A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Terror From The Top Bunk

My only solace in the last 48 hours of death's grip has been that no one else had it. A week or so ago, they all had it but me. That sucked. It's far better for one soldier to fall than five, and so I figured it was just my turn. Somehow, the virus had lingered around and just chosen to hit me alone a week later.

I should have known that this was wrong in every way.

Shortly before 3 am I heard my husband say " Oh GOD I SMELL POOP" as he came down the hall. I sat up groggily, and wondered briefly had I crapped the bed. I had not. This was the good news. It was the end of the good news.

What had actually happened was that at some point Miles had thrown up in the night. Miles, who sleeps on the top bunk had rained down vomit all over his brothers below him and the room, and neither of them had so much as stirred. It was everywhere. Did I mention they had lasagna for lunch? Kids only puke when you have served them some sort of red sauce, that's a fact.

Kids came my way for wipe down with soap and water and changing of diapers and new pajamas. My husband, the ever able puke warrior went into the room and came out with the bedding and all casualties for washing. We rounded up extra sheets, pillows and blankets and sent Louis and Charlie back to their room, their somewhat puke + Lysol scented room. Miles we made a pallet on the floor next to us using the princess fold out sofa and blankets, plus a trash can nearby.

I would like to say I'm glad to report that he's moved on to the horrible gripping diarrhea, while it is true he has (I've changed 3 diapers in 10 minutes) I'm not glad to report it because I know the misery that's ahead for him.

As for me, I'm up. I'm so exhausted. I just drank a large glass of ice water in an absurd amount of time, hello dehydration. I may go get another.

I made myself a latte, but didn't bother with but half of it.

I'm weak and wobbly and sweaty. I am out of sorts on all counts. We have a birthday and two soccer games tomorrow, plus Easter Egg coloring, plus EASTER on Sunday which is always a special day too.

We are at DEFCON 1 with handwashing and Lysol up in here. There isn't anything else we can do but hope.

Please go away virus. We have a special day tomorrow. We can't be sick.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Have The DEATH

On Sunday night I had this horrible feeling all evening that my food didn't go down. Horrible rolling waves of nausea gripped me but, by the time I went to bed I was "mostly" ok.

I woke up early, about 15 minutes before the kids were supposed to get up. I sat on the edge of the bed, contemplating what to do with this gift of 15 minutes when I realized I was shaking. Sweat was pouring out of me and I realized, what I was going to do with this 15 minutes had already been determined by mother nature.

I was going to be sick.

I spent Monday locked in to a spin of horrible unpleasant bodily functions.

To be clear on how unwell I was, I didn't have any caffeine and got no withdrawal headache. Since my body was performing a purge on it's own, coffee was ill advised. I have never missed my morning coffee and not paid for it with a headache that could inspire you to cut someone for saying "HAPPY HUMPDAY" or something equally inane. No headache, no desire for caffeine.

I woke up on Tuesday and made a cup of coffee - and it tasted like death chemicals. Like windex and bleach had a child, and I had just put cream and sugar in it. I threw it out, and made a second cup in case I had some how forgotten how to use the Keurig over 24 hours.

It was better, but not that satisfying AMAZING MORNING COFFEE I love.

Tuesday I was ok. I felt much better. Got stuff done. Good day.

Wednesday started out bad, so I should've known something was in the mail. I woke up very unwell. I felt shaky and out of sorts but I went to work. Again, I felt like my food wasn't going down. I mean, it was clearly IN my stomach but my stomach felt like it might just erupt at any time, that it was over full and sloshy in a horrible way. This went on all day.

When I got home, I felt chilled and terrible. I gave the three little kids a bath, because they were three dirty little kids and shortly after the last bath - I started throwing up.

I was very sorts of sick until about 3 am-ish, at 10 minute or so intervals - sometimes more. I couldn't keep down water. I felt like I was melting. It was charming.

I slept today until 1pm.

I can keep down water. And I had toast, a piece of ham, and now I'm having a yogurt. Yogurt seems well advised.

Again I haven't had coffee or caffeine. I don't even care. In fact I'm afraid of starting another round of purge so am avoiding it. I've seen the Rotovirus before, more than once and this doesn't seem like that one. Maybe the Norovirus or some other thing that makes you horribly ill is what I have. As for now, I'm going to try to rest and eat enough to be strong enough to go to work tomorrow.

A nap would be lovely.

I would post a picture, but no one wants that.

Friday, April 11, 2014

It's My FRIDAY!!!!

It's MY FRIDAY is the battle call of workmates that plan not to do any work that day. I used to work at a place that had rotating weekend coverage so when your turn came up, you ended up with a Thursday as your Friday afterward. OR rather, Thursday was the last day you worked that week.

We made rules for "Our Friday". We could wear jeans. Even though it was Thursday, we'd pound our chest and say "IT'S MY FRIDAY". We'd leave early, shrugging because WHO CARES? IT'S MY FRIDAY!

It's my Friday covers up a world of work sin.

Today is my Friday.

It feels weird because I took yesterday off so the husband could do another round of medical tests, and then Louis and I went to the movies for something fun to do.

I woke up this morning feeling like I should still be snoozing.

Then I remembered "IT'S MY FRIDAY!"

I wonder if I go to work in my pajamas they would accept that excuse?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

In The Silence

I love Spring Break because if I am very lucky, I manage some morning silence.

Yesterday I got screwed out of it I SWEAR they heard the Keurig warming up. Today though I'm creeping like a ninja and trying to type quietly. I normally type pretty hard, Or so I'm told.

I hear the bunk bed creaking, and I hope it's someone rolling over, not someone coming to locate the source of this clicking clacking, or perhaps the smell of this lovely mocha latte I just made.

I have to be quieter.

In a family of six, getting to be alone and just wallowing in silence is nearly impossible. It's a luxury like I can't describe. No one wants anything, no one needs me, no one is crying because something in their world isn't working as they want.

I have been awake and in total silence except for the groans of my house for 19 minutes.

This is better than meditation or yoga.

This is peace.
If I broke some bones, I could totally do that pose.

Monday, April 07, 2014

This Challenging and Rewarding Journey

I am weary of people dressing up my existence like it's some great trial and there will be a bonus for completing this level.

There is a couples retreat locally that is for parents raising children on the Spectrum. I would like to say that, even though I don't have anything like people who could or would take my kids for a weekend, I think it's a good thing. I am only marginally jealous that this isn't available to US. It would be nice, to talk to other parents, to laugh about our crazy lives with people who TRULY get it.

That's not my gripe.

My real gripe is how special needs literature of ANY sort always has to dress it up like we've been given some prize.

THIS IS THE WORST PRIZE EVER. I was given children with a mental disability and this is a prize? REALLY. Wow. What does the runner up get? Their head on a pike?

The thing is, people seem to be afraid to just acknowledge that your life can be very shitty but you can still find things to be happy about. You can survive and even thrive, whilst churning through the chaos. I don't look on the bright side and try to find what 's positive because this is "a challenging and rewarding journey." There is no endgame nor REWARD for doing this right. There is also really no penalty for doing it wrong.

I look for what's good, I cry sometimes, and I find a reason to be happy every day BECAUSE THERE IS NO REWARD TO THIS JOURNEY. It's my responsibility as a human, for both myself and my family to create a good world. I have to wake up and put my feet on the ground and create good things in this world. I only get one shot and I won't always succeed but whether I win or lose, it's not because of some elusive "reward" to my life.

There are people in this life who look at children needing a home and a family, children with special needs, and they take them into their homes. They make lives and worlds for these children. They sacrifice themselves intentionally, their freedoms, and abandon a life of selfish living for the good of a child who needs them. These people elected a challenging journey, and I think they probably feel it's rewarding because they are truly doing GOOD in this world.

There is a lot to feel good about in that.

But as for me, I'm simply playing the cards I was dealt. I didn't make this choice. I promise you I am far too selfish for all that.

If there are rewards, I want them to be like Greenstamps. I will cash them in for a blender or toaster.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Tarry Now, Rash Titania

Wednesday we got the call. Come get Louis, he's sick. I drove over, unprepared for what I met. He had been at play practice, and was standing outside the gym - because it had been too hot in the gym. I found him the color gray and ice cold. Slightly incoherent and mumbling. As I arrived he leaned over and puked.
As I drove home, I pulled over so he could puke again on the 7 minute drive to the house.

The boy was unwell.

This presented a challenge because the play was Thursday. Titania and Puck need an Oberon but Oberon spent Wednesday into Thursday with his head in a bucket. I am proud of him though, because Thursday night for the play he sucked it up and made it.
I was glad because he's been rehearsing since October for this night. He didn't feel well and was ready for bed as soon as it was over, but he MADE it.
It was a victory, I thought, though. And we went to bed happy for a fun night.

Until the girl whimpered, and gurgled, and splashed VOMIT all over us and her. Yes, Julia had it. 4:30 am on a night when going to work the next day wasn't optional, and she and I were hitting the bathtub to get clean and shiny. Scott was tasked with cleaning up the bedding. I got the better deal.

As he was cleaning he realized his stomach hurt A LOT.

My husband began puking as I ran to work the next morning, sending the twins to school and hoping for the best.

I got home, only to get a call - Miles was throwing up.

We made a scene on the way out of HIS school, vomiting across the school lobby and parking lot.  He got the idea of the bucket quickly, which was an amazing improvement in HIS vomit experience. Or should I say in OURS.

Miles version of the bug quickly turned into diarrhea of the "OH DEAR GOD MAKE THIS STOP" variety. My Friday evolved into a race. A race to get the bucket, a race to get the diaper changed in short intervals.

Charlie however was fine. I felt sick, and some slight illness and then recovered.

I'd like to thank the universe for that one.

About 48 solid hours of vomiting and pooping uncontrollably was fairly unpleasant. Couple that with my husband being incredibly sick and not able to help much, it was a nightmare.

We all seem well today, knock on wood. NO YOU TOO KNOCK ON WOOD.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Our Last Dance

The boy took me as his date to the 90th Birthday Party of his elementary school, which just happens to be our last elementary school dance together. He's in fifth grade now. He's one of the big kids, with a posse of boys he runs around and acts goofy with.
We went and I took a dutiful seat on the bleachers so that he could do whatever it is 5th grade boys do at dances. Part of the time the answer was climb to the tallest bleacher and WATCH everyone. This seemed to be appropriate during songs like CALL ME MAYBE.
But then sometimes, the FOOTLOOSE MOMENT would happen and the lot of them would be all LETS DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANCE.
There were even some moments I hadn't hoped for, as I sat dutifully on the bleachers being cool. There were several times throughout the night that he came over and said "Come on Mom come dance with me!" Which by the way was about the best thing in the world.
Based on the way he sticks his tongue out, I'm guessing he is the Michael Jordan of dancing. Otherwise I'm not sure what is happening. Yes - they're doing Gangnam Style.
It will be so different doing it with a girl when we start the elementary school experience at this place OVER in two years. I'm so glad we went. We had the best time.

Even he said so.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nobody Was Ever This Tired

Last night at about 8pm I was done. I can't really explain it, except to say I had to sleep. It wasn't an option. I've gained an ulcer from the stupid aspirin plus toradol regimen I've been on and I've had a miserable couple of days.
But last night, from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head I was unbelievably physically exhausted. I came home from a fun night (different post) and Scott was changing diapers and potty training. I went to lay down in the boys room, even though there were no sheets on the beds. I couldn't think beyond laying down.

After he was done he brought in the clean sheets for my own bed, and Louis and I made the bed. I crawled into it and fell asleep. I know later after TV time he brought the little kids up to put them into bed. I vaguely remember it.

What I do know is that I slept like the dead for 12 hours.

When I woke up it was pouring rain, the soccer fields were closed YAY and I had a splitting headache.

I had my stomach meds, some oatmeal and a wee cup of coffee. My stomach is now telling me I've had enough coffee, which is too bad because it's delicious and I've had two sips.

Charlie and I are watching Disney Junior. I'm going to sit here with my feet up on the ottoman and watch the rain. I don't know why I was so tired last night, stress from my week maybe. But I feel better, whatever it is has passed.

I just wish I could drink this dang coffee.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Convalescent

I rested most of this weekend. I missed two soccer games, which while I was missing them didn't bother me at all. But then they were over and I didn't get to see things, and the recap wasn't the same and I realized how much I HATE MISSING THINGS.
I have a prescription for Toradol and I'm not exactly sure why or what it is. I looked it up, and it says it's an nSaid and I remember them saying to take it for pain and to keep me relaxed except I don't have any pain so why am I taking this? It says may cause drowsiness, I'm not sure if it's that or I'm just tired though.

I think this is the one point of clarity I didn't get at the hospital. I thought I asked all the questions but after several hours of being at the hospital plus having my mind numbed by daytime TV clearly I missed something.

I did make it out on Sunday. Because the Universe is a comedian, I've developed a sinus infection and had to trek over to Minute Clinic to get antibiotics and then I went to part of Louis' game.
Being there made me miss being at at the other two games even more.  I love the sunshine and fresh air and watching the kids play. I love watching my Lou even though he's not the best athlete, I see him getting better all the time.

Back home after the game I returned to a more relaxed mode and decided that it would be relaxing to engage in a  little galactic property battle.

Louis and I waged war for control of the galaxy and I was impressed, the boy bankrupt me hard and fast. I can tell he always chooses to play Sith. The dark side is strong in that one.

I'm feeling normal and ok. Taking my antibiotics and all my other medicine plus my Toradol. Back to work and life. This was just a momentary interruption and reset to regular life.

I'm ready to get back to it.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Funtimes Friday

Friday morning at work I didn't feel quite right. In addition to just an overall feeling of "not good" I kept getting this pressure in my chest. It wasn't pain, it was more like....a central pushing on my chest. It was wrong. It didn't belong. My first inclination was to eat, because most of my maladies can be solved by getting my blood sugar righted. When that didn't work, I realized I was putting off what might be a problem and (against the advice of co-workers) I drove myself over to my GP.

I felt like it was probably anxiety. My mom had just been to the ER the night before and again two nights before that. I thought, "They're gonna give me some Xanax and send me to bed." Really I have to admit, I was into that thought. Xanax is kind of awesome. But when I got there, they took my blood pressure (120/80) but then heard my complaint and decided to do an EKG.
And this got me sent to the ER posthaste. My friend Dave drove me and what I learned when you show up with an EKG that looks like that, they take you to the part of the ER listed on the door above.

I didn't even know this part existed.

They came in pretty aggressive (which is good I'm sure) and I had to sign every waver on the planet, up to and including emergency open heart surgery. They slapped a nitro-glycerin patch on my back, shoved stuff into my veins to calm me and to lower my BP which had gone up to 138/20) and at that point, I was pretty worried.

I took a hospital selfie. Because that's how we do now.

I thought I was going to stay there, and that I'd likely not be feeling too great today.

But then my labs started coming back, and after a long annoying echocardiagram and an even longer vascular ultrasound, the cardiologist (I shall start saying MY CARDIOLOGIST) came in to talk about what was going on.

I had a small problem over a year ago that I spent a DAY in the cardiology lab getting looked at. The decided it was a small irregularity and nothing serious have a nice day. Except that no, that wasn't quite it. I didn't get all the information, or not what I needed to KNOW.

My problem I had yesterday was an exacerbation of a congenital condition that has apparently just cropped up - called the left branch bundle block.

Right now today my heart is fine. My heart muscle is healthy. I don't have any blockages. This is good news. They didn't say it was surprising for being 45 and overweight but I know it's true. What is wrong with my heart is that the left side has a bit of an electricity problem. It might get worse with time. It might not. Either side of your heart can have this, left is the worst to have it on. However, at this point in my life and at the severity I am experiencing it, it's just something to be watched and aware of.

It is very likely I will need a pacemaker some day. But maybe not. It just depends on if this degenerates or not.

I was quite scared at some points yesterday, but I left feeling better than I entered. I asked a ton of questions this time unlike last time I was getting my heart looked at. I admit it felt good to know this wasn't anything stupid I'd done wrong, like my lack of broccoli in my life hadn't caused this. The cardiologist said I could be a marathon runner and develop this. It's just lurking in your genes and you can't help it.

I owe a huge thank you once again to the Mofield family. Once upon a time I opened my eyes after surgery and there sat Amber, reading a book, she'd come so that I didn't have to wake up alone since Scott couldn't come with all of the kids. Yesterday Dave stayed with me all day and didn't leave me. I know he secretly wanted to feast on hospital food and hanging out with me was just an excuse, but it was fun to have someone to watch daytime TV with while we waited to find out the bad or good news.

We learned if you don't pay for it, it doesn't count as cheating.

Also that the Jerry Springer show now has strippers.

But I'm ok. And will be following up for a few more tests to establish a baseline for all future tests to be compared to. I also now will always keep a copy of my EKG in my cell phone, so all future healthcare professionals won't flip out when they run an EKG on me.

Thanks for all your well wishes on FB and otherwise. It means a lot.