Congested Minnow

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aspirators
Which one of these do you want shoved up your nose?

It’s cold and flu season and I’m fine. After all, I don’t get sick.  Everyone else does. Guppy has a cold. Angelfish thinks she has a cold; she gets it yearly two days after Halloween, and it goes away sometime in mid-March. And Minnow, it appears, has a cold.

With Minnow, having a cold is difficult. He’s a baby, so he can’t blow his own nose; we have to do it for him. He can’t do things that we would all do to get the excess mucus out. And we can’t use some of the products that we try on ourselves (whether they work or not is a different matter entirely).

So far, we have tried two different saline solutions, and are now on aspirator number three. We have also tried breast milk (just a little) to try and loosen things up. In addition, we’ve tried waiting until everything dries and trying to get it out then. Nothing has met more than minimal success.

We mainly have two problems.  The first is that the first two aspirators didn’t work well. The second is Minnow. I’ll concede that he doesn’t know what is happening, and it can’t be really pleasant for me to shoot saline up his nose and then stick the sucker up there. However, he fights, and screams bloody murder. I mean really; you would think that we were beating him or something. And this makes me feel really bad. I lose my resolve really quickly.

Generally, sucking out Minnow’s nose is a two-person job, so Angelfish and I do it together. She does the actual spraying of saline, and sucking out with the aspirator. I hold Minnow’s hands and head so he can’t hit the aspirator or scratch the inside of his nose while he flails about. He hates ALL of that. There isn’t one single part of it that he comes anywhere close to enjoying. And I understand that. And I understand why it has to be done. And I hate every single moment of it.

We finish, and two seconds later, he’s happy as a clam again, smiling, and cooing as babies do.  That makes me feel better about it, but not entirely. As a parent, I will do things that hurt my child – sometimes intentionally. This is one of those things. It is for his benefit, and the discomfort that he feels as I hold him down is a necessary evil.

That doesn’t mean that I have to like it though.

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