Or, I could just call this How Not To Spend Your Baby's Three-Month Birthday.
I distinctly remember the last time I got sick. Well... sick enough to warrant writing about it. January 31, 2006. Yea.. I know. I'm into specifics that way. I remember it because I was watching the State of the Union address and felt like I'd swallowed an elbow. Three weeks and three doctor visits later, we got the lovely news that I had whooping cough. Cuz THAT'S a normal disease to come down with.
Since then, I've been pretty bulletproof. Aside from an occasional cold or allergy, I've pretty much been invincible. Even during the pregnancy, I never threw up and only had the one day of serious nausea. Even Benny coming down with walking pneumonia in the weeks before and after Hazel came into our lives didn't phase me. BULLETPROOF, I tell you.
But the bullet finally pierced the armor Friday night. I'm not one to throw up. In fact, the last time I threw up was over 8 years ago after a Halloween party. And we'll just leave it at that because my parents read this and what they don't want to know... well, they just don't want to know. Right dad?
Anyhoo, Friday around 4 p.m., I started to feel a little drained. I had just picked up Hazey from day care and just didn't have the energy to be a good mommy and interact with her. How terrible is that? So, I broke my number one rule of using the car as a means to lull her to sleep and took a couple of loops around a nearby park and baby girl was out. Then I decided to stop at Kaffe Merc and grab a coke to get a caffeine hit and maybe read a book while Hazel was sleeping. She always does well in the car seat so I figured I was in for at least an hours worth of reading. But, Hazey threw a curveball and woke up all happy and stuff and ready to party. Since I don't like to leave her in the car seat when she's awake, I decided to take her home and hang out.
But two hours later, I was feeling worse and couldn't wait for Benny to get home so I could just relax. Hazel's been having longer wake periods as of late so trying to put her down is getting harder and harder. Plus, you know... she's discovered her hands. And that her hands can push away the blanket that we secure to her chin to keep the binkie in... which has been our go-to for the last month or so. So, after an hour of trying (and failing miserably) to get baby girl down, I was more than happy for Benny to come home and give it a try. But, I decided that she probably needed a feeding first so I took her to her room and nursed. Right about then is when I should have gotten concerned because while I was feeding her, I got really, really dizzy.
Benny gave Hazel her bath and a bottle while I laid down in bed and waited for him to finish so we could talk about our days. But when he came in, the only thing I had to say about my day was that I wasn't feeling so hot. Thirty minutes later, after moaning and groaning and fighting the urge to toss my cookies and effectively ruining my 8-year streak, I decided that the only possible thing that could make me feel better would be a good purge.
This, my friends, was the beginning of the end. Because once the demon was let loose... it. did. not. stop. I threw up every 10 minutes for the next hour or so and had a nice little case of the runs to go with it. And this is where I thank God again that our little girl is such a great sleeper because the yacking that was going on in the bathroom right next to her room was not something that was quiet or dignified in anyway. I'm pretty sure that I woke up half the neighborhood while I was neck deep in the toilet. But not my Hazey.
We debated going to the ER.... a question that becomes harder when you've got a little one to think of. After I threw up one more time, I gave Benny the green light to call my sister to come over and watch Hazel while we went to the ER, but KC had her phone off and we couldn't get through. We tried calling the neighbors across the street, but they weren't home. Luckily, our next door neighbor's lights were still on and he's known to be a bit of a night-owl, so we figured he would be okay just hanging out while we made a "quick" trip to the ER. Cuz those kinds of trips are always quick, right? RIGHT.
On the way to the hospital, I was dry heaving so hard that I was pretty sure I had pooped my pants. I hadn't, thank goodness... but I was THIS CLOSE. Since I hadn't had dinner, the only thing that was in my stomach to throw up was a little bit of coke and a sugar cookie from Kaffe Merc... and since the sugar cookie was HUGE, there was plenty of that to throw up. But after an hour of throwing up? Nothing left in there... not even bile.
Surprisingly enough, when we got to the ER it wasn't that busy and I was able to go right back to a room. All the while dry heaving uncontrollably. The doc got me on an IV and gave me some anti-nausea meds that helped and they let me just hang out there for a while. I asked for some blankets as I was pretty cold and then they left me to just re-hydrate. Right about then, Benny started throwing up and they had to get him checked-in as well.
So, there we were... Hazel's mommy and daddy hooked up to IV's, two rooms down from each other. This was NOT what we expected. We had expected some IV's for me and some anti-nausea meds and then we'd head home. But... not so much. When the time came to discharge me, the nurse took one more round of vitals and saw that I had a fever of 102. When I'd come in two hours earlier, my temp was normal. And then my blood pressure, which had been normal upon checking in was hovering around 87/43. They made me take off the blankets, which led to more shivering. The doc came in and told me that other than gastroenteritis, he just wasn't sure what was wrong with me. They discharged Benny after only one IV as his temp was still normal... but he was still dry heaving. They gave him some phenegran to take when he got home for the nausea but he couldn't take it if he was driving. So, after I ordered him to take it (that's right... I ordered him), we called my uncle and asked if he could come pick Benny up and when my temp came down, I'd just drive home.
Yea... we were dreamers back then. At 2 a.m.
By 3 a.m., my temp had gone up to 103 and my blood pressure was still low, so they decided to admit me. And the process for that only took 90 minutes. Which was spent with me having a fever of anywhere between 100 and 103 while listening to the sounds of a little boy screaming in pain. I think he may have been in a car accident. It was awful.
When they finally wheeled me up to the medical unit, it was 4:30 in the morning, and I realized that I probably needed to pump as I hadn't fed or pumped since about 6:30 p.m. While they were locating a pump for me to use, the nurse asked about my history of EVERYTHING. And the answer to every single question was "NO". Even the question: "Would you like any financial consultation?"
You know what? Yea... it's 5 a.m., I've been awake for 23 hours and I feel awful, but yes... LET'S TALK FINANCES.
I mean, really! Is this actually a question they are required to ask? For the love of Pete, I've been awake for going on 23 hours now, and the only thing that's keeping me from tossing my cookies right now is that I've already tossed whatever cookies I once had and there's nothing left to toss other than maybe my kidneys... and the hospital thinks this might be related to money worries? FOR. THE. LOVE.
That first night was pretty rough. My fever would not go down and I alternated between deep, all-consuming chills and soaking the bed with my sweat. It seemed like every couple of hours a nurse or tech would come in to check my vitals or draw blood. And then the IV computer would start beeping for no reason every hour or so... and nothing I could say to the nurses made them realize that THIS WAS DRIVING ME INSANE and could you please do something about it when I call you rather than wait 10 minutes so that brain matter actually leaks out of my ears before you come fix it? THANKS.
Saturday morning, I felt terrible. The doc that was on call ordered more tests and a CAT Scan of my abdomen. But he was very forthcoming in saying that he had no idea what was wrong with me. And, again... the fever was constant. Bonus, though.... I was in the V-I-P Room. Also known as I-S-O-L-A-T-I-O-N. Which may explain why all the docs and nurses had to wear a mask and gloves when they came into the room. Which is always a good sign, no? They also put me on two serious antibiotics just to cover their bases. And I think I've made it clear in the past how well antibiotics and I get along, right? RIGHT.
Later that afternoon, Benny called to tell me that he wasn't feeling great and that his temp was at 101. I told him to go to the ER where they ended up giving him three bags of saline to combat his dehydration. And that only took... oh, 7 hours or so.
I had the CAT Scan Saturday night after drinking that stupid dye that may or may not have caused me to poop the bed unexpectedly. But since giving birth, I no longer have any semblance of dignity, so it really was no big deal. The CAT Scan turned up nothing. But I will note that although I didn't think it was possible to get hotter, when they injected the dye into my IV, I almost cried. I mean, the tech told me it was going to get warm, but when you're already at 103 degrees.... how much warmth would I actually be able to feel? One guess. I think that the tech should be aware that there IS a different between a "little warm" and "your insides will feel like molten lava". Perhaps she could be a little more specific next time so I can mentally prepare myself.
Saturday night, we got some encouraging news. My temp had gone down to 100 and my blood pressure was inching upward. I called Benny and told him the news and told him I felt like I was on the mend. Although, after hanging up I told the nurse that in a couple of hours, I would probably be back at 102.
You know... sometimes it sucks to be RIGHT all the time. At 1:30 a.m., I woke up shivering. I knew that the nurses wouldn't give me an extra blanket because the shivering meant my fever was up. And any smart person would take the professionals at their recommendation, but I was desperate and had to try. So I buzzed the desk and hoped for the best. And I scored when some rookie CNA came in and gave me TWO WHOLE EXTRA BLANKETS!! Not that it made things better by any means (and yes... probably made it worse)(and yes... I probably owe that poor CNA an apology as I'm sure she got in trouble) as the shivering was so bad that I couldn't open my hands. I remember distinctly that my hips and legs hurt from the tremors and I remember trying to think the shivering away and trying to think the fever away. My brain specifically told my body to get over the shivers and get over the fever... and then my body specifically responded to said request from my brain with the equivalent of a: Bitch, please. Who do you think you are?
I also remember three nurses in my room trying to take my vitals and that they couldn't get a read on my blood pressure cuz I was shaking so badly. I remember them asking me to try not to shake. RIGHT... cuz really, at this point, I'M IN CONTROL.
I remember a doctor coming in and feeling my stomach. They seemed to do a lot of that while I was hospitalized. And then after that, I don't remember much. Apparently, my temp had gone up to 104. I don't know what finally stopped the shivering. I do know that two hours after that, I woke up because that damn IV computer started beeping again and when I called for a nurse, it took them FOREVER to come fix it. And the beeping just kept getting louder and louder. And then a lab tech came in to draw more blood... and still the beeping. The lab tech wasn't allowed to shut it off, and no one was coming in to make it stop and I just couldn't believe that all of this was happening. And I hit my breaking point and sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed.
When my nurse finally got to me, she rubbed my arm and asked me what was wrong. What was wrong? Please. Tell me, what is RIGHT about this situation? I've been in the hospital since Friday night, we don't know what's wrong with me, I haven't seen my baby since Friday and I'm worried sick that she'll come down with what I have, I actually pooped my pants, I've been poked and prodded beyond belief, my husband is sick and I can't sleep because I'm either too hot, too cold or the damn computer beeps and no one comes to turn it off! Are you really asking me what is wrong??????
Looking back on it now, I believe that the fever broke me before I broke the fever. Because after I went back to sleep and woke up around 9 a.m., the nurse told me my temp was normal but that I'd need to stay in the hospital another day for observation. When Benny came to see me Sunday, I felt much better. My lips didn't match the color of my skin anymore and I was able to walk around the corridors of the hospital.
In the end, the doctors still don't know what was wrong with me. I feel terrible though, because my sister, who had come over to the house to disinfect anything and everything that could possibly have caused this whole little situation, had to go to the ER last night because she was throwing up and exhibiting the same symptoms as me. Apparently, the people in the ER are well aware of who I am and I'm quite the talk of the hospital. And you know what? Unless this disease lands me on the Oprah show, that's not how I'd like to find my fame and fortune in this life.
Luckily, my sister didn't end up with the fever that I did and her blood pressure is fine so she didn't have to spend too much time in the ER. But now I'm even more worried for Hazel. For her to catch whatever we had, and specifically whatever I had, would be the end of the world. For real.
I go in for more tests on Wednesday. Apparently, my liver numbers are too high, but they've already ruled out hepatitis. And if my temp spikes again or I start vomiting again, I have to go back to the ER. So, I've got that going for me.
So, Hazel... let this be a lesson to you. When you have a baby of your own and she goes to bed early one night, do not, for the love of God, sit around and pick your nose. In fact, probably a good idea to just stay away from picking your nose ever.
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. Special thanks to my parents and my sister for taking care of Hazey while Benny and I were indisposed. And thank you to our neighbor Mike and my Uncle Creig for stepping up to help. You all made this tough situation bearable.
And now... after I've written a novel and have actually left out the most disgusting parts of the weekend, I'm going to take a nap.