I may have whined about mentioned last week that I wasn’t feeling well. It seems I was infected with the Black Plague that has been working its way throughout the SouthEast spreading mucus, mispronounced ‘n’s and general malaise in its wake.
Fortunately, I was feeling MUCH better by Friday, which was just.in.time to get the phone call that my sweet niece, Brooklyn, was being admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Just 11 days earlier, I had taken a much-infected B (my nickname for Brooklyn) to the doctor for my brother and SIL (who were both working). She was horribly pathetic. Her breathing was wheezy and snotty-sounding, her eyes were pus-y, draining and it looked like she had been punched in both eyes, they were so red and she was pathetic and lethargic. I thought for sure we would end up in the hospital. Surprisingly, we were sent away with FOUR prescriptions and a charge to return in about a week. It seems that when my Brother took her back, they took blood, listened to her chest and told him in no uncertain terms to take her immediately to the hospital. No ifs, ands or stopping to get a change of clothes. They also told him to expect to be there for a few days. I got this information from my SIL, who was trying to make it home, pack up their stuff and was then stuck fighting metro traffic to get there. I ended up running up to the hospital to Just Be With my brother until my SIL could get there.
So then, my 4 year old daughter woke up on Saturday morning at my Inlaws’ house complaining of a sore throat. She was also running a fever. My experience with fevers and my children has been that if they have a fever, they have some sort of infection which requires medicinal intervention. Back when I was a newer, inexperienced parent, I subscribed to the whole “wait three feverish days before seeking a doctor” and the “most ear infections/illnesses will resolve themselves within a few days without antibiotics” notions. But after a few incidents where I waited and ended up on multiple rounds of antibiotics because it got so bad, I decided to screw that wisdom (for my own children) and listen to what the parenting gods were trying to tell me which is this: When my children get sick, it’s not just because they have a little virus. They eat little viruses for breakfast. If they have a fever, they have an infection that will get to the “fever of 105″ stage in a matter of a day or so without medicine so I had better just suck it up and take them in.
So, off I trotted to the doctor with my sister in tow (who had come up to spend the weekend with the family). Malyn not only has strep but the doctor was peering into her ears and says:
Doc: Did you put a bead in your ear?
Doc: Did you put a BEAN in your ear?
Doc: When did you do this?
Malyn: At school.
Doc: When did you do it?
Malyn: A looooong time ago.
Me: (Incredulous) !!!!!
Malyn: So *that’s* why I can’t hear out of that ear!
So the doctor tries to use the plastic lasso thingy to get the bean out but the bean is too big. She actually shows it to me using the ear looker-inner thingy. (My FIL tells me later that you don’t have to actually have that thing. It is *apparent to the naked eye*. WTF???)
So we have to go to the ENT to get it removed. Because they evidently have some sort of SUCTIONING device to get stuff out of kids’ ears…???
So as we were leaving and Malyn was running to the back to pick out stickers, I glance into the room and standing there is my OTHER SIL with my nephew, Braxton. Who is evidently sick and feverish! It’s like the whole genetic line is mutating into germ-filled beings! We’re a BREEDING GROUND FOR INFECTION! We sit there and chit-chat with her and her mother until the doctor breaks up the party. (The same doctor, incidentally, who made rounds at the hospital that morning and checked out B and the same one who discovered Malyn’s new legume storage area. I think we’re single-handedly funding her retirement account.) Braxton ended up having a double ear infection, probable strep and possibly some wheezing but she only confirmed an ear infection because he was too hysterical for her examine thoroughly.
So as we were leaving, I called my Mom to tell her about Malyn and LO AND BEHOLD, she, too, is sick.
Later that afternoon, after I dropped Malyn back off at my inlaws’ house, (WHAT? She could lay around on *their* couch just as easily as she could on *ours*.), I was at the car dealership with my sister, Dawn when we got the phone call that my SIL had been throwing up constantly. This is the SIL who was up with her daughter at the hospital. Now, normally, this wouldn’t be anything more than a huge inconvenience but my SIL is pregnant. And she very easily gets dehydrated when she is sick while pregnant. There was the real possibility that she would have to admit herself into the ER to get a few bags of IV. Fortunately, a prescription anti-nausea stopped the throwing up. It was pretty dicey for a while there with one OB telling her to admit herself immediately and another telling her to try to medicine but admit herself if it didn’t start working nearly immediately.
Thank goodness it did because my sister and I were in the middle of negotiating her terms for the purchase of her new car. She went from a college car (which she bought brand new a few years ago) to an ‘adult’ car to mark her entrance into a professional position (she’s an accountant–awww, my little nerdy sister is getting so grown up) and for the babies who are probably going to be coming in a few years or so.
When we called everyone to get the update and let them know about Dawn’s new car, we found out that my brother (the one in the hospital with Brooklyn and the throwing up wife) was now SICK with the stomach bug that he caught from his wife.
Dawn looked at me and said, “You realize that we have been around Every. Single. Person who has been sick in the last 12 hours, right?”
We tried to find an anti-bacteria/viral MIST to walk through but had to settle for scrubbing off the first layer of our skin with sandpaper coated in antibacterial gel and bleach.
We also did the only other thing we could do in a situation like this…we ate an entire box of peanut butter tagalong girl scout cookies. Because if we’re going to die with a strep/pneumonia/ear infection/rotavirus/Black Plague combo then By God, we’re going to go down in a Blaze of Peanut Butter Glory.
Of course, you *know* I am the obnoxious aunt who comes up to the hospital with my camera case.
Shut Up. Even sick, she’s adorable.
Brooklyn with her Daddy and 'Candy' (juice) and IV pole
Pathetic B with the bear the nurses gave her which she named Snowman