Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Just when you thought you were safe...

Pardon the changes in tense and voice...some of this is as it is happening and some of it is subject to my poor recall.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I'm marking time this morning. My baby is sick...and by baby, I mean, of course, my very independent big kid. He complained of a sore throat and general achiness Monday night. Yesterday he developed a weird rash with blisters on his right leg and a rather high fever by bedtime. Today, his daddy is taking him to the doctor while I sit here and try to concentrate on work. I do that a lot lately, so you would think I'm good at it. But this is different. This is my baby. My one and only living baby.

Despite losing Alex and Travis, I have lived the last two years without any sort of weird psychological tics that make me worry uncontrollably about other family and friends. I don't know. Maybe because the danger seemed to be totally within myself, so I could rationally not worry about anyone outside of it. But as I lay in bed last night, air conditioner AND fan blowing, placing cold washcloths on my boy's body trying to cool him down, I started to panic. My baby is sick. My one and only living baby. Oh.My.God.

The thoughts that ran through my head were too horrible to speak out loud. And my darling husband did not help much by consulting Dr. Google on horrible things like West Nile which point I calmly told him to, "Put the computer away now." (I really wanted to tell him what an ass he was being as I melted into a complete puddle of tears. But I wanted to maintain at least an outward appearance of calmness for my baby boy.) (and yes, this IS a dig at my husband. I think after all this time of keeping this blog, one or two are allowed to slip through, especially when they help to explain my insanity in some sort of context...I mean really...West Nile?!?! Does he HAVE TO be so damn comforting?!?!)

So I sit here watching the minutes tick past. 10:10am...finally...appointment at 10:20am...have to go through the "infectious" baby boy...10:13am...

What if it IS something horrible? My Sam is strong. We were just at his four-year check-up and the doctor had said, "Has he really been this healthy?" That's when we realized that he hasn't been to the doctor since his check-up last year. Yes, he HAS been that healthy. So what IS this? How much SHOULD we worry? He's all we have.

So now the fear sets in. Irrational? I don't think so. Not anymore. I've learned the hard way that things don't go according to "plan" or according to "the laws of nature." It's all upside down, inside out, turning round and round. I won't let the fear take hold of me so completely that I am paralyzed...but I have been foolish not to see it staring at me from different places outside of myself.

10:20...I hope the doctor isn't running late.

Damn it! The universe, God, whatever better damn well stop picking on my kids! We're off to the hospital for a day or two for IV antibiotics...for what the doctor calls a bacterial infection of the skin. Our pediatrician was going to prescribe regular antibiotics, but a consulting pediatrician said the faster route would be better, "Just to be safe." Good Christ...I can NOT take anymore of this! I give! You win! Leave us alone!

12:45pm Stop at Speedway for gas. Steve has lost his ATM card. Another fun thing to worry about today.

2:00pm Arrive at hospital. First, we arrived at the Pediatric ER to be greeted with confused looks. Cellulitis of the eye? to his leg)...the leg. And he's not four months old either is he? YEARS. Steve and I have made a vow that Sam will NEVER be left alone in this place. They very well could amputate something important while we're not here to protect him.

3:00pm I almost have a nervous breakdown in the bathroom after washing my hands. That soap...they still use that same soap.

4:30pm Hurry up and wait. The fun part of the program is yet to come. An IV. God help us, how are we going to do this? And our little trooper just wants to get this over with so he can go to McDonald's. He says, "This is taking FOREVER...!" hehehe...he got his patience from his mama.

4:45pm The child life specialist brings in two Tonka trucks and a basket of wooden train track and a battery-operated Thomas the Tank Engine. Score!

5:00pm Talk to grandma and try not to scream at her. It's not her fault, but I just feel so damn angry...I hope she understands (another thing to worry about).

5:30pm Order spaghetti and meatballs for Sam for dinner.

6:00pm IV line inserted, blood sample and cultures of blister juice taken amidst a lot of screaming and yelling...Sam...not me or Steve.

6:30pm Try to get Sam to eat spaghetti and meatballs...he won't touch it.

6:45pm Send Steve to parking garage to get Sam's Thomas the Tank Engine toys from the van (I forgot them in our mad dash into the Pediatric ER with our laptop, camera, suitcase, crochet bag, purse, stuffed animals and red blankie...Steve was carrying Sam).

6:55pm Moved to a new, private, room. The first room was a shared room and the people next door were not exactly what you would call quiet. Plus, we shared a bathroom and the poor boy, who is hooked up to an IV himself, kept getting caught in the curtain that was supposed to separate our areas as he went in and out of the bathroom. Poor kid was probably worried we were gonna see something private that we didn't really want to see.

7:00pm Steve returned with the Thomas the Tank Engine toys...and without the valet ticket that we will need to get possession of our van again. Batting a thousand so far today, I sent him to the cafeteria with my ATM card. What am I? Stupid?!?!

7:05pm Discover that our new room has a videotape of Bob the Builder in it. Score! He eats!

7:15pm Steve returned WITH my ATM card AND the valet pass! woohoo! our luck is improving? Though we're still waiting for the damn IV antibiotics there IS it's not all bad, I guess.

7:20pm The medicine arrives! It's gonna get better from's gonna get better from's gonna get better from here...or else.

8:15pm Steve joins Sam in his already over-active attitude. (At some point today he told me he didn't have to do something because he's "too cute." oy!)


Lorem ipsum said...

I'm so sorry for your collective trauma. Did they ever find out what it was?


Take good care!

R said...

Scary, scary, scary.

I remember the afternoon that Lucy started running a fever of 104.9. I ran 2 red lights trying to get to the hospital in record time, tears streaming down my face.

I know the panic.

That last picture is PRECIOUS PRECIOUS PRECIOUS! What a couple of handsome guys you have (yes, you can tell them that.)

Holley said...

Huge hugs to the family.

I hope Sam feels better soon.

Julie said...

Oh Cathy, I hope Sam is feeling better soon!! i don't blame you at all for being scared! Sending lots of hugs!

Kathy McC said...

Oh poor thing, all of you. (((hugs))) and hope Sam's 100% real soon.

Emily said...

Hi Catherine,
Thanks for your comment on my blog today. Thought I would stop in to return the favour, and I see that your gorgeous wee boy is sick. Hope you are coping with the stress of it all.

I'm so very sorry to hear of the losses of both Travis and Alex. What you and your family have gone through seems impossible, and it is far more than your fair share of pain and grief.

Take care, and hope that Sam is his normal self soon.


kate said...

Wow i hope Sam is feeling better soon... I love that last picture!

((((((huge hugs))))))

three minute palaver said...

OMG Catherine I am so sorry something scary happened to your Sam. I hope he gets better very soon.

Megan said...

I hope Sam is feeling better quickly!! Many hugs from the juniverse!!

Sarah said...

Sam is such a little trooper. I hope he recovers quickly. And lots of hang in there vibes for you and Steve too.

Julie said...

Give sweet Samalama a hug for us. And here's a virtual one for you, mom and dad.. {{{hug}}}

Dunn Family said...

Sorry about the bad day. I hope it gets better from here and Sam is up and running soon! (Keep us updated on the diagnosis!Interesting.) Keep up your sense of humour!

sarahbobeara said...

so so scary! i hope sam is doing better and enjoyed the 'sleepover' at the hospital. hugs to you kate.

Sherry (Hallesmom) said...

How scary! I hope Sam is recovering quickly. Big hugs to all 3 of you.

Sam, you are one tough big boy :) And cute :)

Shinny said...

I hope Sam feels better soon. Tell him a big hug is being sent from Wisconsin for him.
You just can't catch a break, can you? Hopefully some new socks will help. ;)

GLouise said...

Aww- how scary! How is he doing today?

Love that last pic!

Penultimatina said...

Oh no! Sam was such a good sport. Hugs to you all!

Roberta said...

Ugh! That just stinks! Hugs to you all.

Melissa said...

I'll be thinking of all of you and of course hoping Sam is home again soon.