Cuckoos and Flu-ids Still Flying

Yesterday, I fell for it. Wee Man was so much better — happy, making fart jokes, picking fights with his sister — things were back to normal but for the occasional hack.

These two and I were all smiles yesterday for Wee Man's followup after a night of albuterol and very little sleep. But then darkness fell...

These two and I were all smiles yesterday for Wee Man’s followup after a night of Albuterol and very little sleep. But then darkness fell…

This was after a night of breathing treatments every two hours, which was after a night of many trips up and down the stairs as he was getting sick. And this was after two nights of the same with his sister.

My cognitive functions were well below their usual below average on that first trip to the doc Thursday. Usually when a doctor tells me my child needs a medicine he or she has never had before, I do a little research. My smart phone has Google on speed dial. But I was short-circuited. When I was told my son needed Tamiflu to cover all our bases, I should’ve let my fingers do the walking. But I could barely lift my head at that point, much less use it.

And following two extremely painful, simultaneous shots of powerful antibiotic, Wee Man made a dramatic recovery in 24 hours. No more sneezing. No complaints of nausea. Nary a hint of barf. Breathing treatments were suddenly few and far between.

So when Dr. Igettogohomewherenoonewillspewonmeallnight told me Tamiflu “won’t hurt him,” I should’ve realized he was talking about himself in the third person. He suffered no damage whatsoever last night, as far as I know. Dillon was the one up from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. barfing, and I was up catching it. We did manage almost three hours of sleep before the explosive diarrhea kicked in around 5 a.m.

Dare I type it? That may have stopped in the last five minutes.

But the Tamiflu is definitely on the way out. Turns out vomiting and diarrhea are common side effects, which I would’ve appreciated knowing and typically would’ve asked about had all the cylinders been firing. One study showed more than half the kids taking the drug suffered from nasty digestive distress.

I guess it’s unfair to blame Tamiflu for Dillon now being almost as miserable as when he was diagnosed with pneumonia/possible flu two days ago. He did start Zithromax last night. But he’s taken that before with no such gastrointestinal terror.

Oh, wait. Dillon’s back in the bathroom again. Scratch that line two graphs up. Back shortly.

On the upside, the new washer/dryer set that arrived yesterday got a helluva workout. The fourth load since midnight is in the dryer now, and everything’s coming out looking nice. Plus, it has this cute little chime that sounds like Willy Wonka summoning the Oompa Loompas. It was mildly soothing as Dillon and I raced back and forth to the toilet all night.

Loco is playing the part of a therapy cat this morning. If Dillon drifts off, I'm hauling that cat to the couch and handing him a notebook and pen for my session.

Loco is playing the part of a therapy cat this morning. He looks more than a little concerned about what may come shooting out of Wee Man from one end or the other. If Dillon drifts off, I’m hauling that cat to the couch and handing him a notebook and pen for my session.

So this morning we’ve got cartoons cranked and Pediapops slowly melting their way into the Wee Man’s tortured tummy. I’m trying to maintain my caffeine-free lifestyle and half-marathon delusions, but I think both will have to stay on hold one more day.

But that’s OK. The runs to the bathrooms must end at some point. That will be a sweet, sweet victory indeed. Wish us luck.

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One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

It’s been a rough week in McGinleyville. Thing 1 missed two days of school before rallying Wednesday, which of course was the day Thing 2 started to spew snot. By yesterday, Wee Man was miserable and we were in the doctor’s office.

I gave the rundown of symptoms plus the sick sister background. Congestion, complaints of nausea, breathing treatments — fairly standard stuff for my boy who should’ve spent his early years in a plastic bubble. This is the kid who arrived early and kept us in the clinic drive-through for the first three years of his life.

Yes, I know we’ve got a flu epidemic rocking the country. But after my trip to the doc’s, I can’t help but wonder how accurate all those numbers are. Especially because even though no one in my family has any of the major flu symptoms, Wee Man was diagnosed with a possible case because “not everyone presents all the symptoms.”

OK, fair enough. But our patient has a history of allergies, asthma and pneumonia. The doc didn’t swab anything or draw anything, but he used the f-word based on the fact that there’s a nationwide epidemic and our man’s symptoms include snot, sneezing and difficulty breathing (which he can have after walking through a barn or when the temps drop).

Strikes me as a little crazy. Yes, I have killer aim with my rock arm off the balcony of my glass house.

I’m not a doctor, but I play one on the internet. I’ve also watched a lot of “House.” So like the team at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, my initial diagnosis was sarcoidosis. And like my TV dream team, my first diagnosis is always wrong. But then I found this handy list of symptoms, which further convinces me none of us has the flu.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/

We’re all praying this epidemic passes. I pulled in the big guns. Love this shot by Mike Licht.

I also know what goes into nationwide fear-mongering. I’ve been on that side of the news desk. I’ve covered scary stories about missing bubonic plague, home invasions involving hookers and sex toys, fake penises used to circumvent pesky drug tests (OK, probably more funny than scary. But I love to share that link.) and more.

So I know fear drives both media producers and consumers, and I have a very high resistance to the mind viruses we can pick up through what we read or see on the news.

If only our healthcare professionals were similarly immune.

I know each of us is doing the best with what we know at all points of the day. And that I’m not really a doctor. But I just wish we could all let go of a little bit of fear and focus more on what’s going right.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/3501758728/”>Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Church Chat

I try to not project my insecurities, prejudices and general psychoses on my children. I really do. But I often fail.

So when the Roo asked if we could go to church, I sent a quick SOS heavenward.

“Why do you want to go?” I asked.

“Because all my friends do,” she replied.

So I wasn’t thrilled that the request was prompted by pack mentality, but at least it wasn’t because she’d realized what sinners we are and we must immediately go cleanse our souls before Tio Diablo shows up to call us home. And the more we talked, the more I realized she has a genuine curiosity about that aspect of her friends’ lives rather than a compulsion to follow the herd.

I have a Protestant hangover that won’t quit. I attended a private church school throughout elementary. My family did the church thing while we were younger, then it faded to the background. In high school I usually attended on my own, often with real hangovers. While there were good times in the light of the stained glass windows, church rarely moved my soul or inspired me to new spiritual heights.

As an adult, I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with organized religion because so many seem to use it as a weapon or reason to deny love to others. I want my kids to ask their own questions and make up their own minds about the bigger picture. I don’t want that to be programmed into their impressionable young minds. As the Roo once so eloquently told her devout Catholic friend’s entire family, “We don’t go to church because we don’t like people telling us what to think.”

Is there an echo in here?

So I had a very quick, intense chat with myself before wrapping up our talk.

Me to myself: Oh crap. This is what happens when you live so close to Focus on the Family. She’s been infected with the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in Her Heart. How do I keep her from going crazy cracker Christian on me?

Myself to me: Easy there, St. Prejudicia. Don’t teach your kid to discriminate against people who don’t think the same way you do. You and Jesus still love each other very much, you’ve just agreed to see other people. Fortunately he’s secure enough to not feel threatened by your attraction to Buddha.

Me to myself: But what if she likes it? What if she wants to go every Sunday and I have to give up my time in the Church of the Open Saddle?

Myself to me: If she likes it, that means she’s happy. Isn’t that our entire reason for being? And you’ll find other ways to sneak out to the barn and get your equine therapy. You may even like it, too.

So I took a deep breath and told her we’d hit the pew on Sunday. As a compromise to myself, we visited the local gay church. They were kind, welcoming and put on a pretty good show. The singers were amazing, the piano player was FAB-u-lous and the drummer was way too much.

Riley loved it.

bible boa

As for me, myself and I, it was a bit too traditional for our taste. I was a little disappointed that nobody stepped up to the mic with a feather boa and a Bible. But I’m willing to give it another try. And if somebody knows where I can get the sheet music to the gospel version of “It’s Raining Men,” please post a link in the comments section.