Someone remarked to me the other day that my kids are always sick. As I thought about that statement, I realized that there was a lot of truth in tht statement. Has there been an extended period of time over the last 6 months that one of my brood or myself hasn't had some bug working it's way through our system? As I thougt about it more, I determined that the blame for our propentsity to illness is twofold: first, genetics. Asthma, spierocytosis, acid reflux, gall stones, retinitis pigemntosa, heart disease, diabetes, cancer......take your pick, we've got a limb for it in our family tree. TQ was finally diagnosed with asthma a few weeks ago after months of progressively stronger attacks (lesson learned- when doctors want to blame something that's been going on for 6+ months on allergies, insist on more tests) and the after math of dizziness and migraines. She is now on a daily steroid which has helped immensely. Poor Fox just can't get a break. Along with being the lucky recipient of the Retinitis Pigmentosa genes, we're pretty sure he also inherited spierocytosis which depresses the immune system and causes severe anemia. The slightest sniffle in the rest of the fam turns into a full blown flu in Fox. He's down today after coming home from school yesterday with a scratchy throat, his face bright red and head sweating from a fever. I was positive that I sent him to school healthy and yet 8 hours later he's barely functioning. After a year with him I think his teacher has become accustomed to how quickly Fox can go from running on the playground to being so sick he's laying on his desk in a stupor. Nothing fazes her anymore. It kind of stinks that the year is over and we'll have to start afresh with a new teacher in the fall.
The second reason for the frequent cold and flu appearance is my chosen occupation. I love teaching piano out of my home. It gives me so much joy and fulfillment. When I graduated from the U I knew that I would not teach full time for many years- at least until my kids were all in school if I could manage. So I tucked away the degree and haven't regretted that choice once. But I really working with children and music, so teaching from home seemed like a great way to balance out my desire to use my skills and still be available to my family. I love the kids I teach and their families. I've watched so many of them grow upright before my eyes- some of my earliest students are now married and have children of their own! However, the downside to having my workplace in my home is that my "classroom" is just the same as any classroom where children are; it's a giant petri dish. Every cough, sniffle and sneeze that's passed on at school is brought to lessons via my cute but unsuspecting students. I try to sanitize as much as possible, and encourage parents to keep their kids home if they are sick, but often times the bacteria are in an incubation stage or and haven't reared their ugly heads so the kids will come to lessons infected but not showing symptoms. Fast forward 3 days later though, and they're coughing and so am I. Of course, then it makes the round through everyone in our house and by the time we're recovered something new has been brought in. I have seriously considered if it's worth it, especially with Fox's crap can for an immune system, but I haven't come to a concrete conclusion yet. If we have another year like this past one though I may have to take a serious look at the risk/reward ratio and make some tough decisions.
Don't you want to visit my house now? I should hang an "enter at your own risk" sign at the door.