A family's story

Head Cold Helplessness

Tate is finally feeling better. We have spent the better part of the past 3 weeks dealing with his cold and its repercussions. When Tate gets a cold, it owns him–for weeks. He is miserable, doesn’t sleep, and his SPD is in full force.

Unfortunately, when Tate gets sick, his ability to hold his shtuff together goes by the wayside. He becomes a walking, breathing, mumbling mess.

He stops sleeping well. He struggles to go down to sleep….the humidifier is too bubbly, the boogies are too squicky, his head is too ouchy, and he thrashes and crashes about. He escapes his room. Once. Twice. Five times is a charm. Hubz goes up to sit in his room to comfort him. He doesn’t talk…just sits.

Tate never sleeps through the night when he’s sick. His favorite wake-up window is 2 am. He climbs out of bed, and fumbles into our room. Unaware of his space-time continuum, he bumps into the door, then trips over my slippers, and quite literally falls into bed next to me. He coughs. As he does so, he flails his arms and legs in the air and onto me. I nudge him off of me. Another cough…followed by another assault from my son, which feels like I’m being attacked by an octopus. Gaah!

I walk him to his room, and lie down next to him. He eases back into sleep. As I try to leave, he coughs. He flails. He sneezes…oh Lord, how does that much snot come from one kid?! He flaps as it erupts from his nose and hangs down his face. We grab tissues and clean it off. Together.

Momby? He croaks…half awake.
Yes, baby boy?
I want to hug you. I hugging you. You’re the best. So cute.
I love you, too, Tate. Thanks for hugging me. It makes me feel loved.
You’re the best, Mommy. Don’t leave me. Get some sleeps with me.
Ok, baby. I am right here. I stay…knowing it’s the only “medicine” that he needs.

After sleepless nights, Tate stumbles through his day. He slouches. He props his head on his hand…or the window…or the table. He stims more…flipping sticks, watches the fan spin, spin, spin, playing with the sink…water on full blast–then slow–back to full blast. And he vacuums. Oh, how he vacuums…to the point that the rest of us start cowering when he drags that bad boy out of its storage spot.

As we do this dance with the virus, and with Tate and his ramped up seeking behaviors, I often think, sometimes say, “this should not be this hard!” But it is. For him. For us…as we stand by helplessly as we watch our little guy ride out the virus…and all of its damage. Eventually he recovers. He starts breathing better. Starts sleeping better. Starts coping better. And we do too. Until the next virus comes along…

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Comments on: "Head Cold Helplessness" (2)

  1. Poor Tate! Little sweetheart. I hope he is feeling much better now. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I HATE winter and all the viruses it brings! Tootles just (literally like day before yesterday) got rid of his snotty nose and now it’s back with another round of antibiotics – as if the EEG wasn’t enough on top of the virus!!! Sorry – ranting!! I know about the snot thing – it’s just gotta be so hard on their little noses!! Here’s to hoping Spring is around the corner!

    • Thanks, Karen. He is feeling better. I hope your son is, too. He’s been throug the wringer! I second your wishes for Spring. Bring it on!!

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