Friday, February 22, 2013

the plague.

I've decided to hibernate until spring.

Every other status on Facebook is about coughing and/or puking.

It's the plague of 2013.  People thought the world was going to end on 12-21-12 but what really happened is the aliens released new germs into our atmosphere...

We ended up with the 'chest plague' in our home.  We went away for a weekend ski trip and came home with one kid coughing like a coal miner and the other kid with an earache.  I made an appointment with the doctor before we even left to come home.  The first night home was rough.  Morgan coughed so hard that she vomited cough medication in the kitchen floor, which is much better than in bed or on the carpet, other than the fact that liquids that hit the kitchen floor splash everywhere.  Cleanup aisle 7.  Then Jack was up all night crying from the pain in his ear.  I had to doze propped up on pillows while holding him so he could sleep upright in between crying fits.  Poor baby had an ear infection so severe that Tylenol and Motrin were like giving him water. 

So basically I was up all night, listening to one kid cough and the other kid cry, counting down the minutes until that doctor appointment.

And the best part?  It was 11 degrees that day.  And Michael had to work.  So I had to drag the sick kids to the doctor.  Alone.  In the Arctic. 

I bundled us up.  Basically all you could see were the noses of the children under the layers of hats, coats, blankets...I even contemplated using those hand and feet warmer things we use for skiing but once I realized the kids were sweating I decided against it.

I circled the parking lot like a vulture looking for a spot close enough to the building and had to wait 15 minutes for an elderly lady to dig into her 20 gallon purse looking for her keys, then locate her car, then remember how to drive, before claiming her spot (after giving stink eye to other cars that slowed down anywhere near the area).  I loaded myself down with purse, diaper bag, carrier with gigantic baby, and whiny toddler (yes Morgan I KNOW IT'S COLD!!!) and tumbled into the building. 

And there was a wait.  And by saying that, I mean the waiting room was crammed full of people.  There was one chair open for me and 2 kids and all of our gear.  And of course as soon as we settled in Morgan had to strip her 15 layers of warm clothes off, which I crammed into the diaper bag.  Then Jack started to cry in pain so I had to drag him out of his carrier and walk around with him screaming in my ear while I tried to kindly tell Morgan no she could not play with the little boy who had snot dripping down his chin.

We waited an hour.  But with a screaming baby and bored toddler it felt like 7 hours.  Thank goodness a kind lady took pity on me and looked through a magazine with Morgan.  After I gave her the 'mommy eye scan' searching for symptoms of illness I concluded she was there for a routine checkup and was safe to associate with.  And I was grateful for her help.

It was finally our turn to see the doctor and I could hear the sigh of relief from the other people as we left the waiting room.  I was tempted to turn around and stick my tongue out honestly.  I mean seriously, my children only annoyed them for an hour, they annoy me 24/7!

The diagnosis for Jack was severe ear infection (duh) and possible childhood asthma for Morgan (huh?) and respiratory virus (duh).  Morgan has never had a chest cold up until that point.  The doctor tried her on a nebulizer treatment and told me to call and tell him if it seemed to help.  Then they called in an antibiotic and took $40 and shoved us out the door.  So then I had to go pick up Jack's medication...and of course we use a pharmacy that doesn't have a drive thru so I had to drag the kids back out into the cold to take them inside.  While checking out Jack decides to fill his diaper and Morgan started yelling 'he's pooping mommy!' just in case anybody within 50 feet couldn't smell it.


The breathing treatment seemed to help Morgan, so I called the doctor to give an update and he called in a nebulizer machine with treatments. So we spent like $100 on a nebulizer machine and albuterol breathing treatments.  And then the treatments caused Morgan to break out in hives on her arms and legs.  And she got a fever of 102.  I'm not sure if the fever was a result of allergic reaction or from being sick but she was a little 'out of her head' as my mom likes to say.  She was saying random things like 'I like pink toothpaste' and 'don't forget the dragon' in her feverish haze.  I was so worried.  I shoved Claritin and Tylenol down her throat and decided to sleep on the couch with her just to make sure she lived through the night.  Thank goodness one dose of strong antibiotic helped Jack enough to let him sleep better that night but I still only managed to get 4 hours of sleep, which is more than I got the night before. 

I called the doctor about the hives and fever and he said to keep giving her the treatments along with Claritin to treat the hives.  DRUG THAT KID UP!  hahahaha

And then Morgan decided she didn't want to do the breathing treatments.  She ran and hid and cried.  I tried bribing her with everything from a trip to Disneyworld to painting her room pink.  It's not like I was lying...I will take her to Disneyworld...eventually...
After she coughed so hard she threw up again, all down her nightgown and all over the kitchen floor again, Michael put her in 'time out' which the area next to our front door (random, I know), wearing only her underwear, until she agreed to do the breathing treatment which would help her stop coughing. 

Dude, he's hardcore.

But it worked.  She gave in.

And then Jack started coughing.


He had a coughing fit and was crying in the middle of the night, so we both got up to go help him.  Michael tried giving him some Tylenol, then he had a coughing fit so I tried to pick him up...and in the process he threw up.  All. Over.  His.  Crib. 

So at 2:00am we are stripping down the crib.  Bumper, sheets, blankets, there's really not much he missed.  It was even dripping from somewhere onto the floor. 

By this point we were both averaging about 4 hours of very interrupted sleep a night for several nights in a row, and Michael was working 12 hours a day and I was at home with the 2 sickos.  I called the doctor back and we dragged the kids back to the doctor.  At least this time I had Michael to help me.  And it wasn't 11 degrees.  And it was the first trip out of the house in a week.  The doctor had Jack swabbed for RSV which not only cost $70, but was a ton of fun since it took me and a nurse to hold him down while another nurse shoved a huge q-tip up his nose while he turned purple and screamed.  Thank goodness he didn't have RSV but he was put on the same breathing treatments as Morgan.  Once Morgan saw Jack using her nebulizer she became miraculously cooperative and begged for breathing treatments. 

I swear sometimes that kid has been put on this Earth to test our patience.

And then we both got sick.

*high five* germs.  You win.

Michael had a terrible head cold and I got the cough.  The type of cough that hardly any medication stops.  I was drinking so much NyQuil that I felt drunk for about 4 hours after waking up (it ain't called Baptist Booze for nothing).  I had to sleep on the couch so I wouldn't wake up the other half of the house with my nighttime coughing fits.  Even the cats were giving me dirty looks.  I went through half a bag of cough drops every night, falling asleep with one in my mouth and praying I wouldn't wake with it in my hair.  I joined the kids during nebulizer treatments, passing it around like a bong.  Puff puff pass Jack!

And then the antibiotic Jack was on started causing diaper blowouts.  Liquid Augmentin is nasty stuff to begin with.  It's like pineapple flavored chalk water.  I have to mix it in apple juice to trick Jack into taking it.  High doses of penicillin are hard on the digestive system.  One morning I walked into the living room and could smell Jack before I saw him.  He was sitting in the floor very still.  I grabbed a diaper and the wipes and put him down on his back...and the contents of his diaper squished out the top, onto my carpet.  I stared in shock.  Then I cursed.  Then I took a photo on my phone and texted it to Michael (who was at work) and he responded 'holy sh*t that's a lot of sh*t!' then I texted it to my brother Seth who can gut a deer with his bare hands no problem but starts dry heaving over baby body functions.  I'm an awesome sister.

It was one of those messes where you just stare for a minute trying to figure out where to begin cleanup.  I obviously cleaned up my kid first.  Then I stuck him in his swing out of the way while I worked on the carpet.  Morgan kept running in circles yelling things like 'oh my goodness Baby Jack poopied on the floor and it's ruined forever!' and 'he better not poopy on my toys!' because she takes drama to the next level.  I used a roll of paper towels and a can of carpet cleaner but it did nothing for the dark stain.  Michael and I both did some online research on how to clean the stain.  God bless the Internet.  I happened to have some Clorox 2.  I opened the bottle to pour some on the stain and a huge glob came out.


So I spent over an hour working soapy suds up out of the carpet.  On the bright side, I worked my arm muscles, and the stain came out.  And the area smelled soapy clean for over a week.

The medications really helped the kids, regardless of digestive distress.

And then I got a sinus infection.


The left side of my head started throbbing.  Even my teeth hurt.  On the bright side, the kids were recovering and were back to their normal antics of 'let's see how far we can push mommy before she runs in circles screaming.'  After trying to fight it for a few days I finally broke down and called our doctor.  And he wasn't in.  Another doctor was covering.  I hung up the phone, put my head on the table, and started sobbing.  Then Morgan came over, poked me in the leg, and demanded more peanut butter.  When Michael saw me on the couch with a heating pad on my face trying to ease the pain, he told me to just go to urgent care.  So I burst into tears again, because our insurance has changed and urgent care type places copay went from $25 to $50, and seeing as we had just spent well over $200 on taking the kids to the doctor twice, buying antibiotics, nebulizer machine and treatments, over the counter medications, plus had some random $400 bills leftover from Jack's NICU stay show up, I didn't want to spend another penny on dealing with sickness.

But after about 10 seconds I got over it and went to get dressed to go to urgent care, dished out my $50 and had the doctor tell me 'wow that looks like it hurts' while staring up my nose.  45 minutes later I was home with a 10 day antibiotic.

And now we have all officially recovered from the plague. 

I feel like the past month my life has been 'Groundhog Day Part 2'...a much less exciting version where I wake up every day to snow, Michael at work, and me being trapped in the house with sick kids.

I am so ready for spring.