One Long Exhausting Week

The week simply started bad. Sunday evening, we were putting away laundry and preparing for another week of  school and work, when my daughter looks at her pile of clothes and says, “I can’t breathe.” She’d had a cough at night for a few days, but she hadn’t complained at all and she was very active during the day. I had already planned to call her doctor for a checkup if the cough didn’t go away, but my plans changed as I asked more questions.

Does your throat hurt? Does your chest hurt? What about your ears? Nose? Tongue?Eyes? What about your big toe? How’s it doing these days?

She said her chest was scratchy, her throat hurt kinda, and her ear hurt if she stuck her finger in it. The big toe, thankfully, was fine. This is the same kid who came to me over a year ago and said, “Mom, my tongue hurts.” I looked at it with a flashlight to discover that it wasn’t her tongue, but her tonsils that hurt. They were the size of grapes. That resulted in a trip to the emergency room. She hadn’t complained about it at all before that.

While I was taking her temperature, her nine year old brother coughed. I said, “Oh no you don’t. I know that as soon as I get her healthy again, you’re going to end up at urgent care with the same bug. That’s it, you’re going, too.”

Instead of going to work on Monday morning, I waited four hours with a very sick little girl, and a threatening to be sick little boy at urgent care. I never understood why it’s called urgent care since nothing there is ever done urgently.

With a diagnosis of bronchitis for each child as well as a double ear infection for my daughter, we left urgent care to go to the pharmacy and fill five prescriptions. I then packed my little sicklies back in the car and I drove to work to trade kids for work. Luckily, or unluckily some days, we work at the same place. So, I unpacked the kids from my truck straight into my husband’s car, he took them home and I worked the rest of the day.

Husband stayed home Tuesday and I stayed home Wednesday with the kids. Thursday, everyone went to school and work like usual except that I was totally buried in work just from missing one and a half days.

Monday night through Thursday night, my husband takes our oldest son to his night classes at 6 and I pick the kid up at 11. In other words, I literally sleep about 5 hours a night. Throw in a couple of coughing kids and I’m lucky to get 3 hours of good sleep.

Friday was the last day of school and included me racing from work  to an eighth grade graduation for son number two.

Saturday, they’re all hanging out in the pool and I’m exhausted.

Finally, on Sunday evening I start feeling human again. Then, my daughter coughed. I told her if she started feeling bad at all, she had to tell me right away so I could take her back to the Dr because I didn’t want her to get pneumonia. She and my youngest son both listened with rapt attention as I explained how I barely survived a bout of pneumonia as a child.

It started with my grandfather falling asleep on the lakefront. My 7 year old brother and my 5 year old self were swimming in the lake at the time. Except, I couldn’t swim so maybe wading is a better term.

We were wading in the lake. Actually, I was just walking in the water until the surface dropped off. Then I was under the water and sinking like a stone.

My brother thought I was kidding. I could see him through the murky water. At least until everything went black. When I came to, vomiting up most of the lake, some teenager had pulled me out, someone had roused my grandfather, and my brother was completely awed. “I thought you were dead! Man, that was cool!”

Soon after this mishap, I got sick, except my mom didn’t believe I was sick. She thought I was faking to get out of going to school.

Do kindergartners do that? Really?

When I stopped getting enough oxygen and I became lethargic and unresponsive, my mother finally decided it was time for me to see a doctor. The diagnosis? Walking pneumonia. The doctor told my mother I was very close to death and it’s a good thing she didn’t wait a minute longer.

When I finished telling my children this story, my son said, “Wow Mom, you saved millions of people.”

Understandably confused, I frowned and said, “How did my nearly dying save anyone?”

“Because,” he replied, “you have four kids, and we could each have four kids, and they all have four kids. That will be millions of people!”

I looked to my daughter for help.

She stared back at me innocent and wide-eyed and said, “Did you live?”

47 Comments on “One Long Exhausting Week”

  1. marsheemarsh says:

    cute story =)
    hope your kids don’t get sick again. =)

    • Me too! My son’s certainly much better, but My daughter coughed again so I’m going to be watching her very closely. I can’t believe I just had the thought that I wish my daughter would complain a bit more.

  2. 4 hours at urgent care…nothing. I waited that long at the emergency room. ha ha

  3. That’s hilarious! When my daughter was around 5 she had a paralyzing fear of walking pneumonia. No matter how much we explained it, she always pictured a type of boogieman who plays a life and death game of tag. If he snuck up and tagged you, you had walking pneumonia! She has my imagination!

    • Great story, Scott! My daughter got my imagination too. Too bad she didn’t get my common sense. I’m just going to chalk it up to good storytelling. I should have told her I did die and that now I’m a ghost mommy.
      I don’t need her to be any more warped!

  4. Davis says:

    Always enjoy hearing about moms and dads somehow finding a way to make it through — thanks for the entertaining post

  5. alantru says:

    Great story, Claire. Glad everyone’s on the mend. Hope you’re relaxing by the pool today. You deserve it.

    • Such a sweet comment Alan.
      Today I’m writing. I’m letting the rest of them go play in the pool. That’s the only way I can get quiet time!

      • alantru says:

        I won’t disturb you then. Oh, wait…


      • Ohhh, score one for Alan. Yes, I am already disturbed.

        Proven by the fact that I associate myself with you!

        I won’t even begin to explain what has been distracting me from writing. Too bad we can’t pick our family members, right Alan?

      • alantru says:

        Actually, truth be told, my comment wasn’t meant that way. I just meant “oh look, I’m disturbing you.”

        I hear you on the family thing. 😉

        It’s like my Aunt Freda (aka: Livia) says, “We can’t choose our relatives, but if we know what we’re doing, we can poison them and get away with it.”

        She isn’t invited to many family dinners.

      • alantru says:


        Have a great holdiay.

        Livia will be happy to help you in any way she can. 😉

  6. You poor misunderstood thing. You come over here all sincere with those big puppy eyes and I instantly go on guard and think the worst.

    Please forgive me for jumping to the wrong conclusion. I don’t know where I ever got the idea that you were a sarcastic smartass.

    You never disturb me.

    Wow, I like your Aunt Livia. I’m going to invite her to my in-laws.

  7. The suspense is killing me… did you live or not?!?!?!
    On a side note they call it Urgent Care because of one reason. I’ll give you two and you decide which is true.
    A: Only the desperate go therefore it’s urgent
    B: You couldn’t charge $200 for an aspirin with the name “Whenever the hell we feel like getting around to you”.

  8. Ramblin’,

    The jury’s still out on whether I really lived or not.

    Um I pick A.
    No, B.
    A. B.
    Geez RR, you always make things so hard for me!

  9. I too have ventured to the Screw You Room and it was exactly as I expected. However, I still asked for my $88 back.

  10. alantru says:

    How’s the hangover?


  11. Anal,

    That’s what they all say…

    • alantru says:

      I’ll have to take your word for that, Claire.

      All I know is that they never taught me anything like that a “Madame Celia’s Finishing School for Perfect Gentlemen.”

      I do however do a mean “Box Step.”

      With much respect,


      P.S. Sorry I said “mean”

      P.P.S. Sorry I bragged. I’ll send flowers by way of apology.

      P.P.S. Sorry about all the PS’s.

    • alantru says:

      Well, I do believe that our wonderful saviour, God, (God bless his cotton socks) mentions bestiality in the Bible and how one is to be punished for it… It’s all very wrathful, as I recall.

      I kept my eyes closed while I was reading those bits and pretended I was dancing to the heavenly refrains of a waltz in a properly starched suit. Other than that. No…

      I’m not sure what that link is about. It looks forbidden. So instead I’ll just skip off to the malt shop. Emmy Lou should be there.

      She’s keen!

      • Actually, it’s not really necessary to avoid bestiality, since all sins are considered equal. If you’ve ever told a lie, you can go right ahead and let loose, you sinner, you.

  12. Who are you and what have you done with Alan?

    • alantru says:

      Anal? Your friend’s in here, Collins. Would you like to leave a message? I’ll see that he gets it. He sucks you know whats in Heaven.

      P.S. The “you know whats” are malted milkshakes.

      P.P. S. Sorry about The Exorcism reference. That was abad movie. Rated “R” and everything.

      • Would the real Alan Truitt please stand up and escape the demonic possession?

        Actually, come to think of it…

        Let me try that again.

        Would the real Alan Truitt (Also affectionately known as Anal Rut) please stand up and remove the false angel wings and halo?

      • alantru says:

        What’d I miss? Was there booze?


      • OMG Alan, it was HORRIBLE!!

        You were possessed by this – this thing! I can’t even describe it, all white feathery wings, a glowing halo circling it’s head.
        It even had this remarkable kindness about it, and a congenial countenance.

        It tried to convince me it was you, but I knew better. Thank goodness you escaped it’s clutches!

      • alantru says:

        It made me do terrible things, Claire.

        It made we walk little old ladies across the street. It took me back in time and forced me to star in a 1950’s personal hygiene film that taught kids how to care for their hair and fingernails – while avoiding hemp smokers and communists! It made me say “keen! and “heck!” On a regular basis! On a regular basis!!! Can you imagine the sheer unadulterated horror?

        Thank heck, I’m okay, now. Yes siree, keen as can be.

  13. Did you live? That is so funny! I love kids. Your kids sound cute. Funny story.

    • Christina, when she said that, I just stopped and looked at her for a second and she tipped her head a little and realized what she asked. We all cracked up laughing. I must be a good storyteller to make my own daughter wonder if I lived or died.

  14. Very good story. I like the reasoning about saving a million. When you think about it, we do impact more people than we think. I truly hope your kids don’t get sick again. Thank you for your new friendship your blog and for the smile you bring to my face.

    • Eric, it’s great having you around. I am concerned though, that if you read too many of my blogs and see what you have in store, You will decide you just really don’t want to pursue this whole children thing…

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