An apple a day does not keep the doctor away

Health & Wellness

Cough, cough

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Nathan and John are on the tail-end of a cold. When this happens, their noses usually run pretty bad and they’ll cough a lot. I had taken them to the doctor a few times because of this, thinking it was getting worse, and he explained it’s how their bodies get rid of all the junk the cold produced, and they’re usually not contagious anymore. So Nathan’s been coughing like crazy the past few days, this deep hacking cough. I’ve bee harping all over him to cover his mouth with his elbow and turn his head because hey, I still don’t want mucus sprayed all over me! Yesterday Nathan was looking right at me and coughed right in my face. I got onto him about it and you know what he said to me? He said, “But Mom, I was trying to cough straight but you were in the way so you got coughed on!” It was hard to not laugh. Really, really hard! Because he was so serious when he said it.

My little guy. I love him, coughs and all!

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The things kids say…

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Sometimes kids say the darndest things. When I pick Nathan up from school, we all drive through the front and a teacher walks them out and helps them get into the car. When I picked Nathan up yesterday, the teacher was helping him into his carseat and Nathan asked if Daddy was home.

“Not yet,” I replied. “He’s still at work.”

Then, with all seriousness and a completely straight face, he looked at me and said, “Is Daddy wearing clothes today?” The teacher busted out laughing. I told Nathan that yes, Daddy was wearing clothes today. Just like he does every single day of the year. (No one in my house, including the kids, walks around without clothes on. Well, come summer time, I may have the baby in just his diaper because let’s face it- naked babies in cloth diapers are only the cutest things ever!)

Through fits of laughter, the teacher told me that they’ve learned to not believe anything the kids tell them since they say the most bizzare things. Thank goodness she understands because that might have been a little awkward trying to explain to her that we do indeed wear clothes.

In other news, Nathan had his first ear infection ever. Nathan was fine when I dropped him off at school on Thursday, other than a residual runny nose and cough from a lingering cold. However, when I picked him up from school that day, l could tell something was very wrong. He was crying and holding his little ear, tears streaming down his face like miniature waterfalls. The teacher who brought him out told me he’d been complaining about his ear hurting that day, but it had apparently gotten worse in the last hour or so.

I asked Nathan where he hurt, and he said (obviously) that it was his ear. I asked him if he put anything inside his ear and he said a balloon popped in his ear. Since he’s on the tail end of a nasty cold, I was worried about either an ear infection or a busted ear drum since he said a balloon popped in his ear. Nathan was screaming and crying so hard that he couldn’t talk, so I immediately called his doctor.

I know I’ve said this before, but I have to say it again- I LOVE their pediatrician. When I told the receptionist what was going on, she asked how soon I could be there and I said five minutes. We get there and waited only long enough for me to take Nathan’s coat off before we were called back. Nathan was screaming the whole time and his ear was bright red. He was so pitiful, in fact, that everyone we came across at the doctor’s office tried to offer him words of consolation. “Poor buddy, don’t worry we’ll get that ear taken care of,” “Aw bless him,” “It’s okay little man, we’re going to help you,” among other sweet things.

The doctor took one look at his ear and confirmed it was an ear infection. And while he was looking at his ear, Nathan asked the doctor to get the balloon out. Fortunately, there were no balloon pieces in there. Nathan’s ear drum was bulging from the ear infection, however, but the doctor said since we caught it so early, he was going to be just fine. Administering the numbing drops was another story. They know about his sensory issues, and bless them for being so accomodating. The nurse explained to Nathan exactly what she was going to do and what it would feel like, but he still panicked once she put them in.

See, his brain processes sensory information differently than that of a typical person. Sensory input (such as the wind in our hair, textures, sounds, etc.) that may be annoying or even pleasant for us can be excruciating for him. Even showers are painful for him. Because of his autim, he doesn’t (or can’t) tell us how it feels, but judging from his reaction, I suspect it feels like needles jabbing at his skin. So anyway, the feeling of the cold medicine dripping into his ear caused him to start shrieking and flopping around, but the nurse handled it perfectly. Ironically enough, he really enjoyed having the cotton in his ear, and even asked for another piece when the first one fell out. He was still reeling from the drops when the doctor returned with the prescription, but he was able to calm Nathan down and even solicited a laugh or two by giving high-fives and “missing” a few of them. After the numbing drops and some ibuprofen, we left to drop of a prescription for antibiotics.

After further questioning in the car, Nathan said the balloon popped by his ear at home. I remember that- it happened a week or so ago. When it happened, I remember telling Nathan that we have to be very careful with balloons next time because having them pop by our ears can cause ear pain among other problems. So apparently when his ear started hurting, he thought it was because of the balloon popping. My sweet boy.

Nathan’s on the mend now and back to his old self. I hated seeing him in such pain. This is his first ear infection ever- and after seeing firsthand what kind of pain it causes, my heart really goes out to kids who suffer from numerous ear infections. Sweet Nathan. I’m glad I got him in when I did before it got worse! And I hope he doesn’t have to deal with something like that any time soon!

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Begone, winter germs!

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Sweet Nathan has strep throat. This is the first time he’s ever had it. I got a call from his school yesterday. His teacher said he was just fine that morning; he was playing, laughing, and in great spirits. But when lunch time rolled around, he started complaining about not feeling so well. When his teacher saw he only took one bite of his lunch, she knew something was wrong, so she sent him to the school nurse to have his temperature taken. He had a fever, so they called me to come get him. I love how his teacher knows him well enough to notice when he’s not himself.  When I got there, he was pale and complaining of his stomach hurting, so I was worried he had a stomach bug. After we got home, he threw up, so I took him to the doctor.

He loves going to the doctor! It’s pretty funny. He hated going to the last pediatrician he had. Don’t get me wrong, they were nice and everything, but his new doctor we have now is seriously awesome. They understand Nathan and his sensory issues, so they take their time and explain everything they’re about to do with him. They don’t rush him and have never gotten irritated with him. Plus, he LOVES the play area in the waiting room, so I’m sure that helps.

As we were walking to the room to be seen, all the nurses we passed could tell he was very sick just by looking at him. Poor kid was walking so slowly and just looked awful. He was complaining about being tired and that his stomach hurt, but when I asked him if his throat hurt, he said no. (He sometimes has a hard time explaining how he feels or what hurts.)

So at any rate, the doctor noticed his throat was red and inflamed, so he did a strep test. It came back positive. I didn’t know strep could make you throw up, but apparently it sure does. To make matters worse, after we dropped off his prescription for antibiotics, he threw up all over the place when we got home. Literally! Nathan stood in the hallway, leaned over, and puked over and over again. It was all over the floor, his shoes, the wall, the door… what a mess! Paul was a sweetheart and cleaned it all up and changed Nathan’s clothes. He turned on some caratoons and made a pallet on the floor for Nathan with a sleeping bag, blanket, and pillow, so Nathan curled up in it and fell asleep for a couple of hours. When he woke up, we gave him his medicine and took him to his room for bed.

The medicine worked wonders. When he got up this morning, he was already feeling much better! After about 24 hours of the medicine, he shouldn’t be contagious anymore. I hate seeing my kids so sick, so I’m thankful I was able to get him into the doctor immediately and caught the strep before it got any worse. Now let’s hope the rest of us don’t come down with it.

I’m so not a fan of winter germs and the sicknesses they bring.

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Add another day of sickness to the list

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Nathan was sick earlier in the week last week, and guess what happened? Well I won’t keep you in suspense because I’m sure you’re just dying to know. Today, John, Paul, and I are all sick. Well, John and I are the sick ones and Paul hasn’t quite come down with it just yet- he can tell his body is trying to fight it off. Fingers crossed that he doesn’t get the full blown cold because let me tell you, it’s no fun!

Nathan definitely has a habit of spreading his sick germs around. Because of his sensory issues, he’s constantly walking around with his tongue hanging out of his mouth and he still drools often. Before he started preschool, he was really good about covering his coughs and sneezes with his elbow, but that’s all gone down the toilet after being around other kids at school. Apparently, he has class with a bunch of heathens because now not only does he not cover his mouth and nose, he’ll cough right in my face. Seriously, it’s worse now that it was when he was a toddler!

Speaking of the other kids in his class being heathens, he’s definitely picked up some bad habits from them. Like chewing with his mouth open. Oh my gosh, it’s so disgusting. Before he started school, he had excellent manners. Always chewed with his mouth closed, said his pleases and thank yous. But now? Now he has the nerve to look right at me and chew with his mouth WIDE OPEN. And the smacking makes me want to stab out my ears with a pumpkin carver. When that happens, this mama assumes he is no longer interested in actually eating rather than playing, so he’s dismissed from the table to his room.

What is WRONG with other parents out there? I can’t tell you how many kids I’ve seen (not counting at his preschool) who chew with their mouths wide open and smacking, the parents right there allowing it to happen. Kids throwing food on the floor, making demands, not saying please and thank you. It drives me batty because, well, I actually CARE about my child’s social graces. I tell him he’s not an animal and I expect him to act like a civilized human being. I also tell him that if he continues to act uncouth, he won’t have many friends in life.

So anyway, fingers crossed that this cold passes quickly because we’re a miserable bunch right now. I hate being sick on a weekend! Paul’s making some spicy ribs- maybe the salt and spiciness will help soothe my throat.

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