Thursday, February 19, 2009

A 'Little Bug' & Kyle's Tick

So, 12 days ago we went to Giggleberry Fair. Meera spent most of the time in the backpack on Braydon's back while we were there (what else is new?!), but after awhile I started to feel bad for her and wanted to let her out so she could move a little. She was happy to be free, sitting, standing, and -- as usual -- putting everything she came into contact with in her mouth. The kids (K, O, and Zoe) were playing in the "Grocery Store"/"Farm" area of the playspace (this is almost like a children's museum sort of environment) and began, very cutely, bringing shopping baskets full of plastic toy food to Meera. Meera loved this game!-- the cauliflower, bananas, eggplants, apples, etc, etc, etc, were all very exciting to Little Miss. Even the 'shopping baskets' were very exciting. And, of course, she was putting everything into her mouth. Watching her, all these plastic things upon her lips, drool smearing all over them, other babies' dried drool surely smearing all over her, her little baby teeth clamping down as hard as she could bite, and her grinning ear-to-ear through it all... all I could think was, "OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THIS GERM INFESTED MESS!" I even said something to the effect of "I KNOW I SHOULDN'T BE LETTING HER DO THIS. I KNOW I'M GOING TO REGRET THIS!" to Lori, who just nodded knowingly in complete agreement. Exactly 24 hours later Meera's nose started running and eyes started watering. Yup. And she's been battling a cold ever since. She's on the mend now, but the rest of us are paying the price for that cutesy-plastic-food-germ-infested-moment -- BIG TIME. Meera's little cold bug spread fast. First it was me who came down with it. A bad head cold with sore throat, runny nose, achy all over. And then K & O started sneezing and dripping-from-their-noses. Braydon seems to be the healthiest of all, but even he is fending off a touch of it too. The other day, as I was blowing my nose, Kyle said, "Mommy, you are so sick, I'm worried you're going to die." This has been a big theme for Kyle for the past six months (a deep fear of me dying brought on by the horribly traumatic and sudden deaths of my two cousins). We've been working on this/dealing with this pretty much constantly with Kyle since September. So, upon the "Mommy, you are so sick, I'm worried you're going to die" comment, I reassured Kyle (yet again) that I was going to be just fine (and, yet again, we talked briefly about some of the basic circumstances of my cousins; he asked me for the billionth time about how they died, he asked me for the millionth time about bodies and souls ["The body dies, but the soul -- all that is good and true about the person on the inside -- goes to heaven"] etc., etc.). Somewhere in there I remember saying something along the lines of "You don't need to worry Kyle, I'm not too sick, this is just a little bug!" I specifically remember the second where I could see his little brain go into full gear. "A BUG?!" he asked. I tried to explain that people sometimes call colds or flus a "little bug" and that it means that it isn't a big deal, but... I could tell that what I was saying was lost on him. He was still back at "little bug" and wasn't easily going to get past it. This is, afterall, just how it is with four year olds sometimes. They hear what they hear and it is what it is: often, very literal. Well, as things like this sometimes do, the "little bug" thing has lingered... in more ways than one.

Of the five of us, Kyle has been the most hard hit by this Giggleberry-Fair-Fake-Food-Provoked cold. The first hint that something was not right was when he told me that his ear "hurts deep." He then quickly explained to me with total certainty that "it hurts because of the tick." "The tick?" I asked. "Yes," he said, "I have a tick in my ear." He was absolutely certain that a tick (as in the small insect, or, the "little bug") had crawled into his ear and was in there, hurting him. His complaining about his "tick in his ear" did not let up. He was describing in detail the tick -- it was "deep in there"; it was "a tiny baby tick"; it was "a black tick with pinchers"; it was "in his ear making it hurt." Complaining, of any kind, by Owen or Kyle, is extraordinarily rare -- so much so that we take it very seriously when it happens. I don't think that Kyle has been sick enough to warrant a doctor's visit for about three years now (ever since he got tubes in his ears and had his adenoids taken out at the age of 20 months). But we could see his ear pain was significant, and so Braydon got him into the doctor as soon as possible (which was Tuesday). What we suspected was confirmed: ear infection and swollen glands. He got right on an antibiotic that same afternoon. When I got home from work Kyle's account of the doctor's visit was that "it was the 'high' of his day" and that "the doctor found the tick!" Within 24 hours of taking the antibiotic, Kyle was feeling much better. He woke up yesterday saying "the medicine is healing my ear! it is killing the tick!" Last night, before bed, he explained to me that his ear was "all better," that it "doesn't hurt at all anymore," and that "the tick is out!!!" And then, very seriously, standing in the boys' bathroom, Kyle told me this: "You know how it happened Mom? The tick's skin died. The 'med-sins' [medicine] died the skin. So the skin's dead and the tick's out. It crawled right out with no skin. You know where the tick is now? The tick is in heaven. That tick's peaceful in heaven but the skin is dead! And my ear's healthy!"


Ani said...

I'm so sorry you are all sick!

Kyle's account of the illness is priceless. How lucky that you have it all down for posterity.

It never ceases to amaze me how children process information - may his tick remain peaceful somewhere else :)

Anonymous said...

my poor babies. everyone is sick here too. i took all of them to the doctor today. i think i have a tick too. :(


Katie said...

THESE are the stories that your kids are seriously going to thank you for writing down when they are older. The tick story, the baby-Jesus-stealing-Angels story, and Owen telling you he was upset with himself because he wasn't listening...seriously your kids will love to know about this in 20 years...and I hope sooner!