You know that drippy, snotty nose all of our toddlers have, literally all winter long? That rumble-y cough that sounds like our 2-year-olds have a pack-a-day cigarette habit? I am three children deep into this parenting gig, and typically don’t think twice about a little snot and a phlegmy hack.
Germs run rampant at most preschools and daycares, and let’s just say I am so happy to live in a world where antibiotics and flu shots exist.
About a week before Thanksgiving this year, I noticed suddenly my two-year-old had the glossy-eyed fever look. She had been snotty and coughing for several days, but it seemed nothing to write home about. Sure enough, she had a fever. The next day, I got a call from our preschool that mid-day, our 4-year-old suddenly came down with a fever and I urgently needed to come pick her up.
I could feel my mom radar suddenly go into overdrive. Could it be the flu? Ear infections? Strep? We loaded up on children’s Advil and decided to rest. By Friday evening, however, I decided I needed to bring my 2-year- old into Urgent Care due to her extreme discomfort. We had to wait FOREVER to be seen and sit amongst the other sick, hacking, fever-ish children and their worried parents.
Several chest x-rays, exams, and breathing treatments later – we were able to go home with (lots of medicine) and the advice of seeing our regular pediatrician the next day. I brought both girls to the doctor the next morning – and we walked out with a diagnosis of walking pneumonia! My poor little babies had been struggling to breathe normally, all triggered by a little snotty nose and cough. By this point, neither they (nor I) had slept well in days and days.
My fingers were bleeding from the amount of bleach I was using to disinfect our home.
By the grace of God, and antibiotics, they quickly felt better. The whole experience was incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking for all of us. No one was sleeping. No one was eating. I was biting my husband’s head off because he didn’t know how to help me. Would I ever look at a snotty nose the same way again?
We, as moms (and dads), do everything in our power to keep our kiddos healthy. Vitamins, probiotics, plenty of sunshine and exercise, fruits and vegetables, vaccinations, exercise, hand washing…there isn’t much more we can do. Viruses and other illnesses are just a fact of life – but gosh, does it have me looking forward to Spring!
And don’t worry, just as we were recovering from the pneumonia…my oldest woke me up in the middle of the night because she threw up all over her bathroom. Mom life is the best life (I frequently remind myself).