The story of the Tetanus, the Whooping Cough and the Ritalin

25 Oct

No, this is not a medical journal – at least not one that will be worth referring to – this is the story of our last 2 days. Yes,in our modern days, we had to brave 2 almost-believed-to-be extinct diseases, mixed with the very much alive sickness-of-the-day (yes, ADHD is real and no, it’s not just a tale-tell made up by the teachers).

One of my friends’ son has been battling with a horrible cough for the past few weeks and upon her visit to the doctor, he was diagnosed with whooping cough. Naively I thought I would check with my friend Wiki what “whooping cough” is in French. It’s whaaat? La coqueluche??? Isn’t it something that my grandmother told me about, a weird disease that killed hundreds in those times??

Given that our kids are all friends, they happily and unselfishly shared the bacteria (maybe all these parenting speeches on ‘sharing is caring’ finally paid off) and on Monday evening, Matty started to cough. My panic button was immediately pressed and, with a faster reaction time than ADT (No record breaking here, though), I made an appointment to my faithful doctor for the next day. I have a 100% trust in my doctor and even though I read up on whooping cough, I knew he would be of much help on how to deal with it.

Next day, prepped up to face the world, one deadly disease at a time (or so I thought), we rocked up at the Medicross. I’m taking all the kids with me, I thought. Killian has a thorn in his foot. My dear doctor will surely help me to remove it as it looked slightly deeper than a Hollywood celebrity’s personality.

Matty was quickly taken care of. Whooping cough is highly contagious and the cough can last for months, unless it is detected at the beginning and treated with antibiotics, in which case the contagion is limited to only a few days. Good news for us, only a few days of quarantine. Tap, tap on my shoulder: Killian reminded me of the thorn in his foot. Ah yes, a simple formality. We need to go to the procedure room. Ah. He needs an injection to numb the area. Mmh. And he needs a booster for his tetanus vaccine. Oh boy. That’s way more that I bargained for.

I braced myself for what was to come. I lost some of my hearing on that injection. Some of my heart too. I truly wished I could switch places with him. It was painful. The doctor worked hard and long at removing the thorn that was 1 full centimetre deep. And every minute, Killian kept asking with tremor in his voice “Is he doing another injection?” No. “And now?” No. “And now?” No my love. Léa, crying next to me, sure did not wish to switch places with him but felt awfully sorry for her brother. Matty, on the other hand, said that he looked at everything the doctor did – unphased.

The tetanus shot was nothing compared to the first injection. By then, Killian was so hysterical that it wouldn’t have mattered anyway what kind of procedure they were doing on his arm, but I was amused by 2 reactions: the first was the nurse’s face when the doctor told him that the one brother had whooping cough and that the other one was at risk of getting tetanus with the infection in his foot and that he needed his booster shot. She might have thought we were some kind of amish or something…The second was Killian’s neurotic behaviour stopping in a split second when he realised that his second injection was already finished and exclaimed **bravely**, “Oh! That wasn’t even sore!”

Back home, things went back to normal. Until the next day. Wednesday. Killian had been on his absolute worst behaviour throughout the day. Starting from not wanting to sit for his reading, to lashing out at his brother, defiantly disobeying me, going from zero to 100 in a few minutes, speaking to me in a way that not even Jack Bauer would to his tortured enemies, ending up in clinging and begging me to forgive him.

I tried to understand what was the matter. Was it payback for allowing him to be hurt the day before? Had I not given him the right amount of Ritalin? (and believe me, I make sure of that!) I even considered an adverse reaction to his previous day vaccine – I could already see the headlines “Mother kills child after vaccine’s unfortunate side effects”. At 4 o’clock, I had the choice between death (I wasn’t sure whose yet) and a top-up of his medication to help the poor sod out of his misery (and mine). At the first signs of him becoming sane again, we talked. Somehow, in the morning, when given his pill, he hid it under his tongue and did not swallow it. Relief was my first reaction. Utter frustration was next. Frustration at Killian obviously. Mostly frustration at people thinking that Ritalin is unnecessary, that parents and teachers just need to try harder.

A few minutes into Ritalin, roller-costered-out and calmed down, looking at me with his big hazelnut eyes, he says “I feel better now”.

And here ends the story of the whooping cough, the tetanus and the ritalin. They had many children and lived happily ever after.

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11 Responses to “The story of the Tetanus, the Whooping Cough and the Ritalin”

  1. nicoledecooker November 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Maybe you can persuade Killian to wear shoes now 😛 If he wears shoes he might not end up with a thorn in his foot!

  2. Taryn October 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    Oh me oh my! You’ve really had it all. And only you manage to tell it so entertainingly! So glad they’re all looking to be on the mend. Hugs to you!

  3. craigandkerry October 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    My dear Inks,

    That was a very, very funny story! And you wrote it very well too. It’s that stagein parenting wher ethingsa re so pearshaped that you ahve to make a choice to laugh or cry… or commit murder.. And clearly the first option comes with less jail time. 😉 And yes, I believe you ADHD is REAL! Killian is transformed on ritalin- unrecognisable. Thank you Lord for modern medicine!

  4. Alison Eloff October 26, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    I love it Ingrid. Well done and sending a big hug.:)

  5. Marraine October 26, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Pauvre petite chérie, te voilà avec bien du soucis !!! Essayes de ne pas te faire contaminer, pour la coqueluche. C’est beaucoup plus mauvais pour les adultes. Les toux sont épuisantes surtout la nuit. J’ai eu ce cadeau de la part de ton père, j’avais 20 ou 22ans. Je te fais mille gros bisous à partager bien sûr
    Marraine

    • Ingrid October 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      Et bien ma petite marraine!!! Pour le moment moi ca a l’air d’aller. J’ai une amie qui l’a et elle est bien malade la pauvre! Comme tu dis, surtout la nuit, ca empeche de dormir!
      Matty va bien pour le moment. Il ne tousse qu’un tout petit peu mais rien la nuit!! Mille biz!!

  6. themastersbard October 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    A dirty little secret: I too take Ritalin. Not that I NeeeeeeD it like the K child, but it just gives that extra aid to make certain parts of life calm & steady Not a magic pill for me but coupled with spiritual principles, a sure friend.

    • Ingrid October 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      ooooooh little secret… I certainly thank the Lord for modern medicine every day. For us, it’s a real life saver…Calm and tranquillity…

  7. petalcaren October 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Dear, sweet Ingrid. I love this story and feel your pain in having to stand by while your precious boy was being tortured. Heck. Lets hope the Whoop does not hope this way and that Matty gets better very, very soon. and yes there is a real thing called ADHD and Ritalin is a good friend. Preach it sister.

  8. Karen Dawes October 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Oh Inks, you brought such a smile to my face! I think only friends can smile for each other when we’ve had days as horrid as these! I so look forward to getting to know you better, there is so much I’d love to chat about with you! Hope today was better all round 🙂

    • Ingrid October 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

      Can’t wait to meet you outside of CE… It’s not long now, once we’re all chicken-poxed out and whooping-coughed out….

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