When Everybody’s Sick

Lie #12: The Nasal Aspirator

It is 11:30 p.m. I have toilet paper stuffed up both of my nostrils. I’ve never been sexier.

Croup is the word around the house. LD has the croup, momma has the croup, daddy has the craps – erm, croup. Maybe the craps too. Sickness is plaguing my house and has been for the last ten days – it doesn’t look like its going anywhere soon.

It all started when I came back from a trip to see my folks and the little guy was congested. His newest form of affection is to lick all over your face – it’s what he imagines kisses are. Cut him a break – he’s not even a year old yet. Cue germs. Lots of germs.

I used to be a germaphobe… when I had time. Before I had a baby, me and my Germ-X were BFFs. Forrest and Jennay.  Peas and Carrots. Laverne and Shirley. Germ-X was the one constant that I carried with me at all times. The thought of some creature coming at my face open-mouthed with snot pouring from its nose?? Unbelievable. Pre-kid this would have grossed me out beyond all belief, but now when LD decides to shower me with affection and his version of kisses, I just melt and coo and accept all the gross. But I digress.

I guess you could say this was my fault. I let germy boy kiss my face. The next day I woke up congested. And coughing. Husband comes home. I kiss husband. Baby “kisses” husband. Fast forward lots of TP (because I forgot to buy tissues), gagging, coughing and sneezing later and here we are. ALL OF US. Miserable.

Since LD didn’t have a fever, I declined to take him to the doctor until he woke up yesterday with the barking seal cough. Nothing will strike terror into the heart of a new parent like the seal cough. “DEAR GOD IT’S RSV! WE HAVE TO GO TO THE DOCTOR NOW. NOW!”

The poor pediatrician, who was also fighting the crud and probably fighting the urge to eyeroll so hard, had to deal with me hacking up a lung in his office while asking repeatedly if he was absolutely sure my baby didn’t have RSV. “He’s gonna be okay- its not RSV, but I’m gonna give him a steroid to help him breathe easier. You’re just gonna have to wait it out.” Y’all, he didn’t warn me. Let me take this opportunity to warn you.

If your ped ever gives your kid steroids, you better watch out. Every single schedule you’ve got flies out the window and in walks Cranky Chaosface to ensure you never sleep again. Where I had a precious 10-12 hour sleeper, I’m good if I get 7. And even with that, he’s up every few hours screaming and miserable. Where I had a consistent feeding schedule, I now have a child refusing more than two ounces of his bottle at a time and screaming to be fed every hour and a half. My delightful tiny human has been replaced with an irritable, clingy,  snot filled, energetically tired child.

Blowing your nose is one of those skills you never really appreciate until you have to deal with someone who doesn’t know how to do it. In the hospital, they gave me two aspirators. I myself registered for the NoseFrida. Neither of those have proven successful in excavating my child’s nasal cavity. Get the mental image: I’m hacking up a lung and smell like a vapor rub factory, trying to hold down an indignant wailing baby tossing his head back and forth while I try to stick an aspirator up that one tiny nostril. When that obviously doesn’t work, I go for the NoseFrida. Go look at those images of a smiling baby calmly getting their nose cleared and file that away as Lie #23. I got maybe a baby pea sized snot wad out of his nose after fifteen minutes worth of effort. I give up.

I attempt to give him his normal eight ounce bottle before bed, of which he drinks two. I take a break to gag on whatever I just coughed up and sing him to sleep. Only my voice is gone so I sound like a teenage boy in puberty. Whatever. He’s asleep. For the hour. My husband and I are going fall into bed, I’m gonna replace the toilet paper in my nose, and we’ll lovingly look at each other with vapor rub covering about 80% of our bodies.

Then as soon as we fall asleep, the baby’s gonna wake up…

Catch you on the flippity flip.

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