Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hey, guys! Party at my house--BYO hacking cough!

So, like I told ya, I took Ava and Grace on Tuesday morning to be swabbed for whooping cough. Then, which I didn't tell ya, I got up at 4:30 on Wednesday morning and caught a flight to see my good friend Olivia. She lives in a small town right over the state line in Victoria. Olivia has 5 kids and is pregnant with her 6th. And yet, she still finds time to iron. I wanted to go sit at her feet and beg for wisdom. I'd been planning to go see her, sans kids, for awhile and had already booked this trip. Tuesday night, I told Jason that I'd cancel and stay with the kids, but he encouraged me to go. It was just for 48 hours anyway, and he could manage. The kids probably didn't have whooping cough and Ava would be at school most of that time.

Except they do. I left to see my friend, and then on Wednesday afternoon our GP called me. "You've got a fun week ahead!" she told me, adding that I could come pick up the prescriptions. The girls would need to be quarantined for 5 days, and if any of us started coughing too we'd need to get on the antibiotics. Of course, I'm getting this call 6 hours away from Sydney, so I called Jason, and he picked up the medicine and got the partay started.

So, in our case at least, here's what quarantine means. The kids are on antibiotics for 7 days. For 5 of those days, they can't really be around anyone outside of our family. Definitely no school, no public play areas where other kids are playing, etc. If we have to run to the grocery store or something, we can take them--well, I'm not sure if that's official, but we've had to--we just make sure that they don't touch anything. We're in and out of there, like Navy SEALs or something. After 5 days, they can re-enter society.

Later on Wednesday, a nurse from the Public Health Service called me to make sure we'd gotten the antibiotics and to find out if the kids had been around any infants or pregnant women since they'd been sick. I asked her why they got sick since they'd been vaccinated. It seems, she told me, that vaccines don't necessarily keep you from getting sick if the illness is in the population. But they make it much, much less worse. I guess whooping cough sticks around from people who don't get vaccinated? All those crunchy, granola types who don't believe in vaccines? That's fine for them, but I didn't realize it would make my kid sick! (I'm kidding, crunchy no-vaccine people! I like granola, too.) Anyhoo.

I've been away on a trip without my kids 3-4 times in their little lives. And it amazes me, but each time, they manage to get sick. And these are remarkably healthy children who rarely get sick. My standings in the Mother of the Year contest fall a little lower each time. Jason handled it all beautifully--I offered to change my flight and fly home Thursday, but he said fuhgeddaboutit. He didn't even subtly try to make me feel guilty! Yet more proof that he is a better person than I am.

But I'm back in the saddle now! I flew home Friday morning and resumed my post. Nate was able to go to preschool Thursday and Friday, as he hadn't been coughing. We were assured that until the cough begins, a person isn't contagious. Friday afternoon, I went to pick him up. "Hi, Mom!" he called out, with the voice of a 60 year old chain smoker. Uh-oh. He had gotten a cold over the course of the day, with the inevitable cough creeping in last night.

So, Nate started on the antibiotics, too! His 5 days begins today, and ends Wednesday. I have a prescription for myself, but haven't needed to fill it yet. Are you confused yet? My GP laughed at me when I called her. And, bless Nate, I'm going to cancel his birthday party again, cause we'll still be on quarantine. There's always next year! I think we'll be eating frozen monster truck cake for a few weeks, though. You want some? Come stand in my driveway, and I'll drop some down from the balcony. It's safe, I swear.

All in all, it's not so bad. Quarantine while you have DVD's, high speed internet, and spring weather is definitely bearable. Ava will be able to go back to school on Monday and I will dip our entire house in hand sanitizer. That's the plan.

Have a great weekend, y'all!


  1. Any way you could have extended your stay at Olivia's?


    You poor babies! And especially poor Nate, who never gets his birthday!

    Tell me more about how you make a monster truck cake.

  2. oh poor Nate!
    Rebekah is on antibiotics now too though they're not sure if it's whooping cough, I'll find out Tuesday!

  3. Oh Rosemary, I was afraid of that! Hopefully it's not. If it is though, we can have a playdate! :)

  4. Yes I'll have to come "party at your house" for sure if it's that:)
    No worries:)
    It wasn't your fault that the kids got sick so don't worry:)
    and I'm not even sure if it's that!

  5. Does this mean that they will now have a really good resistance to this in the future? I remember when I was a kid hearing about how moms would put chicken pox kids with other kids so everyone would get it and just get it over with. Now with a vaccine I have heard too that you can still get it but not as bad. But now all the older folks are getting shingles cuz there's hardly any chicken pox germs!
    Poor Nate! Poor Mom! (Mum). I know you must worry.
    P.S. It makes me sound like a sick individual but I would kill to make someone quarantine me for a week!!

  6. Did you see the pictures of the monster truck cake I made Oscar for his birthday? Go back and check my archives mid June-ish. I can't wait to see yours.

    Hope your babies are feeling better soon. And what's this about getting whooping cough if they've been vaccinated? That is just plain unfair.

  7. Can I be honest, most of the time when I see that people have posted long, wordy blogs I just skim quickly. But when I come to your blog and see like lots of paragraphs I get excited! I know I'm going to laugh. It's like reading little vignettes. (Yes, I love to make your head bigger;). I feel the same about Becky's blog. Write a book ladies. You'll be rich.

    Anywho. I definitely want to pick your brain about vaccines. I too am having an epidural and plan to vaccinate, but I still have questions beforehand. So, anyway I'll email you sometime soon.