Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

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Ogdensburg, NY State, October 2014

Ogdensburg, NY State, October 2014

Mark is a bit snowflaky. We traveled on three continents with him and he didn’t get sick once (even after riding Beijing’s subway and being petted by half a billion of Chinese).

And then, four days after starting school, he came back with a cold. Ottawa must have been too clean for him.

Granted, I saw it coming. I had heard from everyone that kids in daycare were sick more often than kids lovingly sheltered at home with mommy. I can see why—kids are gross. I mean, Mark is attracted to anything dirty and he has no sense of basic hygiene. A room full of Marks is a breeding ground for… I’m not even sure what.

At home, we have two ways of dealing with sickness. Feng is ultra-careful and takes drugs whenever something hurts or something doesn’t feel right. If he could quarantine himself from the world, he would. On the other side, I pretend it doesn’t exist. No, I’m not coughing. No, I don’t have a fever. No, I’m not passed out in bed.

You get the picture.

As soon as we noticed Mark’s stuffy nose, Feng was ready to drive him to the hospital and have him tested for Ebola fever. On the other side, I thought it was nothing. He was fine, I insisted. We just had to follow normal cold protocols, clean his nose and give him Advil if needed.

On that famous Wednesday, Feng and I argued about whether Mark should go to school or stay home. “Come on, Feng! I’m not heartless but we can’t keep him home every time he has a stuffy nose!” I pleaded.

Retrospectively, I’m glad he didn’t go and that we were together during these scary few hours.

The following day, Mark was a bit lethargic. This time, we agreed we should have him checked by a doctor.

Yes, her.

After guilt-tripping us twice in five minutes (“you didn’t give him any Advil this morning?” No, since we were going straight to see you I thought it was safest to wait; and “He’s been sick for four days and you’re only coming now?” Well, yesterday he ran around all day, so…) she examined him. One ear was a bit red, antibiotics should solve the issue, bye bye.

And we resumed the routine.

For a day. More exactly, until I got sick. Again, I saw it coming. This is what happens when you have a kid who insists on kissing mommy on the lips (I’ll introduce him to Freud later, okay?)

I spent Sunday in bed, sleeping, unable to even go down the stairs. On Monday, I insisted I was fine and tried to resume business as usual. And guess what, I spent the following day in bed again, feverish and weak. Antibiotics for me as well, then.

I’m tired, and not just from the bug I caught.

I feel we are taking three steps forward and two steps back.

The first ten days after coming back from China were hellish, as Mark hadn’t adjusted to the time change and was waking up at 4 a.m. Then we all tried to adjust to a new schedule with the school: dropping Mark off, working, picking him up, etc. And then four days later he got sick and stayed home for two days, so again work was in limbo and we had to keep him busy (and help him get healthy again). And now I’m sick again and I don’t have the energy to do anything.

It’s frustrating. Every day I wake up thinking “okay, what again now?!”

Can I have a break from bad news, please?

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

10 Comments

  1. Martin Penwald on

    Advil, the miracle medicine. Seriously, if it was an answer to all ailment, why see a doctor ? I met a doctor from my extended family recently, and he told that 95% of people coming to see him heal spontaneously after a few days. So, it makes sense to wait before seeing a doctor.

  2. It’s funny, you being French I would have thought that you would have rushed to see a doctor. Most French people I know, will rush to the doctor even for a common cold!

    I hope you are both feeling better today.

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