Entries Tagged 'germs' ↓

True to My Tagline, It’s Time for a Whine

It could be allergies today, the pollen count is sky high, but again with the not being able to swallow?

I am so over this whole ordeal; my tonsils are coming out the end of April, as the first available date was smack in the middle of Tim’s outage where he couldn’t take any time off for any reason. This has totally put the kibosh on the major cookout / picnic /barbecue series I was organizing for May, but hopefully by June I can try. Friends and family are on notice that I’ll need their help in the first ten days.  We haven’t figured out what Tim can take off yet.

Ever try to write with a pounding headache? Yeah, not so much is happening and my hopes of making this month’s soft deadline are withering quickly. I’m trying though.

Sunday’s Scare

It started out like most other evenings where Tim is heading into nights. I try to get the kids settled a little early to make up for whatever else comes our way. With three little kids, it’s always something nightmares, growing pains, or just “I’m thirsty!” I plopped all three kids in the tub. Other than a little eye goo Ellie was fine. I was giving her 24 hours to get over it on her own before I pestered our doctor. Ellie happily sat in the tub playing with her big brothers and I started to clean up the kitchen and put away laundry, usual stuff. I wander in and out of the bathroom, they play and soak off most of the kid grime. 

Ellie started crying, so I picked her up and put her in the shower for a quick soap bubble rinse off. I admit it, I yelled at the boys from dripping water from one end of the bathroom to the other getting extra washcloths. (They pretend they are seals).  I started drying Ellie off when I noticed she was a strange color, kind of purplish, as though she were freezing cold even though I had just pulled her from a warm shower. I wrapped the towel around her and took her to her room where I sat down to rock her and warm her up before putting her clothes on.  She had stopped fussing and was nodding off. I don’t know how to explain that this just isn’t something my kids do. Even when exhausted by a long day of play they still look at books or play with toys for a long time before settling down for the night. They don’t nod off. Ever.

This is when I began to get scared. I put her diaper on and some warm pjs since she still seemed chilled. She wasn’t rousing and that’s when I paid attention to her breathing, it was shallow and she paused between breaths. I called my mom. I thought I might be overreacting, but she agreed with my desire to take her to the ER. I had begun to wonder if maybe she had been knocked over in the tub. I began to be scared she was drowning in front of me, even though her color was better. I called Tim while I finished getting everyone ready to head out the door.

I loaded all the kids and headed toward the Moncks Corner Trident. I don’t particularly care for that place, but sometimes you take the closest option.

She wouldn’t wake up. I drove with one hand behind me,, shaking and tickling her foot, “Ellie, Ellie, stay awake. Talk to mama. Please? Aidan, tell me if her eyes are open.”

Aidan, “They’re shut, Mama.”

Cue other child dramatics, Mark unlocks and opens one of the rear doors. Tim had taken one of the carseats on accident and frankly, I just wasn’t going to quibble over 2 inches when the baby couldn’t breathe. Ellie was in Mark’s seat and Mark was strapped in the booster which must give him more freedom than the standard seat.

Eventually we arrive, she’s still doing the shallow breaths with long pauses and doesn’t want to come around. Her eyes would open for a few seconds, not really focusing and then she’d fall back asleep. This ER has a security guard that helps out with admin. I thought filling out the form with trouble breathing, poor color, unusually sleepy might move things along. No.

I was sent to the waiting area where the boys pushed the limits, knowing I was distracted and while I’m sorry they were being obnoxious, I couldn’t really care at that moment. I was trying to get Ellie to stay awake, trying to get her to do anything other than lie limply in my arms. My mother arrived to help with the boys before I was called to fill out paperwork. I was waffling in that grey area, not knowing if I needed to cause a scene. Eventually we were called to the admin desk and as soon as they had the insurance information (which this order of events pisses me off) we were taken into triage.

The male nurse began to take Ellie’s vitals and he quickly became very concerned, as she didn’t want to rouse for him, either. Her temperature at that point was 99, which didn’t say much. I think we were both operating under the idea that something had to have happened in the tub, since I couldn’t officially rule it out. There was some discussion in the hallway that I could half hear, about where to put Ellie, my nurse won and we were headed for Room 1, where we would spend the next six hours. They took her temperature again and this time it was 103.5. I don’t think I have ever been reassured by a fever before

Blood draws, strep tests, flu tests, chest x-rays, urine cultures all followed in rapid succession and she only came around for the worst of each procedure. When the IV was put in I sent my keys with someone to give to my mom so she could take the boys out for ice cream rather than annoying the entire waiting room. Some tests and observations came back, no pneumonia, no UTI, but she did have strep and the doctor believes she also has the flu, but because everything happened so quickly she wasn’t carrying enough of a viral load to show up on the swab. They began to administer antibiotics via IV for the strep and Ellie and I settled in for the wait and the inevitable insurance argument. Cigna Health Insurance, if you are monitoring your Google Alerts, have your damn customer service line open for emergencies. To not have someone on is ridiculous and lead to unnecessary stress and frustration trying to convince the admin lady that we have an FSA and yes, you got poor reviews on the follow up survey.

Around 11 the doctor ordered another blood test to check her white count, which had risen. Even though Ellie had perked up some, the doctor wanted to perform a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. 

I sent my mom home with the boys.

I can handle needles and blood, but I chickened out of staying in the room for the spinal tap.  I stood in the hallway and prayed. The fluid looked clear and the preliminary tests showed no infection. At 2 am we were released to go home with antibiotic prescriptions and strict orders to follow up with our family doctor.

We still have no idea why she had trouble breathing. It’ll be a while before I’m comfortable leaving her, since it came on so fast. It’s Tuesday morning and she has the sparkle back in her eyes. She’s not up to full speed, but she’s on her way.

Someone Has a Sense of Humor

I belong to a women’s group and at the close of each gathering there is an opportunity to state any prayer requests. The usual issues are brought up, someone is sick, somone needs clarity in a decision. In November of ’06 I requested that they pray that I might have more patience another child later, it dawned on me exactly what patience is and is not.

More recently, during my husband’s outage early in November I requested rest, a respite for our family as we had been busy and I was tired.

Were you aware that like chickenpox, mono can recur? Yep, if you’re one of the lucky few, it seems a virus or simply being rundown can bring it on.

Remember Waynes World?

I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turns out I was just really bored.

It was something like that, but in reverse. I’d start to get the kids ready to leave the house and two hours later I’d give up in disgust. I thought I was struggling with depression or just turning incredibly lazy.

For a little while life was cut down to the musts: children must be fed 3x a day, they must be bathed, and that was just about it.

Today I’ll be heading back to the gym for the first time in well over a month.


Sick, sore, stupid

I had the opportunity to join the South Carolina Photography Guild on a sunrise trip to Bull’s Island.  Overall, the trip was amazing.  I will be uploading lots of pictures over the next few days.  Currently I’m too sore to sit at the desktop.

I was not sure I’d even be able to go on the trip due to the plague that seems to have fallen on my home.  I’m about ready to board up the windows and spraypaint “Quarantined” on the garage in hopes that someday we can all be healthy at the same time.  Friday I felt as though I were on the upswing and decided to go ahead with the trip.  I knew I’d have to get an early start, but like a kid the night before school begins, I tossed and turned popping up every twenty minutes to look at the clock. At 3am I gave up the farce packed my stuff and headed to Huddle House, thinking a <s>good</s>breakfast would set me straight.  Now, I’m not stranger to late night diners.  My first job was at Waffle House and before I was seventeen I worked the graveyard shift.

Still, Huddle House scared me that morning.  There was a cook, a server, and a guy whose job I couldn’t exactly place.  He wasn’t washing dishes and he was nice enough, but reminded me of Boomhauer.   I did a lot of smiling and nodding, hopping he’d leave me to my book.  Also in attendance were barflies, the scary men who are attracted to barflies, and old men who were just settling in to their assigned booths for coffee and smoking.

I drove my husband’s mustang and something I don’t understand is how he can find the time to upgrade the car to 612 horsepower, but he can’t be bothered to make the speedometer work.  There’s a little trick to using the tach, but I generally find it a pain and if I hadn’t left the lights on in the jeep* I wouldn’t have driven it.

I made it to the landing right on time, gathered my belongs, donned my layers (it was quite chilly).  I climbed out of the car and shut the door just as I realized the keys were still in the ignition**.  It was too early to call home, so I decided to trust the tinted glass and lack of general traffic.

It was a chilly ride out to the island, provided by Coastal Expeditions. There was a brief look of panic on our captain’s face as he became disoriented by the unusually high tide and darkness, but he quickly got his bearings.   It was a 1.5 mile walk to the beach, but we arrived just as the cleared the horizon and were able to set up for a few shots.

To be continued. . .

*First example of stupid.

**Second example of stupid.

Germ Warfare

I don’t have children, I have petri dishes. I took Aidan to the doctor today, expecting him to test positive for Strep, since we’ve been exposed every other day for the past month or so, and to go on our merry way. The rapid test was negative, we were told it was most likely a virus and that he’d feel better in four or five days. That’s perfectly fine, we’re tough, we can deal with it. He hasn’t been too miserable.

Two hours later the nurse called.

The strep test was negative, but the test for influenza came back positive. The doctor was kind enough to call in a prescription for Tami-flu, which is a whole post in itself.

Mark started looking glassy eyed this afternoon. I felt his forehead at dinner and sure enough, he is spiking a fever, too.

Those who have children know that real germs laugh at handwashing. They simply default to the “sneeze on your parent’s face” or “unexpected slobbery kiss” route.

Oh, have I mentioned tomorrow is my first meeting since I started freelance blogging for the paper? Well, it is. I’m supposed to meet a bunch of people and we’ll discuss blogging for an hour. The meeting is at 2pm. I have to fight the germs off until 3:45pm.

My head hurts.