It started Wednesday morning.
Vio said she was cold when it was 80 degrees in the house. (THANK YOU FLORIDA.) I asked her if anything hurt, keeping my fingers crossed it was ANYTHING BUT HER STOMACH OH LORD PLEASE, and when she told me it was her throat, I all but did Larry and Balki’s DANCE OF JOY.
Yes. I rejoice when my children have sore throats, because you don’t have to clean up after a sore throat. You don’t have to do 5 loads of wash on HOT, back to back to back, all while clutching furniture so as not to collapse and fighting over the throw-up trash can with your spouse.
Have I mentioned we only have one bathroom?
Basically, I was relieved it was her throat.
We’d spent Monday evening doing Halloween activities at Ian’s sister-in-law’s place. We painted pumpkins and ate pizza, and somewhere along the way I’m assuming one of my children licked one of their children. When Ian informed me on Tuesday that Paul had woken up with a fever and a cough, I knew it wouldn’t be long.
By Wednesday night, I had a little tightness in my chest and a bit of a cough. By Thursday, Matt was sick as well. He stayed home Friday, which was originally intended to give us enough time to rest and heal up for Halloween, but by Friday night we were laughing — GUFFAWING — at the thought he could have gone to work that day.
We all got worse. WORSE.
Friday night was when it all got dicey. Vio was super agitated when getting ready for bed. Screaming that her throat hurt. (Pro tip: Try to avoid screaming when sick. It makes sore throats worse!) Around 11PM, she woke up coughing and freaking the hell out, so I brought her to bed with me.
Then I stayed awake for about 98 hours.
By 2AM, it was pretty clear we were dealing with croup. How I knew that, I will never be able to tell you. She started doing this honking, seal-bark cough, and the word CROUP flashed before my eyes with all the blinking glory of a Vegas marquee. Her breathing was all labored (which frantic googling on my iPod assured me was NORMAL) but there was no way in hell I could sleep. I spent the night watching her, listening to her, occasionally dozing just long enough for her to wake up coughing, freaked out because she thought she couldn’t breathe. One sip of cold juice was enough to calm her down, get her breathing easily, and back to sleep … but getting her to TAKE THAT SIP? I’m pretty sure I promised her a pony or a Jonas brother or something.
(Calm down. Not until she’s at least 18. Ponies are a lot of work.)
Thank goodness our pediatrician has Saturday morning hours. Diagnosed with croup. Flu test NEGATORY, thankfully. She has steadily improved since then.
By that night, Roo was sick too. Sore throat, I’d suspect, though that didn’t occur to me until SUNDAY. I’m pretty sure it was the lack of sleep. Basically I had to hold her and nurse her all night. Two nights in a row of no sleep.
Then last night went a little something like this:
9:45PM – You curse the time change, and declare you are GOING TO BED. SO THERE.
10:15PM – You shiver. The house is 80 degrees.
10:30PM – Roo wakes to nurse
10:45PM – Back to bed. Imagine you are cooking a lot of food. In bed. Remember you are prone to fever delirium, but are unable to talk yourself out of the fact that you are preparing a meal for several people. Curse the fact you watched The Next Iron Chef or Whatever It’s Called right before FEVER SLEEP.
11:30PM – Roo wakes to nurse. Body feels like it has been baked in an oven. Thermometer swears you have no fever. Thermometer gets the finger.
12:30AM – Wake up sweating. Nurse the baby. Continue cooking large platters of food. Spend 10 minutes trying to convince yourself it is JUST MILK that is coming out of you, you are not, in fact, entirely MADE OF LIQUID.
I’ll spare you the rest of the night, but it went mostly like that. Matt is home again today, I’m coughing like crazy, afraid I’ve come down with bronchitis or something, and I have a tender spot in my right breast. Possible plugged duct? Normal monthly hormone-induced tenderness? Boob exhausted from nursing all night long two nights in a row?
(You may note, we were sick for the whole of Halloween. Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the shoddy production we put on so the girls wouldn’t feel like they missed out on anything. LOOK FORWARD TO THE AWESOMENESS. Or, you know, don’t come back because you’re afraid my words will infect you with The Grossness. I seriously wouldn’t blame you.)