Flu happens

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It seems the flu has hit our house. So far only one little elf has succumbed to the nasty virus.
Despite the bottles of Lysol I have used on every door knob, surface and common object, I still feel like the flu isn’t through with us.
Our baby is sleeping on the couch under a pile of quilts, snoring like a fat old man. She hasn’t been sick much since she came home to us.
As a bowlegged twenty month old, she had a bit of asthma and double ear infections when she was handed to me. We bonded those first few nights by staying awake and crying. We didn’t figure out why she couldn’t sleep until we took her to the doctor. He determined that her ears were the the reason for the restless nights. By then, I was a lunatic who hadn’t slept in three nights either. Antibiotics and liquid pain reliever helped us get on track and life has been great ever since, well, almost.
Just like any normal family, we get things. We had a week of stomach viruses a few years back. There is always someone coughing or sneezing, but, all in all, we are a pretty healthy bunch.
Monday I received a call from the oldest. She was not feeling well. This girl is 13, and she loves school. I knew she must be sick. Later in the day when I picked up the other two from school, the never ending competition began. The oldest said her throat hurt. The middle said her stomach hurt. Not to be outdone the littlest said her throat and stomach hurt. The oldest said her head felt like it would explode. Baby sister piped up, “You’ve got me there.” She knows when she is beat.
I decided it would be easier to go ahead and take everybody to the doctor. Miraculously, Pediatric Clinic had three openings for later in the day. They were all weighed and prodded, measured and swabbed, and when it was over we left with a “fever virus” diagnosis and instructions to come back if anyone got worse. I was told there was nothing they could really do if any of them had flu other than treat the symptoms.
We collected juice and ginger ale and went home to batten down the hatches. During the night everyone got better, except the youngest. She woke up with a high fever and could barely talk. I have to admit, at first I thought that would be a nice break, but I soon realized when she’s sick I miss her chatter.
So, here I am with this sick girl. I really believe she has the flu. All the signs are there, and she wasn’t actually swabbed for it, which leaves it for Dr. Mom to diagnose. If I’ve ever seen the flu, this is it.
She has slept nearly nonstop since Monday night; she wakes up to sip something and swallow Motrin. I finally got her to eat a thimble full of chicken soup. I have been watching her like a hawk watches a rat in a ditch. The two dogs have been watching her too, like little four legged nurses. Every so often one will edge close enough to lick her on the hand or nap on her feet.
All this brings back memories of the first few nights. Thankfully, she can communicate with me now. I don’t have to look in those sad brown eyes and wonder what hurts. She still sounds like she swallowed gravel and she’s missed so much school work I don’t know if she’ll ever catch up. We will be doing math and reading Alabama History until the new year.
Hopefully, by then the flu will just be a memory.
Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.

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