Well, it was only a matter of time before JD got sick. Cold and flu season coupled with school is the ideal mix for winter sickies. It started yesterday. I was working from home and JD was also home with me. We did our normal morning routine, which is getting up at 6 A.M. and cuddling in my bed. JD watches Barney and I fake sleep. Then I made some coffee and fixed JD some fresh fruit salad and toast with butter. He ate and asked if we could do Play Doh. So, we made gingerbread men and snowmen out of neon-colored Play Doh while listening to Christmas music and lounging in our jammies (sweet morning!). JD ate his morning snack (carrot sticks, a cheese stick and a yogurt drink) and we finally got dressed. Only we didn’t leave to run errands or take a winter walk around the grounds of our condo complex. JD fell asleep on the couch. First red flag! JD doesn’t nap until after lunch.
He napped for three hours. Second red flag! JD only naps for like 45 minutes to an hour these days. He came and found me in my office and sleepily said, “My mouth hurts me.” I took him over to the window where there was natural light and told him to open up. “No, it hurts too bad.” I wanted to see if it was a molar coming in. Nope. He asked for some juice and since he didn’t eat lunch, I asked if he wanted a grilled cheese. No. Chicken nuggets. No. Soup. No. Mac ‘n Cheese. No. Third red flag. JD loves a snacker when he wakes up from his nap.
After he drank his juice I asked him if his mouth still hurt and he said no, that it was all better. I took his temp and he had no fever. Good. I asked if he wanted to go for a walk outside, but he told me no and asked to play blocks because he wanted to build a robot. He was very clingy the rest of the afternoon. We read Mater Saves Christmas 7 times and watched Nick Jr. At one point we colored in a Christmas coloring book. When it was dinnertime he refused to eat leftover homemade mac ‘n cheese (his fave), baked chicken breast and broccoli. He wanted “juicy.” I was able to get a few bites in him, but before I knew it, his eyes were getting heavy at the table, so I decided to give him a quick bath. Afterwards I checked his temp and he still had no fever. Good. We read The Night Before Christmas and JD went to bed without a fight. He even told me he was tired. Fourth red flag. JD never goes to bed without saying, “Another book,” or “A drink of water,” or “I’m starving,” or “I wanna watch T.V.”
I wasn’t surprised when he woke me up at 3 A.M. crying and holding his neck. He felt warm when I placed my hand on his forehead and he did have a low grade temp of 101. Here’s the problem. JD had a fever and was clearly in pain. Well, JD doesn’t take medicine. Refuses to take medicine. Once threw up after I forced injected it into his mouth. It’s so stressful. Last winter, I actually had to walk away from him and call my friend from the building. When she arrived I was crying. He had a high fever and wouldn’t take his medicine. We both held him down and I fed it to him, like you feed a puppy medicine. I squirted some in and held his mouth shut. Horrible, just horrible.
Last night I had to put generic (everything else is recalled) grape-flavored liquid pain reliever in a cup with water and serve it up in a sippy cup. Seriously. He wouldn’t take it. He was sitting in my bed with his hands over his mouth, blubbering, “That yucky!” He did this for twenty minutes while I begged my three-year-old to please, please, please drink the juice. Finally I said Santa is watching and he’s not going to bring you new cars. How effed up is that!? I was helpless. I had to do it. He drank the juice. Went to sleep. But I had to call out of my office magazine job today because he was still clearly sick. The Ped did a strep throat test (since JD’s throat was “red and raw”) and I pretty much needed to be sedated after that (sticking a long Q-tip in JD’s mouth? Um, no). It came up negative, which means no quick fix antibiotics. The test is “cooking” more tonight to see if something might grow, so perhaps tomorrow, he’ll get some meds (he won’t take—even with the flavor shot from the pharmacist or a candy coated cup) or be miraculously better. On top of worrying about my little guy and feeling sad that he is in pain (uh, it's the worst!), I’m also stressing about work because I’m freelance—when I don’t show up, I don’t get paid. Obviously, JD can’t go to school tomorrow and there’s no one to watch him, but me. ME.
It’s fine. Deep breath. Everything is fine.
Did I mention, I'm constantly asking myself, "Do I feel sick? Am I gonna puke? Am I tired today?" I also washed my condo in antibacterial wipes when JD went down for his nap. Like, obsessively washed. FYI: Flu Shots Are A Must! Read This.
Are your kids sick? Do they hate meds too? Did they get a flu shot? Did you?