Monday, March 15, 2010

Good Health

I’m continuing a topic begun on The Prosperous Writer’s ezine.

This past week saw both my husband and daughter laid low by a virus, which manifested as fever, aches and chills, a cough, and tissue-box-emptying nose issues.

I didn’t catch it.

Every few hours I’d pop a thermometer into someone’s mouth and pronounce numbers like a member of the stock exchange. “It’s up.” “It’s down.” “It’s up.” Refills of water and orange juice were made available, cold compresses refreshed on foreheads, DVDs exchanged for others, cough drops fetched. Lots of chicken noodle soup made and eaten.

I had to reschedule three appointments, one for each of them and one for the truck, which if it starts is going in tomorrow. Every morning had to call the school and say “she won’t be in.”

What did I do special to not catch their bug? I’m not entirely sure, but I know many things I consume or avoid which they do not. This list always makes me feel like a bad mother.

1. Airborne. As soon as I measured kidlet’s temperature Tuesday morning, I took some. Family won’t touch this. It is pretty gag-worthy and must be downed quickly. And you’ll need a chaser.

2. Zicam. The tablets you suck on—I took one every evening at bedtime. They taste good—reminding me of children’s aspirin from childhood (back before we knew about Reye’s Syndrome…I just dated myself). I have read all the reports on the controversy about Zicam destroying your smell/taste senses. The stuff works—I’ll risk it 3 days of the year. Hubby noticed the taste diminishing properties and decided not to use it anymore.

3. Herbal Tea. Chamomile, Rooibus, mint, raspberry—I have many varieties. I can’t tolerate caffeine and I prefer the mild subtle flavors to be found in herbal teas. I have at least one cup per day. The family won’t touch this.

4. Veggies and fruit. This week we had on hand broccoli, bananas, strawberries, apples, carrots, spinach leaves, and applesauce (homemade—the last jar. Bummer). The kid ate as many of these as I could throw at her. Hubby—not so much. He was all over the bananas, so that’s something.

5. Chicken soup. Pushed the chicken soup big time. Shockingly, Hubby welcomed this for lunch multiple days in a row. I tired of it and had leftovers from the fridge on day 2.

6. SLEEP. As much as possible while nursing a coughing little one who wakes the dog every time she coughs. Okay, I didn’t get much sleep at all for two nights and still had to work, my job being at home and all. I did my 3-hours of concentrated work in 1 1/2 hour stints. Sleep my family did plenty of. Multiple naps were taken by each of them, allowing me peaceful time in the afternoons to work undisturbed. I didn’t get any naps—are you kidding? I’m the mommy. The animals still had to be fed and walked, phone calls made by a certain time, e-mail checked on regular schedule, lunches and dinners prepared. And when else am I supposed to work? But I did go to bed early each night, since Kidlet was sleeping in my bed. Hubby slept downstairs on the air mattress.

7. Soda. I don’t touch this stuff for the most part. My husband would dry up and blow away if he did not consume 48 ounces a day minimum of Coke or Pepsi. As I mentioned above, I can’t handle caffeine, so I avoid colas. I’m not big on sugary pop either. I will drink ginger ale if mixed with juice…or rum (but that’s another story). Kidlet drinks far too much of the stuff, thanks to her father’s influence, but I keep her to 8 oz or less per day, never after 7pm, and as little caffeine as I can. Root beer is her favorite. While ill this week I don’t think she had any.

So other than starting with good general health, and eating right, drinking tea, water, OJ, getting as much sleep as I could, not sharing utensils or food or playing kissy-face, washing hands after clearing away used tissues from table tops (Really? The trash sack is right next to you), I didn’t do anything special.

As soon as they were independent of fever I took a long hot bath and read a book.

So what do you do when your whole family is sick to avoid catching it yourself?