A while back, more than a decade to be honest, I heard something that made me laugh the kind of laugh that comes from what I refer to as “smart humor”. In other words, it was cerebral laughter as opposed to guttural laughter. What I heard was Richard Cheese’s rendition of Disturbed’s “Down With the Sickness” and, yes, it’s funny. I’ll wait while you listen to it…

Now, something that isn’t funny at all, guttural or cerebral, is my darling daughter Piper being down with a sickness at just barely six months old. Friends have told me that I would not like experiencing the first time she was sick and, foolish me, I thought that was at the end of June when she had a runny nose for a couple of days. That was nothing compared to the week-long, fever-inducing, viral attack that had her mommy and me gushing with pity for our baby girl. The first few nights were the worst. She could barely breath and had to devise a new method of feeding which, I’m proud to say, she came up with on her own (she’s advanced). It consisted of her gulping down some milk while holding her breath, lifting one corner of her mouth (depending on which side she was nursing), taking a breath and then gulping down some more milk. She reminded me of an Olympic swimmer in the height of competition.

My wife took her to the pediatrician to make sure it wasn’t something serious (and to find out if there were any magical cures that we couldn’t find with Google) and was told it was simply a virus and we just needed to keep her hydrated and manage her fever. It broke after the 3rd day but the mucus remained and began moving into her chest… very similar to a “common” cold. Two days later my symptoms appeared.

I’ve always considered myself to have a fairly decent (if not exceptional) immune system. Seriously, I can count on one hand the times I’ve been sick in the past decade. It seems it wasn’t my remarkable immune system at all, it was my seclusion from children. Those friends who teased me about how upset I’d be when my daughter got sick for the first time were secretly laughing at me, knowing I’d be debilitated by an infant.

So, my daughter has recovered while I sit here suffering my third sickness in as many months. My wife blames daycare… whatever. All I know is that I’d rather feel like singing Richard Cheese’s version but, instead, I’m rockin’ the original.

Posted in Journal