Death’s Doorstep Day 5

Seasons 5 & 6 of Red Dwarf arrived on Thursday, which normally would be a cause for celebration. But I was too sick for Red Dwarf. However last night I thought my stomach was up to some Rimmer and Lister. We went to bed and I took a veritable drug cocktail. I hate taking drugs normally. I really, really hate taking them when pregnant. I realized about 20 minutes after taking them that the Sudafed was part of the problem. A big part. You see, it dries the membranes so that breathing, through any of the relevant orifices, hurts. Sure you CAN breathe through your nose… if you’re willing to put up with the stabbing pains. (And that’s with the humidifier going full-bore.) Great. 3 hours and 40 minutes of stabbing pains to go. I woke up a few times during the night, but rougly half as much as last night. And then this morning — nominally — a wonderful thing happened. We woke up. And discovered that it was 11:20.

Now, on a NORMAL Sunday this would be the cause for apoplexy, since we’d be roughly 3 hours late to teach Sunday School. But this weekend we were supposed to go to New York. (Ha ha!) So we’d taken care of our class already. So today, for the first Sunday since probably mid-Summer, we are at home and not at church. This is good. I’m not up for Sunday School. Anyway, I don’t remember being awake for any of the period between roughly 7 and 11 when one might consider it appropriate to get up, which means that I got at least 4 hours of high quality uninterrupted sleep. Not that this means I’m not currently considering taking a little nap, but it was good.

I’m feeling better this morning. The cold seems to have moved mostly out of my head (just some odds and ends to clean up there) and taken residence in my chest, where I presume it will remain for roughly the next 3 months. I did NOT throw up brushing my teeth this morning for the first time since Wednesday. I might even be able to, you know, *do* something today. Not much of something, but a little something.

And there’s baseball on the radio. (Happy sigh.)

Unfortunately, and strongly on the down side, my husband is inevitably coming down with the plague. I’m assuming it will be a different thing for him (no vomiting, for example), but he has all my sympathy. And he is at a really bad spot in work to be taking sick time — taking Friday off to take me to the ER was bad enough. Poor guy. While I’m not quite healthy enough to be as great a nurse to him as he was to me, at least I’m improving to the point where I don’t need much more nursing.

Spring had better be more fun than winter was.

I love my brother

I just got a call from my brother, who’s in college a few hundred miles away. “Hi!” says he in an ultra-perky voice. “GF and I are in Boston today. I want to see you!!!”

I interject that I spent all of yesterday in the emergency room and the house looks like tornados have taken up temporary residence.

Perky brother: “I’ll help you clean!”

I consider. He is family. The girlfriend is either a) irrelevant or b) will be family some day. So yeah, I guess he’s coming over this afternoon. Although if you believe that he will be any help at all cleaning, you’ve never met him.

I suppose I better put on some clothes. But I haven’t eaten lunch. Everything tastes wrong today.

The nadir of crapitude

I did not sleep last night. The cold entered its snotty phase, and despite permission from my doctor to take psuephedrine (much to my surprise, really) I simply couldn’t breathe. And I was coughing. And I spilled water all over the bed at 3 am.

So this morning, my husband and I both called in to work sick, and called our doctor.

To recap:
*Frequent vomiting (twice a day for three days)
*Complete lack of appetite (only one of those fun-fun vomiting sessions did I actually have anything in my stomach to lose — I’ve come to prefer dry heaves anyway. Less painful on the nose.)
*Diarrhea (however you spell that)
*Stomach pain
*Weakness and lack of energy (gee, wonder why? Couldn’t be my fabulous 500 calorie a day diet plan?)

El Doctoro sent us to the emergency room.

Ugh. You know, I’ve never actually gone to the emergency room for anything more complicated than stitches. No car accidents, no broken bones, nothing. I’ve been crazy healthy nearly my whole life. We arrived at the waiting room and waited. And waited. And waited. I was very grateful that my condition WASN’T actually an emergency or this would’ve flipped me out. We ended up in the lobby, getting hungry, thirsty and tired for more than three hours before we were admitted.

They did some tests, blood pressure, pulse etc. They freaked my out by failing to find Alpha’s heartbeat and commenting on the fact I’m not showing as much as they thought I should be. Diagnosis: severly dehydrated. Then they hooked me up to a nice, cold bag of special saline solution. One liter. They pumped that baby into me and then hooked up another. Sheesh! Then we got bumped to the hall. I had the inexpressible joy of trying to give a urine sample while hooked up to an IV (actually, apparently the needle they inserted into my arm was FLEXIBLE, but I had no idea that this was the case so I was convinced I was going to send it straight through my elbow with the least miscue. But the flexible needle thing is way kewl!). I had a nurse draw my blood there in the middle of the hall. Then we went down to the ultrasound room to make sure that I did, indeed, still have a living healthy baby in my womb. That took like 20 minutes. By this time, of course, I’m really miserable. It’s like 50 degrees in the hospital and I’m wandering around in the famous cover-nothing shifts. I’ve had nearly two liters of room temperature water entered into my body, and I’ve been sitting around in said cold shift with said cold water for probably an hour and a half. Also, dehydration helped dry up my mucous production, which was coming back with a vengeance with the liberal application of fluids. But there was a heartbeat. Alpha is much bigger than he was at 6 weeks, which should come as no surprise.

Finally, six hours after we arrived at the hospital, we were release. I can’t imagine going through that alone. Going through it with my incredibly kind and solicitous husband was bad enough.

So my take-homes are to drink more fluids (Ha! I could’ve drunk THREE liters in six hours if I’d known that’s all there was to it — I swear half of the dehydration came from sitting in the waiting room!) I’m supposed to see my doctor on Monday. And that’s it.

Needless to say, our plans to go to New York this weekend got scrapped. I’m hoping that being (at least momentarily) properly hydrated helps put me on the road to recovery, because I don’t think I can handle too many more days like this.

My momma raised me never to be sick

No really. In many ways my Mom was the perfect Betty Crocker mom. She stayed home with us until we were in school. She bakes bread from scratch. Sunday dinner was often pot roast. Our parents loved us and gave us everything we needed emotionally, physically, and financially. But when it came to sick, the parenting really left something to be desired. For example. When I had my wisdom teeth out, she had a family friend bring me back from the doctor. I’m a shy person, so I don’t insist that we stop to pick up my prescription of codeine. (*MISTAKE*) I come home to find my 11 year old brother also at home, sick. Really sick. With chicken pox as it turns out. My mother believes this is a good combination of affairs, since I’ll be staying home anyway (recovering from surgery) I can take care of my brother. I finally get codeine several hours later, having gotten desperate enough to call my mother and tell her she HAS to go get it for me!

When we weren’t feeling well, Mom would take our temperature. If it didn’t break three digits, she’d do the worst possible thing. She’d say, “It’s up to you if you go to school today. Only you know how you feel.” I rarely, if ever, run serious temperatures. I’d always convince myself I was faking it, and drag my sorry heinie into school. My sister, who had chronic strep infections, actually got to the point where she did the whole doctor thing herself.

When we were sick, Mom would be sure to drop in and see how we were doing at least twice a day. There was no coddling.

All this has led me to be a grownup who cannot believe, without strong empirical evidence, that I am indeed sick. Take today for example. Known facts: I have morning sickness, I have a cold, my back was/is out. I actually called in sick to work today (as opposed to “working from home” which I did yesterday). But I sincerely and honestly believe that I’m just faking it, and that I could be working if I was just tough enough.

Folks, I’ve thrown up three times in the last 24 hours including this morning. Yesterday’s calorie intake was 1) bowl of grape nuts 2) bowl of Cap’n Crunch 3) 10 Teddy Grahams and half a glass of milk. That’s IT. Yesterday, I was awake for a grand total of 8 hours. What, do I have to be hospitalized to really believe that I merit a sick day off work?! Sheesh.

Um, so that’s me now. The good thing is that I feel better today than yesterday. The bad thing is that’s making me feel even more guilty. Ugh.

Second Prenatal Appointment

We went in this morning for our second prenatal exam. There was some… confusion on the appointment. First we were told we were in the wrong office. Then it turned out we were there on the wrong day. But we did the visit anyway. (Note to self: your doctor doesn’t seem like the punctual sort. Make appropriate adjustments.)

The visit itself was remarkably perfunctory. We were given roughly 8 baby magazines (flipping through them — this is a demographic I hoped never to be a part of). They took my bp and weighed me. (No weight gain, but no loss either.) They made me give a urine sample. And then the doctor came in with a portable heartbeat device (my brain is providing me the word sonogram, but I’m not positive it’s right). And there it was — the baby’s heartbeat. It’s very fast, about twice the speed of mine. But it was strong and regular. It actually sounded like machinery, through the interpretation of the device. But definitely there.

He went over my test results (fine, fine, fine, fine, fine). I am apparently toxoplasmosis negative, much to my surprise. My cats must be too, for me not to have gotten it. But that means I need to be even more careful in the garden and around the cat litter. Darn. No changing the litter boxes for me for months! What a pity!

My hematocrit was at 44%. Read it and weep, ladies.

And that was it.

You’re glowing

Saturday was good. I had energy. I spent the morning cleaning the house, wandered over to work at about 1:00, and departed work at like 10:30. Without a curriculum prepared for Sunday.

I stayed up late preparing a curriculum. And I cut my husband’s hair.

Sunday started badly — we overslept our alarm and got ready for church in a world record 20 minutes. (Couldn’t skip breakfast. Baaaad idea.) I had the giggle triplets for Sunday School (the worst combination of my sweet kids — they just want to talk). One of them got me a signed baseball at spring training! It was extremely sweet of her! I ended the lesson (gratefully) by telling them of my delicate condition.

In church, the lady who sits behind me whispered to me during the word for children “Are you hugging a secret to yourself honey? Because you’re glowing.” I was forced to plead the fifth. During the joys and concerns section of the service, our pastor announced that we were expecting. There were cheers folks, right in the middle of the service. The three giggle triplets went crazy over in their side pew. Not a single person was surprised — rather, I think they’d all been hoping and waiting for just such an announcement for some time.

After church there were the congratulations and advice.

But I was in a bad state. I was hungry, thirsty, and tired. Church for us runs from 9:15 to about 1:00 with Sunday School before, etc. And I didn’t really eat or drink anything in that time. Those of you who have been pregnant know that this was a serious mistake on my part.

I decided I could eat mac and cheese. So we went to Roche Brothers (they have good m&c) and bought copious amounts of fruit, m&c, some bread. I was totally losing it. My husband was contemplating all-important bread options, and all I could think of was getting out of there.

I ate some grapes in the car on the way home. At home, I made my meal. I was about halfway through when… well… nature took it’s course. So there I was. Tired. Hungry. Dehydrated. And I’d just puked up my attempt to fix the whole situation. I did what any rational person would do in that situation. I went to bed for three hours. And woke up hungry and dehydrated.

So last night was pretty much a complete loss. I sat on the couch and watched the Oscars and Independence Day. I attempted to cajole my stomach to accept small sacrifices. It was skeptical. I felt weak and lazy. But honestly, I *couldn’t* do anything.

I’m feeling better this morning, but it’s an important lesson. Do not allow yourself to become hungry and thirsty, or you will pay for it. Big time.

An Opportune Time

I’ve been waiting for an opportune time to tell y’all something. What is opportune, you might ask? Well, feeling human was a prerequisite. Not being asleep at the keyboard. But the other undefinables of “opportune” seem to slip past me, and the day passes and I haven’t told you. And then there was the clever aspect. I mean, most people manage to be all witty and cute about such things. And in weeks of wracking my brain, I’ve found neither witty nor cute.

Just from that statement there, about half of you have guessed my news, so I might as well clue in the other half.

I’m pregnant.

My husband and I are expecting a child.

We will be parents by Christmas, if God is willing.

And to answer your questions:
*Due on my birthday in September
*I’m nearly 10 weeks
*The pre-natal name is Alpha
*We won’t know for sure the post-natal name until the baby is here
*The deciding voter in our little democracy of two (me) has veto’d knowing the gender of the baby before it arrives
*We are excited/terrified
*I’m going to have to masquerade as a less-pregnant woman in order to attend Gencon, but we’re going to try
*Medium morning sickness and heavy sleepiness, but not bad considering
*My mother-in-law already has plans on how to rearrange the house
*We have seen a heartbeat in the ultrasound during our first visit
*I have not yet told work/church (I don’t think I can handle my youth group’s enthusiasm…)

I’d just like to point out that I did my youth retreat AND the all night Rock-a-thon through morning sickness and exhaustion, and I’m very proud of myself.