The Sick House

A week ago tonight, germs invaded my house. They must have developed a crush on my mess-loving, rarely-clean toddler, because on Tuesday morning, he woke up looking like he’d been hit by a truck. I’m talking glassy eyes, runny nose, lots of sneezing, rattling chest, raspy voice, 102* fever and a cough that, if you didn’t know any better, would lead you to believe that we’d replaced him with a seal from Sea World.

I hemmed and hawed for a few days on calling the doctor because I knew what they’d tell me — that, due to his age, there would be nothing I could give him that would make him feel better sooner rather than later. Sure enough, when I finally gave the doctor’s office a call on Friday morning, that’s just about exactly what I got. “He’s too young for over-the-counter medicines. Just keep running the humidifier, applying VapoRub, and aspirating his nose. Keep him fully dressed in warm clothing at all times. Let him sleep whenever he wants to. Try to get him to drink some tea with honey and lemon in it.”

Tell me something I don’t know.

That’s what I’ve been doing for a week, and we’re finally starting to see some improvement. Joshua woke up this morning with clear eyes, quiet breathing, and a stronger voice; the fever left him late last week, and the faucet that has been his nose is slowing down. The barking cough, however, remains an issue. Hubs and I wouldn’t worry so much if it were just a cough, but we’re hearing a lot of mucus rising into Joshua’s throat and mouth and then we can only watch as he swallows it. It’s certainly exacerbating the problem, and I really wish he understood to spit out the mucus. Hubs has starting slapping his back in the midst of a coughing fit and he’s thrown up a good amount of it which, while disgusting and miserable to behold, has seemed to help him for short periods.

Snuggling with Frankie was also helpful.

Over the weekend, we took a trip to Walmart (because, frankly, I was going stir-crazy and needed to get out of the house for a while) and discovered Hyland’s 4 Kids Cold ‘n Cough. At first I was skeptical, because I don’t love the idea of medicating my two-year-old, but after a week of misery I caved and picked up the box. The medicine is thin and clear — it really looks a lot like water — and it had a faint honey smell to it. Getting Joshua to take the first dose was a fight because, like most children, he hates taking medicine. (Can you blame him?) However, after he took the first dose we noticed his coughs were fewer and further between and, when he did cough, it was more productive and “wet” as opposed to the horrible barking sound we’d been listening to all week. He didn’t fight as much when we gave him another dose this morning, and it’s had the same effect on his symptoms. I think we’ll keep using it until he’s feeling better.

Slowly but surely, my little boy is regaining his health. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss my furniture-climbing messy man. As much as I’ve loved spending lots of time reading and cuddling with him this past week, I’m ready for him to be healthy again, and I think he’s ready to be healthy, too.

One thing I’m not ready for? To be sick myself. I’ve noticed that I’ve been coughing more than usual the last few days…and I can only hope that taking my vitamins, drinking lots of tea, and continuing to wash my hands until they’re raw will keep the bug away!

  • Oh poor little boy! I want to reach out and hug him. You are doing great, mama, taking care of the baby. Must be so frustrating not being able to heal him quickly. Gosh, I admire you for your perseverance and patience as he slowly makes his way through recovery. Wishing he gets better real soon! And you rest, too. We don’t want mama sick. Hugs!

  • readathomemama

    Thank you Carmen! Unfortunately I’m already sick but I’m doing everything I can to make sure it passes quickly!