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Sore Throats and Suckers

Last weekend my 7 year old started complaining of a sore throat and achy limbs. His nose was running, and he felt warm. I took his temperature which was 100.4. Oh no. What if it is COVID? Fever reducing medicine was given straight away. We couldn’t get him in to the doctor until Monday. Sunday he was just as sick as he was on Saturday. First thing Monday morning I called the doctor. I had myself absolutely convinced this was COVID. My co-worker had just notified me she was getting tested, so when they asked if I wanted a COVID test for him I immediately said yes. Then we had to sit him down and explain what was going to happen. They will stick a long cotton swab up your nose and it will make your eyes water but if you sit still it will not be bad. We had to go to the doctor at a specific time, come in through a side door. Everyone was masked up plus visors. He was handling this like a champ. We went in the room and laughed and talked about every single poster on the wall. He talked to the doctor of the epicness of cats. My son knows how to talk to anyone at any time and has no fear whatsoever of speaking to a crowd. Basically, my son is my opposite socially in every way from when I was young. He’s been ordering his own meals at restaurants since he was four. He just has that way of engaging people. He never hides behind me or ducks his head apprehensively. He’s got the gift of speaking and had the doctors rapt attention. When it came time for the testing, the doctor tried to warn him again extensively what was going to happen. My son said he completely understood. In retrospect, I don’t think there is any real way to mentally prepare a child for the feeling of someone else shoving something up his nose. The doctor came in, counted to three and pushed that swab home. The scream that followed was ear shattering. All promises of holding his head still were gone. To add insult to injury the doctor then had to swab his throat. More screaming ensued and this was followed by the doctor jumping to his feet hurridly trying to quiet him. Promises of multitudes of suckers and candy came out of that doctors mouth, and he ran from the room while my son sobbed in my arms. “You said it wasn’t going to hurt” he cried (I never said that). I held him, the doctor reappeared with a blue sucker and a green sucker plus stickers. He calmed right down. They told me I’d have the results in an hour. This was not a rapid test but a thorough test that would check for 17 different viruses. The throat swab was for strep. My son waved goodbye happily with one sucker in his mouth and the other clutched tightly in his hand.

Back at home he was feeling better. No school, all the cartoons and you tube he wanted plus ice pops for the sore throat. An hour later the doctor called with the results. No COVID. All he had was a cold and strep throat. Up until this point I had been assuming he had COVID. Strep throat and a regular cold had barely crossed my mind. Oh no. Within a few days of starting medicine, my little guy was back on his feet at full energy mode and I was the one getting sick. I kept him home from school for three days. By day three we were all going a little mad. Not only did he feel better, he felt better than he had in a week. He was bouncing off of the walls. There was no sitting still. Additionally the weather was icky so he was inside. On day three when he wouldn’t stop talking (because he is a people person and had no people outside of us for six days to talk to) I said, “if you have that much energy you could always go for a walk on the treadmill”. His eyes lit up. “OK!!”, he shouted. We went downstairs, he gets on the treadmill and I hear it start going waaay to fast. “That’s too fast”I shouted,” turn it down a noch”. “I LIKE IT THIS WAY”, he shouted, “I’M JUST REALLY GETTING GOING, I’M AT A 5 AND I FEEL GREAT”.

He is something else. He’s overly dramatic. His imagination is through the roof. He has a profound love for cats, Minecraft, Pokemon, and his stuffed animals lovingly referred to as stuffies. He’s sentimental. We are currently making up a story together every night before bed. He’s a picky eater, and is starting to lie to get out of trouble. These are things we are working on. Again, he is the opposite of me when I was a child and so much different than my older son. I love him fiercely and I can’t wait to see what he will become as he grows up. He is growing up though and I’m not ready. My oldest son seemingly grew up overnight. It happened so fast and yet so slowly and I was unprepared when it happened. I feel more prepared this time but I don’t want it to happen. We only have our children as children for such a relatively short time and if I think about it too much it makes me so sad. I hate that this life sort of forces you into a 40+ hour work week away from ones family. For a long time I worked too much, never took vacation, and brought work home with me. I’m not that person anymore and I’m glad. I’m focusing on my family the way I should have all along. This realization brought me so much happiness today. Just wanted to share.

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