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Seaton: A Brief Medical Update

I want to begin by discussing a rather nasty rumor I heard spread regarding my whereabouts last week. Contrary to what’s discussed on the Twitter, I had been nowhere near a “tragic kiln explosion.” Hell, I don’t even know where one would find a kiln locally.

My absence was a bit less dramatic. I was sick. Not overly sick, mind you. That would be crass to discuss publicly. But suffice it to say for my current purposes I was less than my optimal self.

How I fell ill came down to one of two possible culprits. One’s eight and one is ten. My kids are truly the greatest joy of my life. I look at them and I see the possibility of the future reflected in their eyes.

I also get very sick from time to time when they bring shit home. And let me tell you, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has nothing on the germ factory that is my kids’ elementary school.

This particular respiratory infection started with a bad cough and a stuffy nose. Not just any stuffy nose—the kind of stuffy that has you pleading with your maker for one small whiff of fresh air while you gag in an attempt to swallow something, anything, of sustenance.

By the end of the second day, I hadn’t slept more than three hours from simply not being able to breathe. I sat alone in bed at night listening to myself hack and cough until my sides hurt from the effort. Motrin kept the mild fever I was rocking fairly at bay. I was ready to throw in the towel in the morning and beg the gods of UrgentCare for some measure of relief.

The fates heard my pleas of desperation and directed my attention to something I had forgotten we had plenty of in the medicine cabinet. Something we sort of bought in bulk once and tend to forget we have until we need it, then we’re pretty damn grateful we’ve got it.

I found our stash of DayQuil Severe Cold & Flu. This would get me on the mend over the following week. That and the generous offer of my kids’ grandparents to take them over the weekend while I slept this mess off.

The next 24 hours were at least a moment of quiet in a rather chaotic weekend. I slept, watched “The Joy of Painting” reruns and ate doughnuts from this place in Farragut that’s way too expensive but worth it when you’re feeling under the weather.

My kids came back the next evening from their grandparents. It’s always great to see my kids when they get back to me from wherever they’ve been. And confusingly to some, it’s also great to see my kids off to wherever they’re headed because sometimes I need a few damn minutes of quiet.

That’s the wonder of kids though. They’re the greatest joy and the biggest pain in the ass life has to offer. At the same time, no less.

Nana blessed my kids with a day to the aquarium. Both kids are fans of sea life so it went over like gangbusters. The kids were both exhausted from their adventure and decided to nestle up on the couch together until they fell asleep.

My better half poked me about an hour after the kids fell asleep on the couch and told me to take my son to bed. I attempted to stand up and wake my son quietly but he wasn’t being responsive to my gentle proddings.

The boy then sat up suddenly with a look I should’ve recognized meant he wasn’t quite all there with us in the moment. Hey, look, I said I was sick, okay? You try being your absolute best parenting self when you’re hacking up a lung.

Anyway the boy child then allows me to help guide him to the stairs leading to his room before reversing course and heading back towards his mother in the living room.

“What are you doing, bud?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” my son mumbled as he tried to worm his way past his mother back onto our couch. We stopped him and gently turned him around back towards the stairs.

My eight-year-old son then did the best interpretation of a drunkard anyone in his tender years could manage: He stood up and lurched towards the refrigerator, which he opened. After blankly surveying the fridge, he stumbled into the dining room and attempted to flip light switches that were actually on the other side of said room.

On his request, I turned my phone light on for my son to use to make his way upstairs. As he nears a lightswitch, he makes a fuss about looking at me, huffing loudly, and then flipping the switch. He repeats this comical tactic until he reaches his room. Here he decides to forego pajamas for the evening and simply strips to socks and underwear before pulling a blanket over his head and bidding me goodnight.

You have to laugh. You really do.

Anyway I’m almost medically cleared to start making some measure of sense again in the near future. The coughing fits are practically gone, I can breathe again and my throat doesn’t require a steady supply of Halls cough drops!

It’ll be a relief to be done with this illness. You’d be surprised at how shitty the American health care system really is. It’s enough to drive a man absolutely to the dogs.

We’ll see you next week, everybody! Have a great weekend and don’t contract SARS!

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