Mission DTG: 14AUG15 2200HRS
Location: FOB Livingroom
Biological warfare has struck the command post this week. Early on I began to show symptoms of a cold, and as the days went by my condition only got worse before it eventually started to get better. We were able to maintain our regular Op Tempo despite my illness, but unfortunately it seems that as my sickness is on the mend I have unwittingly passed it on to the Area Commander and the infant insurgent. This is especially concerning due to the newborn reinforcement on the way, as well as the indigenous insurgent not having been exposed to this sort of plague before now. Medics are on standby as the infant insurgent is under 24hr watch to ensure his condition does not deteriorate.
Earlier this week I came down with a pretty decent cold that really became a pain in the ass for most of the week. It started off as a sore throat back on Monday, not too bad to keep me from my new morning workout (trying to work off some of this dad bod finally), but by Tuesday it was a full blown cold and any workout plans for the rest of the week were on hold. I like to think I have a pretty robust immune system, whether it’s from the legion of shots I’ve gotten in my 13 years in the Army or because I had a normal childhood and played in the mud and dirt all the time I have no idea. But suffice to say, I don’t get sick very often. The wife does, not a lot, but certainly more often than I do. Of course every time she gets sick and I fail to catch it she throws her crumpled up tissues at me and curses me for it, and I joke that I have the immune system of Wolverine from the X-Men.
Most of the time I’ll just nuke the sickness with meds and tough it out till it passes while curbing physical contact to try and keep my wife from catching it. But now that the minion is in the picture it seems like we have to consider the possibility of him catching whatever we’ve got as well.
I don’t know what it is since I’m not a Doctor (I didn’t even play one on TV) but it seems like it’s a crap shoot on whether your kid is going to get sick during the first year of their lives. Often times I feel for my fellow parents out there as I see social media status updates on their kids being sick again, or one kid getting the other sick. We’ve been pretty lucky up to this point that our little minion hasn’t had so much as the sniffles until now, but I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. Personally, when it comes to all things germy and the immune system I’ve always subscribed to the late George Carlin’s train of thought on the subject:
That being said, I imagine the minion still needs some time for his immune system to work its way off it’s training wheels before it’s called to task against anything too serious. I suppose you could say they get a bit of practice when they get their baby shots every couple of months through the first year and beyond and get the occasional temporary fever as their little bodies work on churning out more white blood cells and antibodies in response to the vaccines. But I’d still hoped we could stave off the little guy having to deal with something he caught on his own for awhile longer.
Still, as I wipe his runny nose during the day and try to help my wife as he has trouble sleeping due to his stuffy little nose I have to question whether I should’ve kept my distance while I was going through the worst of it myself. Of course, it was inevitable as we had three doctor’s appointments lined up right in the middle of my bout with the crud, the last of them being the ultrasound where we got to find out the gender of our next minion (stay tuned for that announcement). At least at that appointment some of the nurses were nice enough to keep an eye on the minion so I could be in the ultrasound room long enough to hear the news myself before needing to go rescue the poor little guy from the strangers who were doing their best to keep him entertained (in their defense he wolfed down a whole bottle right after I scooped him up, he was just hangry).
Regardless of the trio of appointments through the week, it would’ve been damn hard not to be close enough to the little guy enough for him to get a whiff of whatever germy goodness I was breathing out at the time. On the one hand you don’t want to get your kid sick, but on the other hand your not going to force mommy to do ALL the holding/rocking/playing/storytime until you’re better either. I guess at the end of the day the best I could’ve done would have been to sleep in the guest bedroom for a couple nights until the worst of it had passed.
Just a lesson you have to learn the hard way as a new parent though. As adults we take our healthy immune systems for granted, forgetting that it took years upon years of wallowing in a germ filled utopia and getting sick as kids to get us to the state of good health most of us enjoy as adults. Of course, even with all of the shots and vaccines kids get these days to protect them from some of the more nastier things out there that could really do their little bodies some serious damage, they still need put in that time at sick call strengthening their immune systems.
When they do start to get the sniffles because they’ve caught something, it’ll launch you into 24hr medical watch mode. You’ll get a fancy ear-thermometer so you can accurately check their temperature every hour to see if they’re running a fever, make sure they’re getting plenty of fluids (as if he isn’t sucking down enough formula already), and at night you’ll get extra frustrated when he wakes up every fifteen minutes because his little nose is too stuffed up. But in the end, you’ll deal with the lack of sleep since you weren’t getting much to begin with. Once his nose stops running, the coughing eases up, and he starts sleeping a little more like he used to at night you’ll finally be able to breathe that sigh of relief knowing you weathered the storm.
Despite all of that though, you’ll still be checking the pillows in the guest bedroom for the next time you get sick and you didn’t get it from the walking/crawling germ factory.