Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kiddie Contagion

Brayden caught a virus that was clearly named by a perverted scientist who wanted parents to cringe every time they said its name: coxsackie.

Who names a virus coxsackie? I Googled it, and apparently it’s named after the first town it appeared in–Coxsackie, NY. I don’t want anyone to ever complain about Lyme Disease again because the good people of Old Lyme, CT have nothing to be ashamed of compared to the residents of Coxsackie. And yet, somehow, coxsackie is better than it’s other, more general name: hand, foot and mouth disease. Let’s say it together, “Yuck.”

So anyway, this lovely little virus has been tearing through Reno (including Brayden’s daycare center) though I know of friends from Connecticut to California whose kids have it now too. I got the call from daycare on Tuesday morning that the little red spots had appeared on B’s feet, and a trip to the pediatrician confirmed the diagnosis.

In all the dots don’t look that terrible, and Brayden has a relatively mild case.

06 07 12 - Coxsackie (1)

But he’s contagious until they heal so…(and this is the really scary part)…he’s home for a week without being able to really go anywhere. Brian had him Tuesday night and Wednesday, and I picked Brayden up Wednesday night to be with him through Saturday afternoon. The idea of being with a fussy, uncomfortable, dotty toddler for three days straight is not a pleasant one.

Thursday wasn’t too bad. Brayden alternated between being a happy, bouncy boy to being an irritable fuss pot. Here’s a picture from the “happy, bouncy boy” part when we were folding laundry and having a Raffi dance party.

06 07 12 - Coxsackie (11)

When Thursday came to a close, I was exhausted. We had read a million books, sang a gazillion songs, danced, watch four-minute clips of a dozen different kids’ shows (he still really don’t focus on the TV), played with every toy in the toy box, did pony rides on my back, hugged and practiced “gentle” petting and hugs with Avery, ate, made animal sounds, climbed on the backyard play set, took a 1 1/2 hour stroller ride and much, much more.

Friday was harder, way harder. Brayden was even more fussy/unhappy, wouldn’t eat, slept restlessly, and then all this congestion and coughing kicked in (I had seen it brewing the previous day). The low part of the day was when I sitting in my backyard on a lawn chair in my pajamas wearing a coat (it was windy and cold) while he toddled around with a spray bottle amusing himself (yes, that did include spraying me, and no, there are no pictures–I’m sure the vision you have in your mind is enough). I was totally caught off by the decline, and we both went to bed that night even more tired than the day before.

Saturday was even worse. As in “I think the government should break its prisoners with sick toddlers” worse. Our day started at 5:30a, and I knew something was wrong when nothing would soothe or satisfy him. A trip to the pediatric urgent care revealed a raging sinus infection that required antibiotics, but, on the positive side, his coxsackie was clearing.

Good, bad or indifferent, I’m always honest on the blog so I have no problem telling you these have been the hardest three days of my parenting life so far. Believe it or not, they’ve been harder than Brayden’s five-day hospitalization last April. At least in that situation, I felt like he was in the right place, getting great care and I was doing the best I could as a mom in that situation. This has been worse because even when I hit the bottom of my energy/patience barrel, I still wasn’t making it better. And moms are always supposed to make it better.

So little B is on a regime of 3.5 mL a day of cefdinir for 10 days, and I’m prescribing myself a drink and this week’s recorded episode of The Bachelorette (it’s a guilty pleasure). A win-win for both of us.

It’s tough entertaining a sick toddler for three days. But it did have some bright spots. Like finding out Brayden knows easily 30+ words I didn’t realize he knew or hearing his little breaths in my ear when I carried him around because he didn’t want to be put down. I guess I did sort of make it better, in a way.

And those sweet little things made these days totally worth it (but next time we have to stay home together I’m hoping it’s for an illness with a non-pornographic name…)

06 07 12 - Coxsackie (5)

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