Monday, October 1, 2007

sick bug

bug is sicko. she picked something up last weekend at the end of our trip to the beauty pageant. when i woke her up to nurse before heading for home, she was already stuffy. sunday morning her eyes were glued shut with goop. (that seemes to be the way her body reacts to foreign invaders. kill 'em off and ship 'em out through the ocular orifices.)

her eyes and nose have not gotten any better in the past week, although her spirits have revived. she had left off babbling and singing for awhile, but has joyfully resumed. she's still sleeping more than usual and her appetite has lost any semblence of normalcy. one day she'll nurse every hour, another day she'll have just enough to doze off. one night she went to bed at 630. i woke her up once more before i went to bed and as soon as she was done eating, she conked right back out again.

i knew this was inevitable. starting daycare means meeting all the germs that hang out there, brought in by other little hosts (and their elementary-school-attending siblings) and shared via the slimy ends of sucked-on toys. i just hope that since she is still getting so much breastmilk, bug will not have the initiation that pooka did. pooka -and by association, I- were sick for the first 2 and a half months of her daycare experience. (a streak that landed us in a freakishly foreshadowing visit to the van elslander cancer center.)

i have tried to help bug out by washing her eyes frequently, and administering beastmilk to clear out any dormant infection. this she tolerates. what she cannot and will not endure is my assault on her nostrils with the evil blue implement of torture known in our house as the "booger eater".

once she catches sight of it in my hand, she immediately starts wailing. she thrashes so much that when i am actually able to access her nostrils, i damage the lining and get some bloody mucus. after the first 2 times with that result, i have to weigh the necessity of clearing an airway against the eerie sight of an infant nosebleed.

to achieve my goal without traumatizing bug too much, i have been trying less brutal methods. i can't bear to sit with her in a steamy bathroom because i break into a sweat. we have two kinds of nose drops: plain saline and baby decongestant. she dislikes the application of either of those, as well. my last resort is an outlet plug-in that dispenses sudafed vapors. i used the outlet right under her crib. (i also put one in pooka's room, since she has developed the husky cough that is passing through kindergarten, independent of any other symptoms.) within minutes of plugging these in, the entire house reeked of menthol. pooka claimed that it smelled like the mint cookies that she and granny had made.

the result?
pooka seemed to cough less and sleep more soundly last night. bug was still stuffy and goopy this morning. on the bright side, she doesn't really seem to care.