On Pink Eye, Strep and the Stomach Bug


When I had kids, there is one universal truth that I felt very unprepared to face: they will get sick. It’s unavoidable because sickness just comes with the parenting territory. You can run but you can’t hide. Disinfect all you want but eventually it arrives as an unwelcome visitor staying for an undetermined about of time.

So when the inevitable happens, I immediately go into damage control mode. Schedule doctors’ appointment. Reschedule everything on the agenda for the week. Check expiration dates on medicines. Stock up on Pedialyte. Disinfect e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

Then, I have to assume that the rest of the week is shot because sickness travels like wildfire in a family and can consume everybody. I feel like I’m on guard at all times because there’s always a 33.3% chance that one of my three children will wake up sick.

Call me crazy, but my kids are now accustomed to me shining a light into the back of their throats ever since strep started visiting our house like a revolving door. I didn’t know that one of my hidden talents would be spotting white spots in throats, or hearing a suspicious cough and diverting throw up in a split second. Or that my superpower would be spotting pink eye moments before it appears or having the ability to look at my kid across a room and just know he or she has a fever. But every mom probably ends up spending waaaay too many hours in doctor’s offices over the years with just the random, normal sickness stuff and learns tricks of the trade by osmosis. 

I’m kinda convinced that a prerequisite to having children should be some type of basic medical training. In fact, I’ve secretly wanted an otoscope for years and for someone to train me to spot an ear infection. But alas, we just have to learn on the job and through trial and error and by asking a lot of questions. So. Many. Questions. And maybe by typing symptoms into Web MD or by googling pictures of rashes. 

So here’s my current plan as we head into *winter*: Wash hands. Wash Bodies. Wash sheets. Spray Lysol. Apply hand sanitizer. And pray.

Try not to be discouraged. You’re not alone because everyone will be in the same boat at some point. When kids are sick, it can feel overwhelming and isolating in those trenches at home. And to be honest, we usually aren’t advertising our woes on social media. Because who wants to read the hashtags #positiveforstrepagain #8thtimethisyear or #stomachbugstrikesagain #ihatethrowup or #pinkeyeisthedevil or #homeagainwithfevers?

When sickness comes, life might get turned upside down. So throw a Band-Aid on your week and just keep going because we are all right there with you. 

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Laura is originally from Houston, TX and graduated from Baylor with a B.A. in History. Although she never thought that Waco would be her permanent home, Laura has been surprised the blessing of living in Waco since 2009. Laura obtained her Master’s Degree in Education and has taught at both public schools as well as at McLennan Community College. Currently, she works full-time as an Academic Advisor in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. Laura and her husband Kary have three children ages nine and under. Laura’s favorite things in life are spending time with her kids, watching movies with her husband, planning ahead in her planner, reading most anything, journaling with Jesus and drinking coffee before the sun rises. You can find her on instagram @lauralalani