I am so sick and tired of everyone being so sick and tired. Whether it be the season, a new environment or because God has a sick sense of humor, my household has become a cesspool of germs. I can’t remember one full week during the entirety of this past year where everyone in our house was healthy.
Starting with that not-so-innocent cough, the next day promises a sick-visit followed with a week of nebulizer treatments, meds, a house full of scattered crumpled-up tissues and the shittiest night sleep since the dreaded newborn days.
Lately, my oldest son has been patient zero because although school introduces him to a great learning environment, it also leaves him swimming in an infestation of germy kids on a daily basis. After some child generously passes some nasty bug onto my child, he returns the favor by releasing its wrath upon our family. From then, we witness the domino effect as the sickness travels to each kid until reaching the biggest baby of them all – my husband. Funny how much kids suck at sharing, except when it comes to germs.
If you have kids, you understand this harsh reality. Now, if you have small kids, pour yourself a glass of wine, mama, and come commiserate with me – because it’s never as simple as one kid with a cold. For me, it means three miserable kids draining snot, running fevers, coughing constantly, and frequently waking all throughout the night. Sometimes it also means I’m startled out of a dead sleep by the sound of my tiny offspring puking goldfish and raisins next to my bedside. True story. Or, currently, it means one may have pink eye, but it’s only a matter of time before all three are overcome with bloodshot eyes oozing greenish yellow junk.
This past week, has truly been one for the history books. My three children are all suffering from seperate ailments, each requiring different medications with different dosages and frequencies. I’ve got one kid on eye drops 5 times a day, ointments three times a day, two on antibiotics twice a day, one on a steroid and all three on nebulizer treatments whenever necessary.
Even though, I have a whole drawer designated for those tiny medicine syringes, I’m always running out – trying to score some freebies every time I go to the pharmacy, which as of late, is every other day. I’ve even made friends with Lisa, the nice local pharmacist who releases her pity upon me every time she sees me drive up to pick up the latest medication. She doesn’t even ask our last names anymore, but just nods with a frowny face and offers up today’s total.
Let’s not forget the time invested in these sick appointments and nursing my offspring back to health. I’m spending the better part of my life in a damn doctor’s office. From how long it takes to make an appointment to wasting an afternoon in the waiting room to the actual visit and pharmacy stop, that’s a hell of a lot of time invested every time my child get sick.
Oh, and then there’s the day or two, sometimes three, I must stay home with my child because he or she can’t return to school until 24 hours after a fever breaks or just because they feel too crummy to attend. Multiply that by three children, I’m lucky if a week goes by without getting that dreaded call at work telling me my child is sick and needs to be picked up asap. Thankfully, I’m fortunate my job is flexible and grants me the freedom to take care of my children without worry or fear of losing my job. I have no idea how other working parents do it with a job that isn’t so forgiving.
And then there’s me. Prior to having kids, I would get sick once a year. Yes, you read that right. Once. A. Year. But then again, prior to having kids, I would avoid people coughing directly into my face and smearing their snot rockets all over me like I’m human napkin. Now? I’ve given up. I’m walking around always suffering from some random collection of side effects as a result of being exposed to my little ones – sore throats, headaches, nausea, exhaustion.
So, what’s a mom to do? Honestly, I’m not sure except to try and disinfect my entire house, load up on sanitizer wipes, tissues, and anything that can promise to alleviate the comfort of my littles. As springtime is upon us, my eyes are set on the prize of the end of the school year and hoping the warm weather and break from school can give us all the relief we so desperately need. Maybe, just maybe, I can go a week or two without making an unplanned trip to the pediatrician’s office with a sick kiddo. *Fingers crossed*