Are You Feeling Better Yet?
by Julie Davidson
You might recall these words, “My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear. There is a hole inside my ear. I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what? What’s that? What’s that you say? You say today is…Saturday? G’bye, I’m going out to play!”
That was the poem titled, “Sick” by Shel Silverstein. And really it’s pretty on the money when it comes to kids and being sick. Or not being sick.
When my kids were young I used to run them to the doctor—a lot. Perhaps too much. I mean, they were sick, shouldn’t they go to the doctor? Almost each time, the doctor would check them out, look at me, and say, “You just have wait it out. Give him lots of liquids and rest.” I know he was right, but after too many days on end of runny noses and uncontrollable coughs, I was thinking I should be indulging in liquids and rest.
The other day when Maxon had the sniffles, I got a little nervous. As always, a list of possible possibilities ran through my mind. What color of green means this is a sinus infection—lime green or Army green? It might be a good idea to redo that poke, scratch test thing at the allergist. Could this be Lyme Disease? Is he too young for shingles? Kids can’t get the mumps anymore can they? For the truly non-medical like me, this is not a good thought process.
Maxon said he didn’t feel well. Until he saw I that I bought more soda. Then his eyes grew wide, and he asked, “I feel better. Can I have a soda?”
Not long after that, he plopped down next to me on the couch and said, “I think I’m sick. I probably shouldn’t go to school tomorrow.”
I insisted he would be attending school. He was frowning until he learned his brother was going with me for a bike ride. “Oh, can I come? I’m feeling better. Plus the fresh air will be good for me.”
He was sick. He was better. This cat-and-mouse game lasted the better part of the day. Before drifting off to sleep, he announced that he couldn’t go to school because he wouldn’t be able to shake his teacher’s hand in the morning because he had too many germs. Plus, he’d get other kids sick.
In the morning he woke up with ear pain. To the doctor’s office we went. Yep. An ear infection. Sometimes the real solution is an antibiotic. But first you might see if candy, soda, and outdoor activities will do the trick.