a list for friday: thoughts on 38 days of sickness

As we drove to Nana and Pop’s the day after Christmas, Nina started coughing. By New Year’s Day both Miles and I had it, while Nina had moved on to throwing up. My illness was the all-out flu with fever, aches so bad I couldn’t sleep, the whole bit. (I’m not sure if theirs was because I never thought to take their temperatures. Hey, blame their dad, I’m new at this.)

The following week Miles got his sister’s stomach virus and extended it into a three-day event. (If you’re going to do something, do it big.) Then Nina got it again. Then Miles again. After buying new toothbrushes for everyone and spraying a Lysol hedge of protection, we had a few days’ reprieve. Surely we had paid our dues for Winter 2013 and were on our way to health.

Then I got a cold, another bad cough, and pink eye that made a doctor flinch. On Wednesday Matt finally gave in to the plague and spent the day alternately sleeping and watching mediocre movies on TBS. We’re both better now….just in time for Miles to catch it and welcome in February with (another) sick day. As the Pentecostals would say, I’m “believing God” for him being well sometime before high school graduation.

Enough. Let’s focus on the lessons learned during our Month ‘O Sickness!

—Kids are petri dishes with legs.

—The five words you don’t want to hear at 5 am: “Dad, I just threw up.”

—The six you do: “I made it to the bathroom.”

—The “Minute Clinic” should be sued for false advertising.

—Coughing fits always happen in public, usually at the grocery or as you’re about to speak to a group.

—Children can be violently ill at 10am and still want pizza and ice cream for dinner.

—Netflix is a gift to humanity.

—Apparently I still feel compelled to scrub floors when I’m sick.

—Getting the mail is way too big a highlight in my day.

—I’ll admit it’s nice to have a big cuddly dog to hang out with when you feel puny.

—The kids are true optimists. “Well, at least only one eye looks like you got beat up.”

–They’re also sweethearts who settle down at the end of the bed and tell you about their day when you’re too tired to come downstairs, stay pleasant even when they feel icky, and say thank you at least four times when you make them soup and jello.

—Number of days in a row I can have a sore throat before wanting to punch a wall: 9

—Number of times our 14-year-old will sniffle back his snot instead of blowing his nose before Matt loses patience and hands him a Kleenex box: 12

—Number of Twilight Zone episodes I can watch with sick kids before dying of boredom: 2

—Number of times Nina will ask to play “Tiny Towers” on my iPhone: 47,326

—When nothing else tastes good, cinnamon graham crackers and peanut butter still do.

—If you sleep 12 hours straight, you will wake up feeling fantastic. That feeling will fade at 3 am the next morning when you can’t go to sleep.

—Dear anyone who still thinks our health care system isn’t broken: Ironically, during this time I was finalizing the switch from my (crappy) freelancer’s health insurance to Matt’s (slightly less crappy) plan. Although I’m one of 11 people in the lower 48 states who’s not fat, who exercises, who doesn’t smoke, who doesn’t eat meat, and who doesn’t leave the house without sunscreen, my policy went up over $1000 a year because I was once diagnosed with anxiety. Which is also ironic, if you think about it.

—My husband is a saint.

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