Monday, July 31, 2006

Diarrhea and Puke and Snot! Oh My!

As you know, Daniel has been sick. He’s been sick a lot these past few months with colds, fever and all kinds of other fun. I thank God that he has only had relatively minor and temporary ailments and I wonder how parents cope whose children have chronic illness, disease, disability and pain. This time around, Daniel’s “sick” is a stomach flu.

Anyway, I keep feeling like for the past few months the constant refrain out of my mouth to friends and family has been “Daniel’s sick” by means of explanation as to why I’m not on-line, not around, haven’t called and don’t go out much. While those who are already parents just nod in deep understanding and sympathy, the childless look at me like I’m making up a lame excuse or offer up such helpful advice as, “Well, you’ve still got to find time for you.” Really? Thanks so much for that! I didn’t realize I had to find time for me. I’ve just been martyring myself for the sport of it.

For the childless the following is what it’s like to have a sick kid. For those that are parents, perhaps you can find some humour in here. At the very least, I can use your commiseration.

First Stage - Your child starts to show the early signs of cold, flu, pinkeye or whatever else the bug-of-the-week happens to be. You hope beyond hope that he will “fight it off,” but in reality know that this is probably not gonna happen. While hoping that it’ll just pass by, you also:

  • brace yourself for several nights of crappy to non-existent sleep

  • prepare to cancel any plans (AKA "time for you") that you have made

  • check your medicine chest for children’s Tylenol, Pedialyte, and gripe water

  • hope against all hope that hubby does not also catch the bug-of-the-week because not only do you need his help, you don’t want to have to nursemaid him back to health too (hubbies are notoriously bigger babies than their own babies when it comes to illness)

    • Second Stage - Normally, of course, the illness doesn’t just “pass on by.” No, your child now officially has the bug-of-the-week. Seeing your child sick breaks your heart into a million little pieces and then takes those pieces and grinds them into sand. You try everything that could possibly work to alleviate his discomfort, pain and symptoms. Usually, though, nothing works. Your child seems to be the very definition of pathetic. Therefore, the last thing you want to do is leave your child with hubby for a night on the town with the girls or even a simple supper out. If for some reason you do have to leave the house (usually to go do exciting things like buy more children’s Tylenol or diaper wipes), you spend the whole time worrying that “it might get worse and I won’t be there. I won’t be there when my kid needs me the most.” You consider Valium, but settle for Bombay Sapphire.

      Third Stage - After a few days, you are now angry and frustrated. You are still worried and broken-hearted about your poor child being sick, but the constant cleaning up of puke, shit and snot (not necessarily in that order because you are now an expert on triage cleaning both your child and his surroundings) has really got you down. You never really knew how bad puke could smell and how it could get EVERYWHERE until you experienced your child projectile vomiting on the Exersaucer, couch, Dad and the dog at the same time.

      If you’ve broken down and brought your kid to the doctor, you now get to worry about the implications of whatever it is your doctor has diagnosed and prescribed. Because you haven’t just fallen off the turnip truck, you question your paediatrician and aren’t so thrilled at modern medicine’s solutions like putting your baby on antibiotics and hydrocortisone cream. Your paediatrician thinks that you are just another Internet searching paranoid nutcase. YAY!!

      Fourth Stage - Finally, the worst has passed. Your child’s on the mend. You try to find humour in such things as:

      • Your kid puked on the dog while the dog was trying to eat
        the puke that happened mere moments earlier

      • A sleeping baby that has diarrhea can and will get diarrhea in his hair and ears

      • A baby does not naturally know how NOT TO puke through his nose

      • Sucking snot out of your child’s nose with those bulb nasal aspirators appears to be something our society has hung unto
        from the Spanish Inquisition

      • No matter what flavour of meds you try (even the ones your doctor claims “babies really love”) your kid will hate it and ingest about half of what he is supposed to

      Yup, you try to find these things funny, but in truth no matter how much vinegar you use, your dog (and hence the whole house) still reeks of puke. It is also hard to find the funny side of cleaning shit out of your kid’s ears with a Q-tip – ditto for him not consuming his meds properly and not being able to breathe through his nose.

      The Last Stage - Your kid’s healthy again . . . at least for a few days.

      Ah – the rich pageant of parenthood. Posted by Picasa

      Image source: the pumpkin picture (and many similar to it) can be found all over the Internet. I don't know the original source.


      At 11:34 AM , Anonymous akk said...

      Ohhhhhh Ems. That is so, so gross. I hope you (and Daniel and Petey) are recovering. I have a whole new level of respect for you and q-tips now that I know you clean *diarrhea* out of Daniel's ears. (How does that even happen?!). In these tought times, remember that it's still important to find time for you (JOKING.). Thinking of you!!!

      At 9:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

      Luke said:
      You made me clutch Quinn just a little tighter when I read this one. She has yet to get sick, but I think I'll take a cue from the Lysol commercials and start sterilizing door handles now.

      Give him a squeeze from Nova Scotia for us.


      Post a Comment

      Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

      << Home