George has been sick.
It started as a slight sniffle. The odd sneeze here and there. I could hear that he was congested, but he had no fever or other symptoms, and since this winter has been an absolute bitch for viruses of all kinds I counted myself lucky it wasn’t worse.
Then he started coughing. And coughing. Coughing until he yelled in frustration. Coughing until he gagged. Coughing fits that lasted first for a few minutes, then for an hour or more. Interrupting his sleep, and mine. He was miserable.
So last week I took him to the doctor. She listened to his lungs and checked his throat and ears, and prescribed Flovent and Ventolin. “Bring him back if he seems worse,” she said, “but be patient. This might take a while.”
Days of puffers. Getting a three year old to take a puffer is about as easy as you can imagine. And then of course after the Flovent we have to rinse his mouth because it can cause sores. He loves the process – shaking the puffer, taking off the cap, plugging it into the aerochamber – but he hates the actual “sit still and breathe deeply” bit. He’s been whiny, and clingy. He’s still not sleeping much. He’s obviously sick, and his brothers and Michael have the same cold (although not as bad), and while I’m glad to be the lone healthy one it is hard.
Last night, things were terrible. Less than an hour after I put him to bed, the coughing and sobbing started. It just kept getting worse. He ended up on my lap on the couch at 10pm, watching Hell’s Kitchen (“I like the red team, I want them to win”) and coughing horrible, racking coughs that shook his whole body.
And thus we went on. We tried his puffer, no relief. We tried Vapo-Rub on his chest and back – the act of the massage relaxed him a bit, at least. But the relief was temporary, and by 2AM he was coughing, then sobbing, then holding his breath because coughing hurt too much. By 3AM I was sitting on the damp mat next to the bathtub, cradling him in my arms and singing Northwest Passage while the shower ran scalding hot and steam curled around our heads.
He did eventually sleep, and woke up at his usual time clearly feeling much better. We did the puffers. Again. I called the doctor and made yet another appointment. I am hoping that he has something that can be defined, and fixed. I do not want to hear “it’s just a virus and you’ll need to be patient.” I want to bring Big Pharma into my life in a big way right now.
Wish us luck.