Monday, March 14, 2011

Miserable March Madness

Swish! Cheers erupt as he sinks yet another basket for 20 unanswered points. Joseph takes a break from his stunning performance for a sip of water, blows his nose and shoots again. This time the backboard lends a little help, but the scoring streak continues. Joseph's cardboard box standing in as a hoop is full of basketballs (a.k.a. tissues).

March Madness is in full swing. I'm so excited that my Nittany Lions are playing in the NCAA tournament and my husband will be parading around in his blue and gold when the Mountaineers take the court. But the college basketball tournament is only part of the story in our house. The other madness that has taken over is the kind that would put fevers, ear infections, coughs, asthma and pneumonia in their own brackets.

After both of my children were sick for most of February, we were hoping March would offer a respite and bench those nasty germs. Not a chance. Last week, an ear infection, fever and cough plagued Pamela. By the time the germs danced over to Joseph, I had spent a few nights up all night with Pamela only to awaken to a broken coffee maker. It is an unfair move to take the required daily caffeine dose away from this coach. In an effort to pump up my sick team's spirits, I made allergen-free chocolate chip cookies for breakfast one morning at Pamela's request. My rationale? We really needed something to boost our spirits and really, how different is that than chocolate chip pancakes?

The cookies certainly helped morale a bit. But by our second visit to the doctor last week with both kids coughing and using tissues at warp speed, we needed something more to curb the malady madness. Joseph had a tough weekend and seemed to get worse, so we went back to the doctor today only to find out that he now has pneumonia. Extra asthma treatments are essential for Joseph's lung function when he's sick, especially with a cough. But in the breaks between the hum of the nebulizer we turned to the hard court.

The poor kid feels miserable, but there's nothing like a little hoops to lighten his mood. Sure, he watched the college games over the weekend. But today when he shot those snot-filled tissues across the room and reveled in the cheers from his little sister and me, the madness took away some of the misery.