So that was a little adventure, one that included a strong attempt by my entire family to keep the medical industry afloat.
By our 2 pm appointment at the doctor’s office on Tuesday, Charles was looking pretty blue and retracting like crazy. I always expect to go into the doctor with a sick kid and be told “it’s nothing.” I prefer it that way, in fact. I prefer to be wrong about how sick my kiddos are. I would much rather feel embarrassed about wasting the doctor’s time and the $30 copay than be affirmed in my own diagnosis of “Oh, Shit, He’s Really Sick.”
I wasn’t so lucky on Tuesday. Charles and I were sent straight to the ER. Our doc called ahead and spoke with the doctor on duty and we moved through as quickly as we reasonably could – it is an ER, after all, and therefore much slower than desired. Charles was listless, but enjoying The Lion King on the ipod, so he didn’t freak out too much until Respiratory Therapy came to give him an Albuterol treatment. Oh, he did not like that mist blowing in his face. And THEN, IV therapy came in to hook him up to fluids. They had to immobilize his arm and that meant that I had to immobilize the rest of him, all while he was screaming and thrashing, “I don’t want to breathe anymore! I don’t want to breathe anymore!” He was finally so overwhelmed that he fell asleep, which was good because I just had to prop him up for the chest x-ray, rather than fighting him.
As it turned out, his lungs were fine. Are fine. Perfect, even. The docs had thought he might have had pneumonia, but no. It was just a virus gone bad, a perfect storm of circumstances that allowed him to lose most of his lung function. We left the ER at 9 pm, Charles all hyper from the Albuterol.
And then I crashed. You see, not only did they tell me that they were considering congestive heart failure as a possible cause for all this drama (oh, shit, that’s when I felt like I came close to losing my baby), but my mom entered the hospital at the same time we did. She had been feeling poorly for days, and they had travelled up to stay overnight before my dad’s biopsy on Wednesday. She was white as a sheet and nearly doubled over in pain. The diagnosis: perforated diverticulitis. She has been in the hospital since Tuesday, and they’re still waiting to see if she gets better or needs surgery. And yeah, my dad had a biopsy yesterday, well, 31 of them, actually, to continue his battle against prostate cancer.
I’m overwhelmed. I fell into bed Tuesday night like a rock. I still need sleep. And now I am sick with the same cold my little guys have. But mine came with a side of guilt. Tony has sacrificed work to take Jamie to school the past few days. “It’s fine this week, but…” he said. Which means I can’t make a habit of this. As if I wanted to. Charles is still home with me and feisty, but not well enough to go to preschool, which he tells me at every chance he hates. We have employees out at the office. And there’s no one to take care of me. I still have to take care of everyone else and try to recover, too.
Top that off with the fact that I have spent lots of time this week with Charles and virtually none, outside of late-night nursing sessions, with Jamie. Charles is just so demanding and Jamie is just not. I feel horrible about that. I love Jamie and I wish I could create a better bond with him. But circumstances this week have kept my attention trained on Charles almost exclusively. I’m afraid Jamie will think I don’t love him or that I love Charles more than him.
What a vicious life, motherhood.