Over the past weeks, our lives have been humming and busy, brimming with activity and chaos.  But the activity and chaos isn’t necessarily the popping of celebratory changes but, rather, illness.  That’s right.  We’ve been sick.  All of us.  And Nate got it the worst.

Our weather here in Connecticut has been weird.  We got a freak snowstorm on October 29 and haven’t really seen much snow since.  In fact, the temperatures have been hovering in the 50s (and even 60s!), which leads to my unscientific conclusion that germs are breeding at a rapid pace and spreading throughout the world through the grubby hands of toddlers.  Toddlers, dear friends, are responsible for illnesses everywhere.

For Nate, it started with the weird rash at the start of the year, which wouldn’t go away. Then Nate caught the croup, which sent us racing to the pediatric ER twice.  After he recovered from that, he caught the croup again.  That time, our pediatrician cut it off at the pass with steroids at the start and the recovery time was much shorter than round one.  Then, after surviving the rash and croup times two, Nate got the stomach bug.  Wait.  Let me rephrase that: the stomach bug.  Twice.

The first round of the stomach bug started with Nate sitting up in the middle of the night and throwing up.  It was a prolonged experience.  He threw up every three to four hours for thirty-six hours, followed by four days of issues on the other end.  Throughout all of this, he refused to eat and would only minimally drink.  As he only enjoys water, soy milk, and keifer, Pedialyte and other similar products were not an option.  Popsicles are gross.  Ice cream is awesome but dairy didn’t sit well with this virus.  So, he dropped a ton of weight but started eating like a champ…until the stomach bug returned days later.  Same thing: woke up in the middle of the night, tossed his cookies, which later progressed to other digestion-related issues.  Except, in round two, Nate shared the stomach bug with me.

Let me say right here that any whining or complaining or sympathy I tried to get for feeling ill as a single woman and as a non-parent was unmerited.  Chad had already taken a day off from work that week (he took care of Nate during Round 1 + wasn’t feeling so hot himself) and couldn’t take any more time off so I stayed at home with Nate.  Both of us were throwing up and sick.  There is nothing worse than being extremely sick and taking care of an equally sick toddler, especially one that can’t be left alone.  Tater was a trouper though; when I ran upstairs to toss my cookies, he just stood at his baby gate, ringing the doorbell over and over again to “call” me.  I’d holler down, “I’LL BE RIGHT THERE! I JUST NEED A MINUTE!  JUST A MINUTE!” and my sickness was accompanied by a soundtrack of the doorbell chime that Nate selected for the moment.  (Sometimes it’s the national anthem, other times it’s “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead.”)  We survived and I still don’t know how.  But seriously, that’s one of the pitfalls of being a parent that no one mentions: once you become a parent, your ability to be luxuriously indulgent in your recovery from illness is out the window.  Gone.  Finito.

Since the start of the year, Nate has missed thirteen days of therapy–that’s nearly three full weeks–and the birthday parties of Ella (age 1) and Kyle (age 3). (Illness made Nate miss free cake!  FREE CAKE!!!)  He’s had a pretty healthy track record for most of his wee life, mainly ear infections (which seem to have gone by the wayside for now).  But 2012 has been a whopper of illnesses for the guy.  I keep hoping for a good dose of snow (come on, Mother Nature, it’s winter!!!) to kill all the germs but no such luck.  Instead, the ants have arrived early because of the warmth and Nate’s friends at school and throughout his therapy practice are falling prey to the stomach bug.  With illness, “sharing is caring” does not apply.

There is so much I haven’t had time to write about because all of the above plus both Chad and I having full plates of work to boot.  So here’s a list (more for me than you, because if I don’t write it down, I’ll forget) of fun terms that I’ll write about in the near future (God willing): IEP, PPT, pronating, ankle braces, augmentative communication devices, and insurance companies.  Insurance is actually something I’m tackling this week.  Wish. Me. Luck.

P.S. All these photos were taken while Nate was in the first round of the stomach bug.  He’s pointing at/trying to get the camera flash.  Even when sick, he’s still pretty gosh darn happy!

P.P.S. Nate has a fan page on Facebook!  He has 97 friends — get him to 100!

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