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Six healthy months could be a sign of an immune system

Submitted by on Monday, 2 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published April 10, 2008, thehive.modbee.com

I knew it couldn’t last forever – eventually, even Lou Gehrig bowed out and Cal Ripken took a seat.

Not that the guys’ string of healthy days was anything close to Iron Man-like. Still, if you overlook Big Guy’s days out due to surgery last autumn, six illness-free months is a decent run. Even the four-plus months of perfect attendance since surgery is stunning.

I held my breath all winter and was amazed when spring arrived with sick days unused – that hadn’t happened since Big Guy was born.

It came to an end this week, and the only surprising part is that the asthmatic king of the ear infection wasn’t the one who closed the streak.

Instead, it was Little Guy. The kid who never gets sick, whose non-routine doctor’s visits I can count on one hand. Sniffles turned into snotterfalls turned into some undefined infection. Which turned into a 102-degree temperature.

And unlike his brother, who wants to share his misery with the world, Little Guy largely kept on trucking cheerfully during the whole sick day. He even mastered pedaling the tricycle while we were off.

Good thing work wasn’t patrolling with a camcorder. No one would have believed that the 2-year-old giggling “I do it!” as he rolled down the sidewalk was actually Fourth of July hot. I’m still waiting for my kids to learn how to be sick in bed.

The amazing part is that Little Guy’s fever burned out within 24 hours. No doctor, no antibiotic, no more missed work. I’ve tried the same thing with Big Guy, but have had no luck.

His first year: bronchiolitis, numerous ear infections and anaphylaxis.

His second year: asthma and the Ear Infection of the Month Club. His pediatrician put him constant antibiotics in hopes of getting him past it, but when he still was getting sick after three rounds, she finally recommended ear tubes.

His third year: Frequent around-the-clock breathing treatments when colds turned to wheezing, plus the gastroenteritis plague that struck both guys simultaneously. Nine diaper changes in 40 minutes has to qualify for Guinness.

His fourth year: Medication controlled the asthma and the ear tubes did their job until the final one fell out in the spring. Then we were back in the Antibiotic of the Month Club.

His fifth year: Could he actually have developed an immune system?

Part of it, granted, is luck. Their day-care has been relatively bug-free all winter. A pink eye notification was posted last week, but, other than that, few of the panic-inducing papers have appeared. You know, the ones that send you to Web MD trying to figure out if hand, foot and mouth disease is related to Mad Cow and if your kid can die from it.

I’m still holding onto the hope, though, that this is a sign of a brighter future, one when December vacation days are exactly that rather than a way to cover the gap between going bust on sick time and the end of the year.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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