Whooping it up over here

So…
Let me tell you a little story.
Three and a half weeks ago our school term ended and holidays began. Oscar had been a bit congested during the last week of term – a cold if you will – but nothing major. No alarm bells.
Then we started the clusterfuck that was trying the “very low dose” of the “very mild anti-depressant” that turns out to be an old school anti-depressant and not very mild at all.
So what we had was a child with a mild cold and major sedation.
Then we went to Kill’s place and had a rollicking good time and maybe Felix was coughing then or maybe not.
I don’t remember him coughing so I’m figuring he wasn’t and think that perhaps he started coughing late in the second week of the school holidays – which is two weeks ago.
By then I was pretty darn anxious about Oscar and the sedating effect of this “very mild anti-depressant” which was meant to be giving him a better quality sleep but was completely denying him any existence whatsoever. So I scaled back the dose from half a tablet to a quarter each evening with to very minor effect.
Then I go sick and Oscar was still poorly.
So I dragged his sad little self and my panicky arse to the GP clinic at our local hospital last Monday.
She thought Oscar had a virus of some sort and because he’d had it for so long gave him an antibiotic.
She also gave me antibiotics and steroids which fixed me up good and proper in just a few days.
But by then Felix’s cough was a Cough but apart from The Cough was absolutely fine – normal ridiculous no-off-button appetite, no fever, no feeling poorly etc.
And Oscar was not really improving at all.
On Saturday Oscar complained of a headache at 6am so I gave him some panadol and he slept in bed next to me for a couple of hours.
It had been planned for him to spend the day with my in-laws and he was very anxious to do so, so with reservations I dropped him off.
Meanwhile, back at the den of despair, Felix was going to his cousin’s place for a sleepover, to then return with the whole tribe the following day to celebrate Jasper’s impending 5th birthday.
Sure, he was coughing but it was ‘just a cough’.
Cue Oscar falling well and truly off the cart and having a sleep at my in-laws in the afternoon then coming home and sleeping from 6pm to 8am on Sunday. Unheard of.
Sunday.
All the family over to celebrate Jasper’s birthday (which is today! Photos and updates in that regard to come).
My SIL and BIL comment on Felix’s cough which WOKE THEM UP during the night of his sleepover.
I notice The Cough is most definitely worse.
Monday.
I take both the boys to the GP. Not our GP as he is still on leave but our GP understudy. Not the loser who told me to gargle aspirin last week when I had raging tonsilitis. Dickwad.
I tell her about Felix – a cough for about 10 days, no other symptoms, tendency for the cough to come in spurts but not coughing until he vomits or anything that dramatic.
Fill her in on Oscar.
Her reply, ‘guess what they have’.
Whooping Cough.
She thinks Oscar had it first but everything else going on with him masked it.
No point getting him tested as he’s been on antibiotics and that can skew the results.
Felix had the throat swab taken yesterday.
The whole family and mum are on antibiotics.
Everyone who came into contact with us on Sunday has been advised to take preventative antibiotics.
I am beside myself that we may have exposed Niamh – and Henry and Jemima for that fact – AND myriad children at the christening to it.
But then I tell myself Oscar wasn’t really coughing then, just snuffly and drugged.
Oy vey.
I worry about Oscar’s aide who sat beside him all last week and has four kids of her own.
That a pregnant friend was here on Friday (unfounded fear as the two coughers were not home so therefore not a problem apparently)
Our GP went to a session on it last week – at the moment they are recording the highest levels of whooping cough in the community since before immunisation.
If you are immunised (as all my children are) you can still get whooping cough but you will generally not get the whoop – just a nagging, relentless cough that will not go away.
In our neck of the woods it is rife – primarily due to our neck of the woods being home to a lot of fucking idiots who don’t get their kids immunised.
When I say fucking idiots I do not mean parents with legitimate GP-endorsed reasons for not getting their kids immunised.
I mean the fucking idiots who have read an article in Sydney’s Child or visited an alternate therapies practitioner or read a story about an immunisation gone wrong on Essential Baby and decided immunisation is the work of the devil.
Well I’m here to tell you that listening to my 60kg heifer of a son coughing up a lung for hour upon hour upon hour until he is exhausted and crying and stressed and scared to tell those fucking idiots to pull their fucking heads in and get their poor kids jabbed.
I have been in a ward with a four month old recovering from whooping cough so have seen what it does to a baby and just how utterly heart-breaking (let alone life-threatening and permanent-lung-damage-doing) it is to witness.
The antibiotics that are either protecting those of us in the house from getting it or killing it off in those of us who have it have the nasty side-effect of making you feel nauseous.
Oscar started vomiting today.
All of us have the runs.
The boys are home from school for five days minimum.
I have the gut feeling we’re going to end up at hospital at some stage this week – either with Oscar being so ill or because Felix is going to need to be on a nebuliser or given some adrenalin. If it doesn’t happen tonight I will be amazed.
I’m tired.
I’m feeling dreadful for having unknowingly possibly exposed so many people to this awful illness.
I am deeply worried about Oscar – this is the fourth week of him not being well and now he only seems to be getting worse – as he gets knocked harder by these things and takes so much longer to recover. Is the vomiting due to the antibiotics or has he picked up some other bug as well?
I am so relieved I went to the GP on Monday and may have nabbed it before the little fellas got it.
But seriously. I feel like enough shit has been thrown my way this year. It’s October and it has been unrelenting since February. I’ve kinda had a gutful to be honest.
But I know tomorrow I will rise (if not in a couple of hours to do the hospital run) and do it all again.
There’s a load of washing in the machine ready to be hung out, the dishwasher to be emptied, games to be played, new movies to be watched and all the rest inbetween.
We will get there.
“There” being that land of unicorns and rainbows and disposable income and me being fit and thin and Chef having abs and us having a holiday.
I know we will.

Onward!

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