The last time this happened was 2020, which is an ominous way to begin any sentence.
Isaac was not quite two and had come down with a “mystery respiratory virus” that required him to be on a nebulizer and antibiotics. In very little time, I also came down with this “mystery respiratory virus” that required me to also be on a nebulizer and antibiotics. Kyle worked from home while Isaac and I recuperated, and right when we were all feeling better, we got slammed with a stomach bug. On the plus side, said stomach bug got us used to ordering groceries through a website. On the minus side, well. Everything else.
Masks work, and I know this because our absurdly respiratory illness prone family hasn’t had a winter like this since mask use became popular right at the beginning of Covid. Even last year, when various illnesses started quietly spreading again, it was nothing like the years before, when Isaac and I, both of us with the lungs of a frail Victorian character, were knocked down for the count within days of the first sniffle.
But lo, here we are in 2023, and here Isaac and I are, both fighting the same respiratory bullshit. It’s hit Isaac harder than it’s hit me. Yesterday, we took him to urgent care and found that his O2 levels were at 88%, which is easily within ER range. PCR tests for both Covid and strains of the flu came back negative; it’s just a regular ass cold that turned into regular ass pneumonia. He’s on an albuterol nebulizer, like he used to be every year, and he’s on antibiotics, like he used to be on every year. He got a dose of steroids yesterday, which has the dual effect of (a) improving his breathing, and (b) making him really angry.
So that’s fun. And while we’re dealing with that, we’ve also been dealing with a cascade of other bullshit. In order:
Last Tuesday, Kyle brought our smaller car into the shop for an inspection sticker. It’s three months overdue. While he was there, the mechanic informed him that it failed because of some LCD light thing that they could technically fix, but they needed to order the part and it wouldn’t be in until Friday at the earliest. Kyle agreed to bring the car back on Friday.
So we did the whole week with only one car, which was easier than anticipated. All things considered, last week was pretty chill. Until Friday.
Friday during the day, I started feeling crappy, which was unfortunate because Kyle had to drop the smaller car off to be fixed. He did so while I stayed home, throat sore, feverish, exhausted. Every Friday is a half day for the twins, so I played referee for them in the afternoon while feeling like I’d been hit by a small bus; but in the evening, I had the chance to rest and took it with as much gusto as I could muster.
Friday evening, Kyle called the mechanic to check on the car, only to learn that oops, they hadn’t gotten the part in by Friday after all. We couldn’t pick the car up that night, but that was probably for the best because I was in no state to be doing anything beyond sleeping. This particular virus–not Covid or the flu, mind–is brutal.
On Saturday, I didn’t get out of bed very much. I think it wound up being a couple of hours in the afternoon and then about 3-4 hours in the evening for D&D, during which I mistakenly asserted that I thought I was on the mend.
Before D&D, Kyle sought to cook us breakfast for dinner on our stove, which once turned on, made a fancy “BZZT!” sound and displayed arcing blue light under the cooktop. Kyle immediately and correctly assessed this as what industry professionals call “not good” and turned off and unplugged the stove and flipped off the breaker going to it for good measure. We called an electrician that night, and said electrician mentioned he couldn’t come out right then but that he’d try and be out as soon as he could and, by the way, don’t use the stove until he can assess it, but it sounds like said stove was on the way out. So that’s neat.
Sunday was mostly chill except we had to figure out a way to feed three kids while also not having a stove, and two of those kids are autistic and very picky about food textures. Isaac was really starting to feel sick on Sunday, as was I, so he didn’t eat much, and I ended up having ice cream for dinner. No word about the stove.
Monday could’ve also been chill and restful, but the weather decided to throw everything it had at us–snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain, regular rain, the works–so the kids didn’t have school. Carrie was now starting to feel sick, so this was a surprisingly quiet snow day for us (usually our snow days are just pure chaos), but kids being home is always a bit harder than kids being in school. We heard a bit back from the electrician, who said that he couldn’t make it out in the storm but would come by first thing Tuesday.
So the electrician came first thing on Tuesday and, delightfully, the stove is still usable, minus one burner. We’re going to be replacing it sooner rather than later, but it’s not an emergency situation, so we can get through this bullshit week before replacing it, and that’s a great sign. Once the electrician had come and gone, and once we’d dropped Sammy off at school (since the twins were both feeling crappy), we went to pick up the smaller car, which passed inspection, and came home to call Isaac and my respective nurse lines, since neither of us were having a good time. Both nurse lines said that while this all sounded miserable, they have approximately six billion people in right now with the same symptoms so unless we were experiencing shortness of breath or whatever, we should just wait it out.
Remember that for later.
Tuesday night, Isaac was waking up with a bad cough fairly often, and Carrie ended up spiking a 103 fever around 1 a.m., so we were just. In a special place when we went to bed on Tuesday night. Very stressed out, and me still feeling like my lungs were gradually filling with sand (though I started feeling like I was on the mend late that night, so maybe the sand was leaving or something, I don’t know).
But anyway, Wednesday morning, Kyle called the pediatric nurse line again to say that hey, Isaac is still not doing great. They advised that he come in, since it was only a fifteen minute wait, and lo and behold, Isaac’s O2 levels were frighteningly low. Low enough that they said, after giving him baby steroids and starting his breathing treatment, that if neither of those things worked, he’d have to go to the ER by ambulance. Fortunately, both worked, and although Isaac wasn’t doing well by the time he left the urgent care, he’d improved slightly. After a brief hunt for antibiotics, he and Kyle came home, and we started the treatment phase, and now it’s today.
It’s honestly a weird week where the car being in the shop is a footnote. And where the stove not working is a minor inconvenience instead of a Major Issue. But here we are. I have no idea if I’m properly on the mend or not; if I am, it’s a slow climb. Isaac is definitely on the mend, but is sitting at the “wounded tiger” phase of being sick, by which I mean he’s lashing out at literally everyone for any given reason. This is a welcome change from the floppy listlessness of yesterday, but I’m looking forward to getting my smiley guy back.
And, well. To this week being over altogether, mostly.