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  • Writer's pictureElana

Dog of a Year

2018 has been a brutal year for my family so far. Navin is a big fan of Astrology, and at the beginning of the year he caught me up on the details of this “year of the dog”. As I was born in a year of the dog as well, you’d think that would be good luck, but apparently it means the opposite (and also apparently I’m supposed to wear red underwear all year to ward off that bad luck).

It all started a little before ringing in the year, on Christmas Day 2017 when Ari started throwing up, and then shared that lovely virus with his Daddy. And then 3 days later when my neck painfully seized up and I couldn’t even turn my head or hold my own baby.

Since we celebrated the new year, we’ve been blessed with various colds, pink eye and stomach viruses. Having a preschooler attending daycare seems to come with a stream of never-ending runny noses and other lovely germs and viruses (because kid germs are the worst germs). When we were in Boston on a family trip, I got shingles, though thankfully just a very itchy, non-painful case. And did you know that while someone with shingles can not pass shingles on to someone else, they can pass the chicken pox virus on to someone who has never had it? So, guess what comes next… 10 days later, Navin (who swore he had been vaccinated) came down with a bad case of the chicken pox, days after returning from a business trip. And I mean bad… at the hospital with a high fever bad. Then right when he started to turn a corner, my stomach took a turn for the worse and we were more than a bit startled when I threw up blood (but I’m actually totally fine, don’t worry). Our house of health horrors…

Luckily our 3 year old, Ari, has been vaccinated against the chicken pox. But guess who hasn’t been? Our 6 month old, Ezra. So we kept Ezra and his Daddy separate for almost a week while he was contagious. He didn’t touch him and even wore a SARS mask around the house to protect his baby. Play dates were cancelled, Ezra was excluded from our Mom & Baby yoga class, and we generally hibernated. As time passed I considered us lucky. We had dodged a bullet. Maybe my antibodies were finally doing their job and keeping our little guy from getting sick… our poor baby who has been sick more than any not-yet-7-month-old should be. So, I un-quarantined our family after 19 days of being so careful. But the incubation period is 10-20 days and guess whose pox decided to show up on Day 20? Poor baby. 2018 is kicking our butts.

The weather hasn’t been helping either. The miserable weather has been following us around. Navin left for Texas, and was followed by bad weather. Then we went to Boston during an epic “nor-easter” storm that led to many cancelled flights and closures. And this week we were trapped inside for an entire weekend during a historic ice storm. The positive here is that everyone else was also trapped inside and hibernating from this weather, so there could be worse times to be quarantined inside the house with a sick baby.

2018 is year of the dog, and so far this has been a dog of a year.

One of the best things that has come of 2018 has been the birth of my little nephew, Sammy. I have been wanting to visit my sister since she was pregnant, awaiting his arrival, and have continuously had to cancel or reschedule because of one illness or another, wanting not to expose a pregnant lady or a teeny tiny newborn to our germs. I have had one chance so far to snuggle him and it was truly wonderful. But I haven’t been able to help them out at all. I haven’t even seen his little nursery except in pictures. I am eager for a proper visit…someday…when my family is no longer contagious.

In our desperation for a healthy family, we have implemented rules about washing hands the moment we enter the house after daycare, before every meal and any time anyone is in the bathroom (even if they didn’t do or touch anything). We have had repeated talks about not putting toys in our mouths and not licking things. We have started diffusing essential oils that claim to boost immunity and kill germs. We have been eating plenty of fruits, veggies and other healthy foods. We have been opening the windows in this spring that is actually a never-ending winter and airing out our house. What else can we do?

Maybe I should start wearing red underwear after all…

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