|Sam's bedside table|
When we picked Sam up at college before Christmas, after she had finished her last exam, she was sick with tonsillitis. She had been to the health clinic on campus a few days before with 103 degree temperature. They prescribed Amoxil, the same medicine she had taken in liquid form for her ear infections as a preschooler. Once at home, Sam complained about swallowing the fat pills and how much they hurt going down. The pills were pretty big. When I peered down my daughter’s throat with the flashlight, her tonsils looked like pieces of cauliflower, all inflamed and purulent. Her right and left tonsils met in the middle, touching her uvula. When she talked, her voice had the same hypo-nasal quality she used to have when she got strep back in middle school. When Sam was in sixth grade, she had a few months where she got strep over and over. I could always hear it in her voice before the sore throat would even start. I’d take her to the doctor, they would run the strep test, and it would come out negative. Within two days, her fever would spike to 102 or 103 and back to the doctor we would go. She
couldn’t wouldn’t swallow pills so we had to
get the pink liquid.
Sam spent the better part of winter break in bed sleeping, sipping tea, and eating pudding. She seemed to get better for a while and then after Christmas, her symptoms returned. Off we went to the urgent care on a Saturday night and this time she got a Z-pack. More days in bed, sleeping, texting her friends, and sipping 7-Up with a straw. The nice thing about her being sick was that I didn’t have to worry about where she was. She didn’t leave her crap all over the house. She didn’t demand to use the car to go shopping in Toledo or visit friends in Ann Arbor. She even spent New Year’s Eve at home sitting on the couch watching Dick Clark. This may sound weird but it was one of the pleasantest breaks I’ve spent with my daughter in recent memory. It felt good to take care of her. And she didn't mind me doing it.