Sick Daze

Out Sick :(

Out Sick 🙁

My wife took off work yesterday, which doubled my work load. She never takes sick days because she works for a fiscally responsible company who doesn’t give them out like they’re Krispy Kreme donuts. In other words, not the government. It sucks for her, and by extension, us, but I get it. All this is to say my wife was very sick.

She got the illness from Mabel who got it from the playground. Or the library. Or the handlebar on the shopping cart at Giant. Or anywhere in the greater DC-area. This has happened before and thankfully, I’m usually exempt from the illness. Which is great, because I don’t get sick days. My sick day would involve asking my wife to give up one of those aforementioned precious days off to stay home with a sick child so that I could dope myself up with medicine and intermittently sleep and watch recorded playoff hockey upstairs, as opposed to doing that downstairs with my daughter, which is a normal day. It’s a tough sell is what I’m saying.

Unfortunately, I was not exempt from whatever virus or bacteria invaded our house this time. Even the cats are sick. Mabel seems to have gotten the best end of the deal. Or maybe she just doesn’t know enough to be miserable when she’s sick. Maybe it’s a learned behavior to shake your fist at the world and blame the Metro and facial hair and Monsanto for your incompetent white blood cells. For whatever reason, Jenn and I wanted nothing more but to stay in and chicken soup the day away while our precious little Typhoid Mary wanted to do toddler-related things. Like go down a slide or play bloop with pine cones off the bridge.

While home, I did my duty as a husband of a woman who allowed me to quit my job to raise our daughter, and catered to her as much as I could. What this consisted of was asking her over and over if she needed anything. Most of the time, she did not. She preferred to be left alone. I felt helpless. It was, in fact, much like Mabel’s birth.

Throughout the day, I just kept getting sicker, despite drinking orange juice. And I realized something. I have no idea how to get myself better when I’m sick. Actually, I knew that. But what I now considered was that I had somebody else counting on me to get her unsick. Two people, actually, but one who really hasn’t had a chance to learn any of this stuff yet, and so, is relying on me for my knowledge and insight to get her better. And orange juice and chicken soup will only get you so far.

How have I survived this long? I have lasted 39 years somehow without the ability to figure out how to get unsick. And it only recently occurred to me that these are things I’ll need to teach Mabel. Things I thought were just naturally ingrained in my parents as a kid, because it came to them so naturally. Like nursing a sick child to health, doing taxes and how to look at a girl in the mall (you have to stare down the guy first until he looks away). But apparently, they had to learn them somewhere too. They don’t just come with the baby.

So I guess what I’m saying is I need somebody to tell me how to fix myself before Mabel is old enough to realize I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve tried Sudafed and that took the crappy feeling from my nose, multiplied it by five and spread it throughout my body. Nyquil strangely kept me awake the couple times I’ve tried it. Or maybe the illness kept me awake and the Nyquil just didn’t work. Alka Seltzer has been the most consistent, but it only really clears the nose for a few hours. Which is better than nothing.

So, lovely people of the internet, what kind of medicine or techniques work to nurse both yourself and your toddler back to health? Note: I have humidifiers in all bedrooms and sleep on 3-5 pillows. Also, I mentioned the chicken soup and orange juice. And my wife does my taxes, so we’re good there.

5 thoughts on “Sick Daze

  1. Vicks vapo-rub on the chest and feet at night are great if you’re congested in the head/chest and/or you have a cough. If you’re willing, put socks on over the feet afterwards. Works great for kids too. Otherwise, you’re just going to have to ride it out. Prevention is best and I swear by soap and water on those kids hands and yours as often as possible. Hope you feel better soon!

    • Yeah, we actually got that Vicks Vapo-Steam humidifier for Mabel when she was in her crib, but because it’s all hot (hence the steam), we don’t want to put it in there now with her. But thanks for the tip. We have Vicks, I just always forget when it comes time to need to use it.

  2. Prevention–> vitamin c and zinc every day…worked for me this year and I am surrounded by pitri dish kids all day! Unfortunately, if you get zapped anyways, over the counter meds. as you said only work for a short time. Tylenol cold is pretty good and the big guns include the “behind the counter” version of mucniex D. I usually end up on antibiotics when I do get sick ’cause my white blood cells don’t know how to repulse invaders very effectively… 🙂

    • Thanks, Cheryle. I will need to stock up on your preventative meds for next time. As for now, I thought I rode out the storm, but this one is pretty persistent. I may have to go to the doc to get those antibodies. Ugh. Stay healthy!

  3. Humidifiers in Chloe’s room. She had a virus with a putrid cough and post nasal drip. She could not sleep for more than an hr or 2 at a time. Good news was the doctor said to get Delsym, an over the counter cough medicine. Even though it is for kids 4 and up, she said half a teaspoon. This however, not only seemed to turn Chloe’s cough into a choking, gasping for air kind of cough, but it kept up her up for almost 2 hrs 4 nights in a row, made her loopy and lethargic, and made her pupils look like the fly…from The Fly.I personally and stubborn and sweat most things out, but will take Nyquil and Airborne. Being sick is tough on all of us. You feel terrible for them, then you get it and you can’t be the Dad you wanna be. Hang in there and feel better guys.

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