March 9, 2004

Virus from Hell

I don’t have much energy to blog today, but I feel the need to record this remarkable night (remarkably bad). Last night was one of the worst in my life. The moment when I realized I couldn’t help Mattie anymore was definitely the nadir. It was a difficult moment as a parent.

Maggie and Mattie had both succumbed to the effects of a violent (is there any other kind?) throw-up bug by dinner time. My throat was sore, I was warm and dizzy but I figured they had something different so I tried to take care of Katherine and read to Maggie and Mattie between their bouts. We were all huddled near the bathroom.

As the hours went by, I was increasingly dizzy, but still functional. By Katherine’s bedtime (to which she willingly went) Maggie was barely moving. Mattie seemed to have some energy. But at about 10:30PM, Maggie suggested I call the doctor on call for Mattie, who we feared must be close to her limit. (She has a number of upsetting symptoms)

The nurse suggested I wait a half hour and then bring her in if she hadn’t stopped. I waited, and then it became obvious she wasn’t stopping. But she was slowing down. I took a shower, and noticed my dizziness was affecting my balance. By the time I was dressed, I felt awful. I got Mattie dressed, began to get the car ready, and realized I couldn’t go anywhere. It was only a matter of time for me. I lay next to Mattie, wondering if I was even going to be able to check up on her when it got bad. I imagined the drive to Providence, the possibility I wouldn’t be able to be with her in the waiting room as I got sick. I felt useless as the nausea marched on.

At midnight, I called my parents. I probably should have thought twice about exposing them, but that’s how desperate I was. And I knew they would come. I needed lucid adults in the house. I quickly found Matite’s insurance card and wrote a note detailing her meds and giving them permission to seek medical attention in my stead.

When my parents arrived I could barely stand up straight. Mattie had stopped vomiting I left it to them to take her in if she didn’t stop or at least keep an eye on her. Defeated, I crawled upstairs to begin my own odyssey, which I will not detail other that to say it was a long and painful night with little sleep.

My father, now exposed, caught the bug. Mattie got rest and improved under my mother’s care. They left sometime after the sun came up, while I was incapacitated. I remember my Mom covering me with a blanket before I passed out on the floor, riding another wave.

Now, we are all mobile for the most part. I’m feverish and dizzy and still dehydrated. I’ve lost 4 lbs and, like Maggie, my ring comes off very easily.

I thank my parents for being there when I couldn’t help Mattie. And I guess getting them on the job as my last lucid moment counts as doing my duty as a parent. But I still feel lousy (physically and emotionally).

I have to go get some sleep and fluids now

Posted by James at March 9, 2004 12:49 PM
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Well, I know I'm the other parent here, but I used to have anxiety attacks before we had children. My biggest fear was that they would need me during an anxiety attack and I wouldn't be able to help them. And guess what happened the first morning in the hospital after K. was born? Yes, nurse walks in with her and says she's hungry, and I'm freaking out in the bathroom.

I recovered quickly though, and since then I have learned, or been fortunate to have some kind of natural chemical changes in my brain, and I don't get the anxiety attacks any more.

Last night *was* awful. I had quarantined Mattie and myself at the downstairs bathroom, but we seemed to have our attacks at the same time. She's really good about being neat, I'll say, but she freaks out when she's done and wants you to wipe her, so I'd have to finish out and come clean her and her basin up. This is the second time this has happened to us, but the first time was me, Katherine, and Mattie, and James was functional. This was really dreadul. It's a difficult decision to make anyway, whether to take them in.

Posted by: Maggie at March 9, 2004 1:31 PM

I'm glad you're both vertical now!

Posted by: Julie at March 9, 2004 1:39 PM

wishing you all a speedy recovery, sending virtual flat gingerale and saltines your way!

Posted by: beth at March 9, 2004 3:00 PM

Not vertical yet - only temporary. I only left bed to write that post and then it was back to bed. Muscles aren't working. I'm feverish. Still dehydrated and dizzy. Trying to get up the courage to eat soup.I don't want ot make a wrong move and repeat last night.

Posted by: James (DrMomentum) at March 9, 2004 7:28 PM

Yikes! What an ordeal. I hope you all recover soon. Four pounds from one bug?!? That's a little scary. Take it slow. I am sending good vibes your way.

Posted by: briwei at March 10, 2004 10:40 AM

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