The Sick Kid Saga.
My four-year-old son got sick last week. Very sick. Not dangerously so, but it was the sickest he’d ever been. That sounds dramatic, but it’s only because he was lucky enough to spend his first few years, well, not getting sick. I don’t know how he managed it, but he avoided any major illnesses until last week. He’s had fevers and coughs and ear infections, but they never seemed to bother him. Last week, he got strep throat and it knocked him on his little butt.
His lucky streak left my wife and I equally unprepared. Having never had to deal with a sick little kid, we didn’t have the practice required for this scenario. We never had to teach him how to describe “feeling sick” because it never came up, and so he didn’t know how to tell us what was wrong. He was just whining and tired and miserable.
He’d been fighting a lingering cough and a near-fever for the first few days of the week, but everything came to a head on Thursday morning. After a fitful night’s sleep we discovered he’d thrown up in his bed and all over himself during the night. He was covered, quite literally, from his head to his toes in ugly hives (which are common for him but never to that degree). We took him to the pediatrician as soon as they opened, where they tested him for the flu and for strep throat. Those tests included sticking a cotton swab very deep into his nostril, and poking around the back of his throat with a similar swab. This was, for him, the most miserable morning he’d ever experienced.
He bounced back pretty fast, though. Once he got some antibiotics in him he was nearly back-to-normal that very night. We knew he was going to be fine, but when you’re in the thick of caring for a child your brain can convince you that it’s never going to end. I’m sure it felt that way for the little guy, too! At least now he knows what it feels like to be sick, and next time he”ll hopefully have an easier time telling us what’s wrong.
I, on the other hand, am screwed. After my son spent most of last week open-mouth coughing into my face, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get sick before this week is over.