18 February 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick

We took Xander to the doctor the other day because of his cold getting worse--or at least that is what we thought, anyway. He had been coughing and sneezing with a runny nose for about a week (you know, standard-type cold that most kids get about a zillion times a year). But, his cough seemed to be getting a little bit worse, so we decided to take him in to the doctor, thinking that maybe he needed an antibiotic or something.

Now, let me back up a little bit and tell you about how we view going to the doctor--we aren't the type of people who go at the drop of a hat. We take the kids when they need booster shots, of course, but other than that we only go if we really think it is necessary. Basically, my husband and I are the type of parents who kind of watch and see. We try over-the-counter medications for the kids first, as well as home remedies like chicken soup and lots of love and cuddles. Then, if the kids don't seem to be getting better, we make a doctor's appointment.

So, back to Xander. His cough wasn't getting better, and the cough syrup we got at the pharmacy didn't really stop his cough at all; in fact, he seemed a little worse. So, we went off to the doctor. Imagine our surprise when we were told that Xander had a double ear infection! We totally didn't see that one coming--the kid hadn't complained even once about his ears hurting. That's just plain strange.

The doctor said that the double ear infection probably weakened his immune system, making it easier for him to catch the cold and harder for him to get rid of it. Makes sense to me, I suppose. So, we left there with prescriptions for an antibiotic and a stronger cough syrup.

Now here's the thing--the ear infection obviously isn't contagious...but the cold is. And being 5 years old, Xander isn't exactly the poster child for covering his mouth and nose when he coughs and sneezes. Sure, he tries. And we keep reminding him (over and over again). But let's face it--he's 5 years old, and he isn't going to remember to cover his mouth and nose every single time.

That brings me to my older son, Damien. A few days have passed since Xander has been on his medicine, and he seems to be getting slowly better...but now, Damien is coughing up a storm. Today is a day off from school, luckily, because of the President's Day holiday. But I'm worried about tomorrow. Damien is 6 years old, a first-grader, and he needs to go to school; yet I can't send him if he is hacking and coughing all over the place, can I?

I suppose all I can do is just wait and see. If he feels better in the morning, he can go to school; if not, we will keep him home for the day. After all, it won't kill Damien's academic career to miss a day of first grade, right?

Now, I just hope that my husband and I don't catch this evil cold...


Renae said...

Oh, I hope they feel better soon! This winter has been a hard one for sickness.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I'm not sure I want to know what my 4 year olds thinks. :)