i’ve been recovering from bronchitis. it’s been a bit of a drag and i’ve had virtually no energy, save for what i expend chasing down my homework-evasive Things.
i got my malady on the heels of all three Things getting theirs. i feel like such a copy cat. for three weeks, in reverse birth order, i made weekly trips through the crowded parking lot of our pediatrician to confirm that the Things each had fevers exceeding 102˚ (i’ve learned that 103˚ is really no big deal — if you have a medical degree and 30+ years of experience…) and various -itises.
- Thing 3 went first with an ear infection and 102.3˚ as his max.
- Thing 2 was next with bronchitis and 104.2˚ as his max.
- Thing 1 was last… he called me at 1:30 from the clinic at school with a 101.5˚, wimp, but he had the most verbose diagnosis.
when we got in the car after picking him up from school, i told Thing 1 to speed dial the peds and put me on speaker. i talked to the nurse (while heading in the direction of their office) and gave her the familial breakdown for the preceding 14 days. she was leaning toward calling us in and then she heard his cough and after he said, “oh God that hurt.” she said, “how’s 2:40 today?” i said we were already on the way.
with a glistening brow and eyes at half mast, while he was being examined and the doc was writing the script for antibiotics for a case of bronchial pneumonia, i panted and sorta grunted like a junkie, “jees, i’m so jealous. i wish i could get me a Zpack…” (i’m sure she looked at me like i was nuts: get a grip, it’s not codiene, y’know…)
after driving home with a stash of fresh azithromycin from “the store that starts with a ‘T'” as Thing 1 used to call it at age 2 when we moved to our current home, i began to feel slightly craven, covetous for his “antibios” (as they’re known on the street, i guess…) and totally disoriented, i insisted i go to my doctor.
“mom, i can’t drive.”
“oh, yeah. you’re not dad…” thank God i drive a 3-ton SUV… nervous, fairfax?
so dan comes home and he glances at me and he says, “you look like shit.” i must’ve looked like Tom Hulce in Amadeus during his translucent, waxy, fevered final days writing the Requiem for his father from his once-luxurious flat in Vienna (i’m sure my dad will correct me if it was Salzburg, but i think that’s where Mr. Dad Mozart lived and wanted Wolfy to return to), Austria, not Virginia…
so i call the docs, explained to them the biohazard that our household had become and described my myriad symptoms (achey skin, wheezing resembling that dog from the Laff-a-lypics, eyes that hurt to move, hot feet and a 10-day cough that didn’t result in anything other than six-pack abs and back pain that required 2 motrin upon daily rising … oh, a 104.2˚ temperature earlier in the morning. each nightfall, i drifted to sleep wondering how many days a very healthy and athletic 44-y.o. woman has to have a fever above 103˚ to count for an infection, envisioning my white blood cells waving white flags…) the nurse asked,
“when can you come in?”
“when do you close?”
“after you leave.”
oh… ok. i guess we’re on.
i had a 7:30pm slot.
i was in like Flynn. i felt like i’d just signed a peace treaty.
after being weighed (i’d lost 2 pounds, yay!) and noticing that my blood pressure was the highest it’s ever been: 140 / 96 (i’m typically a 95 / 70 girl) and my temperature after being on motrin for 2 hours was 102.7˚ my case had traction. i felt like i was (leg)itimately sick now. i was in the doctor’s office and i was gonna beg on my knees, if i could find them, for something that started in a petri dish.
at 7:40 i saw my physician. he looked at me, my chart, cleared his throat, started his examination on my nose and tsked his lips. peering through his eyebrows at me, he inhaled and asked, “so…how long have you been feeling like this?” at this point, i didn’t know if i was going to get sympathy or a straight jacket so i did my best edie gourmet, “er… uh, about a couple days. uh, a week, sorta on/off… y’know, the kids have been sick… it’s hard to say… one day i was 103˚ and another day i was 98˚ and then later on i was 103˚ again…” while shooting a “if you don’t vouch for me, and help get me those antibiotics, you’ll raise the children alone” glance at Dan.
doc straightens up his posture and says, “i’m gonna listen to your chest, because it’s part of the exam, but i’m putting you on antibiotics. your fever breaking and then coming back a couple times is a big sign. you’ve landed yourself a secondary infection and apparently, you’re all pretty sick at home, so it was just a matter of time and you have bronchitis. …. uh, Mr. Field, how do you feel? how are you managing to stay clear of all this?”
Dan says, “i’ve been sleeping in our guest room for the past few nights and keeping up my exercise routine… drinking a lot of fluids… i uh, honestly don’t know how i’ve escaped this.”
on Thanksgiving, we will be three weeks without a weekly doctor’s appointment and Dan still hasn’t gotten sick and we will all be thankful for that. it also feels good to be back at the keyboard.
Happiest -itis free Thanksgiving to you and yours.