The on-the-fence cough

Eli is opinionated about his treatments lately, in the same way most every 2-year-old kid tries to exert a little muscle over his or her world.

He runs and hides from the shaking vest these days, sometimes with a cheeky smile. Or, he hides, usually in a corner, mounting a protest of one with crossed arms, a defiant pout and a “NO. NO! NOO! ” In the latter scenario, he screams and writhes as we snap it on. Once hooked in, he throws stuff. Sometimes he runs forward when his vest is hooked to the ‘machine,’ ie, an air compressor, dragging it like a wee angry animal attached to a plow.

“I know, buddy. I know,” I say. “But it’s good for you.”

I hate this too, I think. But we’re getting it done any way.

Sometimes he tolerates his sessions, and even enjoys them, especially when we play on the floor, just rough housin’. Eli weighs more than 30 pounds now and is an excellent sit-up anchor and leg lift resistance partner.

Eli mows snow. Someone's gotta do it.
Eli mows snow. Someone’s gotta do it.

I had an antibiotic filled the other day. Before I gave it to him, I wanted to see if we could knock out his cough with his vest. That’s what I told myself. The reality was I couldn’t bring myself to strap him in that thing for more than the regular two half-hour sessions per day.

His cough lingered in the not-better-not-worse territory, an on-the-fence sort of cough.

Do we see where it goes? I dunno I dunno. I went with my instinct and we filled the antibiotic.

Doing three or more sessions a day seems particularly cruel in the face of his tot protests and winter boredom.

Eli’s not had an inhaled or IV antibiotic yet. Just the liquid stuff. He’s good at taking medicine, I’d say, for 2.

God help me if I try to do it for him.

His eyes get all wild. His brow furrows. His whispy blond curls jut out every which way.

“NO! I do it! Mine!”

“OK,” I say. “You do it big boy.”

“Mine! Mine!”

“Yes, mommy gets it. You’re a tiny force to be reckoned with. OK here you are.”

Then he sure shows me.

He takes the plastic syringe out of my hand in a determined sort of way, sticks it in his mouth and pushes the plunger in.

His face lights up with a satisfied, gap-tooth grin.

See, Mommy? I imagine him thinking. I am a very big boy.

I note this antibiotic start not only to showcase Eli’s adorable-ness, but also to remember when we started this 21-day round of (the generic for) Bactrim.

Oooh – in an attempt to boost our immunity – I’ve stocked up on Kefir.

You know Kefir? You should know Kefir.

It’s a noms, tart, liquid sort of yogurt with lots of good bacteria for the gut. This week I’ve been adding it to green smoothies for me and the kids.

Seventy percent of our immune system lies in the gut, or so I’ve been told by my child’s physician’s assistant.

Don’t want to spread health facts that I don’t fully understand. And, so here’s a study. Kinda old-ish (’99), and OK OK it’s kinda an abstract, not the full study, but I’m kinda tired, and this is the best I could do for now.

I also like to give Eli Culturelle Kids when he’s on an antibiotic so the antibiotic doesn’t wipe out his ‘good’ gut bacteria, creating a host of other problems.

That’s all I got.

It’s snowing in OKC. Eli might need to break out his lawnmower again tomorrow.

Just mowin' the snow...
Just mowin’ the snow…



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