Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Checklist for the Pharmacy (while dreaming of summer)

As we wait for the approaching snowstorm (yes, once again), I sit here in the midst of a viral infection and find myself dreaming. Dreaming of warmer days, those when the sun doesn't set before 7 p.m. The weekly chore is mowing the lawn, and it's followed by sitting back on an Adirondack chair with an ice cold beer. Now I don't mow, but I like listening to the buzz of the mower while W is at it, because I know that when it's over, I get to sit with him while he is shirtless and sweaty. Mmmmm, my favorite.

I just stumbled upon my beach bag. It's a big red bag with overblown photos printed on it's canvas. One side has a photo of kids taken in the Outer Banks, and the other has a photo of me and W on the beach. But inside, all that's in it is a pair of my son's flip flops, and a couple of half-used bottles of sunscreen in a Ziploc bag. It's wanting for bathing suits, a camera, and some errant sand.

It gets me thinking about waking up without an alarm, not to get my son off to school but to get us to a body of water, and soak, effortlessly, in the loving rays of the sun. I think about living life in open-toe shoes and mini skirts, always smelling (somewhat) of tanning oil, and feeling warm all the time. I want to sit outside, listening to the crickets while looking up at a sky splattered with stars, and thank them for all that exists in my life. The sound of kids playing, the smell of sweet grass, the perfect color of W's tanned skin. Driving with the windows down, my hair whipping in the window and occasionally clinging to my sticky, glossy lips. There's no worrying about colds, or viruses, or infections.

Reality check. It's January in New Jersey. 

Rather than finding yourself in my position, dreaming of an escape while fighting off a virus, I advise you to keep washing your hands, taking all of your vitamins, and just in case, prepare your home for the off chance that you may end up having to ride out this nasty virus.

My least favorite task is keeping our Sick Box* up to date, but I wish that I had. While I have plenty of fever reducer, and protective caps for our ear thermometer, it would have served me well to have kept my multi-symptom cold medicine up to date. I didn't, fearing that being prepared would bring it on, and it's times like now that I wish I'd been smarter.

Here's what every family with kids should have in their Sick Box (if you believe in Western medicine, that is):

  • Children's Tylenol fever reducer
  • Children's Motrin fever reducer
  • Children's multi-symptom cold relief
  • Children's Benadryl
  • Children's cough suppressant
  • Easy to use/read thermometer
  • Ibuprofen (for adults)
  • Multi-symptom cold relief (I only like the Advil brand)
  • Halls cough drops
  • Benadryl
  • Vicks vapor rub, or similar
  • Tissues

For the kitchen, I suggest Throat Coat tea by Traditional Medicinals or Egyptian Licorice tea by Yogi Teas (great for a sore throat), Gatorade and ice pops.

W had to get me Advil multi-symptom, and ice pops, because we were out. Luckily, I had everything else in stock, though after a few days of this ridiculous virus, I am down to my last Licorice tea. I find that the tea immediately soothes my throat, which is a blessing, as there is no other relief.

Tonight, while I sit in the house listening to the boiler push water into the pipes to warm my house (bang, bang, wheeeeeeze), hearing it click on until the heat reaches 70, then sigh itself back off, I will think of these things. My son and I may be at home, sick, but in my mind, we are in the heart of summer, on the best cul-de-sac in Cedar Lake, with our three favorite people, barbecuing hamburgers and hot dogs without a care in the world.

*A Sick Box is a shoe box sized container that stores everything you may need, in the event that you or a loved one gets sick.


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