Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mom's Guide to Handling Her Family's Flu

On Thursday night, I received a text from Boyfriend telling me he was getting sick and had a cough.  The weekend before Christmas, Baby had a terrible cough and ran a little fever but it passed quickly so I just assumed that he had caught the same.  When we woke up on Friday morning however and he was burning up and said he hurt all over-I immediately called the doctor and sent him on his way.
Dramatics aside, my poor husband was sick.  I will admit, I have a hard time knowing if he is ever as sick as he is acting because he will pull the stereotypical male stunt of every sickness is steps away from death.  Regardless, with this new diagnosis, Baby and I tried our best to stay away and not catch his germs.  
Unfortunately, the next morning, Baby woke up coughing so hard she puked and was running a 104.9 fever.  Another doctor appointment in, another flu confirmation. I started to quickly feel guilty.  We are not a flu shot family.  I personally do not have objections against vaccinations, however we just never get them.  This year however, I made the exception for myself since I was pregnant and had every intention to get Baby hers-we just never did.  
With a prescription for Tamiflu for the Boyfriend and Baby, and prayers that I would manage to avoid it, we headed home and I prepared to play nurse all weekend to my family.  If you ever find yourself in a situation like mine, here are a few tips I learned that might help you along.
1.  Take lots of pictures of your sick baby so that you have a constant reminder of how you failed to protect them.  Just kidding, while I do feel some guilt, I also am aware that a flu shot definitely does not mean that you won't get the flu.  Your photographic evidence will be all that you have left after the trial is over and all the tissues, orange juice bottles and prescription bottles are thrown away.

2.  Convince your child that their medicine is candy.  While I know this can definitely backfire in the future and we are very conscious of keeping all other medications out of reach, three year olds are freakishly strong when they have no energy otherwise when refusing to take their medicine.
3.  When you child throws up their "candy" because they used all their energy from fighting off the medicine instead of eating, make sure you also have a trash can in reach for yourself.  I will never be one of those moms who puke doesn't impact them.  The smell, the chunkiness, add in that I'm already gaggy 24/7 from being pregnant and my lunch is a goner. 
4. Once the vomit has been cleaned off your couch (thanks Boyfriend for rescuing me, despite the fact that you too had no energy to assist!) your little one is going to want to cuddle you.  I actually am someone who is constantly cold, however you will be surprised how much heat a 28 pound child can emit while running a fever.  I suggest while at the pharmacy picking up the prescriptions, you also pick up a personal fan a few cooler packs to help offset the heat that will be clingy to your body.  
5. Most of my time was monopolized by the one who couldn't take care of herself, but make sure that you pay special attention to the older baby too.  I let him have TV priority, made sure he had juice and cuddles as desired. Thanks to Tamiflu, he recovered pretty quickly and was able to help me out towards the end of Baby's run with the flu.
When it is all over and everyone in the house is healthy again, go ahead and schedule yourself a massage to relieve all your incredibly aching muscles from having to hold your child in the most awkward positions-whatever it took to help her sleep and a night at a hotel so you can finally get a decent nights rest since you probably didn't sleep much either.  
Sadly, I didn't follow my advice on that last part, but I do know one thing-next year no one is allowed to get the flu.
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