But he's not OK He's miserable. I didn't want sadness to be the first emotion I recognized on my son's face, but I can see it. He finishes coughing, and then he finishes gasping and then the fear goes out of his eyes and is replaced by this horrible sadness that says to me "I have been coughing for a quarter of my life dad. This sucks." I can take a frown. I can't take a frown that quivers on the edges.
I know. I'm being overly dramatic. There are people out there with really, really sick kids. Kids with Leukemia. Kids with brain tumors. Kids with degenerative spinal diseases. Mine has a cough. Trust me, I wish I could reach into myself and rip out this pit in my stomach and hold its physical embodiment in front of my face and scream at it: "HAVE SOME PERSPECTIVE DAMMIT! YOUR KID IS GOING TO BE FINE! HE HAS A COUGH!"
But I can't - because the captain is coughing again and I need to go pick him up and hold him and rock him and kiss his head and wait for it to pass. Because to him, this is the worst thing that has ever happened, and because I know that, it's also one of the worst things that's happened to me. Perspective flies out the window when my kid is screaming.
Here are some things that have helped:
The Evil Blue Bulb
He hates it. We hate it. But it works… kind of. Captain doesn't know how to blow his nose, so every 30-60 minutes we have to manually suck out his snot with this guy. Basically you push the bulb with your thumb, then put the tip in one of the kid's nostrils, and take your thumb off the bulb. Then your kid screams and looks at you like you just stuck a small vacuum cleaner up his nose.
It sucks, but it works. Be sure to wash it out and sanitize.
We actually own this exact humidifier. It is a little loud, but it's easy to clean and will run all night without refilling it. We don't use the Vick's with it, but it keeps the room humid, which I'm told is what humidifiers do. It has definitely helped Captain sleep.
The Steam Room
This has been the most effective thing we've found. When Captain's coughing gets really bad we turn the hot shower on full blast, shut the door and Stevie nurses him. Captain breaths the steamy goodness through his nose and everything clears up for a little while. Also, he gets to eat , which I'm sure is important for babies.
My wife is wonderful and strong and caring and the best mom on the planet and I should thank her more often and for every moment I've spent caring for Captain these last couple weeks she's spent ten more and I love her more than macaroni and cheese (which is a lot). Really though - if I'm tired, she's exhausted. If I'm worried, she's terrified. You'd never be able to tell though because 100% of her energy goes into loving that kid 100% of the time. I am in awe of everything she does.
|Stevie insists on a caption here explaining that she doesn't always look like this.|
The Reader Recommendation!
I haven't tried this, but if you read through the comments it is highly recommended. It's called the Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator and as far as I can tell it has you literally suck the snot out of your kid's nose through a straw with a filter on it. Yep, gross. But hey - read the comments below the blog. People love it.
Anyway, hope all your kids are healthy and not coughing. Thanks for reading. I'll try and be funny again next week.
Update: So I wrote this earlier in the week and didn't really have time to finish it. Things with Captain have improved and he is really only coughing when he gets upset now. We're still doing the blue bulb/steam room treatments and they still are helping.
Earlier this week I took some questions on the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page with the intent of writing a blog post where I do my best to answer them. I am about 40% through writing that post and will be publishing it sometime this weekend or early next week.
We're still raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If you'd like to donate any amount, please click on the picture below.