You Just Never Know When A Paint Brush Will End Up In An Ear…

I’ve been MIA the last 15 days  (I apologize) and there’s a very good reason why.  Let me explain…

Let’s go back, way back to 5 days BEFORE Christmas when I set my kids up at our kitchen table to do some painting.   Didn’t I take my eye off Evelyn for 2 seconds while she’s painting  (I don’t even remember what I did) and upon returning my attention to her, catch MY daughter shoving her very paint-covered paint brush in her ear.  Seriously?

I took the paint brush away immediately and time froze for a moment where I reminded myself and got a good chuckle over the reality that there was (is) no parenting book or Google search term that could help me figure this one out.  Even a Facebook status update keeping my “friends” in the loop didn’t leave me with any clear steps to take in how to manage this situation.  Do I just use a Q-tip and clean the paint out myself?  What are the consequences of having an ear full of paint?  Did she even stick the brush in far enough to fill her whole ear, could she possibly have damaged her ear (I’m no ear expert!)?  I get on the phone to Telehealth Ontario and start explaining the situation.  Because they were unable to assess the situation properly over the phone they advised me to pack the kids up and head our local emergency room.    I personally felt this was overkill, but once a mom has been given “professional” advice to take their kid to the hospital – how does she not listen?  If we didn’t go I wouldn’t sleep that night worrying that our daughter had done damage to her ear and I hadn’t responded appropriately.

Off to McMaster Children’s hospital I go with 2 kids.  Thank Goodness for my best friend who called me as I was packing snacks before we left and offered to meet us at the hospital to have an extra set of hands!  If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have stuck out the LONG 4.5 hour wait surrounded by so many sick kiddos.

Turns out, our daughter didn’t shove the paint brush very far in to her ear – and all the doctor suggested was to give her a good bath *GRRRR* – 4.5 hours to be told I should bathe my daughter (which was good advice).  I’m glad that was the news, but I was still frustrated and felt guilty that I wasted the doctor’s time and our health care system’s money.

This was the beginning of 15 (and still counting) VERY long days.  As it turns out, while we were at the hospital my son picked up viral diarrhea.  So0000, 4 days before Christmas we’re managing THAT – he recovered within 24 hours, only for my husband to get sick (this takes us to 2 days before Christmas) then I started to have stomach pains and nausea.  We were both sick for Christmas.  Despite being sick I made a turkey and my in-laws (fully knowing we were sick) kindly braved coming over to help us eat it – 3/4 of them ended up sick on boxing day with the same GI bug.  We weren’t able to attend ANY of the multiple family Christmas celebrations we were invited to this year.

On Christmas day we noticed our getting a cold, which turned into a terrible cough and a fever. (I don’t even know what day we’re at here) When he woke up delirious with a high fever one night at 11pm – Telehealth Ontario once again advised us to head back to McMaster Children’s Hospital’s emergency room, so away we went.  It was this trip to the hospital where to doctor told me he was pretty sure that my vaccinated son had pertussis…yes, whooping cough.  Lucky for us the entire Hamilton Health Sciences system was out of pertussis swabs – so we escaped THAT torment and trauma (apparently they shove giant Q-tips up each nostril to get a sample) and got home at 4:00am. {HAPPY NEW YEAR}  Over the next 2 days I learned ALL I could about pertussis and watched as my son got more and more sick. Back to McMaster Children’s Hospital we went to try and solve this illness.  A new doctor examined him and immediately after looking in his ears said that he had a pretty bad ear infection.  The new doctor explained a new “double diagnosis” of a virus, causing the cough (which I think EVERY kid has this time of year) in combination with an ear infection which was causing the fever.  Off we went with a prescription for antibiotics.  Within 2 days our son was feeling better and our daughter caught the respiratory virus…

Our daughter was taken down by the cold and cough that our son had and has so generously passed it on to me.  I’m on day 2 of this bug and completely wiped out.  Life has come to a complete halt.  We still haven’t even celebrated Christmas with my family.  We’ve been doing our best to keep up with everyday responsibilities, but there is laundry to do, floors to mop, dishes stacking up in the kitchen, e-mails to respond to, phone calls to return – and I’m knocked on my butt.

We’re feeling pretty sad for our kids that we have spent almost our entire 2 week Christmas “holiday” on the couch or at the hospital.  We had to watch the first decent snowfall from our back window, too sick to go out and experience it.   We’ve missed out on family celebrations and though Santa did make a stop at our house, it kind of feels like a significant portion of the “magic” was taken out of Christmas this year.

We’ll take this weekend to get our feet back on the ground.  I’m looking forward to Monday when preschool starts again for our son (he needs to have some fun) and we can all start to get back into our routine!

Learn from our mistake – ALWAYS DO YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EARLY ‘cuz You Just Never Know When A Paint Brush Will End Up In An Ear! We lost the last few precious days of frantic Christmas shopping this year but thank goodness, we had the kids taken care of before sickness struck.

Rumours have been swirling around here that next Christmas might involve us taking off to Disney World!  We’ll see what 2012 has in store for us.  I’m quite sure it will be an adventure!

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