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Tuesday, 16 February 2016 13:41

Overwhelmed by Illness

My five year old has been wearing the same pyjamas since Saturday night... out of curiousity I quickly calculated and that's... at least 66 hours. Oy.

I have been looking forward to this weekend since Christmas. Since before Christmas, actually, since Christmas is always such a blur for us and I LOVE Valentines Day. It might help that Valentines Day falls the day after my Birthday, and so I tend to get a little spoiled this weekend.  Call me a narcissist, because yes, I look forward to a weekend that (mostly) is all about me. Some people hate their birthdays because it reminds them they are getting older... I can't imagine that ever being an issue for me...

Anyway,

it was gearing up to be a wonderful weekend. A bit busier than I would prefer, but still great. I had Valentines gifts ready for my girls (because they WILL love this weekend too!), and we had a full and exciting itinerary. Friday and Saturday nights our girls would spend with their Grandparents, which would give Brian and I some romantic time alone, as well as a night to go out with our friends kid-free! Sunday I would invite my family over for supper and cake, and Monday we would visit a nearby salt-water pool & spa with the kids and then have my in-laws over for supper and cake (I was super excited about all this cake... any obvious excuse for dessert, right?).

Now before you start pulling out the violins and asking if I want cheese with that (because clearly I'm a spoiled princess), please understand that I KNOW that this is not all about me. I enjoy a bit of indulgence in my direction occasionally, and mostly I like to be reminded that there are people out there who actually love me - believe it or not, I doubt this regularly. But that's normal, really, isn't it? So at the risk of sounding completely melodramatic - my birthday weekend wasn't what I had hoped it would be, although it wasn't all bad... more on that later...

About a week ago, my Grandma suddenly landed in the hospital. She has been having issues with exhaustion - and apparently oxygen deprivation - for a number of months now, and the doctor finally decided it was urgent enough to send her in to emergency. One of the first things they did was hook her up to an oxygen tube to bring her blood oxygen levels up, which was great except that it reminded her horribly of my Grandpa who died of lung disease over a year ago.  Also, they had no idea why her O2 levels were so low, which began a series of testing - which still isn't completed, because they still don't have an answer. 

Life with a family member in the hospital - as I know all too well - is much different than normal life. Normal life is peppered with spare time, or at least time filled with 'less urgent' tasks to do - like laundry, or dishes, or homeschooling... When you have a family member in the hospital, suddenly all of those things are thrown into the air and you reprioritize, making time to visit that person as often as you can.  And this is completely natural and worthwhile, because I love my Grandma, and I don't mind the upheaval for her sake - and because I know the time she has no visitors is spent basically staring at blank hospital walls and eating bland hospital food, I absolutely want to break that monotony for her as much as I can. But I hate the hospital. And I miss our 'normal' life. 

So that was last week. Saturday was my Birthday and Brian and I had an entire childless day alone, during which we visited a used bookstore and found Grandma a large-print novel I thought she would enjoy and then visited with her in her tiny room for a couple of hours. I got my free Birthday Starbucks on the way :) Given the circumstances, I wouldn't have spent this day any other way - but I would have preferred my Grandma to be comfortably at home...

Sunday morning I woke up feeling terrible. I chose not to go to church in the morning, and Brian went without me. Our girls were to be dropped off after lunch. I got a call saying that Clara had been sick since the day before and that my in-laws were going to drop her off before lunch. She arrived home and walked straight to her room (still pyjama clad since the night before) and fell instantly asleep. When I went to check on her a few minutes later, her skin was burning and when I tried to wake her to give her tylenol, she wouldn't properly wake up. Her eyes opened, but it was clear she wasn't seeing me, and when I tried to lift her to sit, she writhed away from me, and flopped back onto her bed. She wouldn't respond or speak to me in any way.

This was pretty scary. I called a healthline, Brian came home and we took her to a clinic, both of which suggested we take her to hospital (my in-laws had taken Audrey for lunch after all, which was really helpful in this situation), and of course by the time we arrive at the hospital Clara is much more alert than before. Still clearly lethargic, but not enough that we would be concerned. The doctor assumed that the previous unresponsiveness was due to her fever, and that we probably didn't need to be too concerned unless she started having seizures. The ER staff was awesome, though - we were in and out quickly, and no one made us feel silly for bringing her in when she was clearly ok by that time. The doctor even said that if we were truly concerned, to bring her back and they would be happy to look at her. 

By Sunday evening, Audrey was feverish, and we were giving both girls Advil and Tylenol at alternate intervals. Their symptoms were - and still are - discomfort, I assume in the form of headaches since that is the worst of what I am feeling, some coughing and fatigue. Except Audrey skipped the fatigue part at first, and was irritatingly rambunctious throughout the day on Monday. Today they are cranky and tired, but bored and obviously feeling a bit cabin fevered, and still have slight temperatures. I'm feeling better than yesterday, and Brian - who started feeling sick yesterday evening, is still about the same, although he's gone to work today.

My Sunday and Monday dinner and cake 'parties' were cancelled, which honestly, I'm only a bit sad about. My Saturday was lovely - even though it was spent mostly in the hospital, and we had a wonderful evening with friends that day. If we did have to have a 3-day illness, I suppose a 3-day weekend was a convenient time to do it. And we spent 'Family Day' (Monday) just the four of us, spending time together. 

Now I am praying that we didn't get anyone else sick on Saturday and Sunday - my Grandma in the hospital first, then any of the Grandparents who watched the girls on the weekend, and our friends with whom we spent Saturday evening.  And I am praying that we (and all of those people) are healthy for this upcoming weekend for the Homeschool Convention that I have been looking forward to for even longer than my Birthday weekend... 

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