Thursday, October 24, 2013

Maladies upon maladies

I would like to start by acknowledging that the little guy is fit as a fiddle. And not only is his health good, but his behavior lately has been exemplary. Parenting him has been reasonably easy as he has done an admirable job working hard at school and following most of the family rules at home, including going along with the routine at bedtime and spending the entire night in his own bed, sound asleep.

Let me also add that no one in the house is currently dying, at least not in any dramatic untimely fashion. It’s not as if we’ve been struck by the Black Plague.

Having said all that, oh my stars are we a collective mess right now. Call it a Gray Plague. I wrote last week about the little girl’s bodily struggles to expel a virus from her system by turning her own lungs inside out; she’s mostly over that but still not 100% physically and also still rather brittle emotionally. Meanwhile she has passed the virus along to her baby brother, who is far too young to sleep through a coughing fit, so every spasm wakes him up in a panic. My wife took him to the pediatrician today and asked if we should try giving him nebulizer treatments at night, and the doctor agreed that was a good plan. So that makes us three-for-three on our children making use of that piece of respiratory equipment at some point in their infancy. Now we will see if the baby ends up needing tubes for his ears just like both his older siblings. We’re hoping not, even though the tubes were godsends for the little guy and little girl and we don’t regret those operations at all. I guess we’re hoping it simply won’t be necessary, which probably goes without saying, though if it is we won’t hesitate to go for the myringotomy hat trick.

At any rate, my wife and I are both a bit sleep deprived, and thus feeling under the weather as a matter of course. The weather is getting colder and we each find ourselves getting the chills intermittently, which never fails to make us panic about influenza. (We haven’t gotten our shots yet this season, though that’s climbing higher and higher on the priority list.) And above and beyond all that, my wife now has mastitis, a diagnosis (as of yesterday) which came complete with a note from the doctor forbidding her to return to work before Saturday. And I have a scorching case of poison ivy which I picked up in the course of some (overly) ambitious yardwork last weekend. It covers most of my left arm, the area of my left ribs that comes in contact with that arm when I sleep, and the back of my right hand. I’ve been toughing it out with calamine lotion and ibuprofen, waiting for the rash and blisters to subside, but they stubbornly have not. The new plan is to try a specifically formulated scrub to get the urushiol out of my skin and hopefully speed up nature’s course.

So needless to say it’s been a bit of a rough week and about all I have the mental energy for today is the survey of woes I’ve just completed. This too shall pass, and all will be made right soon enough. The hard part is getting from here to there.

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