’re on day four. Oh please let this end soon.

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Filed under Baby Genius, sick

so not fair

So I was under the impression that I was fighting off this cold that my son and wife have, that I was going to get some mild version of it because somehow it wouldn’t be right or fair for me to get sick when I need to take care of the other members of my family. That impression was way off, and I’m sick, sick, sick. It’s just a cold (albeit a chest cold), but it’s about the meanest cold I’ve had in years. And now that I’ve got it full force, I am so sad that this is what my baby has had to endure over the past few days. It’s fucking miserable!

At least with my downturn, J and Baby Genius seem to be turning a corner, so J and I may be able to swap roles a little bit. Still, this really, really, really, really sucks. I don’t think moms of small children should ever have to get sick. Ever. How do you all do it?

/whinefest

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baby’s first cold

Well, we knew it would happen eventually, but we hoped that maybe we would escape this sick season without it. Sadly, Baby Genius has his first cold. He woke up with a cough yesterday, and today, he’s got a cough, some nasal congestion, and a bit of a fever. J and I are also feeling like crap. Since we woke up this morning, we’ve been trying to track down where we got this thing (we haven’t gone out much at all in the last week), but I think it comes down to living in an apartment complex and sharing stairs and mailboxes and such with neighbors. In fact, I’ve noticed our trampy neighbor next door coughing a lot lately. I’m blaming her.

On a positive note, we’ve had some improvements in the sleep department. For the last three nights, my wife has slept on the sofa. We both needed her to get some solid sleep, and we also wanted to see if maybe Baby Genius was awakening because of some snoring she was doing. We don’t know now if that was what was keeping him awake or not, but he’s going down much better at night and staying asleep, and he’s waking up minimally in the middle of the night for a quick snack. I would never suggest that the sleep crisis is over, for that would surely curse us to endless sleepless nights, but it’s been nice the last few nights for all of us to sleep more. My wife and I are so much nicer when we sleep!

But now we have the dreaded cold to contend with, so I imagine my wife will stay on the sofa for a few more nights, and I’ll hope like hell that Baby Genius manages to sleep through his discomfort.

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Filed under Baby Genius, sick, sleep