Monday, October 7, 2013

A Slow, Sick, Week

Ernie started mentioning that her stomach hurt sometime in the middle of last week.  By Friday, all she wanted to do was lay on the couch with a blanket.  Saturday we let her go to swim lessons, and she was so tired afterwards she couldn't even figure out how to walk the length of the locker room to dry off and get dressed- I found her just wrapped in a towel in her soaking wet swim suit and staring at the wall.  She also started getting insane stomach pains- laughing or sneezing would set it off, without warning, and all she could do was cry in bewildered pain.  Heat packs on her stomach would help, or baths when it was unbearable, and she and I drastically reduced the size of her meals down to just a few bites at a time.  She spent all her spare time on the couch with a hot pack on her stomach.

Monday afternoon, it got so bad I called the local emergency clinic and our old pediatrician's office (our current pediatrician is out of town) and scheduled an appointment with the first person that called me back.  I couldn't make the pain be even close to bearable, and trying to literally support my daughter while she sobbed and gasped for breath was heart breaking.  She couldn't take a deep breath without screaming pain- she said it was like needles poking her.  I canceled all my lessons on the way out the door, and left my two other kids with my sister and drove to the next town.  The pediatrician asked if she'd had a fever (yes, about 99 degrees off and on) and about other symptoms.  Was it localized pain?  (No.)  Was it on the side?  (No- it was all the way around her belly and sometimes all the way around her back.)  She concluded that our fabulous Ernie was successfully and mightily fighting a viral infection in her intestines- the extra gas that caused was causing the pain, when the guts naturally contracted.  There's no cure for viruses, and all we could do is what we were doing: heat, Tylenol, tiny meals, and laxatives.  (Yes, we were already doing that too, assuming rightly that this was gas in her intestines.)

Sick E- sleeping off a viral infection

Her body is amazing, she healed fast (seems like we went to the doctor in the last gasps of that illness!) and then the next day Cocoa woke up with a fever.  All he wanted to do was lay on the couch watching Dorge (Curious George) and...that's it.  If I turned it off, he sobbed.  So, we left it on for two days SOLID.  It came on when he woke up at 7:00 am and turned off when he went to bed at 9:30.  He didn't nap, he didn't eat.  I could pull him away for maybe an hour at a time once or twice a day.  CRAZY.  I am so sick of Dorge, I can't even tell you.  By the end of Cocoa's illness, he was refusing all food and drink and only taking 20 minute naps on my lap.  So glad that's over too.

And then Wonder Daddy went to bed Friday night with the flu.

While I feel horrible for all these sick family members, to say I was burned out by Sunday evening was putting it kindly.  I felt horrible too, because this weekend was General Conference for our church and I couldn't even enjoy it.  All I could hear was "By the way, you're not trying NEARLY hard enough and you know it."  I know that nobody said that, but trying to take good notes of inspiration while being so physically exhausted (oh yeah, insomnia this week on top of Cocoa not sleeping through the night), and keeping an eye on the kids while they listened and played and asked for snacks....I am looking forward to listening to all those meetings again during quiet hours.  I heard some good things, too, and I read those notes often.

Sunday evening we all made a winter's supply of hot packs- I sewed up snuggly flannel pouches (monster print, Cocoa and Mimi are THRILLED) and Wonder Daddy helped the two little fill them full of wheat from our play bin.  Ernie was in charge of turned them all, and she sewed her own pack by herself.

Filling heat packs

Sewing heat packs

sewing heat packs

Filling heat packs

Sunday afternoon, a neighbor gifted us with a tiny, folding, picnic table and chair set.  I set it up in the green house and let the girls moved their fairy play things inside for the winter.  This will keep them from falling apart in the rainy months, and will hopefully give the girls a warm-ish and dry place to be OUTSIDE this winter.

Setting up the fairy village in the greenhouse for the winter

And now this week.

Cocoa.  Oh Cocoa.  How many blankets is enough?  Always one more than you have.  Cozy quilt from Nana, fuzzy baby blanket from a neighbor, and tiny green "lovie" from a friend.  He sleeps on the duck Wonder Daddy's Nana gave to Ernie for Easter back when she was Cocoa's age.  This is how he ALWAYS sleeps, except....
tucked in and tuckered out

he's normally clutching Bippo....

and Boy (and trying to hold onto Orange, his water bottle.)

He fell asleep before he could get his arms full.  The kids and I managed to get through three grocery stores in three hours today, and it pushed lunch time back (and nap time) about 2 hours.  BUT, BUT, BUT the miracles were incredible: the kids were totally happy all the way through those stores, and Cocoa slept through all four of my piano lessons!  I was able to get dinner going this morning, which was important because today is the day I cook dinner for twenty ladies at the shelter and it needs to be ready in time for Aunt LoLo to pick it up and take it over.

That was a long week, I'm grateful for a fresh and clean one!


PS- I just turned off the auto-date-stamp on my camera.  Whee!

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