Friday, February 15, 2008

Sharing the Germs

It isn’t much fun to be sick at the same time as my wife, mostly because neither of us can wait on the other. Add a sick baby in the mix, and things become even more interesting.

A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those, “Oh, I guess I’m a parent,” moments when we took my daughter to the pediatric emergency room. She wasn’t quite to a fever, but she hadn’t kept much food down at all that day. It took us three hours to see a doctor because the plague seemed to have hit most of the community’s youth, although I was a little annoyed by the illness’s apparent symptoms of running around and shouting.

Once we saw a doctor at 1 AM, our daughter’s digestive tract flushed itself upon my wife with a gooey fanfare. Our daughter had a change of clothes on hand; my wife didn’t. After learning of this latest event, the doctor recommended we be admitted to the hospital for overnight observation.

I drove home to pack some things for us and started back to the hospital at 4:30. I hadn’t slept for a long time, and driving was quite perilous. At one point, I was certain there was a man running along the side of the highway at the same rate as my car; he turned out to be the antenna.

Our daughter’s temperature relented during the wee hours, and she was finally able to keep some food down. Apparently, she had cried so much from being sick that her stomach had filled with gas, and that was the reason for all the vomiting. Her temperature did fluctuate a little over the next week, and she’s still a bit congested to this day, but overall she’s doing much better.

My wife was sick at the same time as my daughter. I came on board with the illness a few days later (probably from a lack of sleep). Things could have been much worse, of course, and these events weren’t unmanageable. I simply had no idea how dynamic parenting is.

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