OR: I think Kindergarten killed me.
It started a couple of weeks ago. On a Friday. Sweetpea's voice went from sweet and light to low and raspy. I asked her repeatedly if her throat hurt and she repeatedly told me no in her new smoker's voice. Saturday morning though, she whispered like a little bunny "it hurts", and that was it, no more talking from her for a few days. It was kind of fun at first; the house a lot quieter, the charades when her siblings annoyed her (oh, the torture of not being able to yell at your brother or sister!), the quiet snuggles and adorableness of a napping child. It wasn't long before we missed her little voice in our family medley though, with her constant questions and funny observations. By the Monday she would risk whisper-yelling at the siblings, and by Tuesday she was painfully talking again, though by then whatever bug had taken hold had gotten to her chest and she had a nasty cough. She begged to go to school but I didn't think the rest of the class wanted what she had so I kept her home. Finally the doctor said that if she wanted to go to school she could, so off she went, coughing all the way.
Then it was Friday again, and Princess came home from school, said in a little whisper "I don't think I feel so good", and promptly sat on the couch and fell fast asleep. It was, apparently, her turn. She slept through most of the rest of Friday, brightened up enough to make a mess eating a (chocolate) popsicle, and went to bed. Saturday she was the one with the whisper, but by Sunday she was talking again and had the same little cough as her sister. She didn't want to miss school and off she went Monday morning. I felt we had got off lucky there.
The Boy was fine until he saw that sick people get popsicles. Then he suddenly declared himself very, very sick and the coughing began. He never developed a sore throat, never lost his voice, but the coughing has continued and is surprisingly realistic (I thought for sure it was a fake when it started).
Another Friday, and this time we're all healthy and happy and Mama spent the day with the Kindergarten kids. Maybe it was the Kindergarten kids that did it, but Saturday I woke up with no voice. It didn't hurt at all though and I figured that I knew what to do. A hot shower and a cup of herbal tea and I was speaking mostly normally again. I babied my throat and was good through most of the day. Towards the end of the home tour it started cracking again, but, well, I was done talking for the day anyway. By my calculations I'd have a little cough the next day and be good to go.
Sunday morning, no voice. Again with tea and the shower. I filled my big travel mug left over from my university days and headed off to church, then felt really bad when I realized that it was Fast Sunday (we go without food or drink for 24 hours once a month and donate the $ we would have spent to the poor). All those starving saints and me in the middle sipping from my travel mug! Whoops! But it kept me going enough to get through Primary and on into choir, where I did my very best, despite the uncontrollable cracks and fade outs. I figured that if I just kept my voice warm and lubed it would keep working on me.
By evening's cantata practice I sounded pretty nasty. My throat hurt a bit and I wondered if I had strained it during practice. I tried singing along quietly with the kids and the mom beside me jumped and said "What was that sound? It sounded like a diseased mouse!". That was when I decided not to torture anyone anymore. I took the girls home when their practice was over and didn't come back.
That night I didn't get much sleep. The cough had arrived, along with the pain. By 6 AM I was up, coughing until I was sick. I'm so glad the kids skipped THAT part! My throat feels like someone poured shards of glass down it. Hot showers, tea, honey toast...I can get through the day, but last night was worse than the night before. I couldn't lie down in bed and eventually gathered all the spare pillows in the house and built myself a seat on the couch where I could sleep sitting up. I drifted in and out of sleep until 4 when the pain dragged me up, desperate for relief. Salt water gargle! It felt good for about 30 seconds, and then the coughing started, and then I was sick again. More salt water. Tea and toast. The hot mug held against my chest helped loosen the bands and eventually I dozed off in front of the tv (who knew CBC replayed yesterday's news early in the morning?) for about 20 minutes. Then it was time to get the girls up for school.
Now it's morning, I'm exhausted, and I'm still croaking; not looking forward to another long night. I started out proud of my immune system, able to withstand 3 small children coughing directly into my face. Super Mom doesn't get sick!
Immune system, you have let me down terribly. I'm very disappointed in you.
Super mom IS sick, very sick. Super mom is sick and tired and cranky and wonders why I still have to feed these people and make sure they have clean laundry. Super Mom has things to do and a cantata to sing in and needs to be better by Thursday and fully recovered by Sunday, ok?
Oh, and if you're wondering, Hubby has the raspy voice and is bombing it with vitamins. He reports that he feels better today than yesterday. I guess we know who the real super parent is around here!
On the bright side, we got snow at last! Beautiful Christmas snow! Yay! I have photos up on my other blog, over here.