I’m not sure if Gavin is consciously trying to kill me, or if it just happens to be an unfortunate byproduct.
When he started daycare a year ago, I knew he’d be getting sick more often. While my ex and I worked, Gavin spent his first year at home, under the nurturing care of his grandmother. My ex’s mother had moved to Seattle from Phoenix so that she could help us by watching him during the weekdays. (As you can imagine, she remains one of my favorite people on the planet.) Being home, Gavin got sick very infrequently. Upon Gavin’s first birthday, however, my ex’s mother moved back down to Phoenix and Gavin started daycare.
I was prepared for some colds and perhaps the occasional rash. What I was not prepared for was the cauldron of germs I was about to plunge into.
It’s not just that Gavin started getting sick (and, often, thoughtfully sharing the fun with me). It’s that Gavin started getting sick quite creatively and often in ways I had never even heard of. Over the course of the past year alone, he’s come down with the following (and I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting): pinkeye, norwalk virus, ear infections galore, and cellulitis (twice).
Cellulitis is by the far the craziest of all. In fact, what triggered me to write this post is the fact that we just returned from the pediatrician because Gavin has come down with cellulitis again. Cellulitis is an infection of the tissues beneath the skin and can occur in any part of your body. Gavin has had it in his left eyelid both times. Cellulitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection and is therefore easily treatable with antibiotics. The first time he had it, it came on suddenly. I went in his room to wake him up for daycare and this is what I found:
Scary, huh? Even scarier because it happened out of nowhere. He was seemingly fine when I put him to sleep the night before. Anyway, a visit to the ER and a week of strong antibiotics managed to clear this up. But I was already questioning myself and my (lack of) parenting abilities. My apartment was cleaner than most. Gavin received regular baths. How could he be this covered in bacteria this often?
To my dismay, he came down with cellulitis again this week. Same eye, same deal – a week of antibiotics to treat it. And while I worry about all these exotic illnesses my son manages to contract – the doctor assures me they’re all very common but I think he’s lying – my biggest concern is having to miss so much work as a result. I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to feel uncomfortable telling my boss that Gavin’s sick again. I really just need to find a way to keep him healthy. I’d love to get him fitted for a hazmat suit and call it a day…