The Hatch-Palucks, Week 19: Starve a Fever, Feed a Cold

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

amy hatch children picture

Capping off the end of a terrible week with, in the words of Henry, "A snooze on the couch and a bag of chips, please, Mom." Credit: Amy Hatch

I'm not gonna lie -- last week was one of the most discouraging we've ever had as a family.

After a great start working out, our Monday quickly slid into disaster as the winter weather (Hello, Storm of the Century!) and a feverish Emmeline conspired to lure us home early from work. I took her temperature, and, alarmed at the 103-degree reading, bundled her into the car for a trip to urgent care.

After two-and-a-half hours, we got a diagnosis of flu and two prescriptions for Tamiflu -- one for her, to shorten the duration of her illness, and one for Henry, to prevent him from catching it.

I waved away any suggestion that my husband or I needed a prescription. (We'd be fine! We were working out and eating better!) And then I crawled across town with the steering wheel in a death grip, trying not to slide off the ice-covered roads.

You know what tastes terrible?

Crow, served with a side of flu.

By Tuesday afternoon I was down for the count, sitting in urgent care myself with a nebulizer stuffed into my mouth. My asthmatic lungs, socked with the double-whammy of sub-zero temperatures and a hacking cough, were cranky.

I threw some food at Channing and Henry at dinner time -- Emmie was already asleep -- and put myself to bed. I emerged from under the covers only long enough to let the babysitter in on Wednesday morning, and crawled back to my cave of contamination.

At noon, I heard the door creak open and the sound of heavy shoes.

And a cough.

My phone beeped at me and I saw a text from Channing: "I'm not feeling well."

By Thursday, Henry was the last man standing. We begged him to make us some chicken soup, but he refused and countered with a request for some fruit snacks and an ice-cream cone for dinner.

He got the fruit snacks.

It was rough. Really, really rough.

Emmie is back at school now and Henry is still as hale and hearty as ever, but Channing and I are struggling to regain our health. Sitting on the couch in our robes in the midst of the worst of it, I exploded with frustration. Hadn't we just suffered through a month-long plague in December?

"Why does this always happen to us?" I asked my husband, just a whisper away from tears. "Why?"

"Because," he replied, "we aren't healthy people."

We're trying. We really are. I hate to exercise, and I still made myself get back on the treadmill last week, if for no other reason that because I promised to, as part of the Healthy Families Challenge.

We've worked hard at making better choices at mealtime and snack time, but this week was a junk-food free-for-all while I was sick. Channing had been swimming three times a week, but it will be awhile before he gets back in the water. We won't be going back to the pool at CRCE anytime soon, and although I signed Emmie up for a class at our local Little Gym, she missed the first two sessions.

We're back to square one.

I hate to be a downer, but it's hard to feel like we're getting anywhere in our quest to keep health and wellness at the forefront of our lives.

Both Channing and I lost weight this week -- he's down nine pounds in five days, and the scale says I weigh 139 pounds for the first time in six years.

But this really isn't the way we wanted to do it.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.

How is the Hatch-Paluck family doing? Check in on their progress!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.