Monday, November 24, 2014
The Cold and Fever Within
Not that sickness was good news, but that they all were getting it at the same time.
Let me tell you a story:
Waaaaaay back before I had kids, I was an immunology research lab technician. I had a particular talent for cell culture. I had excellent aseptic technique.
My technique was good enough that I was able to do intracellular culture in human cells in a bacteria lab without a laminar flow hood and my cultures were never contaminated. All of which just means that I know what it takes to protect something from viruses and bacteria.
Back when I had all little kids, my worst nightmare was a stomach bug. So when a kid got sick, even though I knew it was likely a highly contagious, super tiny norovirus that would be impossible to contain without a hospital's isolation unit, I had to try.
Using absolute best possible practices, maintaining strict isolation and using copious quantities of bleach, I achieved the following: I delayed the spread of the stomach bug so that, 12-24 hours after one child stopped vomiting, the next one started. And we were sick for a solid month. To add insult to injury, the severity tended to increase with each child.
I don't regret trying, because I had to know if it was humanly possible. It isn't. The only way to have only one young child get a stomach bug is to have only one young child.
After that, as soon as one kid got started, I encouraged them all to group hug, and give the sick one lots of kisses. When they're sick, faster is better.
Back to the present day, I was delighted that they were all getting the cold at the same time, and that they were likely to be all over it by Thanksgiving (we can't visit my folks if we have a respiratory infection). Alas, this took a turn for the feverish, and on Saturday, 6 of 8 had high fevers. Today, 7 of 8 have low fevers (I got the fever early and am over it - a brilliant move on my part, since I need to make large quantities of tea right now).
I'm not sure what will happen for Thanksgiving, but, on the bright side, no one feels awful, just feverish, stuffy, and sneezy, so we've been having a nice time relaxing together!