Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sick Sick Sick Sick and, Oh, Did I Mention I'm Sick?

I had a feeling being sick and having kids was going to be really tough, and I was right.

Sunday I woke up feeling blah. I was middle-of-the-road sick: Feeling too run-down to go escape at a movie for a couple of hours, but not too sick to get a manicure. But by the afternoon (and post-manicure) I was full-on feeling crappy. I started having trouble taking deep breaths, so I took a bath and then I did that whole steamy shower thing. But it didn’t work, and I started feeling much worse, almost suddenly. I couldn’t breath out of my mouth, and breathing through my congested nose wasn’t getting me very far. This, in turn, lead to panic, which didn’t make things easier. And my voice just sort of disappeared. I went from feeling blah to really sick in the span of an hour. It was like a squall. It was freaky.

I called a friend, who is a doctor, and then I called my doctor. Then I realized I just need to go to the ER. No doctor friend or doctor is going to diagnose “breathing difficulties” over the phone. As much as I hated it, I had to go alone, because the ER is no place for the babies and Nicole and a double stroller.

I should also mention that when I am sick, I need more attention than normal. Once I was really sick and Nicole was up all night watching me to make sure I was breathing. To this day I think back at that and feel reassured. Every time I opened my eyes, she was there, staring at me, kind of smiling and kind of worried looking, pushing the sticky sweaty hair off my head. That is what I need when I am sick. Constant attention, even more than normal. I don’t need to explain where that all stems from, do I?

So I get to the ER, all flustered, and a Not So Nice Security guard informs me that there is someone before me in the Triage line. So I sit in those uncomfortable plastic chairs with the ass scoops, breathing in staggering breaths, trying not to cry. The man next to me, who smelled like an ashtray doused in booze, asked me if I was having trouble breathing. I nodded, not in the mood for small talk or for confirming the obvious. He then so gallantly offered me up his next-in-line spot. He said he was just in the ER for rehab anyway, plus, I spoke English, and that was good enough for him. This really really threw me for a loop, such a blatant racist comment. I wondered what it is about me that makes him think that I would abide such disgustingness? Is there something in me that looks racist? We were in a room filled with patients that represent New York City diversity and the last thing I wanted was for everyone else to think I am racist too. Since he was drunk he wasn’t exactly what I would call subtle. But I was trying to breath and had a hard time talking so I just ignored him and looked off to the side while he continued to shat me up. I took some satisfaction in thinking, what would he think if he knew he gave his spot up for a homo or fag or whatever derogatory term he could think of to describe me and my kind?

As soon as the triage nurse saw me, she told me to follow the blue lines on the floor to the back. It was a freaking maze. I accidentally followed the green line and ended up at the wrong window and a doctor had to direct me back to the blue lines. I finally made it, and the nurse back there checked my vitals and I was given and bed and oxygen and steroids and pills and nebulizers. I saw several doctors, who all pontificated on what could possibly be the issue. The best guess was the croup, which is practically unheard of in the adult population. The suddenness of the breathing thing made them think it might have been an allergy to something, but I didn’t eat anything out of the ordinary. One doctor asked if I have left he country in the past ten days. I laughed and said “I’m lucky if I make it to the corner. I have twins.” And he just looked at me blankly until I said “Ummm. It’s a joke. No, I have not left the country. In forever.”

They gave me a gown and asked me to take off my clothes and change into it and as I did I though, hmmm, I should have worn underwear.

They suggested I stay for a few more hours for monitoring but I kindly declined, as I was breathing better after the steroids and treatments, and said I wanted to go home. I figured I would go back if there was any more issues. I just wanted to be home.

Monday I felt like crap, and I sounded much, much worse than I felt. I had that whole foghorn voice thing. I spoke with my niece and nephew and they both sounded a little scared of me. I spent most of the day laying around on the floor while the girls played around me.

But then Tuesday I woke up feeling so unbelievably crappy. I had a fever and chills and I was so dizzy, like a hangover kind of dizziness. The bed was spinning and our bed is too far off the ground for me to put me foot down to stop the spinning. At first I told Nicole to go to work and I would just plow on. I figured I could make it till at least their morning nap, and then maybe she could clear her schedule and come home. Luckily she didn’t listen to me and my fever-induced craziness, and took a Family Care Day.

I slept until 3 in the afternoon, waking only to drink more and pee. My fever broke and I feel much better now than I did this morning. I still feel like crap but considering the past couple of days this is good. This is on-the-mend. I hope.

I called my mom and told her I was in the ER on Sunday and I was super sick and feverish and I needed help with the girls (and me) and I didn’t want Nicole to keep taking days off of work (after all, Nicole just had to take a day for the closing…) but, alas, my mom can’t come in to help me since she has previous obligations. I picked, she said, an awful time to get sick. File this under Things That Don’t Surprise Me.

My biggest hope is that the next two days fly by and the girls nap well. Then Nicole is off on Friday and we have the weekend. By next Monday, I HAVE to be 100 percent better, right? Apparently there is some scary stuff going around, sicknesses that linger on for weeks. For the record, my symptom list: Crazy dry foghorn-like, unproductive cough; sinus congestion; runny nose; scratchy throat (probably from the dry coughing) and a pulsing headache, which I realized this afternoon was caffeine withdrawal (I took some Excedrin and it’s gone). Luckily the fever, chills and dizziness were short-lived.

Pictured above, nobody puts baby in a corner…except baby. Maddie got herself into this little nook and needed help getting out. Of course, I needed to take a picture of it first. Also pictured, it’s hard to tell, but the Sunshine-eating Avery was trying to pick up sunshine yesterday from the floor. Using her little pincer grip, she would try to lift up a shaft of the sunlight off the carpet. I think this means we need to take the girls outside more.


K J and the kids said...

Oh you poor thing. I'm so sorry you were so sick. Sounds like the flu crap that has been going around. :(
I have a mom like that. Well she says...things like, oh honey, I have been so worried about you...are you ok...I thought about you all night. If asked if she can help. it's like your mom says...you picked a bad time. or I'm sorry I have to plant flowers or make bread crumbs.

I hope you are truly on the mend.

psapph0 said...

Julie had something very similar to what you are describing. It hung on for a long, long time... sad to say.

I have next week and the week off from work, alone. Rather than sitting around my house doing nothing, I can come in and lend a hand if you need it.

Let me know!

Denise said...

Oh hugs to you. Sending good thoughts that you make a speedy recovery. Being sick and taking care of kids sucks ass.

calliope said...

fuck that sounds scary.
So loving Nicole for knowing exactly how to watch you breathe.

but really, how rude & inconsiderate of you to get sick when your Mother can't come down and help. tsk, tsk

blah. hate that you even had to call for help and be in the vulnerable place.

hope you start to feel better SOON.


MsPrufrock said...

Here I go with the Debbie Downer shit, but I have not been properly well for more than three weeks at a time since early November. I don't know if it's due to having a toddler in daycare, the flu/cold thing that is pervading both the US and UK (and no doubt other countries of course), or a combination of both. Either way, it sucks, and it is tremendously tough to look after a kid or two when you're feeling that way.

Rest up, and I hope you feel better very, very soon.

judy said...

poor you, healing thoughts your way

francesca said...

Ugh, times a million. That is some scary sickness crap - that sudden? That's like out of those old novels with some ancient sickness from the "miasma" in the air. Your mom. What to say? I'm kinda there right now, but with my gf's mom. Even a pretty even-keeled person like myself just wants to physically SHAKE her until she gets it. I'm sorry it just added to The Woe of the Week.

Baby in the corner though - so damn cute!

Clouded Grace said...

just reading your blog for the first time...your girls are so beautiful!
hope you feel better :/

Anonymous said...

I hope you feel better soon. :)

judy said...

advice on my newest post needed if you get a chance and are feeling better. thank you