Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Theory on Mad Dog's Health

Yesterday was an extremely typical day for the Sieber household.

We got word from daycare that Mikey was showing exceptional aptitude at coughing and that he appeared to be sick. By that evening, the dude was lethargic and couch-bound (common behavior for me but not him). Unsurprisingly, his body temperature ran up to 102.2 F, and he started coughing more and more frequently.

Here we go again.

The night was a long and exhausting blur. Our delirious baby spent the evening coughing, tossing, turning, getting out of bed to play, crying, demanding food and water, angrily throwing the proffered food away, and just plain being sick.

When morning arrived, we implemented the all-too-familar shuffling of work schedules and duties to get him in to see the pediatrician. I don't know why we even bothered. The diagnosis, general upper respiratory cold or virus, was obviously what was coming, and there is no real treatment.

This latest illness comes on the heels of a sinus infection treated by 10 days of disgusting antibiotics. That was following a nearly continuous stream of ear infections, colds, coughs, and flus.

Our child is sick so often that I have developed a theory.

I believe that Michael has a reversed immune system. His natural baseline state is to suffer from a runny nose, a cough, and an ear infection. This baseline state occasionally veers into fever territory for brief intervals.

I theorize that every few weeks or so, Michael comes into contact with some antibodies or some other substance that affects him. He might accidentally inhale something or eat something that causes his body to react. In this anomalous state, the standard runny nose, cough, and ear troubles are temporarily disrupted. A bizarre, unnatural period sets in. It is like the illusory calm that lies in the eye of a hurricane. The symptoms are troubling and alien to us: a pronounced lack of cough, a disturbingly dry nose, ears that seem to feel comfortable, and a body temperature that stays around 98.6.

We are nervous and on edge during these times. Something is amiss. The cough, nose, and ear problems quickly return, and we return to life as we know it. All the data I have supports my theory, even as it contradicts the so-called educated opinions of the medical establishment. I do wonder if there are others out there like us who live with a child who has a reversed immune system..

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