I'm writing this post in the middle of the night. It's 2:38 am, and I'm sitting here in the pitch-black, frizzy hair illuminated only by the glow of the computer screen, hunched forward because I'm like totally blind without my contacts in. I wish I could say it was silent in here, but I can seriously hear Curtis snoring from all the way in the back of the house - dude sounds like a rusty chainsaw - which is part of the reason I'm awake right now.
But only part of the reason.
The other part is that, well, I think I have a serious disease.
It all started two days ago, when Colin came home from school. I was going through all the papers in his backpack, looking over each sheet. Awww, he's doing so much better about not writing in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. ... Hmmm, we need to pick up the stuff we ordered from his fundraiser. ... Yay, he gets to have a Halloween party on the 29th. ... Ohhh, he's been - exposed to pertussis?!
Yes. There it was, tucked between the school newsletter and his homework assignment: a letter that proclaimed, in a very urgent-looking headline, "YOUR CHILD HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO PERTUSSIS (WHOOPING COUGH)."
We got a general letter about it, along with a pertussis fact sheet, a few weeks ago. It seems they've had outbreaks of it in several of the schools around here, so they were letting everybody know. But this is the first indication that it's ever been present at his school.
Anyway, being the over-concerned mother that I am, I immediately rifled through my stack of
Still, all seemed well around here ... until the wee hours of yesterday morning, when Colin came to crawl in bed with us at about 4:30. Coughing.
It wasn't anything big, just a few little coughs here and there. In the morning, when he woke up, he complained that his throat was a little bit sore, but after he ate breakfast he said it was better, and he wasn't coughing any more. Didn't have a stuffy nose. Didn't have a fever. Was normal Colin. (Well, okay, he was Colin ... "normal" is subjective.)
But last night, I was sitting on the couch after the kids had gone to bed, watching the Teen Mom finale special and mad wishing for a pint of Ben & Jerry's, when I started to feel a persistent tickle in my throat. It had gone away by morning, but when evening rolled around I felt pretty bad - my throat was sore, my nose was getting runny, and I just had that "I'm coming down with something" malaise. You know, like in the "Peanuts" comics when they're sick and they have that little squiggle over their heads?
Which brings us to now. Here I sit, researching the crap out of pertussis symptoms. I was Googling it from the comfort of my bed until my iPhone died, so now I'm at the computer (and FYI? I'm not wearing pants). All I'm finding out is pretty much a rephrasing of what's on the stupid fact sheet that I've read so many times I've nearly got it memorized. (Oh yeah - and that the antibiotic they use to treat it just so happens to be the one I'm deathly allergic to.) How am I supposed to know if this is indeed a common cold or the start of some wicked disease?
I'm relatively paranoid; I seriously think my every twinge, ache, or bruise is a sure sign of cancer. It's a good thing I wasn't born in the pioneer days, or I'd have farted and had the whole wagon train thinking I was dying of dysentery. So you would think that someone like me would have my doctor's phone number on standby. But I don't - because I don't even have a doctor. I haven't been to a doctor - except an OB/GYN, for pregnancies - in years. And I'd hate to search for a decent physician, make sure they accept our insurance, call around trying to arrange for child care or have Curtis leave work so he can watch the kids, and schlep myself to the doctor's office only to have them say, "Uh ... ma'am? It's just a cold. Go home and get some chicken soup or something."
But still. I mean ... pertussis, y'all. And now? Curtis has it too.
The kids are still fine - no more symptoms out of Colin - but they've also been vaccinated for it much more recently than either Curtis or I have.
If anybody wants to donate a laptop, I'll write a final post from my deathbed.