Frank’s Holiday Hack…

On Christmas night, Frank was lying in bed watching TV, despite the fact that many of his new toys from Santa were still lying on his desk, unopened. He even had a friend over for the night. I was concerned, but he didn’t feel warm so I decided to wait until the next morning to see what might be going on.

The next morning, Frank remained in bed, even though his buddy was up and playing his new video games. I felt Frank’s forehead and, sure enough, he had a fever. And, he was really congested and had no appetite. So, I had Zach take his friend home and I had Frank come in and lie in our bed for the day so I could take care of him. The next day, he was no better and the next night, while I was out running errands, Richard called my cell phone, telling me to come home “now” because Frank’s fever had hit 103. That is unusual for a 13-year-old, but I still didn’t panic. Richard had already re-dosed him with Tylenol by the time I arrived home and I bathed his face with a cool cloth until he felt better. I was disappointed that it was past 5:00 and the doctor’s office was closed.

I did start to panic early the next morning when Frank started vomiting and was hit with wave after wave of diarrhea. What in the world was going on?! None of our children ever had a cold turn into a stomach virus! And, yes, we’ve all had our flu shots. It wasn’t that.

At 8:00 a.m. sharp, I was one of the many, many mommies on the phone, getting that busy signal over and over again, trying to get an appointment that day. I was successful and had to drag poor Frank out in the cold and snow early that afternoon. Turns out Frank had a very severe case of strep throat. The doctor didn’t want to wait for pills and decided to give him a shot of antibiotics right then. Frank was not amused because the shot was one that had to go in his bum. To add to his misery, the nurse had to rub it in after giving the shot because, she said, that helps disperse the medicine faster. With all the attention and frantic care, I was afraid Frank might need to be hospitalized (he was hospitalized for pneumonia and asthma when he was four months old). He was one sick little boy! But, the doctor said the shot and the antibiotic pills he’s take for 5 days afterward should do the trick.

He assured me Frank would show “marked improvement” within the next 24 hours. Well, It was actually 3 days later that Frank started to improve. And, it wasn’t until 5 days later that Frank actually started looking and acting like himself, though he was still congested and coughing terribly. Richard and I were up for several hours each night during his entire illness because of his violent coughing. He ended up spending 8 days in bed!

So, on Monday, when Frank start showing signs of improvement, Richard and I breathed a sigh of relief…until Max did something he never does. He fell asleep on our bed only two hours after he woke up. Uh oh. I felt him and, sure enough, he had a fever. It was 102. He quickly developed a croup-like cough and I quickly dosed him with Tylenol and sent Zach to the drug store for a humidifier. And, Richard and I woke up literally dozens of times Monday night, each time Max had a coughing fit. We took him to the doctor first thing Tuesday morning and, while his throat doesn’t look bad yet, he already had two ear infections. Well, if Ali and Zach don’t catch it, maybe Richard and I will get some sleep next week. Thank goodness we were on vacation at home for most of this, and thank goodness Frank and Max are both now on the mend!

‘Tis the cough and cold season!

Happy New Year Hugs, Everybody!


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