Despite the infrequency with which I post new blogs–and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a terrible person who misses every writing deadline that he sets –it’s not often that it takes nearly half a year to write a single post that I’ve already started. Unfortunately, the circumstances I’ve been writing about have kept dragging on, and so I never quite reached the conclusion I was waiting for.
As I usually do, I took some time off this past December. I would like to briefly note that the fact that you can get sick while on vacation seems like a cruel joke. You probably won’t be surprised that I got sick; if you’ll recall, December was around the time that everyone got sick. I mean, you might not have noticed, because you were probably too busy feeling sorry for yourself based on how sick you were, but it happened. Evidently the flu vaccines that I failed to get were laughably ineffective.
When you’re sick, the best thing that you can do to accelerate your recovery is to sleep. I will point out, however, that pretty much everything about being sick makes it hard to sleep, which seems like a cruel joke. Most notably, it is difficult to sleep when you cannot breathe. During the week I was sick, I would say that on any given day I swallowed an entire bucket of snot, which is, I think, an effective diet strategy, and I am considering moving to San Francisco to create the next big tech startup.
Coming back to trying to sleep, I found that in the night it became disruptive to constantly wipe my nose. Since I couldn’t breathe through the offending nostril anyway, I considered plugging it with a tissue so that it wouldn’t drip down my face and chap the skin, but rethought this when I realized that my wife might look over at me in the night and be overcome with lust, then mount me like a stallion until the lazy winter sun crept over the horizon, leading to yet another sleepless night.
And honestly, what parent has the energy for that?
But it wasn’t my weeklong insomnia that kept this blog waiting for so long.
Worse than the trouble breathing or sleeping or holding in my rage against the world at large for allowing such a thing to happen, however, was that my son got sick at the same time. The fact that a baby can get sick at the same time as his father–and is likely to, since they share a household and tend to regularly come into close physical contact–seems like a cruel joke.
“Okay,” you say, “that accounts for an extra week. So why did this blog take another four and a half months?”
Well, my son’s cold went away, but something…lingered. Every night, we heard it over the monitor…the cough. At first, we thought it was just congestion clearing out. But it didn’t clear out.
We called the doctor, and he assured us that it was fine. But the doctor lied.
Okay, well, spoiler alert: he is going to be fine. This is a humor blog, I’m not going to end the post with a dead loved one.
So we gave Liam some time to recover on his own. Since I already told you that the doctor lied, I’ll just skip the suspenseful part and say that we wound up going back to the doctor with a cough that, after months, hadn’t gotten any better.
The doctor prescribed a steroid that we would administer twice a day for a week, in ten minute sessions with something called a nebulizer. A nebulizer is a little mask that uses compressed air to aerosolize liquid medicine so that it can be inhaled. In other words, our baby had a little Bane mask. Babies apparently tend to hate this. Liam fussed a bit, but he mostly cooperated, even occasionally volunteering to hold the mask on by himself, while simultaneously wreaking havoc on Gotham and smashing Batman’s spine over his knee. A fitting comparison, since one can hardly deny that The Nebulizer sounds like a supervillain.
But even though Liam took it well, the sessions were damn annoying, and I quickly came to regard it as the bane of my existence. That…shit, that wasn’t supposed to be a callback to the Bane joke, I just mean that it was awful. I should rewrite that, but now I can’t think of anything but the word “bane.” The nebulizer was the…awful…of bane… dammit. Forget it, let’s just keep going.
Anyway, the week came and went, and the day of Liam’s follow-up appointment was like Christmas morning.
But, like so many Christmas mornings before it, every gift was packed full of socks and ugly sweaters.
The doctor announced that, instead of being rid of the dread Nebulizer, we’d be continuing the steroid treatment for another two weeks and adding a fifteen minute session of Albuterol, right before bed. With the warning that it could make the baby a little hyper and fidgety.
Right. Before. Bed.
This was…more burdensome. On weekdays, I only have an hour or so of time with Liam between getting home from work and putting him down to bed, and now a significant portion of it was dedicated to stuffing him in a high chair and drugging him.
So another two weeks went by, and we nervously awaited another (shudder) Christmas morning. The follow-up call came, and, good news: we could stop medicating Liam!
…with the Albuterol. The steroid, on the other hand, would go on for another six weeks, like we’d just gone through some sort of evil Groundhog Day.
Fast forward another month and a half. This past weekend, we gave Liam his last treatment.
We’ve spent hundreds of dollars, my latest blog is nearly half a year later than I’d anticipated, and we’ve had to force our toddler to sit still for hours over the course of the months we’ve been doing this. But, at long last, it’s finally over.
We tell ourselves that, anyway. But deep down, we know the truth. As long as there is night in this world…as long as plans can go awry…as long as evil has a foothold in this world… then somewhere, lurking in the darkness, there will always be…The Nebulizer.
By the way, I lied about how this blog would end. While all this was happening, another one of our cats died.