We Are Not A Hearty People

by farrah on April 3, 2013 · 18 comments

Taking a break today from my Germany road trip posts to be Venty McVenterson for a minute. I just want to say how tired, exhausted, over, done with, exasperated, SICK we are in this house of being SICK.

I realize there are many factors at work here- this ‘Winter-That-Never-Dies’ still has us in its clutches. The school where the twins go has -gasp- other kids there with germs, and in addition there are the -gasp- germs from B’s school too that we have to adjust to. I realize all of that and understand that it’s likely we would get sick here and there this winter but oh-my-ga we are so over this never-ending cycle of The Cold.Hazmat Suits

We arrived in the beginning of November- my three little boys born in sunny South Carolina who have never vomited or been ‘sick’ with a runny nose for more than a couple of weeks at a time. We didn’t have more days with snot-crusted noses than not. Sick season was the winter, and in SC that really meant December and January- possibly some of February. We didn’t drag this sick season out for six months.

In addition to this- I don’t have my magical pediatrician to run in and tell me everything’s really ok. Even if it was just a mental thing for me to hear that they were going to be fine- I miss that. I don’t have that from our GP (we don’t have pediatricians here). Not that our family general practitioner (‘home doctor’- which contrary to what I believed prior does not mean they make house calls)  isn’t nice- but I miss our pedi that birthed my children. Next to myself (sorry husband) I trust no one else with their health care better.

More than once I have been told We Dutch are a hearty people! We don’t get sick. Or if we do we get over it’. The last person who said this to me was a parent today when I dropped B off back at school for the first time in almost two weeks.  I was wiping his poor crusted, red and cracked nose and fearing that he wouldn’t ask the teacher to help him after I left. My physical therapist even told me the whole ‘Hearty Dutch’  thing too. Well. Guess what? I guess we’re just wimpy Americans then. We got nothing on your Dutch germs.

I’m over this lingering snot, coughing, bleary eyes, sore throat garbage. So are my kids. I hate seeing them like this and no matter what it seems like I do they get sick. I’ve tried vitamins, essential oils and disinfecting the house.. The other part of this is that this cold junk is just bothersome enough to be a pain, but never so bad that we wouldn’t go on a trip or change our plans. We trudge along. This last bout hasn’t had a fever in weeks. Because oh yeah- this has been going on for weeks now. THIS one. There have been others.

Making it even harder to cope with this is that I can’t get my hands on the medicines that I’m used to dosing my kids up with before bed. Europe doesn’t medicate like we do. Which… could be a good thing…but sleep? Right.

What’s funny (and I do not mean in the ha-ha sense- that ship sailed long ago) is that I know it’s not just us. I made a friend here from Chicago and she has said the same things. Her son was rarely ill back home – and since they arrived last July it has been one cold and one cough after another. When will this end for us?! Or should I just order five hazmat suits now?

Have you ever felt like sickness would never leave your house? If you’ve been an expat- how did you adjust to the new germs in your area and how long did it take?


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica April 3, 2013 at 8:27 am

So sorry Farrah! It is rough…especially with 3 little ones. Hopefully warm weather is coming soon. Maybe? Please? Addison is just getting better after 7 weeks of that mystery fever thing she had going on. Fingers crossed your house is on the mend. But better make that 8 hazmat suits…send 3 our way, k? Bulk pricing, right? 😉


2 farrah April 3, 2013 at 9:06 am

Yes! Bulk pricing. I’m on it.
Just so tired of this snot. And to have fewer healthy days than sick days is a real drain. Not cool to be waiting in between snotty noses.


3 Monique April 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm

The refusal of the Dutch to embrace Anti-biotics, anti-bacterial gels, heck, even warm water in their bathroom wash basin has in no doubt helped them become heartier and less prone to sickness. Give it another year or two and you and your family will be just as hearty.


4 farrah April 4, 2013 at 8:45 am

I have been wondering about the cold water hand wash basin for months! I’m used to scalding hot water and our main floor bathroom really throws me off balance 🙂 I do hope a year from now we will be in better shape- one thing’s for sure- the Dutch are a tough lot!


5 CK April 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I thought I had it bad with one child… and here you have 3!!! Tell the Dutch they are no heartier…. new people, new (colder) climate, and a NEW school make for the worse combo! Our little one has missed ‘school’ at least one week per month (if not more) since October, and we’re back in our ‘home’ city! A new school and new kids (aka walking germs) is the bain of my existence!


6 farrah April 4, 2013 at 8:47 am

Isn’t it the worst? I am an absolute drill sergeant when it comes to washing our hands/changing our clothes as soon as we get home from school. Just ick. And although I love the Dutch- they do send their kids to school pretty ill. For them, not a big deal- to us- OH NOOOOOOO- here we go again!


7 Jennifer April 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Would it make you feel better to know that we spent the majority of our first Chicago winter sick? And then when I started taking the commuter train it started all over again? It takes a while for our immune system to adjust to all these new strains of the germs they had previously figured out how to beat. Also, the fact that Europeans don’t bathe in bleach helps!


8 farrah April 4, 2013 at 8:47 am

Hahhaha. They really do seem healthier. With all of the smoking though I really don’t understand how!


9 Kristen April 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I haven’t ever lived abroad but I can tell you that my girls have missed more school this year than they have in all of their school years combined by a LONG SHOT! We can’t shake it. It is a fever one day, puking the next, horrible cough one night, snot and chills the next. I’m over it too!
I’m truly hoping that when Spring finally decides to show up that it will be the cure all!


10 farrah April 4, 2013 at 8:48 am

I am ready to ring the neck of that bloody groundhog. What a big fat liar he is!


11 Leighann April 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

We have had one cold after another this year too and it’s the first year that we haven’t gotten the flu shot!!


12 farrah April 4, 2013 at 8:48 am

Well- my guys DID get the shot and as far as I can see it protected us from the US strains– which, um– yeah. Hope you guys kick it soon.


13 Kim@Co-Pilot Mom April 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Our big sick parade happened at the end of last year and spilled into January of this year. We have had some sniffles since then, but for a few months there it was just constant, one after the other, and then back to patient 1 again. Wishing you warmer temps and healthier days ahead! (Spring has got to come soon, right?)


14 farrah April 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

Woah! That is one seriously long bout. You guys are due for like two years straight of health!


15 Miriam April 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

Vicks vapor rub. I swear by it when the Girls are congested. Hope you guys get to feeling better, nothing more irritating than lingering colds.


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