I managed to start a post on Monday, but I feel weird posting it now because I'm not in the same mood and it's no longer Monday -- it's already Friday (night!). It's been that kind of week. And for those who are really squeamish, this may not be a post for you ... but for those of my readers who are mama's, maybe you can understand my need to include some details here. It's really for my own peace of mind to write it out.
Sunday morning around 7:30, C and I awoke to a banging on our bedroom door. It was S, letting us know that J was vomiting. Blood. Now, those two words used in one sentence is far too much for any Sunday morning, so I am keeping them separate for now.
We rushed in the room, where our sad, little J-girl was sitting in bed surrounded by a mess and about to add to it. S ran to grab her a big bowl, while I helped J out of her pajamas and into the bathroom and then stripped the bed and started the washer with this load immediately.
After four more hurls (three of them including more blood than we felt comfortable seeing -- which is to say, we already felt uncomfortable when there was no blood -- this is our child and no parent enjoys seeing their child sick), we decided we'd take her to Urgent Care.
In Urgent Care, J was put through a series of tests (she vomited a few more times, so they sent that to the lab, too), and she and I prayed together between visits from the professionals. The lab said she was negative for strep and her blood work was normal.
There were no books or magazines in the exam room, so I asked if she'd like me to read from the Bible I keep in my purse, but she was so out of it energy-wise, that she said, "No, thank you, I'm fine if we just pray." And so we did.
Eventually, they gave her an anti-nausea pill and prescribed more of them, as well as some acid-preventative medication. The anti-nausea pill worked quickly and the color returned to her cheeks and her perky personality started to return shortly after. At one point, she asked what time it was and when I told her, she said, "Oh! Maybe we can still make it to church!"
I was so proud of her in that moment (thinking of all the lesser excuses I've had for skipping church sometimes), but told her that I didn't think it was a good idea in case she got sick again. She was disappointed, but it was what it was.
By 10:45, we went home, thinking that she was good. And for the next couple days, J was her regular self.
Fast-forward to Wednesday morning at 3:30 a.m. We were awakened again by S. J was indeed vomiting and again, it included blood. We gave her another anti-nausea pill and moved her to the floor in our room to keep an eye on her and she soon went back to sleep.
Wednesday, my parents arrived from California for a visit. We informed them of J's illness and that I'd made a doctor's appointment for that very afternoon. So their first day there and they were already babysitting while I took J to see her primary care doctor.
He is a wonderful pediatrician. We love him! He calmed my fears about the blood and said it was probably just a tear in her esophagus. Not really great news, but okay. Fine. Not life-threatening. He changed her acid-prevention medication and said, she probably has some acid reflux and a low gag-threshold. She's always had the latter, so it made sense. I did some research at home and it made sense.
We were very careful about everything she ate Wednesday and yet, Thursday at 1:30 a.m., we were awoken again by S, with the same news. On the bright side, there was no blood.
By now, we were all very tired from less sleep and anxiety about this situation. None of the other kids were sick, which was good in its own way, but worrisome in others. And J had no other symptoms. No fever. No bathroom troubles. No pains.
Then Thursday afternoon, she started to get really lethargic. She just kept laying around on the couches and didn't want anything to eat or drink. She told me she couldn't go to dance class, so I called it in. J cried, though, because she'd wanted her grandmother to watch her practice since she won't be in town for the recital in June. My mom, in the meantime, got one of her migraines and had to put herself to bed very early. So she wouldn't have made it to dance class anyway.
We kept her in our room Thursday night -- to give S a break (there's only so much of this a teen is willing to take) -- and she slept through the night. Good news, right? Well, yeah, in some ways.
But today -- Friday -- after sleeping in until about 10:00, poor J came down and flopped on a couch. She dozed off and on for hours. (I should mention that her cousin, N, was feeling sick again herself -- congestion, mostly -- and so both of them spent the day together watching Disney and napping multiple times.) Around 2:00, J asked for a peanut butter sandwich. She ate two bites after it sat there on the coffee table during another cat-nap. That was it. She did a good job drinking water, though. She didn't want Gatorade or Popsicles, she just wanted ice water.
Around 4:30, J was clearly running a fever. I don't have a thermometer (that works), so you'll just have to trust me that she was burning up. I gave her some acetaminophen.
Around dinnertime, N was feeling better and ate with the family (oh! did I mention it's N's birthday today, so what a "fun" way to spend her special day), while J moved to a couch closer to the dinner table and just traced an imaginary circle on the back of the couch with her finger over and over and over again.
When my sister, my nieces and my parents all left (my parents were moving to stay with my sister for the remainder of their visit), J vomited again. With sad eyes, she asked, "Why can't I just feel better? I'm just so tired of feeling sick."
We prayed together again and now, as I type this post, she is sleeping on the air mattress my parents used behind me. Her bowl is nearby and waiting. I pray she won't need it.
Meanwhile, I've had a cold-like illness since two days before I had the stomach flu. Today it got worse. I think it may be a sinus infection by now because I feel like my molars want to explode out of my mouth, they ache so bad. So I'll probably be in Urgent Care come morning, myself. My head is pounding. I've had vertigo for the past three nights when I lay down in bed. My ears and throat are starting to burn.
Oh! And I must mention the moths. The Albuquerque region is being inundated by newly hatched moths this week. My sister is incredibly disturbed by any moth's presence, so now, imagine how she feels during this moth "plague." Could the timing be any worse? I'm trying to be a support and encouragement for her, but I am running low on my ability to help. Thankfully, with my parents there for a few days, maybe they can catch a few of them and help keep them at bay for her.
And we've still managed to accomplish some schooling this week
(though far less because we had guests staying in the school room) and
watch my nieces and run errands. Only by the grace of God have we been
able to keep the house up and whatever. Plus C took this week off from
work (prior to knowing people were going to be sick), so he's been
hugely helpful -- even though it meant giving up any hope of rest that
he desperately needed.
I don't know how much more we can take. I feel bad that my parents came for a visit at this time, but when they planned their trip a couple months ago -- who knew?! But at the same time, I'm thankful they have been here to help. Mom's headache is better today, too, so she was a great help with my nieces as I helped H pack up for his youth retreat this weekend (his first!) and ran to the store to get him a couple things he still needed. He left around 3:00 for two nights away.
C and S are at her therapy group meeting and I've already put the other two boys to bed. Of course J is sleeping here. I think I may head up to bed early myself. I'm beat.
But that's where I've been all week and have hardly had a moment on the computer. Till now.