Healthy for a sick kid

Thane on Saturday
Thane on Saturday

Thane is awfully healthy for a sick kid. Alternately, he’s awfully sick for a healthy kid. Something like that. After Thane’s three days of vomitin the week I was off, we had a week of general good health as I started my job. Then last weekend it was Grey’s turn to throw up. 

But on Monday when I went to pick up Thane, the nice daycare lady had a piece of paper for me to sign. After two – ahem – liquid stools a day, a kid can’t go back to the Y for at least 24 hours. So Thane was verboten to go back Tuesday. I’m having trouble remembering now if that’s when the problem really started, or if it stretched back to the weekend. Usually I would check my blog, but I periodically pretend to make attempts at taste and discretion and failed to chronicle this fascinating issue. Anyway, my patient, long-suffering husband worked from home with a constant Scooby Doo sound track in the background. Wednesday morning my husband took my son to the doctor for another issue. While there, Thane – ahem – demonstrated his digestive problems for the doctor. 

The doctor recommended immediately discontinuing all dairy products for at least a week after Thane got better. This threw us into a tizzy since 80% of Thane’s calories come from dairy products. His favorite foods are milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and bacon. (The bacon being the 20%) But the very idea of a long term dietary constraint terrifies me, so I comply. I’m not strong enough for a life without dairy, or an elimination diet. No! Thane returned to school – briefly – before being sent home again. Once again, my husband manned up to the task.

Thursday dawned with no improvement. My husband now has the dialogue memorized for all the Scooby episodes, including that one with the Speed Buggy. I called my brother, figuring hey! He’s part time! It’s totally, like, pastoral to drive 8 hours in a 24 hour period to watch your sister’s child with digestive problems, right? Anyway, he gets several dozen hero points for taking Thane today, and moreover having dinner ready for us by the time we got home.

Now I simply exist in fear. What if Thane isn’t ready to go back to school on Monday? Or Tuesday? Or ever again? I’m in week 3 of a new job. My husband has a wonderfully flexible company, but there are limits. (It’s also tough on the ol’ patience to have a three year old with a Scooby fixation while you’re working on some complicated code bug.) Ugh. Anyway, Thane is eating a diet entirely comprised of constipating foods (would you like another banana?) and I’m crossing my fingers.

Which brings me to his other issue. As I mentioned, he was taken to the doctor on Wednesday for another delicate, but unrelated problem. After long soul-searching, I think it is not TOO inappropriate (or at least no more inappropriate than usual) to tell you that we’ve learned that Thane has a hydrocele. Given his age, it is not unlikely he will need the surgical remedy, since it hasn’t resolved itself and it might lead to complications if left untreated.

So here I have a little boy who’s been sick from school several days with – ahem – diarrhea (and hey, I actually wrote it out this time because this bout has been bad enough that I have FINALLY ACTUALLY learned how to spell diarrhea!) and who probably needs surgery. And yet this kid is the least sick kid around. He’s full of vim and vigor (I almost said piss and vinegar, but that’s too close to the truth…) He’s FINE. He’s bored. And he sooooo needs to go back to school on Monday!

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

4 thoughts on “Healthy for a sick kid”

  1. Aww, poor you guys, and poor kiddo. The surgery sounds hopefully not too complicated. (Though I get it, SURGERY, for your BABY…) and the leave and work issues, boy do I know those painfully well (says me, with only 20 hours of leave…still… 10 months after coming back to work full time). But as you know, a) things WILL get better; b) your bosses WILL understand, as stressed as you may be–and that stress indicates to them you’re not a slacker, and I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it up; c) even with a kid with diarrhea (fun times!) you can get a lot done at home you wouldn’t otherwise get to do (silver lining).

    Hang in there, we’re thinking of you! And don’t forget the rice, applesauce, and toast to fill out that BRAT diet! 🙂


  2. Sorry to hear of Thane’s illnesses! I have been dairy-free for a couple years now, so am happy to send you some recipes that help with the cravings (my two favorites are dairy-free chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie). Coconut oil based “butter” for baking and olive oil for everything else help a lot. And hey, since he loves bacon, you could always bring back lard for your oil 😉 It sucks to eat out, but if he really is dairy sensitive, he will feel so much better without. Warning, the ability to digest dairy is a use it or loose it thing… total elimination of dairy can lead to the inability to digest it after x amount of time. Catch 22.


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