Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Name is "Mom" (and I am Tired!)

Initially, I was a train-wreck, full of apprehension about my husband's impending business trip. It had been over a year since he had gone away for work, so I didn't remember how smoothly (or not!) things had previously been while he was gone. I did my best to take care of the things I could control and tried not to worry so much about the rest (easier said than done!).

Then, I realized that I would have all sorts of time to myself in the evenings after the kids were in bed. (Okay, maybe not tons more time, but at least I wouldn't feel torn between being a good wife and doing what I want to do.) So, I decided that I would use this time to do some writing, and I even made a fairly lengthy list of potential blog post topics. Yeah!

Or maybe not? This post wasn't on the original list, but sometimes life feeds me other things to write about. Also, sometimes I just plain get sick and don't have time to write. (In case any of you were wondering why I hadn't posted anything in a bit... I was pretty out of it.) Although, for what it's worth, I was drafting this in my head while in a feverish delirium, so I think that has to count for something.

Mommies don't get sick days. That is a sad fact of life. And, unfortunately, I didn't pay attention to my body's signals until it had gotten out of control.

See, the Monday morning before last, I had a dizzy spell and I needed to sit down. I thought That's weird... I'll deal with it.

Then, on Tuesday, I woke up with my left ear aching. That's really weird... I'll deal with it.

I waited two more days. Brett had left for Nashville. My ear was still hurting, but thankfully, I hadn't had any more dizzy spells. I took Mia to school, came home, and started scratching things off my to-do list. Pretty normal, boring stuff. Then, around 11:30, it dawned on me: I am sick! I have another sinus infection.

I tried calling my "regular" doctor, but I couldn't get in. No big surprise there. That's why I had seen an urgent care doctor for the past 5 sinus infections... Yes, I have been getting a LOT of sinus infections, and I really did hope to see the "regular" doctor.

Feeling kind of annoyed, I called Brett's doctor's office since I had been meaning to switch over to them, anyway. Of course, they couldn't get me in either. I had called "too late in the day." I get it. It was nearly lunch time for these office-type workers, so by their calculations the day was nearly done. Not so for this stay-at-home mama who was flying solo. (To be fair, the receptionist kindly pointed out that if I had been an established patient she could have gotten me in at 10:00 -- because time travel is one of the skills that she apparently assumed I possess.)

Having no other options (other than to wait until the following week when they could have fit me in, by which time I would have keeled over), I got Logan into the van and we headed for the urgent care. The great thing about the urgent care is that they almost immediately took me to a room. On the way the nurse chatted with Logan, asking him all of the most important little person questions. (What's your name? How old are you?) He eagerly answered her, "My name is Logan and my mom's name is... Mom."

I told the doctor I was pretty sure I had a sinus infection and he immediately confirmed this fact. "Oh yeah, it's messed up in there." (This was after jokingly accusing Logan of making me sick, and I told him that I randomly got sick so I guess he could be let off the hook this time.) Well, obviously, I don't pay these people for their sparkling bedside manner, but I was in and out in 30 minutes, with a script for antibiotics in hand, which at the time seemed so very important!

Also, Logan left with three Hot Wheels stickers. When the receptionist asked him if he wanted a sticker, he looked over their stash, and quickly replied, "No. You don't have any car stickers!" Of course, I am trying to joke away my embarrassment and his bluntness, saying "Got that? My name is 'Mom' and you don't have any car stickers." Then, she reached behind the desk and actually produced those more desirable car stickers! I was relieved when he then said "please" in order to get the coveted stickers. Lucky little dude -- he made out better than I did.

At the Kroger pharmacy drive-through, they told me it would be at least an hour. We headed to a nearby park and he found some boys about his own age to play with. I did my best to enjoy the little detour, but mainly I just wanted those drugs.

Once we were able to pick up the Bactrim and Claritin D, I was relieved, assuming I would start to feel better in a couple of days. (Usually, that is how it goes.) Boy, was I wrong this time

By that evening, I was really spacey during soccer practice. I didn't even realize that Logan was crying because I was staring off into space, in the opposite direction.

The following morning, I felt worse, and I was so relieved to hear that a meeting was canceled since there was no way I was making it. Plus, Mia complained that her stomach was hurting -- never a good sign. I called and excused her from school, but after a couple hours she was bouncing off the walls and wrestling with Logan. She begged me to take her to school, and I wasn't sure what to do. I knew that I wasn't really up to driving, but I also knew that I wasn't up to having two kids going bonkers ALL day. I wasn't in my best clarity of mind when I decided to drive her to school.

She was fine for a couple of hours and then I got the call: she had thrown up in the classroom! Well, I felt guilty about that since I had known it could happen. Then, I felt worse upon picking her up. She was crying and worried that I would be mad at her since I had made a point of saying that I hoped I wouldn't be getting a call later in the day. Not my best parenting moment.

Never mind the fact that there was so much pressure in my head by that point, about 1:00, that my eyes were insanely bloodshot. The thought of changing out of my cropped black workout pants and putting on decent looking jeans was just too much. (Normally, I never leave the house in my yoga pants unless I am, in fact, going to work out.) My hair was a frizzy heap, and I was laughing inside because I was just cognizant enough to know that I looked truly dreadful, kind of Bride-of-Frankenstein-ish and that is when I knew for sure that I.Was.REALLY.Sick.

Somehow, we made it to school and back in one piece. Mia changed into pj's just in time for the refrigerator repairman to arrive and finally fix that darn thing. I had plugged both kids into the TV, and I was just trying to stay awake as the guy worked. (I can only imagine what he thought of me and my household, but I honestly felt like the living dead, so I didn't even care.) At some point during that Friday, Brett had informed me that had had caught an earlier flight and he was on his way!!! Refrigerator guy left, fridge fixed, and Brett got home about 3:30! This was awesome because I was barely able to hold my head up by that point, never mind think about fixing dinner...

The next couple days are not really clear to me. I was very, very confused. I was exhausted all the time, but ironically, I was also suffering from insomnia. I had no energy to do anything, and I spent so much time in bed, that my back and legs were starting to hurt. Brett kept using the phrase, "You're going to turn the corner soon," (like I normally would after a couple days on antibiotics) but it seemed like he wasn't really believing it after awhile. I know I wasn't. I just felt so run down.

Then, all of a sudden, the pressure was almost unbearable. I swore that somebody was concocting a Molotov cocktail inside of my skull. Then, despite the improbability, it actually got worse. The Molotov cocktail creator decided to get really cruel. He started drilling behind my left eye socket with a cordless drill. This continued off and on for the entire weekend. I laid in bed with my eyes covered, trying to block out all the light, and trying to avoid the kids, especially Logan, because he was unbearably LOUD. On some level, I realized these were migraine symptoms, but I don't have a history of migraines so it just didn't make sense. Not that I was trying to make sense of it, really. I just wanted it to end, preferably without a brain tumor diagnosis.

On Sunday morning, I woke up feeling almost human. I sat up and watched TV while everyone else was at church. (And, this in itself was HUGE. Prior to that, I couldn't watch TV, I couldn't read, I couldn't write -- Oh, my gosh, I really wanted to write! I guess that solidifies that fact that I am a "writer" -- I missed that most of all.) Then, all of a sudden, the drilling behind my eye was back. Oh, the agony! I was gone for most of the day, and then in a moment of lucidity, I pieced it together: It was the drugs. They were making me worse instead of better. Brett had come to the same conclusion that afternoon, and we agreed, no more Bactrim!

I called the new doctor's office first thing Monday morning. (8:00 -- not 11:00 -- I had learned that lesson the hard way.) Sadly, they couldn't get me in until Tuesday. Brett missed that first day of work, and Tuesday morning, taking care of the kids and everything else for me. Even though the migraine symptoms were under control at that point, the Molotov cocktail was still raging in my head. When I saw the new doctor, he was skeptical that it was a drug reaction, saying it sounded more like a migraine. (For the record, I am not disagreeing, here. I did have a migraine. And it really, really sucked!) All, I am saying is that I am positive that this was a result of the antibiotic. He said they would put a note in my chart to avoid Bactrim in the future, and in the meantime, I was just going to take Sudafed and try to beat the sinus infection without any more antibiotics.

Playing it conservatively sounded like a good plan. It just made it harder for me to get well. I am not 100% better, but at least I am getting back into the swing of things. Wednesday was my first full day without Brett's help, and I had to sit down because cooking chicken nuggets exhausted me (sad, but true!). I know he was relieved to not have to play Mr. Mom any longer, but it was a difficult transition for me. Friday was the first time I got some housework done, and I even made it through the day without a nap (or quiet time upstairs while Logan watched some TV).

Moments of frailty like this remind me of how much I usually take for granted, just being able to do all of the million little things that I do all the time, most of which I don't think about -- until I am no longer able to do them. Mommies really don't have time to get sick, and I hate when I do. I hate not being in control. It really ramps up the guilt factor. On the other hand, I think it's my body's way of forcing me to slow down. Message received.

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