Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Mumps

Knox has the mumps.

I found out during a class.  My first reaction was, "Oh, my God."  I started sweating, and I couldn't concentrate.  Near the end of the class, while the students were doing a worksheet, I called the teacher out into the hall and told her.  She said that she had had the mumps when she was young.  I was really nervous, but hearing that made it a little better.

When class was over I went down to the staff room and told another woman who has two sons and strikes me as very practical and sensible.  I'm emotional, so I wanted to hear what she had to say.  She said that most people who get it are fine.  Two other English teachers joined in and said that they didn't get the vaccine, had gotten the mumps, and that they were fine.  I was starting to see that although the mumps is a serious virus, it doesn't incite the fear that I expected from people.  In Japan, many people get the vaccination, and many people don't.  It's not viewed as the end of the world.

When I got to Knox, he was playing with toys with as much energy as ever, except the right side of his face was swollen.  He looked like a fat boy on one side, with a half double chin.  The night before this, he went to the children's night clinic because he had been throwing up all his food.  He got medicine and a drip of nourishment, so I was surprised when we sat down to lunch and he munched it all up with no problem.  Thank goodness he has been eating all his meals, drinking lots, and hasn't thrown up again since that night.  He can only take his fever/pain medicine every six hours, and his fever has been up to 101 near the 6 hour mark.  Imagine what it would be without the medicine!  

He has been in really good spirits and had great energy, despite the virus.  I have to tell him to sit down, be calm, stop jumping, stop yelling, so he can save his energy for getting better.  But it's very encouraging to see him so genki (lively).  He sees TV and he becomes transfixed, zombie-like, so I have been subduing him with hours and hours of downloaded Dinosaur Train.  Today he's being subdued with Tom & Jerry.  We are keeping him inside; no stores, no other people... and I feel pretty good right now that he will recover just fine.  But, you know, it's THE MUMPS!!  So I'm still a little nervous.  

Last night it spread to his left side, but he woke up with only a low fever.  I was confused by that, but glad that he seems to be doing ok.

The boy LOVES blueberries.  I keep frozen blueberries in the freezer all the time.  He loves dinosaurs, and you should hear him babbling dinosaur names and time periods in the bath that he learned from books and Dino Train, while he's playing with his sea creatures (only sea creatures are allowed in the bath).  If anyone reading this gets Knox clothes for Christmas, he can fit into 3T, but at this point 4T would be best, and even 5T is ok for some things.  He wore a 5T button up shirt the other day and it wasn't really too big.  

The busy season has started, and I think I have several scheduled events every weekend until I leave for America.  I won't be able to go to all of it.  Also, I'm doing this Zen-Buddhist retreat in Yufuin, about an hour from my apartment.  It's Friday to Monday, and I'll be silent all day except for chanting, get up around 4:30am for 3 mornings, and eat only fruit.  It's all about mastery of the mind and body, with a spiritual aspect to it.  I've wanted to do something like this for a long time, so I'm really looking forward to it. 

That's all folks.

From Japan,

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