In a move that was not sanctioned by Weight Watchers nor Jennifer Hudson’s thighs, I have attacked a plate of brownies. Few survived.
Why? I’m an American, that’s why.
My son may have his first cold. This feels stressful.
Maybe in a day, or a week, or years, I will look back and laugh.
But that’s in the future and this is now, and now I’m a little sad.
My son was born with a deadly chronic disease. It’s not something I think about day to day. We administer his care – his little vest to shake up his lungs and enzymes to help him gain weight. But day to day I just hold him and love him and that’s what I think about. How cozy and sweet he is. How his face lights up when I come home. How he has just learned to wave “hi,” and seems very pleased with himself that he can get a message out with his little hand. He looks at his hand as it is waving in a state of baby wonder.
Then something happens that reminds me he has a deadly chronic disease. I hear a cough. My heart sinks. A little baby cough.
He coughs after I put him on his vest, just a little bit. Those, I admit, made me the tiniest bit sad when they first started. It meant he had something settling in his lungs to cough up. The thick sticky mucus that makes everyday bacteria and viruses a threat to his health. Because in his lungs, the mucus should be thin, like it is in mine. Instead, it catches and holds the bacteria and encourages the growth of infection. Over time, these infections will steal his ability to breathe.
But those post-vest coughs are a sign his lungs are clearing out — and that’s a good thing.
His coughs last night and this morning were deeper, more consistent throughout the day. He spiked a fever.
My wee lady Laila has started ballet lessons. She loves these and it’s a delight to put her in her tiny tights and suit and slippers and watch her express herself with movement.
She brought home a cold pretty quickly. All those little princesses in a little room sharing little germs. It was inevitable.
I used to panic when she was sick because I feared Eli would get sick.
I felt more relaxed this time, but Mark and I did our best to wash hands and disinfect and keep them a part. It’s totally impossible, by the way, to keep a 3-year-old away from her baby brother bestie. She’s fast and he grabs everything in his radius. Also impossible: keeping his hands out of his mouth, or his feet, for that matter. To some extent you just have to surrender to stay sane. We live in a world of germs. The world of germs will beat your best sanitation attempts.
Laila has been sick so many times around Eli I’ve lost count – she picked up a few viruses and even a bad lung infection while he was at the hospital and since we’ve been home. Mark and I have also been sick during Eli’s life – which spans almost 7 months. Little man avoided it all somehow.
A cold is inevitable.
Also inevitable is me flipping out over a cold, a first cold.
A cold is a different ball game when the person who has it has cystic fibrosis.
I will explain why and how in my next post.
I’ve just run out of steam.
I’m crashing after a brownie attack, and I need to get some sleep. I just needed to vent.
Thanks for listening through the Interwebs.