Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Flu, Skiing, Skiing Sick

On Wednesday, January 16, Captain Adorable slept late. Very late: 9:00am! This is an extremely unusual occurrence; so much so that I do not set an alarm on school days because he wakes up everyone an hour or so before we actually have to get out of bed. We were an hour late to school!  When I picked him up from school--actually, from Science Club, which meets for one hour after school, he was eager to get out of there and seemed tired.

At home I felt his forehead and immediately went for the thermometer. 101 (Fahrenheit)! Took him to the doctor the next day, and the temp was gone, so we were offered a flu test but it didn't seem likely and I did not get one. Home again. And the temp went up and the boy was still and quiet and not eating and snot was flowing like crazy. He couldn't breathe out of his nose, willingly used saline spray to get some relief, and used up tissues like nobody's business. Despite running a humidifier and a diffuser with eucalyptus essential oil in his bedroom (as I always do when he is stopped up with snot), I had to put him in the shower at 11:00pm. He woke up because of difficulty breathing from so much snot and then couldn't get to sleep again till after the shower.

The next night, Captain Obvious was home again, yay! I, who never give over-the-counter medications, agreed to give Captain Adorable a decongestant for the night. He needed so much to be able to sleep and rest. It may have helped a little. At about 5:00 that morning I noticed lots of yellow discharge from his eyes. I called the doctor and she diagnosed him as having a mild case of the flu after all, and he had developed viral conjunctivitis. We got prescription eyedrops, another layer of unpleasantness for my already unhappy and sick guy. But he was on the mend. He did have the FluMist, by the way, so the doctor postulated that he was partially protected and that's why his flu was as (relatively) mild as it was.

Sure enough, by Sunday the fever was gone and on Monday he woke up without a temp! We decided to risk it and go on our scheduled ski trip after all, especially since we knew we'd spend Monday travelling, so it was another day of sitting still (aka resting). He was very disappointed that we did not go skiing as soon as we got there, like we did last year. On Tuesday he and Captain Obvious were snotty and coughing. It seemed that they had both caught the cold that was going around on the plane  Capt. Obvious rode home from his most recent business trip. We decided to leave, even called the front desk to tell them we would be checking out that day and would come back later to use up the other 2 nights we had paid for.

Captain Adorable was devastated by this news; he cried and cried, locked himself in the bathroom, and cried some more. (Do you know how pitiful it is when a child already overwhelmed with snot cries desperately?)  Captain Obvious and I looked at our calendars to find out when we could come back. The only time to return would be in late February...and the view from our slope-side window was perfect. The slopes were so snowy and inviting! The weather was quite cold (it was 4 Fahrenheit our first day there), with natural snow was falling and the resort making snow like, yes, I decided that we should stay after all. One of those decisions that was good and bad. We had a wonderful time, but Captain Adorable was sick. He coughed and snotted and coughed and snotted some more. We gave him OTC cough medicine at night to help him sleep and ibuprofen after breakfast to allow him keep up with his desire to ski ski ski all day long. He made leaps and bounds in his skiing ability and could ski blues (intermediates) by the second day. He begged Captain Obvious to take him down a black diamond. They tried one (which was more like a blue, according to my dear husband) and he did fine. He was having the time of his life! We had to buy him new mittens because the super great (ha!) gloves I bought at home were crap and a face cover because the cold wind on his face was chilling. His body was warm and toasty, though, with his technical wear base layer (wool is wonderful), excellent ski pants, and down coat to protect him from the cold.

At the top of the tubing runs. Yes, it is that far down.
After skiing, we went snow tubing on the second night and it was So Much Fun! Laughing and bumping down the tube runs together and separately, running for the magic carpet back up to the top, videoing our trips down...not quite as wonderful as skiing but awesome. And requires no skill at all! I hope we get to do that again. We also went bowling (first time for both Captains), roller skating (on inline skates), and the Captains played minigolf.

The skiing was great. I took my first lesson ever and discovered that skiing is easier than I thought. The last day we were there we woke up to 4 inches of powder. It was amazing. Oh so amazing! I encountered a very happy ski patrol guy outside the lodge at the top of the mountain who remarked that the powder was like Utah powder, no, like Jackson Hole powder! The snow was so good he needed a cigarette! I laughed and said well I didn't want a cigarette but it was fantastic and I loved it. Then he told me this joke: "You can tell a true skier by asking, 'Would you rather have great powder or great sex?' A true skier will always say powder because you can have great sex anytime but you never know when you'll get great powder."

Fear is still a big factor for me. I have learned how to handle myself much better on the slopes and can ski some blues, but those with precipice-like approaches are still too much for me! A cold hard fear grips me tighter and tighter and I cannot escape. I had to walk down one trail (sobbing). After that, I was unable to get back to my confident happy feelings. My belly had stopped aching but then I discovered I could no longer move the tail of my right ski and fear's grip tightened once again. I soaked my goggles with tears and somehow got down the green the Captains had wanted to share with me. The next run was my last of the day (have to get back to the lodge somehow) but I could barely make it down the familiar green slope I had confidently skied several times already that morning, not to mention the day before. (To make matters worse, I discovered that I could have gotten to that green trail on the other side of the mountain by walking a bit, which is no fun in skis, but way more doable for me than encountering the precipice that the top of that blue run...and the fear and the sorrow and the anger...).

I took Captain Adorable to the doctor the morning after we got home. She said that it was a classic case of secondary infection--a bacterial infection that you get right after overcoming a viral infection. His nose was inflamed (swollen inside), full of mucus, and both of his ears were infected (one quite a lot). I lamented not bringing him in sooner and she said not to worry. She prescribed antibiotics. He's had 3 doses now and he's running around the house, obviously feeling better and better.

I suppose I should have gone home and taken him to the doctor...but I think it was worth it to stay and ski and have the adventure we had. And so does Captain Adorable.

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