I was a healthy child. I was a kid before many of today’s vaccines were available. I had the mumps when I was very young, and I don’t remember being sick. I was old, 15, when I got the chicken pox. I remember that illness well. It was a terrible 2 weeks. It was February 1984. I missed a band concert and a bunch of school. I had tonsillitis a few times a year for a few years and my pediatrician told my mom that if I got it one more time they would need to take my tonsils out. I’ve never had it since. But that’s about it – other than colds and the occasional flu.
One thing I do remember about my childhood illnesses is that I would often get something special. Nothing big, but something to help me pass the time while home ill. We’ve been really lucky with our boy’s health too. (knock on wood) There has been strep, and pink eye, and once Michael had croup, but overall my kids have been healthy. One time when Ben was sick, I stopped to get him something special. I came home with Blue Puppy.
When I was in 5th grade, January of 1979, I had tonsillitis bad. I missed two weeks of school. Ok, so part of that was the snow dump of 1979, but that’s for another story. I was really starting to get into pop culture around that time and would ask to buy Tiger Beat Magazine – is that still a thing? But while I was home sick this horrible January, I asked for, and got Rona Barrett’s Hollywood Magazine. Rona Barrett was TMZ of the 1970s. During that month, I read Rona Barrett’s Hollywood Magazine over and over. It was full of Battlestar Galactica. Battlestar Galactica was a favorite. Who was cuter, Apollo or Starbuck? That’s a hard one to call. And now that I think about it, Boomer was nice to look at too.
Michael was really sick once. It was when he was a few days old. We brought him home from the hospital after his birth and then, a few days later, he had a fever. Newborns aren’t supposed to have fevers. We ended up at Primary Children’s Hospital getting a CAT scan and a spinal tap. They checked for meningitis and I don’t know what else. We spent two nights in the hospital and then they sent us home. He was fine. It was the scariest few days of my life. I cannot imagine what it is like for parents whose kids spend weeks or months in the hospital.
When my kids were little, whenever they had a fever, they got to sleep in my bed. I did this because I wanted to know if, and when, the fever spiked, or broke. I never slept when they were sick and little. I was hypervigilant because of the hospital visit at a few days old. Luckily all has turned out well.
Blue Puppy has become special to both Ben and me. Whenever he, or I, feels down, we bring each other Blue Puppy. Somehow this little stuffed dog has a way of making us both feel better. I love Blue Puppy.