Monday, April 28, 2014

A Visit From The Olden Days: Sick Kid Update

Little man. I wish I could squish him now.
So after all the puking, LE went on to just be regular sick, like a flu. I skipped work and had the rare privilege of looking after him while he was adorable cuddly sick. One time after Pirates of the Caribbean I was all, "Hey, why don't you go to sleep for a little while?" and he was all, "Ok," and he went to sleep for a little while. A whole bunch of times I held him on my lap and rocked him and he went to sleep as though he's not getting entirely too big to sit in my lap.

I made the chicken soup. It was awesome. LE ate a bit of that and some other stuff, and he was drinking stuff so it seemed he was going to be okay. His dad came and got him Saturday and I told him to go ahead and take the boy to the doctor because he still had a fever and what the hell. His dad hasn't paid child support in a year, so the least he can do is take the boy to the doctor, and a fancy private one at that.
He probably didn't really say that.

The doctor gave not one, but two kinds of antibiotics. Apparently they tasted really gross. I've tasted his antibiotics before and they're fucking awful. So bad you want to spit like 20 times and wipe your tongue with kolonya. On the second day of the antibiotics, LE didn't want to take them. BE told him he'd have to go to the hospital and get the serum with the needle and everything. LE hated the medicine so much he puked it up and was all, "Give me the needle, bitches."

So that's what they did. By then, it was clear the rash he had wasn't heat rash. The doctor got us all freaked out it was measles, blaming the Syrian refugees. After extensive blaming from the MIL about the boy getting sick, I got all worried the measles were indeed my fault because he hasn't had his last round of vaccinations. I've tried several times with doctors, but they just shoo me off assuring me that they'll do the vaccinations at his school for free, so why pay for them? And since I haven't gotten any child support in a year, I'm like, "Seems reasonable." But they haven't done them at school yet.

The black thing is a temporary pirate tattoo that hasn't come off for like two weeks. Elementary school kid lore maintains that temporary tattoos are sort of haram and also give you cancer. It could be the haram-ish tattoo that made him sick. 
MIL knows everything is my fault. I'm not even a real mother, letting that poor neglected kid run around naked and go to bed early. Other things that are my fault include Syria and that missing plane and the Star Wars prequels, all three of them. My main problem is that I have a multitude of other concerns in my head and my stigmata rarely leak. It weighs on me and I'm sorry.

Fortunately, it's not measles, but get this: it's scarlet fever. SCARLET FUCKING FEVER! Seriously? Do they even have that anymore? What the hell? Even with all of my neglect there's no way I could have caused a disease from 1850 to strike my house. I should have tied my corsets tighter. I should have polished my spats and ivory tipped walking cane more carefully. I need a snuffbox. We have a total lack of spittoons around here. And where's my orphan worker?

I need me one of these.
So I dutifully informed everyone-- LE's school, his pre-school, his friends he's played with in the last week, a former student/FB friend who helped organize the kids' fair LE went to the day he got sick, and I even sent an email to the faculty listserv in case any of their kids had been at the fair (which was held in the gym because of rain) -- and then I promptly got on with life.

Scarlet fever, when it's not a steampunk illness, just needs a whack of penicillin. LE got his last night and felt great and demanded Turkish breakfast on the spot, which of course was dutifully provided, leaking stigmata and all.

And of course I went and researched it, hoping scarlet fever had some romantic famous people connections, like syphilis and tuberculosis. In addition to both my grandfathers, here are some famous people who had scarlet fever:

Olden days illnesses are fucking awesome.
Well, no one actually. I checked about Helen Keller and Wikipedia says it was either scarlet fever or meningitis that got her. And Mary Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie fame? Turns out it was probably also meningitis that made her go blind, but the book editors changed it to scarlet fever because that was more understandable for people. The dumbing down of books has been happening for a long time.

So scarlet fever is still a thing. LE is on the mend. MIL lacks empathy, but it would be silly of me to expect otherwise. At least I can stick her with the boring part of kid sickness that involves making a kid who feels fine stay inside and not have any fun at all. Plus I can do my day job and my night proofreading job and maybe get in one or two cool nights out before all hell breaks loose on May 1.

Which is sure to happen. Wait for it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Puke-O-Rama: A Delayed Milestone

He was feeling mostly fine earlier today.

Tonight the boy wasn't feeling well so I advised him to skip dinner and go to bed. At first he was against that idea, but as he started to feel worse, he thought maybe that sounded okay. His stomach was upset and he had a sore throat so I promised him some medicine and herded him to the bathroom before anything gross happened.

Anything gross that happens in the bathroom is fairly easy to deal with, as far as gross things go. Turkish bathrooms have drains in the floor in case it's so gross you just need to hose the whole thing down.

So the poor boy was sitting miserably on the toilet saying his tummy hurt and shivering and not really wanting to make the effort to leave where he was. Sensing something gross was about to happen (he'd gone pretty white at this point and was swallowing a lot), I coaxed him to clean up and pull up his pants by promising to let him use my awesome sore throat gargle that's yummy like the sore throat spray he likes so much.

It worked, but when it came time for the gargle he cried and ran away. So I tried to get him to hunch over the toilet. Lucky for us, the cleaner had been through today so the toilet wasn't gross at all but he was scared of what was going to happen.

And then it occurred to me. Puking is not something he's really used to. He's never been much of a puker. Of course, there have been some carsick incidents and I always carry some bags on me for when minibus drivers go down the curvy hill too fast. There was that time when he was about two that he puked on his dad in the car and I was all, "Hee!" because his dad was so appalled, having never really dealt with any sort of bodily ejections from the child.

Tie dye and super cute.
The grossest one was when LE was a baby and suddenly decided halfway though eating his egg that he didn't like egg anymore. I never could get the smell of that one out of his pajamas so I threw them away. I was bummed too, because those pajamas were super cute.

I got him over the toilet an he totally hurled. I tried to act like it was cool so he wouldn't be scared because hurling is a fairly powerful thing if you're not used to it. I've never seen him hurling like that either so I was a little scared too. When he was done I got him to bed and brought him our biggest cooking pot, telling him that if he needed to hurl again to just do it in the pot. He was worried what would happen if he filled the pot. I assured him he would have to puke about 8 one-liter bottles of milk for that. He told me to quit making jokes and leave him alone. So I did.

And I went and made myself some dinner. His dad called wanting to talk to LE, and I was forced to tell him the boy was sick and sleeping. Babaanne was noisily advising nane-limon in the background. I assured them it's cool if I take the day off work tomorrow because nothing is going on and it seems awfully mean to make a tummy sick kid to ride in the car all the way to his dad's house.

Then Babaanne phoned right after to check in and remind me again about the nane-limon and to offer to take the boy off my hands tomorrow but I was adamant on keeping him. The thing is, he tends to get sick on weekends when he goes to his dad. It's as though his germs know I'm uninterested in minor complaints and they hold out till he gets to his Babaanne, who's extraordinarily interested in minor complaints. "It's my turn to look after him," I told her as sort of a joke, keeping in mind that the last time he got sick at their house involved a few diarrhea disasters that I was rather pleased weren't my problem. "Oh, no," Babaanne said. "It's not like that. We all miss him."

These will fucking kill you. Also air will kill you.
Which means either my sort-of joke fell horribly flat and seemed rude and territorial somehow, or that she hasn't had a martyr fix in awhile, or it means something else I totally missed. It was a particularly confusing call because she didn't blame me somehow for making him get sick, like by letting him eat Popsicles or by not forcing him to wear an undershirt. So I just told her she's awesome but I'm happy to look after him. The thing is, puke and diarrhea are super gross, but sick kids are a little bit adorable as long as they're not dying or anything. They're cuddly and nice and let you fuss over them, plus it means I can make chicken soup and skip work.

Naturally after that, I went on the Internet to review the symptoms of meningitis, E-Coli, and Ebola. Then I started reading some crap on Facebook, all feeling rather pleased that when my kid pukes, he does it either rarely or neatly. I was also marveling at myself for being unfazed about puke, and chalked it up to drunken adventures. I remembered a time in college when my brother puked on my arm and I didn't care, not really, though it helped that I was wearing short sleeves. I came across this article about real baby milestones and was all, "Hee! I remember when LE rolled off the bed the first time, and then he managed to roll off the sofa a couple of days later." Then I got to the part about getting puked on in the face for the first time and thought smugly, "That's why I never held the baby up in the air over my face."
Bad idea.

And seriously, just as I was reading that part, I heard a weak, "Mama" from the bedroom. I got in there to find the baby, now a boy, lying there puking all over his face. I got him up and over the cooking pot to finish up, and then he flopped back down into the pile of puke on his pillow.

Just put the lotion in the fucking basket already.
"Oh, honey, no, don't lie down!" I said, too late, and he said weakly into his own puke, "I'm sorry, Mama," like I'm Joan Crawford fixing to beat him with a pillowcase full of soap bars for slapping his face into his puke. I just wanted to save him from the indignity of that, but you know. Mother guilt.

So I got him into the bathroom and stripped him and washed him off and seriously, my past drunken adventures were no help at that point. How do you get a kid's shirt off that's covered with puke without getting more puke all over the kid? I almost puked like four times. Puke was falling off in bits onto the floor. I wondered if my mom used to almost puke when she washed me off because for sure I was a kid with a tendency to puke quite a lot. I was glad the boy had opted for salad for lunch instead of a hamburger. I thought of that scene in Stand By Me with all the puking that almost made me puke when I saw it in the theater, and then the movie just left me sad and unsettled because the narrator said River Phoenix's character died in a barfight when he grew up. At 12, there was no way I was getting over that shit.
Did anyone get over him?

Plus there was puke on the bed. Puke on the bed! What the hell do you do about that? I'll bet my mom knows. But so does the Internet. So I relocated the kid up to the sofa while I dealt with the bed and checked the Internet about puke on the bed and tried to ignore my half-eaten dinner because the puke was starting to do my stomach in. How the hell did my mom deal with puke on the bed before the Internet? I hauled the kid, all fevered and whimpering no no no no back to the bed I'd mostly cleaned up but also covered with a blanket and an extra towel until I can clean it properly tomorrow because there's no way I'm cleaning puke out of the sofa and there's really no way I'm moving the kid to my bed. There needs to be at least one puke-free bed in this house.

The poor mite has puked a few times since then. I've researched the early symptoms of the zombie virus just in case, but the Internet isn't clear on that. The last time he puked, he didn't get mad at me for making jokes and even asked me to describe in detail all the times I puked when I was a kid. I made some jokes and told him about some of my childhood puking incidents because he's pretty sure he's going to die. I don't blame him. It sucks to feel that way. I tried to explain some reasons he might be puking but that's really hard to do without mentioning food eaten earlier and as a seasoned puker, I know food eaten earlier is the last thing you want to hear about.

And that's it. We survived the delayed super gross kid puke milestone. It was super gross no matter how sorry I feel for the little man. I hope next time he does this, he's old enough for me to make him clean it up himself.

That last sentence was bullshit. No matter what, I'll always rub his back and and go "ssshhhhh" and assure him he's not going to die and love him no matter how stinky he is, even if he pukes on my face.