If you’ve been following my Twitter feed in the last week, you’ll know that my daughter, Nora, got a pretty bad cold. It began as a bad fever, and evolved into horrible chest and nasal congestion accompanied by a heinous cough. This cough has been so bad that it has caused her to throw up on several occasions, one of them directly on me… that was a fun first.
Nora is a giver, too. She decided to share her illness with my wife by Thursday, and the two of them have been “out of commission” the entire weekend. So far (knocking on wood), I’ve been able to avoid the worst of this junk, but being stuck in the “tuberculosis den” (as my father-in-law called it) for this long will likely take its undesired effect sooner rather than later.
What have I learned over the past week? As parents, when your kid is sick (at this age – 16 months), your life basically comes to a screeching halt. Why? Because here’s what you can’t (or feel you can’t) do when your kid is this sick:
- Take your kid to daycare.
- Leave your kid with a babysitter
- Ignore your kid’s crying in the night (when your kid starts sleeping through the night, you find yourself waiting out any sort of outbursts until they become sustained. When they’re sick, you hesitate to wait it out.)
There’s nothing sadder than a sick baby, and there’s nothing worse than just having to wait out an illness. At the same time, there’s this slight sort of suffocation that comes over you when you’re constantly in a waiting mode to comfort your baby. Like you know you can’t really get out of the house, but you really, really, really want to. (Maybe it’s that I work from home now… I can’t tell.)
Another true first (and we’re thankful this is a first at this age rather than earlier) was a small moment of dread during her doctor’s appointment. There was some concern that Nora might have RSV (and consequently, my wife would likely have it as well). While not usually a fatal illness, at Nora’s age, it usually leads to hospital time.
Thankfully, she doesn’t have RSV, but the best I can describe that sinking anticipation of the diagnosis? I had a lump in my throat, my heart was pumping, and I was almost twitchy.
I’m rambling a bit, but I’m also running on very little sleep given that with my wife being sick, I was on night duty with a little girl who hasn’t slept much all week either. (And it may be worse now because Nora sleeps through the night consistently, so her not doing so is completely throwing me off.)
Anyway, hopefully the rest of my “tuberculosis den” recovers quickly so we can all get back to work and daycare respectively.