So, it was the very last Friday before school let out for summer. We were less than a week from officially being free of the elementary school protocol: the endless tedium of homework, the daily fight to swat away bullies and bad teachers from my boys. You spend every moment you can building them up so that when someone (a peer or a teacher) tries to tear them down, they will be strong enough to stand their ground or when that fails, to lick their wounds and mend their own hearts.
So, that last Friday felt like the home stretch. I reviewed the paperwork in Alex’s Friday folder with a sense of relief that it would be the last collection of papers begging for donations, advertising overpriced daycare disguised as “educational after school camps”, and reminding me to foster reading rather than video gaming (ya think?). Amongst the other papers was a standard notice warning that my child had been exposed to a particularly nasty strain of viral menace that had been happily commuting around the school grounds via the seven year old snot express. I read over the symptoms….fever, sore throat, malaise, red bumps on the hands and feet….and subsequently put it out of my head. Until the following Tuesday, when wee Alex came home from school with a fever, sore throat, and the dreaded “malaise”.
I responded the way any sentient parent would: I googled the illness to find out what the worst case scenario is, and what I discovered horrified me just a bit. According to various experts, (who prefer to be referred to by one name on that oh-so-dynamic highway of internetness, as in, “Dr. Pete” or “Miranda M.D.), most children with this disease will experience some level of discomfort due mainly to the sore throat and fever. However, the red bumps that follow often become oozing blisters that, while unsightly, are not too bothersome. So most medical websites seem to categorize this as one of the more innocuous and tolerable childhood maladies. I think that the medical professionals have determined that in the absence of vomiting and diarrhea, this is a fairly manageable illness. To be fair to these experts, lowing in their fields, I agree that if I have to choose between painless, oozing sores or vomiting and explosive diarrhea….the sores would probably win out, but not by a huge margin.
Luckily, I think we managed to become infected with an incredibly lazy version of the virus. If our virus had been a student, it would have been the one who sat in the back row of English Lit. 101, never cracked the shrink-wrap on the text book, and skated by with a C- with a little help from library Cliff’s Notes and relatively good penmanship.
The good news is that Alex had four and a half days of sore throat, one day with five or six flat red spots on one hand, and then it was over. No oozing, no blisters, no problem…..except that despite my constant laundry to wash anything not nailed down, and my meticulous attempt to take a Clorox anti-bacterial wipe to every surface in my house, Zach and Sam both spiked fevers last night. I am praying that we are still dealing with the lazy third cousin of this illness, but as always I will hope for the best and plan for the worst.
Facebook stock is obviously overrated. When I win the lottery…I shall be purchasing a nice portfolio filled with Clorox and Purell. Happy Healthy Summer to all.