Bugs represent dark side of winter

It?s been a long winter, and I?m not referring to the weather. In fact, I rather enjoy all kinds of weather, including the beauty of a fresh snowfall?even 15-plus inches.

I know I?m in the minority with that statement?I?m sure most of you are cringing. But deep down, all you winter-haters have to admit there?s something glorious about stepping out into a crisp, white world.

And now that I?m living in the country, I get to enjoy the marshmallow world in all its unspoiled glory?at least for a couple days until the roads are plowed.

If winter were only full of snowmen, sledding, snowdrifts, hot cocoa and even cold temperatures, I?d be in good shape. But alas, there?s a dark side to winter.

In January, I traveled to our pediatrician?s office for what seemed like the hundredth time this winter. Cottonwood Pediatrics knows our family well?especially Gracelyn, thanks to her spherocytosis?and the office is quickly becoming acquainted with Jemma as well.

We?ve been plagued by bugs this winter. Cold bugs. Stomach bugs. Fever bugs. Rash bugs. Cough bugs. You name it, we?ve probably had it.

At our visit last month, I asked Dr. Jantz?with a big sigh, I might add?if the winter was over. He assured me, with much authority, that no, the winter was most definitely NOT over. Sigh, again. Apparently, in the medical world, winter lasts until the end of March. And sometimes winter extends to the middle of April.

That prognosis doesn?t bode well for the Just family. Especially now, as we are currently battling illness, Round 101.

As a household, we own two vaporizers. Every time one girl needs the vaporizer for a better night?s sleep, the other follows suit within the next couple days. And now that the girls each have separate bedrooms, it was easier to purchase an additional machine, rather than let the steam waft up and down the stairs.

We?ve also kept Greenhaw Pharmacy hopping. Every two weeks, we refill Gracelyn?s penicillin prescription. She has to have that until she?s at least 5. But we?ve also filled several other meds, including zythromax and the ever-popular amoxicillin.

At one point, I had a pink-stained burp cloth that should have been white. That probably explains why the ?pink stuff? didn?t work?most of it was spit out in the way only an infant can. You know, those huge raspberries that send anything inside the mouth flying.

But I know our family hasn?t been alone in the ill-crowd.

During our sporadic healthy weeks/days/hours, I?ve called up several friends, who also have children, in order to get some much-needed mommy companionship (aka, playdates). But there?s always something standing in the way?runny noses, high fevers, regurgitated Goldfish?that puts a damper on a potentially lively morning.

And if we do manage to get out of the house and around other children, there?s inevitably a phone call in the upcoming days warning of the risk of exposure to numerous medical annoyances.

But to all parents experiencing your first winter with two children: There?s hope. A Facebook friend of mine commented on one of my ?we are always sick? posts with some encouraging words. She told me the first winter she went from one child to two children, her family was continuously sick as well. But the next winter, things were much better. Hopefully, others can attest to a similar experience.

I look forward to finding out. I?m convinced next winter has to be better. But for now, I?ll pray the end of March (or the middle of April) comes before illness, Round 102.

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