Well, remember how I said I was falling apart last week? It only got worse…
Thursday night my sore throat went from manageable to very serious, and David ended up taking me over to the ER early Friday morning. I came away from that experience with two shots, (one for each cheek), of prednisone to reduce the swelling of my throat, and a strong antibiotic, and the assurance that I would feel better soon. Things only got worse, and I went back into the clinic that afternoon (armed with spit cup—extremely gross—but my throat was to the point that I couldn’t swallow saliva, let alone fluids.) I hadn’t ate or drank anything for quite awhile at this point, and was becoming very dehydrated. The rapid strep culture came back negative, and since I had had mononucleosis in high school, that was ruled out as well. The doctor thought that I probably had caught a strain of one of those antibiotic-resistent bugs. I said some very bad things (in my head, because I couldn’t talk) and it was decided that I should be admitted to the hospital for IV fluids and a stronger antibiotic.
At this point, I would have gone anywhere and done anything for relief. We got over to the hospital, and due to the fact that I was both very dehydrated and freezing cold, they had quite the time getting the needle in for the IV. But what came next was a great reminder to me of the Corporal Works of Mercy (tending the sick, etc…) and just how horrible people have it who have diseases like cancer, who go through this stuff daily!
They started the fluids, antibiotic, pain medicine, and something for nausea. Everyone left, and suddenly, a hot flash came over me and waves of nausea (ironically cause by the drug they gave me for nausea.) And I thought, I am going to get the dry heaves, and if I do, I’ll die. I called in the nurse, and they quickly got the hot blankets off of me and got a cool washcloth, and thank God, it passed. And two hours later I could take tiny sips of water! Ambrosia! Another two hours, and I could eat a little bit of food. I was so happy and relieved.
The final diagnosis? No one seems to know for sure. Doctor B who dismissed me today thought it was probably viral (which doesn’t make sense to me, as the second IV antibiotic seemed to provided rapid relief.) Then I had two more diagnoses from the ski slopes of Vail, CO from my brother, Dr. C, who thinks it still might have been strep, as often the rapid strep tests show false negatives. And Jon’s brother-in-law, we’ll call him Dr. D, thinks that if I relapse, it could be some name that I don’t remember and can’t pronounce, but has something to do with an abscessed tonsil. I hope for my sake that Dr. D’s diagnosis doesn’t become a reality.
Luckily, the kids were able to be at Grandma’s during the day, and the other times, David has been Mr. Mom. And he said those five words to me that every stay at home mother longs to hear: “How do you do it?” (all the time, every day.) Really, that’s all we need to hear. But he has done a great job. He has done the dishes after each meal, going as far as drying the dishes and putting them away. He has done three loads of laundry, scrubbed out the shower, and vacuumed the house.
At the hospital after I started feeling human again and having nothing to do other than lie there sans children, a thought came to me: I can just lay here and watch TV! I watched Narnia (a great movie; the little girl who plays Lucy does resemble Piper Palin.) And then I watched the 1949 version of Little Women, another great one; I loved the book. Especially the part when Marme tells Jo that all she desires for her daughters is for them to lead good, useful lives. Probably a good goal. (Of course, I can see why I don’t think we’ll ever join the contemporary world and get a satellite dish, either, judging from some of the fine, quality television from some other channels.)
Anyway, I’m back home now, and Eliza and I cuddled up together for a long, three hour nap, and I’m reminded again that one should never take their good health for granted.