a (not so) fresh start
On December 29th, Eddie woke up with a cough that was making it hard for him to breathe. I could hear the wheezing and whistling and he seemed like he was panting even when he hadn’t been running around the house like a banshee (although there was some of that, too, and in those moments he would erupt into a coughing fit). It seems like every one of Eddie’s colds turns into a cough and it drives me nuts. Does he have asthma? Coughs are so hard to get rid of. Steam. Vicks. Cough Syrup. Honey. We try it all and none of it ever seems to work. Anyway, on that morning it seemed particularly bad and his cough had been lingering for nearly a month at that point.
I hate calling the doctor. I’m SO WORRIED about seeming like a hypochondriac that I convince myself that it’s nothing. Does anyone else do this? I do it for myself and for the kids now, too. But the wheezing bugged me, so I finally called. They wanted to see him right away, and reiterated SEVERAL times on the phone that if he breathing seemed labored that we should go straight to the ER. That freaked me out, but he honestly didn’t seem to be in distress, so we waited for our appointment later that afternoon.
In the meantime, Rocco, who was seeming FINE all morning, woke up from his nap with a 102 degree temp. I called the doctor back to see if they could see both boys while we were there. The nurse was a little snarky on the phone, “We are VERY busy and everyone who is coming in has the same virus, cough and fever.” Look, lady. I don’t care what everyone else has or how busy you are. By this time the snow was falling in big heavy flakes from the sky and the temperature was dropping and the roads were getting icy. I just needed to get them in before the holiday weekend and hopefully get some medicine!
She told me they could see both boys if we left the house right then and came in. I had to wake Eddie up from a nap and load the boys into the car in the snow and head out for the long trek to an office that is not our regular office to see a doctor who is not their regular doctor. It was a 45 minute drive. We were about half way there when Eddie started screaming – first slowly, then faster and louder. “Mommy? MOMmy? MOMMY?! ROCCO IS SPITTING UP!” He didn’t need to tell me. I could hear it happening. We were half way to the doctor’s office and driving in a blizzard and my poor, sweet one year old started barfing all over himself in the back seat of my car. And then it dawned on me: I didn’t bring a change of clothes.
I drove the rest of the way to the doctor’s office with one crooked arm stretched back to stroke Rocco’s hair and tell him it would be okay as I navigated the icy terrain. Eddie proceeded to tell me all of the things on Rocco’s lap that were covered in “spit up”. Thanks, little buddy.
When we got there, I wiped Rocco down with baby wipes and blankies. We marched into that doctor’s office looking (and smelling) as if we had just fought (and lost…badly) a war. The lady behind the counter, the snarky one, scowled at me and didn’t ask if we were okay or if we needed a bathroom or a dang paper towel. Ugh.
Long story long, Eddie needed his first breathing treatment and Rocco’s barf-attack was from mucus and the doctor wrote both boys off as having a virus. Rest, fluids, Tylenol, time. I could have punched him. I also could have punched the snarky receptionist who diagnosed my children over the phone without seeing them.
Since then, that was two weeks ago, things have only gone downhill. Rocco was super sick for several days, but then he seemed to improve and Eddie’s cough let up a little bit – but only enough for me to make a super-mom decision (NOT) and let them go to a trampoline park with their Aunt and Uncle. The next morning Eddie woke up with a 103 fever. That then lasted 5 days. Back at the doctor he was diagnosed with the flu and an ear infection. Rocco has now had a cough for 2 weeks and his boogers are STILL thick and dark green and practically pouring from his face. You’re welcome.
I could keep going. Really, I could.
Let’s put it this way – we are off to a not-so-fresh start to 2018.
We had to cancel having any kids over for New Years. We had to cancel attending a family Christmas party and we had to cancel attending a baptism and birthday party. I’ve been home from work using PTO in the first weeks of the year to wipe boogers and butts and enforce medicine and naps and fluids and even in their weak little sick state, they fight me and they are sick of being inside and want to PLAY and run and jump. I’ve signed up for a handful of classes at my new gym only to have to cancel at the last minute because someone isn’t sleeping or their fever spiked. We have eaten takeout or leftovers or CRACKERS as meals because it’s all they will eat and they have to eat something and we haven’t had time to get to the grocery store.
So. What do you do when no matter how many resolutions you set….no matter how pumped and psyched up you get to “make a change” and “start fresh” you find yourself not excited at ALL and in fact a little disillusioned by the new year?
It’s time to regroup. Tomorrow is a new day. So, the New Year for the Jerzyk family did not start out fresh and sparkly on January 1. We are going to get through this nasty, nasty sickness and we are going to move forward!
One of my resolutions for the year is to be the THERMOSTAT, not the THERMOMETER. In the first 12 days of 2018? I’ve failed miserably. I’m SOOoooooo guilty of being the thermometer, you guys. I’m emotional and dramatic and when my kids are bouncing off the walls because they have cabin fever and haven’t napped and just swiped all the bins off their playroom shelves onto the floor – I yell and I scream and I point my finger in their tiny little faces and I send them to time out for too many minutes.
BUT. I think maybe weeks like these are challenging me even more to dig deep and find ways to keep myself and my family balanced and positive. So today, 12 days into 2018, with two sick kids still at home…Instead of feeling like the world is crumbling (which sounds dramatic, but if you know me…well…), I am going to figure out little things I can do NOW to keep us all sane. Like calling Grandma and going on a date night with Ed – no barf, no boogers, and something a little nicer than crackers to eat for dinner! Like using the weekend to recuperate and wearing sweatpants and not feeling guilty for it. The more we lay low now, the faster these boys will get well. Like going to the gym on my lunch break even though it’s not super convenient and definitely not how I’d LIKE to spend my lunch.
It hasn’t been the freshest start. But it’s never too late to begin.