Internet friend, I have got to share something with you. It’s not the kind of story I would share with, say, a stranger on an elevator or at the dinner table (well maybe Bryan’s family would but mine sure wouldn’t…). I’ve tried to keep it to myself for so long but I just can’t anymore. So I’m glad you and I know one another well enough for me to share this with you.
When I first started doing home daycare, there was one little guy who always had a runny nose. You know how parts of this world have frozen soil that never thaws called permafrost? Well this little guy has a condition on his upper lip that I call Permasnot. He seems to always be sick. He doesn’t just seem to always be sick – he IS always sick. But he isn’t one of those selfish kids who won’t share – he shares his illnesses with others very nicely.
During one of the first weeks he came his mom nonchalantly mentioned as she dropped him off that he had Thrush. She didn’t make it sound like a big deal at all. She said he just had white stuff inside his mouth and it gave him a little blister on his lip. I didn’t think much about it. Even when I found Wyatt’s pacifier in his mouth.
So fast forward about a week to me getting dressed on a Saturday. As my shirt lightly brushed my chest, I felt some severe pain. It went on all day and I also realized Wyatt had been fussy and that my pain got worse when I fed him (breastfed him.) Being a mystery solver by nature, I pried open his little mouth. It looked like someone had painted his cheeks with White Out. Suddenly, the word Thrush popped into my mind.
After a little internet research, I learned that Thrush is basically a yeast infection. IN YOUR MOUTH. And that my sweet baby had passed me that yeast infection. But it wasn’t in my mouth – it was ON MY NIPPLE! I immediately called his doctor who told me how to treat both of us.
But instead of getting better, it got worse. The next day I had a crack the size of the Grand Canyon that looked like it was going to bleed. And let me explain to you how it felt. If you’d like, I’ll give you a scenario that is comparable and you can act it out at home, too. First, take out your nipple. (If you are male, a small piece of skin from you genitalia will work.) Next, find a cheese grater. Firmly hold the cheese grater in one hand and the nipple in the other. Then, rub the grater over the nipple constantly for ten minutes or so (to simulate nursing a baby.) Repeat every three hours.
I shouldn’t have to explain why it would be hard for a wound to heal under these conditions. But within two weeks, it had pretty much healed. I was glad. Until this week when the same affliction has occurred on the other side. Only it’s worse this time.
Do you think this is what the phrase “occupational hazard” means?