Strep Happens, and then you have to laugh…and maybe have some wine

We all know the saying. Life happens! Sh&* happens! And this week, in the our household, STREP happens!

There is NEVER a good time to get sick. We all know this! There is even less of a good time for an entire family to get sick.  We have a million things to do in our calendarized lives, and anything that interrupts that schedule is a giant pain in the butt.

But every once in a while, life throws you a little curve ball and you just got go with it.  In the greater scheme of things, it’s not even a real bump in the road. But at the time, it seems so overwhelming that you either sob hysterically, scream obnoxiously, or break the rule you set for yourself and begin mid-week drinking of copious amounts of wine when the kids go to bed.   I will admit that I went for the latter.

So let’s talk about Strep Throat.  That’s right! I have personified her with capital letters, because she has become a member of the family in a sad way over the last week. We all know about her! Everyone takes an empathetic swallow and winces when you hear that someone else has met her recently. We also secretly take a giant step away from anyone who knows her well. She’s a bitch of a bacteria, and she is catchy as can be.

Strep happens

Monday: It begins

So this week, Ms. Strep arrived in the Sheehan household with a bit of a bang. I have been dreaming about this week for the last month! Literally, dreaming about my first week without travel when I could be home with the family and “catch up.” Queue the “I Had a Dream” song from Tangled.  Monday began in its normal chaotic fashion. Forgotten lunches.  Lost shoes and/or socks. Racing out the door to be on time for school, work, and more.  Then, I hopped on 4 30-minute conference calls, and my work week began.

At 12:30, I get the call from the school.  My daughter’s mentioned twice that she has a sore throat. No fever, no other symptoms, and no actual complaining like a normal sick kid. She just randomly mentioned twice that her throat hurt.  They called me as a precaution because one kid the week before apparently had “strep throat” too with no fever.  Awesome! No sarcasm there, I promise. I actually feel very lucky that the school (and staff) know my kid well enough to be able to tell something is “off” even with no symptoms.

So I pick up my smiley, happy first grader – still COMPLETELY smiley and happy – and we head to the pediatrician. Do to their magical strep quick test, we know in minutes that Ms. Strep has arrived to invade our home.  It begins…

Tuesday: Why Can’t This Kid Act Sick!

For anyone who reads this without kids, this will sound horrible. Don’t judge! For those with kids, you know EXACTLY what I mean. Kids can’t go back to school with strep for at least 24 hours after starting treatment. This means that on Tuesday, we have a kid home sick without actually feeling sick at all. She wants to play, she wants to talk, she’s bored out of her mind.  Thankfully, my husband and I have worked out years ago that we will rotate days when the kids are home sick.  He took the day off and took charge. The only problem is that I work from home, so not exactly conducive to playing “catch up” when you have a husband using a vacation day and a bored 6-year old running around the house while you are on client calls.

Wednesday: Back to School! Back to School!

Hooray! Kids are at school, got tons done, and even snuck in a date with my hubby after an evening work function. I am totally going to pull off salvaging this week.

Thursday: In the clear

We made it. Normal day! Kids at school. Work conference. Fun stuff!

Friday: WHAT??? Seriously. Strep, you bitch!

It begins again. As we started organizing breakfast, the following occurs:

  • Child 2 (of 3): “Mom, my throat kinda hurts.”
  • Me: “How does it hurt?”
  • Child 2 (of 3): ” Don’t know, just hurts.”
  • Me: deep breath “Ok, babe. Let’s run to the pediatrician.”
  • Pediatrician (one hour later): “Sorry! Bright pink line. Definitely strep.”
  • Me (internal dialogue): “WTF! WTF! WTF!”
  • Me (external dialogue): “Let’s go get movies, honey. You’re staying home today”

So we are home and situated. I hop on my next round of conference calls. Then, at 1pm, the school calls. SERIOUSLY!!! Apparently, I need to pick up my daughter. She’s now sick with something different. AWESOME! This is where the copious wine drinking kicks in after kids go to bed…

Saturday: Now she’s just being nasty! 

We wake up. Kids are good. Currently have two kids on antibiotics, and thankfully, youngest child is showing no strep symptoms. Things are semi-under control. We got this! We are in the home stretch.

Then…”Babe, my throat feels horrible.” And just now, literally 10 minutes ago, the text from my husband as he leaves the Minute Clinic, “Babe, I have strep.”

This is where I have a choice. I can cry or I can laugh. I choose to laugh today. Because seriously, if you are not the one living this, it is actually HILARIOUS.  I refuse to believe that life gives us things that we can’t handle. So, we will handle this. I will have some wine again tonight. And, maybe the fact that my throat hurts a little is just empathy pains…right?!?!?

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