Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quarantine Us, Please

Since the school year started at the end of August, we have had maybe three weeks of health. Three weeks where everyone has been healthy at the same time. Yep, three whole weeks of health. (There were some weeks at Christmas, but they don’t count because during those weeks Luke and Ariel were recouping from surgery.)
We’ve had weird viruses: multiple versions of the cold, gastrointestinal viruses, chicken pox, etc. We even had a really weird virus, which led to bizarre itchy rashes. I thought it was from something that Matt caught during the period of his zombie abduction, but it turned out to be a viral exanthum, i.e. a strange rash caused by a virus. (Aren’t you glad that you now know the medical term for “a strange rash caused by a virus”?)
It’s gotten so bad the Matt and Jake’s piano teacher now expects one or both of the boys to be sick on lessons day. Yesterday she told me that she’s beginning to think there’s something seriously wrong at our home. Maybe molds.
I think our immune systems are on strike because of overuse and abuse. I bet you didn’t know that immune systems are unionized. See, this blog is educational. Anyway, I suspect our immune system overuse is the university’s fault. People go to class sick. I know Luke will be going to class sick today. (He has an exam in P-Chem—the physics of chemistry.) And he’ll be exposing everyone there. It was even worse last semester when Jake and Ariel’s profs wanted them to come to class even though they had chicken pox. One pediatrician called it “Spreading immunity to the community.” Hmmm. I call it spreading sickness. But I’m just a mom, so why quibble over words?
Of course, Luke, Ariel I aren’t the only sick kids in class. So when they go to class, they pick up germs from other sick kids who are in class and then everyone brings them home to share with their family/roommates. And the cycle begins again.
A while back, I decided to take action. I’ve tried isolation—stay in that room with your germs. I’ve tried rest—do not move out of that bed, you don’t need to check your email or Facebook. I’ve tried Lysol spray, which is supposed to kill viruses, on every knob and flat surface. (Please no comments on the fact that viruses aren’t really alive.) I’ve tried vitamin C. If it weren’t too cold, I’d open all the doors and windows of the house and let the wind blow through—fumigation. I remember that in some old novels they’d talk about smoking the house after a lot of people had been sick in the home. Does anyone know what that was? Was it legit? Or was it then Shakespearian equivalent of room deodorizer to get rid of the sick smell? (Smoking a room is actually mentioned in Much Ado About Nothing.)
At any rate, since all my anti-sickness measures have failed, it’s time for draconian action. Does someone out there work for the public health department? You could quarantine us, and let us get to the point where we are all healthy at the same time. That would be cool. And maybe that would end this cycle.
If not, I’m going to seriously look into that smoking the house thing.


  1. You might check out "The World is My Oyster" to have that medical question answered:

  2. Ugh, how awful! I'm so sorry. :-/ You know, I worked at daycare when I was a teenager, and I had never had so many colds as I did then. The kids would just pass things around constantly. Winter months are worse, too. :( It's been crazy for a lot of people with sicknesses this winter. I hope you all can get healthy and stay healthy soon!

  3. You know what's driving me crazy too. When they're sick, I have to do all the chores. Not that they aren't willing, but I really don't want a sick person emptying the dishwasher and touching the glasses, silverware, etc.

  4. K,

    Yeah, I love Lydia's blog, especially the Medical Mondays.

  5. Horrible! I'm sorry that you've all been sick! I have no other tips for you. You've tried everything (and then some) that I could suggest. I can only keep my fingers crossed you all get better soon! :(

  6. What a total bummer. Once kids start school, it seems almost impossible to keep germs out of the house, and the more kids (and kids' friends) you have, the more germ-sharing abounds. But then they grow up and move away, and BOOM! No more endless colds and stomach bugs! Then the grandchildren come along, or as we lovingly call them, the snot factories. Now some of THEM are in school. (Get the picture?)

  7. Hey thanks Clutzattack!

    Sorry you guys have been so sick. Looks like your immune systems keep trying to keep up with the newest, latest, fanciest germs out there.

    Viral exanthems are scary when they happen. Even when I've seen them on my kids I had to stop from waiving my arms around and going "OMG! It's ebola!"

  8. OMG! It's ebola! ~ Funny stuff, Lydia.

    Connie, I feel your pain sista! Mine are still teenagers. I'm just waiting for the day that Mono comes knockin' on our door. (Knock on Head)

    I'm sick, as I write this. Have been for about a week now. I KNEW I shouldn't have trusted that Winter in Sheep's Spring attire! Sweat + No jacket + strenuous outdoor work in the middle of February = Just askin' for it!

    When our oldest was ten(eight years ago), our family of five fought off Pertussis for three long, miserable months, before our pediatrician actually diagnosed it as such. At the time, it hadn't made the resurgence, I believe, to be considered.

    We had gone so far as testing our well water, thinking we were slowly being poisoned by "nature"... out of spite, I tell ya!

    All I can say that seems to work for us, generally, is TAKE YOUR VITAMINS LIKE YOUR MAMA TOLD YOU TO.

    Healing Love To You! And Healthier Days Ahead, without the threat of quarantine.

  9. What about taking Probiotics to help build everyone's immune system? Maybe it would help? Seems to be a bad winter...we've been sick a lot here to, but not as many illnesses as your kids have had. Hope they are all well again soon.