Worst Florence Nightingale Ever–Me

After a wonderful Christmas with a family trip and lots of presents and snow and my own general good cheer, my family–daughters who are 8, 4, and 1, and husband–contracted fevers, coughs, aches. Not at the same time or in any order. It was an on-and-off sickeness with claws and a terrible sense of humor. Even today, as I write this post, I can hear Melisandra cough and cough as she watches iCarly on Netflix.

From Christmas morning on (and on), I have been in my house tending to someone, leaving only to go to the grocery store for chicken broth and cough drops, the clinic to treat Corrigan’s ear infection, the emergency room to check out Melisandra’s 105 fever, and the pharmacy to fill presciptions and to treat myself to a new pen. Thankfully, Michael is back to work. Our toddler, Reece, is back to crawling up on chairs and tabletops.

Illustration of Florence NightingaleWhat really made the last two weeks challenging would be the mornings when sick-o one, two, three, or four would be looking better. I’d start thinking of things we could do–even taking a walk outside or planning a playdate with our neighbors. And then by the evening, there would be a setback. Another round of cough, cough, coughs that made me shudder, like I had been listening to Cyndi Lauper all day. I miss my Christmas cheer, the buzz from the bottle of Riesling and excitment of watching Melisandra and Corrigan open their presents. When kids have fevers, we ALL have to stay home. And after staying home for days and days, I feel cramped by all our clutter and dust and laundry, my compassion is all spent.

Ahhhh! I am the crankiest nurse ever.

Kinda. I did stop and kiss their foreheads once in awhile, after I screamed a “don’t cough on me” or two. I also made soup and fed them smoothies. I even force fed my husband, a man who chooses beer over water and steak over a salad, a smoothie, too.

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