Friday, February 11, 2011

When will it end?

So, here we are again, on the verge of another illness. The strep came on the heels of the evil, long-lasting fever, not to mention Jacob's surgery, and now on the heels of the strep comes another one. I think this is just some sort of cold virus, but it's got the potential to be pretty nasty. A couple days ago I noticed that Jacob was coughing. I'm sort of used to it, because he's had so much trouble with coughs in the past (like nine months of the first year of his life), but he hasn't battled it as much this winter as in the past so it surprised me a bit when I noticed it the other night. I was really hoping it was just a fluke--one bad night of congestion, one tickle in his throat--but then it continued. He coughed in bunches, and then it started being more spread out over the course of the day. Then this morning the cough was joined by a runny nose. So far it's been clear, but I'm guessing that won't last. When we went into daycare this morning, I mentioned the symptoms, and they said to watch him closely, as other kids with coughs ended up with 103-105 degree temperatures. Lovely.

This afternoon when I picked Jacob up, they said that they checked his temperature at 5pm, and it came back at 100. He didn't seem too phased by it, though. But as we were leaving he started to get a little whiny. I suggested pancakes for dinner, which seemed to perk him up, and we headed out. He ate great, though...good enough to get himself a treat, which he ended up eating very little of. We had a decent evening (Craig's got a game), and I got him down a few minutes early. When I checked his temperature, I couldn't get it up to even 99, so I'm not sure if their check was a fluke or if his body was fighting it off. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Every now and then I hear a cough coming over the monitor, and it makes me sad. I've listened to coughs like that so many times before, and it's so helpless. No amount of water helps, and toddlers can't take cough medicine. I gave him some Motrin to help him through the night--he was complaining of a sore throat, and I can imagine he's just generally uncomfortable, regardless of any specific symptoms--and that's about all I can do. We all need a good night of sleep, for so many reasons. Not the least of which is my ability to deal with a whiny child, which is inevitably Jacob's most obvious symptom when he's sick.

Every time Jacob gets sick, I'm full of mixed emotions. I mean, I hate to see him sick. It's so hard to watch your child go through illness after illness, and you worry about how it will impact them--both in the long run and short run. You don't want it to hold them back or ruin fun opportunities. I often feel like Jacob hasn't gained weight like some kids just because every illness interrupts any appetite growth. For a kid that hasn't fully figured out how much he likes food yet, I guess there isn't much reason to eat if you're not hungry. On the other hand, I often find myself amazed by how well Jacob usually does when he's sick. He keeps his energy up, and other than general whinyness, he doesn't seem to have many symptom-specific complaints. At first glance, I'm happy because I'm hoping it just isn't bothering him as much as we'd expect. But then I think about it and worry that it doesn't bother him because he's so used to it. After being sick for so long, maybe he just thinks this is how it goes...and that's such a sad thought. He's too young to have to think that way. He's a trooper, but he shouldn't have to be. There's all this talk about how kids in daycare build up all these immunities, but despite having what seems like every illness under the sun, I'm still not seeing it. Maybe we will be the time he's in school. But right now it's hard to deal with the constant onslaught.

I know it could be so much worse. I'm well aware, probably even moreso after the whole mole removal issue. It could have been cancer. Next time it might not end so simply. God forbid, but it's possible. So in comparison, a nasty cold is nothing. But it's not nothing to Jacob. He's the one constantly having to go through all of this, and it's sad. I pray the onslaught stops and spring gets here quickly. It's not a cure-all, but it helps. In the meantime, we're heading into a weekend of unknowns. Let's hope we come out unscathed.

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