So, hey. How’s it going? I was away for awhile. Because I was on BOOGER PATROL.
Once again. That Girl was sick, as often happens with the under-10 set, walking petri dishes that they are. And despite the fact that it was just a cold, this one was a bit different from past colds.
Because if you’re going to catch a cold, why not do it RIGHT, I say. No point in putting in some half-arsed effort, amirite??
So, as there’s fresh snow on the ground and the temperature is once again starting to fall, grab yourself a warm beverage of your choice, and let us begin our long tale of viruses and boogers at the beginning. (Also? If you do not want to read about mucous and other fun-filled cold effects, now is the part of the show when you should feel free to wander off.)
The last time we were together, dear Interwebs friends, I related to you my tale of woe in which my car was being eaten by mice, yes? Let’s begin there.
The next day after the car-devouring-mice incident, Tuesday, there was skating class for That Girl, which we went to and she enjoyed tremendously, having not fallen more than, say, 20 times. Which, when you are a brand-spanking-new skater, is progress. She loves the class, and the cold at the rink and the effort involved in skating wears her out. She usually crashes pretty hard after class.
Except that night, she didn’t. She could not get to sleep. She said she was feeling fine, but she could not fall asleep. It was 11 pm. before she finally settled down enough to fall asleep, so the following morning I brought her in late to school so she could get an extra hour or so of rest.
I assumed it was because she was going through a growth spurt, which can mess up one’s eating and sleeping patterns a bit. And left it at that. But by the end of the day, she was starting to feel cranky, and tired, and her throat was froggy. And that night, she woke up in the wee hours of the morning saying that her ears hurt. So I called it in at school and told them she was going to be away with a cold.
So for all of Thursday, and Friday too, it was an ongoing battle of sneezing, a nasty runny nose, being tired and feverish, and earache. Sometimes her ears hurt when her sinuses are bugging her, and from the way she was talking, you could tell there was thick nasty gunk draining down the back of her throat. She gets one or two ear infections a year, and they are never very bad, but we usually wait until they are established and not just sinus-related discomfort.
But by Sunday evening, she was still not improving, and in particular, her ears. So we decided to take her to her doctor and get some antibiotics for her earache.
Monday morning, we were off to the doctor, where she donned a mask to cover the sneezing and coughing and still-running-like-a-goopy-faucet nose. In previous visits, it’s been a quick look-over, a peek in the ears, and then off to the pharmacy for antibiotics. But not this time. Her doctor, uncharacteristically, said OH NO NO NO, SHE WON’T BE BACK AT SCHOOL THIS WEEK. Maybe by Thursday, if you are lucky.
I was surprised. He has never advised keeping her home before. The poor kid MUST have been feeling pretty bad.
As it turns out, she had not just a cold, but a nasty ear infection — enough so that her doctor was concerned that 10 days’ worth of antibiotics was not going to be enough to get rid of it — and something going on with her eyes, which we just noticed that morning were bloodshot and irritated-looking. So we were prescribed drops for them, as well.
So. We called the school, to let them know she would be out all week, and to let us know if there was anything we needed to pick up. And then it was home to bed, where That Girl gratefully crawled back into bed to rest. And I knew she felt like crap, because she NEVER wants to lay in bed.
I settled in for a week of dispensing meds and wiping noses and entertaining Herself.
Later that day, I got a call from the school. It was her teacher, checking in. But what surprised me was that she had not known that Stinkerbelle had been away, because she was also away. With the SAME THING. As it turns out, so was another Grade 2 teacher. And a grade 3 teacher. And the librarian. And a couple of the junior grades’ teachers. And fully half of one kindergarten class.
There was some sort of nasty bug whipping through the school. Just a cold, but a cold on performance-enhancing drugs. A cold with a bad attitude. Another parent, later in the week, told me that at one point, 75 percent of the teachers were away. And, knowing the immune system built up by the teachers, I have to say: THAT IS SOME BADASS VIRUS.
That Girl spent the rest of the week home with me, and was only really feeling fully herself by about Sunday morning, and even then she was tired. And her nose was still running, quite a bit, so we were grateful that it was a long weekend and she had the Family Day holiday for that extra little bit of time to rest. And, when she went back to school yesterday morning, the nose had cleared, mostly. But she still had plugged ears which made it difficult to hear.
So, this has been my February so far. First, mice ate my car. Then, I spent the greater part of two weeks being awoken at Ridiculous O’Clock in the middle of the night to dispense cold meds and ear drops, and get hot compresses, and give comfort. (Which, to be fair, was mostly me staggering about under the influence of melatonin, then walking into a bathroom that was lit like what felt like klieg lights and trying to get medication while blinded, and trying to make my hands exhibit some sort of manual dexterity while pouring, using a dropper, and mopping up boogers.) And in the daytime, I mopped up more boogers LIKE EVERY FIVE MINUTES, washed my hands at every opportunity, tried to find foods and beverages that would entice my child to take in some sort of nourishment, and acted as the entertainment committee on this viral cruise we were on.
BUT NOW SHE IS BACK IN SCHOOL, PRAISE DOG.
On the down side, BDH has been complaining recently of feeling tired and having a sore throat. So, you know, there’s still two weeks of February left. WHAT ELSE WOULD I WANT TO DO WITH MY TIME.