Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sick dude

3B has been sick since Monday. At first we thought maybe he partied a little too hearty at the Super Bowl party we went to, but this seems to be a bona fide virus of the nasty sort, complete with high fever, lethargy, aches, pains and glassy eyes.

Today, Mama had meetings in the office that she couldn't miss, so I stayed home with 3B. Sadly, it was a pretty relaxing day because it took all of his energy just to sit around and watch videos. Actually, we did play zoom-zoom cars and (doll)house for a short time this morning, but he was still ready for a nap at 11. He normally goes down at about 1.

Because I didn't want him to go down to early and leave us with the longest achy afternoon ever, I strung him along until noon, mostly by reading to him. It worked because that was all that he had the energy for and even on a good day, he's willing to sit through a 60+ page book like Pickles the (Gay) Fire Cat. So we read that and Green Eggs and Ham before he collapsed into his crib. He normally takes about 45 minutes after we leave his room to fall asleep. Today, he fell asleep while I was singing Hush Little Baby to him while stroking his hair.

That's a first.

But it's been a week of firsts. This weekend we went to, as 3B says, "a different playground." We've been there before, but apparently not regularly enough. Because it was in close proximity to a bagel shop and Mama had a massive craving for a bagel sandwich, we told 3B that we'd go there after the playground. Apparently, he believed that we'd walk there because when we left the playground, he walked right past our car and headed into Old Town, as if he'd walk all the way to D.C., if that's where the shop was. We finally convinced him to let us drive a little closer by telling him that he'd still get to walk there--we weren't about to discourage his preference for walking over carrying.

Nevertheless, on our way from the reparked car to the bagel shop, we got our first, "Are we there yet?" To which I believe Mama said, "No. Hurry up, you two." Just kidding. I couldn't hear what she said, since she walking away a block ahead of us while we listened to the half-hearted trumpet busker, who 3B would have gone home with if I hadn't peeled him away.

The other two firsts were both related to this damn virus. Last night, 3B cried out in his sleep at about 4 a.m.--the insomniac know, just close enough to the waking hour that you never really get back to sleep. I can't remember what he wanted, but he specifically requested me, so Mama and I were both in there, giving him another dose of Motrin, some water and singing to him. He was just about asleep when we left, but when he heard the door latch behind us, he cried out loud enough to wake the neighbors, "Hey! Don't go out without me! I'm upset now!"

Mama and I laughed loud enough to wake the neighbors.

And then today, I heard words come out of my son's mouth that I've never heard from him before. I heard them several times, and each time I heard them and looked into his glassy eyes, these words deflated me just a little.

This from a boy whose normal daily activity level makes a pachinko ball in a machine tumbling down a staircase during an earthquake look stationary in comparison: "I'm tired. I need to rest."

Subscribe to the Bradstein feed--Vorsprung durch Technik!


  1. I feel your pain. My boy woke up Saturday with a fever and a headache. He did not ski either day and tomorrow he goes back to school for the first time this week. I hope yours does not hang on as long as his did. Five days of sick boy is too much. At least it responds to Motrin, and each day the peak is lower and the Motrin lasts longer.

  2. Anonymous2:59 PM

    Buy the kid a milkshake. Thats what my moms did for me. Tell him its on the King.

    TCB on hotel illness.

  3. CAGirl: Ugh. Sorry to hear that. Give my nephew a hug or a kiss or whatever's cool at his age from his uncle and aunt and cousin. If it helps, you can say it's just from his aunt. Or cousin.

    King: One of the only things he's eating is ice cream--go figure, right? I'll tell him it's on the King.

  4. 3B: you & me both pal.
    I'm sick too.

    Mama & Papa: oh, that picture is! I can practically feel the fever & fatigue.

    Hope you guys don't ALL get it!
    Hope we all feel better soon!

  5. L-P: Sorry to hear that. I hope that you feel better soon. After a visit to the doctor today, he'll be on the mend soon.

  6. I hope he is feeling better enough to come see me and his cousin D. I am looking forward to seeing him, even if he is sick.

    I always felt guilty for the relaxing days of kids illnesses. I wanted them to stay sick longer so I could have more of a break.

    I am glad you got him diagnosed. My oldest who feels pain as much as your next oldest brother (not at all) got to the stage in ear infections when he would throw up, preferably all over me. Sometimes without a fever. I hope 3B didn't get that gene.

  7. He doesn't report anything hurting, but that may just be a lack of communication skills to express it. He's definitely cranky about something at times. Could be his ear hurts, or it could be that he's tired of me asking if his ear hurts. He did miss the no-fever gene, however. He was up to 103.3 when he went to the doctor today. Here's hoping we skipped the barfing gene too. (knocking on wood)

  8. Anonymous5:07 PM

    I was in the midst of leaving this comment last night at about 10:15 pm, when Firefox decided to choke. I actually saved it to a Word doc so that I wouldn't lose my pearls of wisdom I wanted to so lovingly pass on to you. Today, seems like overkill, but ah well:

    Even though IMHO fevers are beneficial in the long run (tuning up the old immune system, plus other esoteric stuff I won't fill your blog with), which is why I don't give my kids Motrin, they still suck to go through. You know the kid is sick when he just wants to lay around and take lotsa naps. I hope 3B finishes up all this hard work soon and is back to his normal pachinko self.

  9. Amama: Thanks for your continued concern. According to Sears, fever reducers don't reduce the beneficial immune system activity, although I have no idea how they effect the more esoteric effects of fevers.

    So, what do you do if you suspect an ear infection? Where do you draw the line, if you draw it?

  10. My daughter had an abscessed tooth at the tender age of 2 as a result of a fall at 13 months and lots of thumb sucking. When the dentist asked why I did not bring her in sooner, all I could say was that I had never had one and she never said it hurt.

    At that age, they report pain that is caused externally (I bumped my knee,) but not internal pain for which they know no cause. They do not understand that you CAN and WILL do something to make it better yet. Each of my kids had exactly one ear infection. Too bad yours did not get that gene.

  11. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Well, my kids have been remarkably able to express their illnesses verbally, so I'm lucky that way.

    There's also the trick of pressing on the little triangular flap of skin in front of the ear opening (the tragus)--if they act like it hurts, they have an earache.

    And I've also had good luck applying onion juice externally to their ears for earaches -- I know, another funky home remedy, but it works! (Though, it didn't do jack for my earache the other day, but I was already on the way to a ruptured eardrum, so I think it was too late.)

    Each kid is different. My son had a fever once for a short time of 105 and didn't act that sick! (He had roseola at 18 months.) So the important thing is what you wrote in the next post: use your instincts and your observation of the child to guide you.

    I have given my kids ibuprofen on occasion (though I'm not sure I believe Dr. Sears on suppressing the immune function), as I have also given them conventional decongestants and cough suppressants. But I try to avoid them and try herbal, homeopathic, or home remedies first.

  12. So, no antibiotics for ear infections?