The Bensten Cure for Ebola, Enterovirus and/or the Common Cold

14 Oct

I’m the first to tell you that I hate my iPhone because I’m thoroughly addicted to it.

It’s like I can’t go longer than 30 minutes without glancing at it now. I blame those late nights pumping while Abby was in the NICU. When I’m cooking dinner and it’s quiet…oh, let me check Instagram real quick. Drying Abby off after her bath and notice spots on her face?…Let me Google it. Getting ready in the morning and asking Siri…”what’s the temperature like today?”

I can Snap, Filter, Post and Tweet at the touch of my fingers. Plus, I can peep into everyone else’s lives without even having to ask permission. It’s like being a nosy neighbor, but you don’t have to hide behind the curtain.

A bad side effect of the smartphone: there’s no way to avoid all the scary stuff going on in the world these days. Lately, my text alerts and newsfeeds have been filled with darker stuff. Ebola scares in Texas. A kid who went to bed with what his mom thought was pink eye and didn’t wake up because it was actually that new enterovirus. And the beautiful 29-year-old terminal cancer patient that’s picked November 1 to die.

It’s all really sad and heavy stuff. If you don’t step away from it all, put down the phone, turn off the TV and silence the noise, it’ll really start to feel like it’s the end of the world.

Plus, I took the online quiz “How Long Would You Survive in the Zombie Apocalypse?” earlier this week once the kids were in bed (….yes…it was on my iPhone…) and if it really IS the end of the world, things don’t look good for me. I’m just saying.


But I digress.

I’ve been home with Abby today; she’s been throwing up, coughing and has a low grade temperature. Once I was sure it was just a standard-issue illness and not Ebola (I had to check though!), we got settled in bed with lots of pillows, blankets, Sofia on the TV and a vomit bucket. It’s the first illness that Abby’s gotten while in school. I’m actually pretty surprised it took this long. Jackson, bless his heart, was sick within the first week of preschool. (Of course, he was only 6 months out from finishing treatment and his immune system was still recovering.) Abby hasn’t been sick all that much, which has been a huge blessing since she was a micro-preemie. I’m thankful she’s been so healthy and we’ve avoided hospitalizations.


Is that not the saddest, most pitiful face you’ve ever seen? Did you just stick your bottom lip out when you saw this picture? Because I did.

I really hate seeing either one of them sick.

With these really bad illnesses on the rise, for the love of my kid and your kid, let’s be smart this fall and winter.

It’ll be kids (like mine) with previous health issues, chronic conditions or sweet little bald heads and compromised immune systems that will be hit harder than most. They could be the ones on the news. It’s a sobering reality.

With this in mind, I held a very important meeting with the Bensten miracles tonight during bathtime. We had an honest talk about how we can get sick. My kids, just like yours, are smart. They love to learn new things and be mommy’s partners.

This cold and flu season, I’ve recruited them in the war on germs. If they’re old enough to be pottytrained, they’re old enough to know about germs. What I’m about to share with you is a very important, scientific and top secret list.

How the Benstens Will Cure Ebola, Enterovirus and/or the Common Cold:

  • We’re going to wash our hands. Not a quick rinse with water (Jackson!) but using REAL SOAP and singing the Happy Birthday song two times.
  • We won’t go to school or daycare when we’re sick. (Like Mommy sent Abby this morning. Mommy!)
  • We love Lysol wipes! Mommy and her little helpers are going to work together to wipe down door knobs, handles and surfaces we use everyday.
  • We’re going to eat our vitamins, drink more water and get LOTS OF SLEEP. (Hear that? LOTS OF SLEEP. In our OWN BEDS.)
  • We’re going to cover when we cough, but not with our hands, with our upper arm instead.
  • We won’t drink after each other or use each other’s toothbrushes. (Um, yes. This. Definitely this.)
  • Mommy’s going to pay us $1 for each week we stay well. (Wait a second…how did that one get in there?)
  • We will wear Haz-mat suits. (Crap. Scratch that one too. Now we’re just getting silly. I don’t have shoes to go with those.)

You’re welcome, Internet friends. We’ll let you know when that MacArthur Genius Grant comes in.

In all seriousness though, here’s to health this season…yours and ours!

2 thoughts on “The Bensten Cure for Ebola, Enterovirus and/or the Common Cold

  1. hi there! Just wanted to add that I heard a doc say that hand washing is important but its VERY IMPORTANT to not touch your face since that is where most germs gain entry. I know, how hard is that? Even though I heard it I have been oblivious and now I myself am sick with some kind of virus. And as hard as it is to teach the little ones about staying healthy, can we expect them to remember to not touch their face — or ours for that matter?

    So I just wanted to add that. My dear DIL Tanya recommended your blog and I Appreciate your writing style!

  2. That is a really good tip. You’re right, how hard is that? As I was reading your comment, I had my hand on my face. Yikes! Tanya is amazing, we’ve been in the Family Advisory Council together. Thanks for reading and for the tip. I’m going to talk with the kids about that one too.

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