It’s 4 a.m On A December Sunday…. Reflecting On A Long Week

Long week. There were good things: Hubby came home from ten days on the road. The kids, Nana, and I all survived his ten days on the road. We’ve all had more quality time with the kids. In the big picture, all is well.

But. Some very heavy patient interactions this week, a few of those memorably negative, complicated, or tragic cases, the kind that weigh on your soul. I’ve been uncharacteristically dragging in clinic.

And. The annoying upper respiratory virus that I’ve been seeing in clinic for weeks and weeks finally arrived in our house. Hubby’s first night home, after a red-eye flight the night prior and a full day’s work, we had both kids up coughing, crying, miserable, all night, one and then the other. The rest of the week, ditto. Every night.

Then, of course, one or the other child was home sick from school, and Thank Goodness For Nana, or we’d have been completely out of our minds.

My Thursday off, I had both kids home sick. Snuffly and coughy sick, not febrile or SICK sick, so I brought them to the animal shelter for my usual Thursday morning cat duty. The census was low and the animal officer was there to help, so we handily made it through our feeding and cleaning shift. Then, with the whole day ahead of us and snow beginning to blow, I wondered what we were going to do.

Seriously. On a snowy weekday in December, with both kids home coughing, what better place to be than the mall?

So we spent the better part of the day (and a lot of tissues and hand sanitizer) in consumerist heaven: a whole huge mall decked out for the holidays, and plenty of parking.

Babyboy was hungry, so we aimed for the food court. A kind elderly woman asked us if we were going to see Santa. Santa! I hadn’t even considered it. Usually, the line to sit on Santa’s lap is long, and there’s hoards of loud families crowding around: a potentially very autism-unfriendly scenario.

But after they ate, I asked the kids if they wanted to meet Santa, and they both said “Yes!” So, we gave it a try.

Luck! On this weekday midmorning, there was no one in line. Santa was just chilling. He he was genuinely obese, and he had a real white, fluffy beard. He didn’t “Ho Ho Ho”, he just smiled and waved. The kids were mesmerized. With all that quiet and space, there were no problems. Both kids sat next to Santa and, very earnestly, told him what they wanted for Christmas. Babygirl: a Lego pony set (I’m pretty sure this exists). Babyboy: A stamping set with an ambulance (he has this Melissa and Dough arts and crafts stamping set with vehicles, but no ambulance; I am pretty sure this does not exist). In any case, we got a great photo!

After loads of walking and gawking, a mega Target run, and perhaps a few small unnecessary treats later, we headed home. The kids were great, and I was proud. Despite feeling tired and achey, I had a nice glass of red wine with Hubby.

I welcomed Friday, except that I came down with the respiratory bug as well. After dragging though clinic, Hubby and I spent our sixth wedding anniversary eating takeout Thai with my family over at Nana’s. No dinner out; it’s just been too crazy a stretch to arrange a babysitter, and we’ve all been sick anyways… Give it to Hubby though, when we got home, there was a huge bouquet of flowers, silver earrings, and a lovely card waiting for me. Thanks hon!

Despite putting myself on the regimen I’ve put all my patients on (short of prescription cough medicine) I’ve been up at night coughing, too. This lovely night, or morning, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. coughing. Then Babygirl woke up coughing. I rocked her and rocked her, but she wouldn’t go back in her crib. Babyboy was already in our bed from his earlier respiratory difficulty. It’s a queen-size bed; perhaps feasible to fit the whole family, as we’re all on the smaller side, but, I’m coughing anyways, so I figured I’d keep myself out. I tucked Babygirl in, and constructed a pillow-and-stuffed-animal barrier to prevent her rolling out (it’s happened) and tiptoed away.

It’s not a bad thing, to be the only one awake at 4 a.m. It’s silent, completely peaceful. I’ve been woefully behind on my blogging, online Christmas shopping, and bill pay. Here’s a chance to catch up! The tree’s plugged in and the coffee’s on.

In short, it’s been a long, exhausting week; but overall, all is well. 11581920141211_0001

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