Flu and Bugs

What a week it has been.

The downward spiral began on Sunday night. Jay was at mass and I was at home with the little ones. I managed to pull dinner together and then right when he got home I just went and crawled into bed, exhausted. I was achy and had a horrible headache, but I figured I was just very, very tired.

The next day I was tired and achy but functional, and Lily was the one who was actually sick. She ran a high fever all day and the next day too. Wednesday she was up and ready to go back to school when Max told me his head was itchy. Sure enough. Lice. I’ve been a parent for 23 years now and this is our first bout of the little buggers. So Lily went to school and Max stayed home. Then Lily popped a fever at school and had to come home early. All day Wednesday I felt like I was moving through molasses. It wasn’t until that evening when I took my temperature that I figured out that I was actually sick too.

Wednesday and Thursday are a blur of fever for me and trying to figure out the best way to deal with the lice. I was too tired to even be very grossed out by the whole thing. Paisley was a huge help and took charge of the bulk of the nit removal. Thursday Nana came over with lunch for the little ones and some tools for our pest problem: a Robi comb and some fabric spray. Then she watched the kids while I just rested for a while. Thursday was also the day that Max and Molly came down with the illness – high fevers, headache, coughing. I’m not sure if it is the same thing my nephew spent 4 days in the ICU for, but with Molly’s asthma we weren’t going to take any chances. We went into high alert and started her on every 4 hours round the clock albuterol.

Today was Friday, when I woke up this morning and came into the living room I found Molly sleeping propped up on one couch, Jay on the floor next to her, Lily in the middle of the floor and Max on the other couch. Lily went back to school, I felt about 60% better, and Max and Molly were still sick. Gus was super fussy, but he hasn’t run a fever yet so I’m just assuming he’s jealous of Molly for all the holding she has needed.

Molly is not one to suffer in silence. At least once an hour she would call out to me, “Mommy! Mommy, I’m siiiiiick!” On Thursday night when she tried to eat dinner, she left the table to go to the bathroom. After just a minute we heard a shriek and then she was crying like a fire engine, wailing and sobbing. A few of us ran to her thinking that she had to have really hurt herself. When I asked her what was wrong she just said, “I’m tired!” Ok, then.

Posy and Paisley have already had this particular scourge, so that means more then half of us are done with it. Next week could be long and exhausting as well.

And for those of you who will inevitably be grossed out to be around us, know that lice are not that easily spread, and we are doing what appears to be the most effective way of battling them – manual removal at least once a day, plus a buzzed head for Max and braids for the girls. Covering them with oil is supposed to help, although some sources say that doesn’t actually kill them, it just puts them in a kind of suspended animation. That’s okay, that means they aren’t laying eggs and we can catch them when we painstakingly go over scalps every darn day. Oh, and washing and vacuuming everything. And now – I’m going to bed because I am still very tired and achy.

And one more sweet picture of sacked out sickies: