I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
August 29, 2014
My son has had a fever for three days now and we are all getting a little stir-crazy here at the Ferrier house- My kids have gotten so bored that they are doing the unthinkable this morning- THEY ARE CLEANING THEIR ROOMS. I kid you not. My daughter is a bit of a neat freak so for her this is not unusual behavior, but watching my son happily put his toys away, I’m worried that his fever has made him delirious.
As I prepared this morning for (yet another) day indoors, I thought of a column I wrote a few years ago for the Nashville City Paper, which addresses the real worry we moms have when one child gets sick– CONTAGION.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you now this epic tale of suburban horror…
Hollywood horror films are so out of touch. I don’t lie awake at night worrying that some dude in a hockey mask will slash me in my sleep, nor am I afraid of getting pregnant with Satan’s spawn. If those big shot directors really wanted to get the attention of millions, they’d take my advice and release…
SICK HO– USE.
Imagine hearing this the next time you’re sitting through previews at the Regal 12:
“The baby has rotavirus! Junior is projectile vomiting on the living room carpet! Your husband is in bed with the flu– AND YOU HAVE PINK EYE. Sick House. Because there’s no place like home for the horror days!”
Just try to sit through that trailer without frantically fumbling for the hand sanitizer down in the bottom of your purse. I dare you.
We had our worst Sick House experience several years ago. Our own personal horror movie began with a certain former friend, who dropped off her obviously sick kid at our house three days before Christmas, then turned off her phone for two hours while I left voice mail after voice mail about her child’s 102-degree-fever-oh-my-god-where-the-hell-are-you-you-have-got-to-come-back-here-right-now. The finale occurred on Christmas morning– by that blessed day, the kid’s respiratory illness had spread to all six people in my house, culminating in pneumonia for our youngest.
We stumbled through the holiday coughing and cursing and skipping all our favorite Christmas and New Years activities. But we weren’t done yet. Oh, no. It turns out there’s a sequel. Sick House 2: The Sore Throat from Hell.
It began a couple of weeks ago, when my oldest stepdaughter came home from school early, clutching her throat.
“It hurts so bad,” she whispered. “I couldn’t sit through class like this. I had to come home. Ohhhh, it hurts so bad.”
“Well, take some Ibuprofen,” I advised in the special I’ve-heard-it-all voice I reserve for my teens. After all, this could have had just as much to do with an upcoming test in Spanish Three or a poorly chosen pair of tights as it did with a sore throat.
Within a few days, both my little ones had come down with the crud. I did all I could to stem the surge of the evil tide, but it was no use. I woke one morning to the sound of my toddler babbling on the monitor and clutched at my neck, realizing instantly that the dread– had spread.
“My throat,” I croaked. “Ohhhhhhhh, it hurts so bad.”
“I’m sorry,” Hubs muttered suspiciously from beside me. Clearly, he was wondering if I was trying to guilt him into getting up with the baby so that I could sleep in. It wasn’t like I hadn’t done it before.
The tears bubbling in my eyes seemed to convince him that at least this time, it was the real deal. Resignedly, he got up, and I stayed put. But it didn’t help. When I woke up again a couple of hours later, I had to face facts: my throat felt like a razor blade was lodged in it. Make that five razor blades. And throw in some sandpaper for good measure.
I soldiered on, only because I’m a mom and I don’t get days off. I took my Ibuprofen. I gargled my salt water. I slept in a few more times thanks to Hubs and I went about my business, stone-faced. I made it through nine days of torture that included two separate business trips with hardly a whimper. Twenty days later, I still wasn’t 100 percent well, but my suffering was only partly due to my lingering cough and stuffy nose. Every horror movie has a gut-wrenching climax, after all, and ours was still to come.
“Aarrrrrrghaghack ghack ghack.” I was startled awake a few days ago by what sounded like the Creature From the Black Lagoon.
It was my husband.
“My throat, Ohhhhhhh, it hurts so baddddd,” he said in a voice eerily reminiscent of the Crypt-Keeper.
“Yep,” I sighed. “Sorry, Hubs. It was only a matter of time. Might I suggest Ibuprofen?”
In the grand tradition of husbands the world over, my man was stricken with the sore throat like no one had ever been stricken before. For the last three days, he has shuddered, he has shivered, he has groaned, and he has moaned.
“I can’t believe it still hurts,” he said thickly this morning.
“Yeah, it lasts about two weeks,” I told him for the 1,587th time.
“Your throat didn’t hurt this bad,” he says. “There’s no way it could have hurt this bad.”
I clenched my teeth and said nothing. Hubs seems convinced he will die of the sore throat, but he doesn’t realize that if he doesn’t put a sock in it, I just might kill him first.
And that’s where Sick House 2 ends — in true cliffhanger tradition.