10 years, 2 months

I almost forgot today’s picture (gasp!) Between Mardi Gras and three sick children, it just slipped my mind until this evening, when Miles reminded me. So that’s partly why the picture was taken in the living room instead of outside. But I may have changed the location anyway since no one really felt like doing much today anyway.

Look at those rosy cheeks…

As of right this moment, they seem to be on the mend, but after battling vomit, asthma, ear infections, congestion, coughing, headaches, and fever for the last week, I just give up.

Recent goings on

So what’s been up in our house lately?

Well, let’s see…

Much of the first part of the week was dealing with a sick Miles. He had a minor cold that made his asthma flare up. No fun! I got a call from the school nurse saying his oxygen was in the 70s (whaaaa?) but only briefly, and it went up to the 90s after resting. When I called the doctor’s office to make an appointment, they were like “70s equals ER” so I picked him up from school and headed there.

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When he was triaged there, his oxygen was up in the high 90s and I almost thought they were going to send us home, but after a couple of hours (ugh) he was getting worse so we got into an exam room, where he got a breathing treatment and steroids and all that fun stuff.

So anyway, it was fine. We went to the pediatrician a couple of days later, now he’s on a daily preventative so hopefully no more ER visits in our future.

(And then today Linus is home sick.)

Cute thing: peeking in at guitar lessons (Miles not shown as he was home sick.)

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Let’s see, what else…

Oh, we went to skating night last week before the sickness started. Everyone is SO MUCH BETTER than they were last year. A lot more confidence. Now they’re talking about a skating birthday party. Just like in my youth! Except they also want another slumber party. Ugh, no. I’m really trying to steer them away from that…

Look at Ollie go! (White shirt, dark shorts on the right.)

What else?

Some exciting stuff on the horizon. Tomorrow night I’ll be donning a fuschia and silver beaded floor length gown I got at the thrift store for $15 and riding in an RV to a breast cancer fundraiser. Should be fun! Pics later, maybe, if I don’t look too much like a sparkly sausage in the dress.

I just realized this post is probably too boring to publish, but oh well.

Cough, cough, cough (times infinity)

Other suggested post titles:

“The Sicklets”

“Whooping it up!”

This has been a terrible year for sickness. I don’t know why. I thought the boys got all the sicknesses out of their systems when they were younger. We had a great run of it for a few years, but this year has been constant. There was the coughing and asthma from the fall that lasted three weeks, then the barfing in the winter, and now this.

“This” is Whooping Cough. Wait, what year is it? 1938? No, it’s 2017, my kids are fully vaccinated, and they were diagnosed the other day with pertussis, more commonly known as Whooping Cough.

Well, I say “they.” Not really. But let me go back to the beginning…

February 28, Mardi Gras day: I took Oliver to a parade, but George called me because Miles had a fever. We headed home and I took Miles to Urgent Care, where he tested negative for strep (which was my guess) but was given a z-pack (azithromycin) anyway. The doctor thought it was some kind of throat infection.

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Infecting the whole Smoothie King Arena at the twenty one pilots concert!

March 5: Oliver has been coughing a little bit, but it’s not terrible, and I go to Australia/New Zealand.

March 15: I arrive home, and Oliver is still coughing.

March 16: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) because of coughing.

March 17: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) because of coughing.

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Spreading disease at the Aquarium!

March 20: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) because of coughing.

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Ha ha ha ha ha yeah like that was gonna help.

March 21: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) because of coughing. I take Oliver to the pediatrician because his cough is not getting better. But he’s showing no other symptoms. He had a very mild (like 99 degrees) fever, though. The doctor suggests maybe it’s a post-nasal drip from a sinus infection, so she prescribes a z-pack.

March 22: I have to work at a conference in town, so George stays home with all three kids.

March 23: The boys go back to school, and that afternoon I triumphantly post on FB that I didn’t have to pick up anyone from school! My triumph is short-lived, though.

March 24: I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up all three because of coughing.

March 27: Me and the school nurse are buddies by now. But the kind of buddies you dread hearing from. I really do like her. But I hate it when she calls. When I go pick up Oliver, she says, “this is going to sound crazy, but it might be Whooping Cough.” I poo-poo the idea. He’s vaccinated, after all!

March 28: I volunteer as a chaperone for a field trip in Miles’s class. This way I know I can give cough syrup midday to all three, so maybe we can make it through an entire day again! I dose up Miles and Oliver, but when I get to Linus’s classroom, he’s already been sent to the nurse’s office. Sigh. I take all three home.

March 29: I keep all three home from school. WHAT’S THE POINT? Meanwhile, I desperately make an appointment with the pediatrician, who agrees it can’t hurt to test them for pertussis. That afternoon, we head to Children’s Hospital to get the test. It involves shoving a thin tube up the boys’ noses after squirting saline up there. There is a surprising amount of laughter while they have it done, even though it’s definitely not pleasant.

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At the doctor’s office. Notable because they’re reading!
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Waiting to get a tube shoved up their noses.

That evening, I get a call from the doctor. “Are you sitting down?” she asks. “Linus tested positive for Whooping Cough. The other two were negative for that, but positive for rhinovirus.” (Which is just a cold.) Dr. Google had already told me that the treatment for pertussis is a course of antibiotics. As it happens, a z-pack. We realize that must be why Oliver tested negative – he had a z-pack the week before!

But what about Miles? We were going to have this in our house forever. Do you know pertussis is called the “100 day cough”? Yeah, I believe it.

But then it hit me – Miles did get antibiotics, for the mysterious illness he had on Mardi Gras day! It’s only a theory, of course, but it makes sense…Miles was Patient Zero! We got, dare I say, lucky, that we treated him unknowingly. And correctly. Never have I been so glad that the boys have a penicillin allergy! Z-packs FTW! And Miles finished his antibiotics before he went back to school after Mardi Gras break, so at that point he was no longer contagious.

So here it is, March 31. Linus is on antibiotics. I am on antibiotics (preventative.) I sent Oliver to school this morning because he seemed to be feeling okay. (And is no longer contagious as he finished his z-pack already.) But right on schedule…

I get a call from the school nurse. Need to pick up someone (I can’t keep track) Oliver because of coughing.

When I go to pick him up, the nurse’s office is filled with third graders. Earlier today, I got a call from the state Department of Health about the whole situation. I’m really glad they’re tracking it and everything. But it really hit home when I got to school to pick up Oliver. Every parent of a coughing third grader was getting a phone call with a recommendation to start antibiotics. If they weren’t vaccinated, they have to stay out of school for 21 days.

A little while ago, a letter went out to the whole school saying there’s an outbreak of Whooping Cough in the third grade. Ugh. We’re not named in the letter but it’s obviously not a secret since I’m blogging about it.

I feel irrationally terrible. I know it’s not our fault. We had no idea. We don’t know where we got it from. We vaccinate our kids. We get vaccines ourselves. Who would have thought we’d come down with some preventable disease? But we have friends with small children. The boys were at school all month with this. They’ve been in public. They’ve played with friends. We went to a one year old’s birthday party!

We may have weeks of coughing ahead of us. It’s “only” been four weeks. We could have another month of this.

Here’s what our house sounds like now…

Send wine.

House of barf

The boys were not barfers as babies. They didn’t spit up much (unless you jiggled them too much after a bottle) and they didn’t get many stomach viruses when they were younger. Sure, Miles yakked on me on a plane once about four years ago, but for the most part, we’ve done pretty well on that front. (Oh, well, there was that other time when I could see Miles was about to barf so I stuck his face down the front of my shirt to a) contain the vomit and b) prevent a chain reaction of cookie-tossing. It worked, and I am still waiting for my medal on that act of selfless bravery.)

Anyway, things have changed a lot in the past month.

First there was the barf on the flight to London. (Miles)

Then on the last day of our trip, lots more vomit. (Miles)

There was a fun incident not long after that resulted in cleaning vomit out of the top bunk. (Linus.)

Then I got a call from school the other day, someone had a tummy ache which ultimately resulted in puke all over a coffee shop bathroom. (I left a big tip.) (Miles.)

Last night, another bedroom incident, but fortunately not in any of the beds. (Linus.)

At 3:30 am, simultaneous barfing. (Linus and Oliver – see, they are identical!)

Today, just a lot more Ollie yakking.

I’m super ready for this to be over with, thank you very much.

Now, to make up for all the gross sick talk, here are some cute pictures of the boys lately.

 

Well, this has been a week

And it’s only Thursday? Argh.

Monday was possibly the worst, with sickness of the human and canine variety, but Tuesday came in a close second. I drove the kids to school (each trip is about an hour round trip – longer during rush hour, maybe a little shorter when it’s not) in the morning. And then a couple of hours later, I got a call from the school nurse. No, not Linus. This time it was Oliver.

I was in the middle of the first of two interviews I had scheduled, so I asked if he could hang out in the nurse’s office until I was free. She said okay, so around lunchtime, I made the trek to get Oliver.

He just needed a little medicine and a breathing treatment, but before too long, he was fine. Whew.

And then two hours later, we had to make the trip again, this time in afternoon rush hour, to pick up from school. (I don’t usually drive in the mornings, only when Mary Catherine travels for work, which fortunately isn’t that often. And it’s fine because I travel for work too.)

Okay, driving to school three times in a day probably didn’t warrant four paragraphs. I’m being overly dramatic.

Wednesday was fine. No one was sick. Ziggy’s digestive system is definitely responding to his meds and disgusting wet food. Yay! Finally got my correct Christmas cards in the mail (from the other family, not Minted) so now I just have to go stand in a very long line to get postcard stamps.

I did write a scathing (well, for me) review on google of the place the boys had their party at last weekend. I’m not ready to think about that yet, much less blog about it.

But how in the world is it only Thursday?

Tomorrow will be good. I don’t have to drive to school at all! Ziggy has a vet appointment, and fingers crossed he gets the all-clear and his vaccinations so we can start going on walks again!

In other news, happy birthday to my mom! Since we gave her her birthday gift last weekend (a giant framed copy of this), now I can share:

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My mom’s birthday gift 7 years ago was an engagement ring from Larry. So glad she said yes, and not just because we got a free cruise. Ha!

Sickness everywhere

I feel like the past four months have been nothing but illness around here. Our next door neighbor is a pediatrician and she opened her own practice a couple of months back and I’m fairly sure we must be her best patients. I remember telling her before her practice opened that we’d probably hardly ever be there because the boys hardly ever get sick.

And then they proceeded to be sick constantly. Last week they were all coughing and having a touch of asthma, but Linus just couldn’t shake it. We got him on steroids last week, he was okay over the weekend, and then this morning, he woke up wheezing bad again. So back to the doctor today. The kid hasn’t been at school since Wednesday.

In fact, I just got a call from my friend Alicia, because her daughters were so worried about Linus (he’s their favorite.) Anyway, he’ll be back at school tomorrow, whew.

The Zigster is another matter. He has been having digestive issues since before we got him. We thought they were resolved, but apparently not. So I took him to the vet near us today and it turns out he has hookworm. I was having nightmare visions of surgery to remove a lego or something, so I’m quite relieved it’s treatable.

The vet thinks he might also have IBS of some sort (irritable bowel syndrome) which would mean having him on bland food for a while. For now we have him on this wet food that is so disgustingly repulsive. I swear, I was able to bring a sample of really gross stuff (I won’t go into detail) without gagging but opening that can of food almost had me barfing everywhere. Yuck.

He won’t be able to go on long walks until he’s better (plus, we don’t know if he’s been vaccinated) but at least we reinforced the iron fence this weekend so he can’t get out.

Pics!

Ouch.

Remember in my last post how I was whining about a crafting injury?

Turns out, it’s probably not a crafting injury. Who knows what it is, frankly. Hopefully not something that would get me my own episode of Mystery Diagnosis. (Is that still on? I watched that obsessively while pregnant. If we still had cable, I probably still would.)

Monday morning, when I blogged about the birthday party, I was feeling much better. But then that evening, my knees were in agony. I couldn’t get off the sofa, much less go downstairs. It was awful.

Tuesday morning, again, I woke up and felt okay. Not great, my wrists still hurt, but not terrible. I was able to work for most of the day. I felt kind of dumb making a doctor’s appointment, thinking I probably was already almost over this, but I did anyway.

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Lots of tests.

Chatted with the doctor for a bit, she threw out some possibilities, and I had bloodwork done. When I left her office to get the kids from school, I was still feeling reasonably good. But on the drive home, my shoulders started to ache. Turning the steering wheel was tough. And by the time we got home, I was again in extreme pain.

Did you know you use your shoulders a lot? I didn’t. Now I do. Even when you walk. So again, I spent the evening on the sofa, this time hardly able to move my arms. My left wrist was throbbing with pain, rendering my left hand useless. That was super fun.

Went to bed with some shiny new painkillers coursing through my veins, and with the aid of a heating pad wrapped around my wrist (don’t worry, I didn’t sleep with it on) I was able to grab a few hours of sleep before it wore off and I had to take another.

One of the theories my doctor proposed was parvovirus (aka fifth disease) which apparently sometimes only presents as joint pain in adults. So I might be suffering for a while – it can take weeks to go away.

After I left the doctor’s office, I suddenly remembered that I’ve been taking an antiviral four times a day for the last seven weeks. (I totally spaced on that when the nurse asked if I was taking any medications – oops.) So I looked up the side effects, and sure enough, one of them listed was joint pain. Of course, probably all medications list joint pain as a possible side effect. Nevertheless, I called my eye doctor this morning and he said to reduce the frequency to one time a day. Maybe it will make a difference. I really hope so. I’d cross my fingers, if I could.