Everyone is in bed and I just needed some time to be me. To just be alone. I don’t have to be mom or wife, friend or teacher. I get to just be me. That’s been in pretty short supply lately.
I was sitting here reflecting on the past few months and no wonder I haven’t had much me time. Beginning in January it’s been one thing after the next. It began with Carter having explosive diarrhea at home and then at school over a 2 week period, then Daniel got sick with what I thought was allergies or a cold. After 5 days he was very sick and had fever. We went to the doctor, he was sent to TMH and admitted with RSV. Talk about a scary experience. After 3 days we were released but he was still sick and not sleeping well, so I spent many nights in the recliner trying to prop him up so he could breathe.
A week later Carter got RSV, so that meant I was up with both boys at night since Daniel was still not well and Carter was sick and puny. In the process David and I both caught the adult version of RSV which acts like a severe sinus infection. Both of our moms are still battling upper respiratory issues and I wonder how much of it isn’t related to all of us being sick.
After RSV, Daniel got an upper respiratory infection and David and I were still very clogged up and sick, so we said out loud what we have been afraid of expressing for 5 years now-what if we have some type of mold in our house and none of us will get well until it’s gone? So we called and got an inspection. Sure enough our air conditioning system was filled with mold, dust and dirt. The pictures of the inside of our AC system grossed me out. No wonder we were all still sick! He came and cleaned our system and ductwork and I can honestly say it’s making a difference in our air quality in the house.
After the mold scare, we went back to the doctor for a follow up and Carter had an ear infection while Daniel still had the remnants of an upper respiratory infection. After 8 days on medicine for his ear infection, Carter told me he was itchy. I looked him over and he had little dots all over him. My heart sank. I just knew he had chicken pox. The poor kid scratched all day and night. That was also the same day I had an upset stomach and started running a fever. I wrote it off as the stomach bug and decided to just deal with it.
The next morning Carter was covered in big, itchy hives. I was really weak and running a fever, but I took him to the doctor to get him checked out. Turns out it was an allergic reaction to medicine and it would likely clear up after a few days, after which time he should start the new medicine in order to get rid of his ear infection which was still there. By that afternoon he was feeling better, but I was getting weaker. I decided to go to the doctor and that’s when they told me I had the flu.
I don’t think I have ever been that sick. My body was already worn down so the flu took full advantage of my weakened state. That night I got nauseated and threw up which sent my heart into hyper-drive. It wouldn’t slow down no matter what I tried. I decided to go to the bathroom and on my way got light-headed and passed out head first on the commode. I was too weak to move and David called 911. When the EMTs got there my heart rate was 225. They got me in the ambulance and I was hooked to an EKG where they recorded my heart at 212. They had to give me medicine to stop my heart and restart it. It was pretty scary. Once we made it to the hospital, I was pumped with fluids, had an x-ray, some blood work and all was fine. Apparently I was dehydrated from the fever and having to nurse Daniel and that is what sent my heart into hyper drive.
That night my chest hurt really bad and I was scared I was going to have another episode. We went to the ER and I felt weak and tired but okay enough to walk to the bathroom to give a urine sample by myself. On the way back to the room I couldn’t remember where I was going and everything started to fade. I remember collapsing on the floor, trying not to spill my cup of pee. The next thing I know someone is shaking my face and talking to me. They disappeared and then I heard them again. Little did I know that I had passed out again and they were trying to wake me up enough to move me to the hospital bed.
After all the tests, another bag of fluid, and lots of questions they sent me home. Thankfully we didn’t have any more hospital visits but I did have the flu for a solid 2 weeks. During those 2 weeks I passed it to Daniel first and then to David. Our parents took shifts at our house spending the night in our recliners and watching Carter. Neighbors, family, and friends brought meals. It was rough. There were times where I was so weak I couldn’t even roll Daniel from one side to the other to nurse him.
After the flu, Daniel got sick again with a high fever. He barely nursed and I was so afraid. It turns out he had never fully gotten over the upper respiratory infection when the flu hit and now he was still battling it. Medicine got him on the right track. Then David caught strep throat on top of his flu, Carter was still breaking out in hives after a week and a half and then David broke out in hives.
Thankfully we are almost 2 weeks among the land of the living and everyone seems to be staying well for now. We had some realizations, though, during these past few months. We realized that we take our health for granted. For that matter, we take our lives for granted. David was terrified when I was so sick and passing out. He told me later he just knew he had lost me that night in the hospital. While he was worried for me, I was terrified that he and boys wouldn’t recover and that I would lose one of them. Or that they would lose me.
All of this sickness has brought up a lot of fear and uncertainty in our lives. I find myself anxious and fearful over things that never bothered me before. I read stories of people like Joey Feek, who died way too early in my opinion and left behind a 2 year old daughter. I lay there at night hugging my pillow and crying, hoping that it doesn’t happen to me. I want to be there for my boys. I want to be there for David. I’m not ready to die.
But then again, after the fear subsides I find my heart being so much more grateful. I cherish every moment just a little bit more. I hug my boys just a little bit longer. I go out of my way to see and be with David and the boys because I don’t know what tomorrow holds. And even though I get afraid and sadness creeps in as I imagine my life if tragedy ever hit, at the end of the day I’m thankful. I’m thankful we are well. I’m thankful it was temporary. I’m thankful for friends, family, and doctors. I’m thankful for my little family and our simple life. And even though these past few months were hard, I would do it all it meant that I would learn to love them even more than I already do.
Don’t take your family, life, or health for granted. Cherish your days, even if it’s hard. Today is a day you can never get back.