My family was having a healthy winter season. Eerily healthy. We dealt with one minor cold, but nothing really to speak of. I beat the odds and staved off my annual month long virus-from-hell culminating in a sinus infection and a few rounds of antibiotics event. My youngest had his tonsils out last year and it seemed to make all the difference. By early February I thought my family had beat the viral odds. I thought wrong.
It all began when my husband was sent home sick from work one Saturday morning in February. I could tell he didn’t have a typical cold. For starters, he struggled to get off the couch. I encouraged him to see a doctor and when he did he was diagnosed with the flu. UGH. We all got the flu vaccine. Since it hadn’t prevented his flu infection, the rest of us had to be susceptible, too. Great. I went into extreme disinfecting/nursemaid mode. I sanitized every surface, floor, and nook and cranny of my house daily. Windows were cracked open to allow fresh air to replace airborne germs. My husband spent four days resting on the couch and I kept chicken soup, drinks, meals, medicine, vitamins, and tissues in constant supply. It was Presidents Day weekend and I had a few days off from work because I am a teacher. I really needed the break and I didn’t get to spend the long weekend the way I had hoped to, but at least no one else in our family got the flu.
A few weeks later, my youngest son ended up catching a nasty virus. I continued on in my extreme disinfecting/nursemaid mode. I made a pot of chicken soup, pumped fluids and Tylenol into my son, and he rested on the couch. Within a few days, his fever broke. His congestion lasted for over three weeks though. Since he is prone to sinus infections, he did a morning and evening neti pot salt and distilled water rinse. Let’s just say my kid wasn’t thrilled, but the neti pot rinses removed gobs of mucus and a sinus infection seemed to be averted. I thought things were moving in the right direction.
After spending the month cleaning and taking care of sick family members, I was run down and ended up catching my son’s virus. I made another pot of chicken soup, did neti pot rinses, and tried (unsuccessfully) to get some rest. After a few weeks, I ended up with a sinus infection and an antibiotics prescription. I’ve had a nagging cough for over a month, but I’m on the mend so I won’t complain.
My son was BARELY over his first virus when he came home from school coughing and sluggish a second time. Luckily, it was a Friday afternoon and he had the whole weekend to rest and recuperate, or so I thought. He ended up in the ER by Sunday night because his fever wasn’t responding to Advil and Tylenol. I was pretty certain he had a sinus infection, but the ER doctor didn’t want to prescribe antibiotics because he felt my son’s symptoms were likely indicative of a viral infection. I understand the concern about antibiotics overuse, I really do, but my son had been congested for nearly a month. If he didn’t have an infection yet, he was certainly going to have one soon enough. In vain, I kept up the neti pot rinses twice daily and Advil doses. Six days later, right on cue, my son woke up crying in the middle of the night complaining of severe ear pain. I knew it had to be bad because my kid didn’t cry ONCE when he had his adenoids out at four years old or when he had his tonsils out at six years old. I gave him a dose of Advil and comforted him until its effects kicked in and he was able to fall back to sleep. Poor kid. I’m not going to lie, I silently cursed the ER doctor the whole time.
When my son woke up crying the next morning, I promptly gave him another dose of Advil and we were off to the doctor. It wasn’t shocking that he had a raging ear infection, and the green gluey mucus that came streaming out of his nose after taking antibiotics for a few days wasn’t surprising either. At least this happened during the first weekend of our April break and my son had a full week to recover. I’ll say this, though…I am so freaking sick of sicknesses. We haven’t had one illness-free day in my house since the middle of February. Enough already. Honestly, summer can’t come soon enough.