These past few days have been a whirlwind as sick days usually are, filled with hacking and sneezing and coughing and yet still only the subtlest hint of that notorious wheeze that Ethan is known for. I've been too afraid to jinx it and yet still so silently thankful towards Ethan's doctor for changing his nebulizer medications at just the right time so that his system was strong enough to fight this without any added discomfort. Talk about things working out for the better and falling into perfect placement.
Ethan and I have spent the past couple of days at our home away from home, our local salt therapy facility. (For South Florida locals, we use The Salt Suite in Delray Beach, (561) 316-7258.) Halotherapy -- or salt therapy -- has been such an incredible experience for us. I say "us" because I've watched our sessions melt away Ethan's congestion and help his breathing tremendously within fifteen minutes and as a chronic sinus pressure sufferer, I've felt a sense of complacency towards my own breathing. We spent a lot of time at salt therapy when Ethan was younger and couldn't go more than four to five hours without a nebulizer treatment and I credit it for helping his respiratory system and getting it to the place it's at now. These past couple of visits to The Salt Suite have been Ethan's first since he began walking and it was endearing to watch him to try to waddle his away across the sand, nervously and carefully, wobbly and unsure.
These past few days haven't been all salt and fun and toys and easy-breathing. They've been full of crankiness and sleep made impossible by the nuisance that is a post-nasal drip cough. They've been full of actual tantrums in which Ethan flails himself backward while screaming at the top of his lungs and shaking his head "no, no, no" at whatever it is I'm trying to offer him, be it an apple or a sip-up of coconut water or the felt board I spent three hours making for him. Nothing made him happy, not even Bunny Cakes or dance parties in the living room or baths with lots and lots of bubbles. Yesterday afternoon we couldn't find his water anywhere (as it turned out, he hid it next to my nightstand) and we both sat on the living room rug and sobbed. Sobbed and sobbed until we were both a mess of red, puffy eyes and tear-streaked cheeks and complete apathy and disgust for everything around us. And then, like that, we stood up and went outside to play with the sand and water table and for a brief moment enjoyed the feeling of sun on our skin and in our hair. You know you've been sick and stir-crazy for far, far too many days when the air-conditioning makes you feel slimy and stale and clammy and the 98 degree weather feels like a dream.
I think the storm has come and gone, taking with it the sleeplessness and the tossing and turning. Taking with it the tantrums and the turned-down mouth of a little boy who is too uncomfortable to smile. Taking with it the food thrown on the floor and the black beans mashed into the grout. Taking with it the germs and the colds and the coughs and the glassy, runny eyes.
We have a lot riding on this weekend. Ethan and I are on the same page. Today he took a two hour nap -- the first in some time -- and woke up ready to chase me down the hallway until his laughter was coming so hard that he couldn't stand up without collapsing into a pile of giggles. I think it's safe to say we're back.