Which should definitely be taken into account when reading the following. Because I'm on some serious drugs, and I have a feeling this post will take four times longer to write than normal, ramble on and on, have more than my fair share of grammatical errors and - quite possibly - not make one lick of sense.
In my defense, it is hard to have a coherent thought when you keep nodding off.
I've actually spent a lot of my holiday under the weather, but it has been especially bad the last several days. And, just incase you were wondering, being sick in bed for days really wasn't exactly how I intended on ringing in the New Year.
I'm guessing I'm not alone in that sentiment. Because, you know, being sick sucks. Especially considering that the alternative included a small gathering at my house with friends, delicious home cooked food and champagne.
But first, a quick recap:
(Which: HAHA. Like I could ever "recap" anything quickly.)
My last day of work in 2012 was December 19th. That afternoon, though, day care called. Banner had a fever. I called the pediatrician, made an after hours appointment for after 6 PM and picked up my baby from school. I am so grateful my sister and brother-in-law were able to babysit that afternoon. I had so many little things to finish up before the end of the year.
Turns out, the cold that I took Banner to the pediatrician's office back on November 28th, had finally turned into a double ear infection. Antibiotics were prescribed, and Banner was able to return to school after lunch the very next day. It was bittersweet, because the 20th was the last day he was an official member of the room two. As of the 21st, my baby became a full fledged member of the toddler room. We had been advised to try to keep Banner in school as much as possible during the transition to help ease him into his new classroom. To this end, my mom and I did a whole host of girly things (mani/pedis, a savory lunch at Rise with family friends, etc.) to keep me from being tempted to pick him up early on Friday afternoon.
Anyway, I only mention all this because it was sometime that afternoon that I first started to notice my voice getting hoarse.
I had been been recovering from a mild something that I had gotten the week before. There had been a front that had brought unseasonably warm temperatures to north Texas, and with it a whole lot of allergy-related misery for yours truly. I actually thought I was coming down with a sinus infection until a strong cold front blew through town and took whatever it was that I was reacting to out of the air. But it took a week for my sinuses to drain - even if I was feeling a million times better.
So, when I started going hoarse on the 21st, I really wasn't all that worried. I just figured all the drainage had finally caught up with my larynx. Except I was a bonafide mute 24 hours later. By Monday, however, I had a kind of sexy drawl thing going on and seemed to - once again - be on my way to recovery. And, really, who has time to be sick on Christmas Eve? The hoarseness (more raspy than anything) - along with the ever present drainage - continued all of last week. It made me cough when I was horizontal, but I really wasn't worried because I honestly didn't feel that bad. Laryngitis, on its own, doesn't seem like much of a symptom to complain about. Especially when you almost (but not really) sound like a young Demi Moore in GHOST.
On Saturday (December 29 if you are having a hard time with the timeline...again, no idea if this is making sense), I woke up feeling fine. I even made it to the gym for the first time in a week and a half. I lifted and put in a hour and fifteen minutes on the elliptical machine before heading home to have "man cakes" (Trevor's name for his yummy whole wheat, quinoa pancakes) with my boys.
That afternoon my chest started to feel a little tight. Sort of like it does after I've gone for a long run in the cold. But, otherwise, I felt fine. Plus, Trevor and I had evening plans. Since I sucked at Christmas this year (another story altogether), I took Trevor out on a date night. We hadn't been to a movie in theaters since JULY, and not to a movie TOGETHER in theaters since May (we saw THE DARK KNIGHT separately; Trevor with his brother and me with a friend for her birthday). We were long overdue for a date night. A date night, might I add, where it was completely acceptable for us both to wear sweatshirts and sneakers. Normally, we only splurge on a sitter when we have somewhere we need to be - like a party, wedding or couples shower. But it is rare that we get out - just the two of us - without any real concrete plans except "dinner somewhere" and "yeah, a movie would be nice". I haven't looked forward to something so much in months. Even if dinner + movie + babysitter = $$$. Sometimes you just need to splurge.
And, just in case you were wondering, we ate Tex-Mex (Kona Grill had an hour wait) and saw Les Mis.
(I warned you that this post would ramble.)
By the time the movie was over, I felt off health-wise in the uh-oh-I-think-I'm-really-getting-sick-this-time kind of way, and climbed into bed almost the second we got home. I had envisioned the evening concluding with a glass of wine with my hubby on the couch. Instead, it ended with a pair of decongestants, a dose of Mucinex and a very liberal application of Vicks VapoRub on both my chest and my feet (with socks because someone told me this works). I'm bringing sexy back, people. Just ask my husband.
Sunday I didn't get out of bed all day and ran a low grade fever (99.5 - 100.4).
Yesterday, that fever spiked to over 102. That, along with the fact that I was a million times worse than I was the day before and it felt like my ribs were breaking with every, single cough, made me decide to call the doctor. Which, let me tell you, is something easier said than done on New Year's Eve. My regular doctor was on vacation, and their only suggestion was to try to get an appointment at the local PrimaCare. Except everyone in Dallas is also sick, so the wait time to see a doctor was being measured in HOURS.
On a whim (hey, I was desperate), I called my GYN's office at 9:30 AM. I figured her office would be closed on NYE, but was surprised to find them open and seeing patients. They were able to work me in in under an hour, and got me into an exam room immediately. Granted I didn't see my doctor immediately. I think they just got me in the room as fast as possible to quarantine me from their other patients. I totally didn't mind. Plus, the exam room had a table that I could lie down on. Who cares that it also had stirrups. I felt like I was winning! When my doctor was finally able to see me (and I really didn't have to wait long. Maybe 30-45 minutes), I don't think I've ever been so happy to see my lady parts doctor before in my life. I actually started to cry. No joke. Being sick makes me very emotional. Again, just ask Trevor. Or my Gynecologist.
Anyway, I learned from my doctor that both of ears are badly infected, and she was surprised I could hear out of my left one "with all the pus" (ew). Throat was raw, and lots of drainage (could have told her that), and she couldn't get clear breath sounds (not the technical term, but I hope it suffices) from my left lung. I thought it was only because I couldn't inhale deeply without hacking, but she ordered a chest x-ray to be safe. Then she took a swab of my nose (not fun), and had me wait in the exam room while she had her nurse scheduled the chest x-ray over at Presby.
She told me that I probably either had severe bronchitis or walking pneumonia. The chest x-ray would tell us which one. I wasn't pleased with either option.
When they finally let me out of the exam room, several of the nurses had masks on. And the receptionist wouldn't even let me pay for my visit. Said she bill me later. By mail. Guess I looked worse than I thought. Then Liz, the nurse, walked me out of the office so I wouldn't touch any of their door handles.
Liz also expressed concern when she learned that Trevor wasn't waiting downstairs to drive me to Presby for my chest x-ray. I don't know if it bothered me more that she thought I looked too bad to drive or if she thought my husband would simply wait in the car for an hour while I went inside for a doctor appointment.
But, as always, I digress...I had barely set foot inside the diagnostic imaging center for the chest x-ray when I was ordered to put on a mask myself, and told to wait in a private waiting room "away from all the healthy patients". I felt like Typhoid Mary. The plus side, however, was that they got me in and out of there quickly. Even if they had a really hard to getting a good picture of my lungs because I couldn't do something as simple as "take a deep breath and hold" without dissolving into yet another a coughing fit.
X-ray done, I had nothing to do except to go home and await the test results. Bed never looked so good. All the more so since it was pouring down rain outside and chilly.
My doctor called back around 2:30 PM. Test results were in: Type A Influenza. The virus very nearly gave me full fledged pneumonia in less than 36 hours. I now understand why the flu kills even perfectly healthy adults every year. My doctor told me that if I hadn't come in when I did, I probably would have ended up in the hospital. It was progressing very, very quickly.
I'm sorry, what?
My first thought was, "BUT I HAD MY FLU SHOT BACK IN OCTOBER!"
But then panic set in, as Banner's face flashed before my eyes. He had napped with me twice on Sunday. Before my fever had broken 100. Back before I realized how really sick I was, and I was trying to help give Trevor a break. I am always so worried about my baby being exposed to germs and this time it was all my fault!
My doctor told me to tell everyone I had been in contact with in the last 24-36 hours about my diagnosis, and advise them to call their doctor and get a prescription for Tamiflu. Trevor was able to obtain one from his doctor, as were Amy and Adam (who came over to help Trev with Banner on Sunday evening). Our pediatrician, however, refused to give Banner a prescription until he started to show signs of being ill. Which completely terrified me yesterday considering how rapidly my health deteriorated, and today being a national holiday and all (and, again, being sick makes me emotional). Plus, Google will be the first to tell you that Type A Influenza is especially risky for babies under two. But - knock on wood - so far Trevor and Banner are both doing okay.
I just hope that maybe their flu shots had something in them that mine did not. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I cannot bear the thought of getting either of them sick. I'm hoping for a miracle. My doctor said the incubation period for the flu is usually two days, but can be up to four. We are halfway there, but not out of the woods yet.
In the meantime, I haven't held my baby since Sunday. I tried Facetiming with him today from bed, but I don't think he understood why mommy was stuck in a box and he kept hitting the mute button on Trevor's phone. The couple of times he has seen me today (washing the sheets after my fever broke, grabbing something from the fridge to take my many, many pills with, letting my "nurse maid", Gypsy, out for a potty break, etc.), he has cried for me to hold him and crawled after me like I was abandoning him. Talk about ripping my heart out! I miss him so much, and he is only in the other room!
Trevor has been amazing. Not only has he brought me soup and made me dinner, he has also been full time dad for the baby. Banner has been going through a fussy phase in the last couple of weeks, and can be a lot to deal with (Trev calls him "ornery"). We normally alternate, but I'm not supposed to touch Banner until Thursday. Assuming Banner is still feeling okay in the morning, he can go to day care. I'm sure Trevor will welcome the break - even if just back to the regular work day grind. I don't know how single parents do it.
I hope Banner sleeps better than he did last night. Poor baby is teething on top of everything else (stupid molars) and woke up three or four times overnight. I was up, too, but completely unable to assist. It is an awful feeling not being able to take care of your own child. Especially when that child is sobbing in a room that is less than ten feet from yours.
I keep apologizing to Trevor like I got the flu on purpose.
On the bright side, the drugs the doctor gave me seem to be working. I'm on a bunch of pills: an antibiotic, some sort of super prescription strength decongestant, Prednisone (to help my lungs), and a cough syrup with codeine in it. I was also told to take Motrin every four hours to control my fever, but I haven't had any since this morning and my fever has been in the 97.5 - 98 degree range all afternoon. I just hope this continues to be the case. Fever is miserable. And yesterday, every time I took another dose of Motrin, my fever would break again and I'd wake up in a puddle. Thank goodness Trevor has relocated to the couch temporarily, because it allowed me to gradually move over to his side of the bed. I'm not kidding you when I say I had to change clothes five times last night because I woke up completely saturated in sweat. Stripping and remaking the bed this morning felt like running a marathon. Less than three days ago, I was easily did over an hour of cardio. And today I got winded tucking in the top sheet. Again, I am fascinated by how quickly this thing kicked my a$$.
I'm no doctor (obviously) but I can't help but wonder if the other little illnesses I've had over the course of the last several weeks laid the ground work for some sort of "perfect storm" when the flu virus hit. I already had a bunch of lingering drainage. Maybe even a mild sinus-related infection that would have cleared up on its own. And then: BAM.
I just hope that after spending another doctor-ordered day in bed tomorrow, I'll be back at work as scheduled on Thursday morning. Four days in bed is enough to make anyone want to get back to normal.
Here's to hoping that my immune system gets a clue in the New Year. 2012 was a bit of a doozy from my scary delivery to the antibiotic resistant sinus infection that took over three months to resolve (and eventually led to me falling short of my goal of breastfeeding for a year) to being steamrolled by the flu on New Year's Eve. I could use a little dose of healthy for awhile.
Actually, my whole family. We've had everything from mom losing part of her bowel due to an intestinal kink on Easter, to dad having a severe allergic reaction that landed him in the ER, to blood poisoning (my brother), to a concussion (my sister), to cancer scares, to actual cancer - all in my immediate family. I said it back in October, but literally every single one of us have been in the hospital this year with some kind of medical emergency. I guess when you look at it that way, the flu isn't that bad. Especially since I didn't wind up in the ER. Because that would have really been a way to start AND end a year.
I'm pretty sure Trevor made me an entire can of black-eyed peas for dinner. I ate them all. Figured I could use the extra luck in 2013.