Friday, January 27, 2017

Witness the Sickness

I am so sick. Like miserable, no energy, hacking cough, congestion, achy muscles type of sick. Who knows what it is, but does it really matter? At work the other day I desperately had one of the X-ray techs do an AP on me. No pneumonia. That would have been too easy. How did I get this? From my 14 month old daycare attending daughter. Only she's moved on and is back to her normal, playful self.

The same thing happened around Christmas, but my husband was the innocent victim. She brought something home that knocked him down with a viral malaise that turned into a raging sinus infection. The babe got better in a few days; he lingered on with "man cold" for a couple weeks. We all know how painful that is for everyone!

I hear that what my household is experiencing is a thing. People tell me, "I've never been as sick as I was my first winter with a child in daycare." I hear, "Every time they change classrooms you'll get deathly ill." I have also heard, "It gets better once they turn two." Please God, let this be the case.

So Mothers in Medicine, my question is, what are your strategies for dealing with this? Is there any preventative magic I should be invoking? Because I don't know that I can go through something like this (two plus weeks of feeling like utter crap) again. We all know how hard it is to take care of our patients (and our children) when we are the sick ones, and we as a profession are the absolute worst at staying home and nursing ourselves back to health! What do you all do?

12 comments:

  1. I loaded up on Emergen-C, Airborne, any type of concentrated Vitamin C and took it almost daily through the sick seasons or if a kid came home sick - that seemed to help a lot, if not beat it back, at least mitigate it. Still do that now - not nearly as often as back then. But I remember, it was hell, and it does get better. When I was a fellow - kids were toddler and baby - I got walking pneumonia and hacked for a few months. Went down to a size 2 from my normal 10, working all the while. It was pretty crazy in retrospect that I didn't go to a doctor but I was running on empty and couldn't find the time. Spring came and it eventually lifted. Good luck!

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    1. Wow I really hope it doesn't get that bad! I also hack all day and night, which makes my sleep poor, but of course I need it to get better. A viscious cycle.

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  2. Motrin is great for sore throats. NyQuil so you can sleep even tho you're congested. I guess it got better when ours turned two. Now she's five and it's WAY better. Hope you feel better soon!

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  3. When my kid was in day care, I washed my hands all.the.time. Before I went into an exam room, after I came out of an exam room, every time I walked past a sink. It was such a reflex that after my doc examined me, I hopped off the table and washed my hands. I am also better than most docs (and most adults, I think) in making sure I get enough sleep and I think that makes a big difference. For a while, we kept zinc ColdEze lozenges in the house and used them at the first sign of URI.

    The worst winter for us was the year my husband's PhD adviser put *her* kid in daycare. I was a second-year resident. None of us were getting any sleep. His whole work group was sick for months, and so were the spouses. It was awful. My kid's day-care years were a snap by comparison.

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    1. Yeah, the hand washing... I feel like I'm pretty good about hand washing, but it's hard to wash the baby's hands adequately, with the squirming and such.

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  4. It sucks but get better. I take sonata to help sleep when congested. Pseudoephedrine during the day. This too shall pass

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    1. Hmm I haven't tried either. Thanks for the tip!

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  5. Afrin to sleep when I can't breathe out of my nose! A multivitamin because, well, why not? Coffee and Motrin to make the days bearable. And I tried to prioritize sleep whenever possible. Not a lot of socializing that winter, but my body thanked me! Hang in there!

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    1. Yes, I find coffee to be very important too. Thx-

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  6. Try a little Codeine/Phenergan cough syrup at night time. It really helps the night time hacking You've got to get good sleep to get better. Hang in there, we experienced everything you've mentioned. You're doing all the right things- it does get better.

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    1. Someone else mentioned Phenergan for nighttime... gotta try that. BTW is this Jen Layman the anesthesiologist? You and I trained at the same place, I met you when I was a med student!

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