Life in the Baby Lane: Chapter 13

Happy New Year to All…And to All a Sick Week

It all started Sunday morning. I woke up puzzled, wondering why on earth my throat hurt. Where did this come from? There was no warning – no tickle the night before, no extra tiredness over the previous couple of days. Just – BAM! – Sunday morning sore throat.

As the day wore on, however, I felt fine. The soreness went away and I felt completely normal again. I almost forgot how the day had started.

Then Monday morning came. And I remembered it all.

Over the course of the next few days, I progressed in symptoms, adding a new one each day. I guess my body likes to keep me guessing. It added nasal congestion, cough, exhaustion, stuffy head, and loss of voice (that last one was just for the fun of it).

The second or third day of my sickness brought on a very unwanted side effect, however: Husband got sick. And Little Miss followed shortly after.

An entire family sick at one time? Oh boy. This was going to be interesting.

We dealt with a sick baby when Little Miss was approximately 3 months old. She got a cold and the stuffy nose was miserable for all. She couldn’t breathe to eat, and that made everything incredibly difficult. But at that time,  Husband and I were both well and able to take care of her. Staying up until the wee hours of the night until she fell asleep was exhausting but doable.

This time, however, we both needed rest, as well. I wasn’t sleeping well as it was, because I couldn’t sleep laying down (the junk settled in my chest and kept me from being able to breathe, which woke me up, understandably). My constant re-positioning kept Husband from getting a good night’s sleep, and we both had to try extra hard to remember to cough into our pillows for fear of waking up the sleeping sick baby.

During the day we took turns caring for the extra-needy and clingy Little Miss while the other one relaxed and rested or got necessary things done (making dinner, taking out the trash before the garbage truck rolled in, etc.) When she went down for a nap, we told ourselves to go lay down, too. We made each other tea, poured each other orange juice, offered medication and made sure we both got hot steamy showers.

The illness wasn’t awful – I’ve been miserably sick before, and this I would not classify as such – but it was the longevity that drove me nuts. I missed three and a half days of work. Fortunately, Husband is on leave, so he still gets paid, but he was simply at home not feeling good with a sick wife and infant daughter, too. No one got exclusive care. And no one was allowed to be whiny. (Aside from Little Miss, because we couldn’t really stop that one.)

It all came to a head Wednesday evening when I noticed Little Miss’ head was extremely warm. She’d been lethargic all day, not talking much, not responsive to smiles, and even allowing us to get all the way through the grocery store without crying (that never happens). I took her underarm temperature, which our instructions say to add two degrees to for actual body temperature. The screen read 101.7. That meant her body temp was 103.7.

Trying not to panic, I called the doctor’s office and was transferred to a nurse in pediatrics. She told me to not overdress her – keep her cool – give her a cool bath, and give her some Tylenol. I did this (minus the bath, as she’d already had one earlier in the day) and within two hours she was starting to act like the Little Miss we knew and loved.

This morning she was babbling up a storm, her temperature was down around 99.1, and she grinned and giggled at Daddy as usual. I went to work this afternoon. And Husband made dinner. Things are starting to get back to normal (aside from a bit of a stuffy nose on the part of Little Miss, and a slight lingering cough for Husband and me). We’ve survived the first all-family illness. Whew! Onward and upward. Or wherever takes us furthest from the bug that wouldn’t let go.

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