September 27, 2011

Everyone Can Go Back to School Tomorrow

We have a virus going through our house. Henry got it first: he was kind of tired and dazed and quiet, which should have tipped me off but I was just grateful, and then he got a fever of 103, and he said his throat hurt so I thought "Oh please not strep, please not strep"---and then the next day he was fine. No fever. No sore throat. No quietness.

I wondered at first if maybe the fever killed it off before it took root? or something? We go by what our pediatrician says, which is basically "Fever is good! Make friends with it! Invite it to come over and play! Unless it gets Unspecified Too High, at which point you should panic and freak out and we'll reproach you for not panicking earlier!" (Note: they do not reproach us, except in my head when I am fretting.) The pediatrician's nurse said she draws the line at 102: before 102, let the fever do its work; at 102 and above, medicate if the child is uncomfortable, or let it go if not. My own line is "Try to medicate before they start fever-barfing." (This is a difficult line to find.)

Anyway, I would have been patting fever on the back in a congratulatory manner, except then Rob and Elizabeth got 103 degree fevers and sore throats, and Rob's was 1/10th of a degree from being 104, and they were red-faced and miserable and didn't want to watch television, and both of them fell asleep on chairs in the living room. And they both felt better the next day---and that's when William and Edward got 103-degree fevers and sore throats. And Paul came home from work early with a 103-degree fever and a sore throat, and THAT'S when I got a little alarmed, because kids get fevers all the time but adults often don't. So I googled it, and all I could find were reassurances that adult fevers under 101 were nothing to be concerned about, except of course if it's the first sign of cancer, so don't be ridiculous! Okay, thanks! I'll come back when I'm wondering about an adult fever under 101!

Today EVERYONE IS HOME. Paul is home from work. None of the kids are going to school: two of them are probably well enough, but I didn't want to be like "Oh, hi, I'm calling in THREE of my children with high fevers and sore throats, but here are the other two for you okay bye see you after school!" The good news is that everyone's pretty much fine today: even the sicker kids' fevers are down to "just a little warm," throats are no longer sore, or else sore but not getting worse. Requests for juice, water, applesauce, toast---those continue. It's the kind of sick where everyone is kind of enjoying being sick. Except me, the only one not sick and so HANDMAIDEN TO ALL.

This morning I escaped to the grocery store. We were running low on toast and apple juice and MIND-ALTERING SUBSTANCES. I took my sweet time. I walked down every single aisle. I also got a cup of coffee, which I've never done before because I don't get how it's supposed to work: it's a non-lidded styrofoam cup, and I don't know how to walk around with that while pushing a cart. Today I was willing to sacrifice the time it would take to play out that experiment. And it turns out I'm right: you kind of just have to stand there drinking it. I did manage to walk around, but I was pushing the cart with one hand and my waist, and there were a couple of times that clarified why I so often see coffee spilled all over the plastic seat and handle.

I came home reluctantly, with milk and eggs and juice and applesauce and bread and apple cider doughnuts and Kit-Kats and wine.

28 comments:

Hillary said...

Reading this, I was reminded of the part in On The Banks of Plum Creek when the entire family falls ill of scarlet fever. May no one end up blind from this mystery fever.

Sarah said...

Ugh. Totally feel your pain. Everyone warned me that since this was Addy's first year at school, she would inevitably bring home a nasty bug within a week. I scoffed, and was promptly punished for my optimism with the barfing flu all around. LESSON LEARNED. I shall not scoff again, universe, I humbly promise.
Also: APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS OMG. I am going to hunt some of those down ASAP.

Alice said...

oh SWISTLE. that sounds miserable. for you, i mean. i'm sure 103 degree fevers are no picnic, but they have YOU to make them feel better. i hope they allllll go back to school/work tomorrow. also maybe buy more wine.

missris said...

Oooh boy that sounds awful! Mainly for you. Did you buy only a bottle or an entire bucket of wine? The boxes with a pour spout are kind of awesome because you can just refill your glass every time you walk by one, like a water cooler. Highly recommend.

Nik-Nak said...

Why THE HELL is the mom is the only one who never gets it?? *knocking on wood furiously* I can get the sinus junk but that's usually it. However, my house can be down with the flu and I'm running around playing nursie. Nutso, I tell ya.

"he was kind of tired and dazed and quiet, which should have tipped me off but I was just grateful"
.......I so dig that right there. Like, I just felt you when I read it. And then I felt kind of guilty ha!

Reading (and chickens) said...

I'm glad you're not sick, because if your house is anything like mine, even if you WERE sick, you'd STILL be the handmaiden to all.

Dr. Maureen said...

Oh no! Poor, poor Swistle. It is so hard to be the nurse to everyone. I always want to yell, "SNAP OUT OF IT!" at people, even when the people are small and clearly sick. I have a limited amount of loving patience, and once it's gone, I'm just a bundle of resentment. Especially when Andrew is home, because them I'm all, "If *I* were sick, TOO BAD FOR ME. I don't get to take a sick day. Instead, I get to schlep two kids to the doctor with me and entertain them."

Lawyerish said...

Oh, God, on top of the children being home sick, you have a Man Fever in the house. I am so sorry!

And now I am in dire need of apple cider donuts. MUST FIND IMMEDIATELY.

Farrell said...

love the groceries, esp. the kit-kats and wine:)
Sorry everyone was sick, hope you don't get it and glad everyone is on the mend again!

Christy said...

I've been watching your tweets with dismay as more and more of the family gets sick.

And, while I feel you on the nursemaid thing when everyone else is sick, it's better than if you were also sick, since you're STILL the nursemaid. Grrr.

I'm off to look for doughnuts. Maybe when I give blood later, the Red Cross will have some?

Clarabella said...

I should have told you yesterday on Twitter, but my partner, and *adult* male, gets fevers ALL THE TIME, never 103, mind you, but his body fights even the slightest thing with Fever! Immediately! It just struck me as funny when you said you don't usually hear about adults with fevers, because I do all the time. Hope you make it out unscathed. You might want to bathe in Vitamin C or something.

Maggie said...

I echo other commenters with thanks that you are not also sick because if your house is like mine, even if you were at death's door, you'd STILL be nursemaid to all.

My son got the mystery fever thing this summer (bummer for him) and freaked me out when he voluntarily took a two hour nap in the afternoon. He's nearly 9 and hasn't taken a nap since he was 4.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

UGH! The only non-sick person in a house full of SIX SICK people? Yikes. I am very glad you were able to get away, if only for a short time, and that you were able to procure some sugary treats and wine.

What is the deal with no information about fevers OVER 101? There's just... fevers of 101 or below and death? Bleh.

Leeann said...

I love the way you write. You make everything interesting.
Hugs to all the sick ones in your family.

Firegirl said...

Glad everyone's on the mend & hope that you continue to be the healthy one. Love the grocery store escape!

One more reason to live in the PNW? Coffee cup holders on grocery carts. (:-D Let's hear it for being the home state of the starbucks.

d e v a n said...

i'd say the wine was a definite necessity on that list!

Our Target has a starbucks inside and they have these nifty little cup holder you can snap on the cart handle. Love it!
Of course, it doesn't work so well if you have a toddler sitting in the front of the cart.

StephLove said...

I'm guessing doughnuts and Kit-Kats and wine all fall into the "mind-altering substances" category.

I hope everyone is better soon and that you don't get sick yourself. (Or that if you do, Paul takes good care of you.)

Slauditory said...

It sounds like you're going to have a loooong few days. Hope everyone feels better and that YOU don't get sick!

Mrs. CPA said...

Tip for grocery carting with something in your hands (and probably no kids in the basket). Pull the cart from the other end. You can steer better and you are dragging the cart rather than pushing and it won't run over your feet, and if you have a long stride you won't stub your toe on the wheels. Although if you are in a sketchy grocery store you might want to put your purse in the big part.

Nellyru said...

Apple. Cider. Doughnuts. Imusthavethesenownownow.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

WE HAVE THE SAME THING OVER HERE.

Sorry for the caps lock. Couldn't help myself.

Z's been sick since Sunday, a regular fever and sore throat. Unfortunately she's not quiet and cuddly, just WHINY. Now E's got it.

If CG gets it next, I QUIT.

Apple Cider Doughnuts? YES PLEASE.

CARRIE said...

I would always so much prefer that I be sick instead of anyone else in my family because if I am sick, I can just lay on the floor. If they are sick, it is a nonstop whine-fest, as well as a days-long marathon of how many times can mom go into the kitchen to get us whatever it is we have requested.

Nicole said...

Very strange mystery illness. But at least no one barfed! That's my measurement of success.

Misty said...

Glad everyone is on the mend. Please do tell more about apple cider donuts and brand names and places I can buy 3 dozen of them to hoard in my car and glut upon.

Thank you.

Swistle said...

Misty- They're so yummy. Our grocery store bakery makes them. My favorites are the glazed ones, but they also make them in sugared, plain, and frosted.

Laura Diniwilk said...

If you make "apple cider donuts/cookies/muffins/whatever" your next baking experiment I would be forever grateful. I love your baking posts and that just sounds amazing.

CAQuincy said...

Wegmans has the cup holders for the carts, too. Heaven!

And...I must go get some apple cider donuts!

And...we've had the mystery fever here, too. Izzy had it last week. Mary has it now. I'm completely grateful that not all of them had it at once, but I'm afeared that Keith will get it next week right as I'm starting my temp job.

And...when I get around to it, I'm going to start posting about possible BABY NAMES! And, I know how much you LOVE hearing about that, so maybe you might want to be in on the discussion from the beginning? Or, you know, HELP us, since we pretty much used up all our baby name choices with our third child???

Superjules said...

It's too bad that you being handmaiden to all probably doesn't translate to when you are sick then everyone is YOUR handmaiden.