Friday, November 20, 2015

Holiday Hexes

*warning:  I do not proofread so read with caution hahaha

With the approaching holidays I hold my breath in anticipation of what plague will rear its ugly head. My kids aren't sick very often, unless it's a holiday and then they are dying. 

Last year was insane. 

Like it's not bad enough having to plan holidays around the husband's crazy work schedule (he works a lot of holidays because people apparently need electricity year round), having to travel 3.5 hours to my family and 2.5 to his, and scheduling around the life we've got going on where we currently live (dance, gymnastics, church, sleep); let's add sickness!!  

The Christmas Contamination:

Christmas last year was crazy. One of my brothers got married a few days before Christmas so we had to travel early. The husband was able to come to the wedding but then we had to get him back north to work Chrismas week.

The wedding was on Sunday. Morgan was running a low fever, but I didn't think anything of it because she randomly runs low fevers for no reason. Monday morning she woke up extra emotional and grouchy and her fever was higher, so I decided to try to find a doctor. I assumed her ears needed checked. I was 4 hours from our family physician so I had to find a local urgent care place. The first place was a two hour wait. Ummmm, bye Felicia. 

The next place had a much shorter wait. The doctor checked Morgan's ears and sinuses but they were clear.  Then she did a flu swab (I had to buy something special later for Morgan to help her get over her trauma of a giant Q-tip jaed up her nose). The doctor burst back into the room with 'congratulations you're the proud host of flu A (or H or some letter). At first Morgan was like 'yay I won!' but I explained that meant she was sick and she burst into tears with 'Santa won't come if I'm sick and Jesus will be so mad!'  (Because Jesus IS the reason for the season after all). 

Sooooo yeah. That changed everything. I had to contact all of the family and warn them that Mimi's House was now under quarantine and left it up to them if they wanted to be exposed or not. I have two brothers. The one that had just gotten married, he and his wife and their almost 11 month old daughter decided it was no big deal (a week later they posted on facebook 'We are so sick. Stay away from anybody with the flu' and I felt pretty bad about it) and my other brother and his wife weren't even sure if they wanted our contaminated gifts because they had a 4 month old son they didn't want sick. So we finally decided to leave our contaminated gifts for them to open a few weeks later, and they brought our gifts and stuck them in the front door and watched us open through the glass door. It was sad and hilarious. 

My 'brave but later sick' brother with my kids opening gifts like this lovely Christmas opposum (because a dead animal wearing overalls is the gift that keeps on giving), and my sister-in-law watching through the door.  My daughter is dressed as Izzy the pirate by the way. 

On Christmas Day I took the kids to my inlaws. We skipped going to both grandmas' big family Christmas get togethers but my inlaws insisted it was okay for us to come to their house. So we took our germs to a different house. The day after Christmas, Jack was burning up with fever and crying like he was dying. Same flu as Morgan, but way worse for him because, well, he's a guy. My mother-in-law rode back to our house with us, very upset over listening to sick boy cry almost the entire trip (I guess I'm used to it). 

Finally. Home. With our germs. There's just no place like home when you're sick or have sick kids. 

By the way, my mother-in-law ended up sick the next week. 

Morgan shared the gift of Christmas flu. 

The Easter Plague:

Easter is another holiday we spent on the road, trying to see everybody and make family memories. The week before last Easter, both kids and I ended up at our doctor with sinus and ear infections because allergy season clogs us up and makes us funky. We drove to my parents house on Thursday I think (these details blur together). Have I mentioned they live in a log home up a holler?  That's were I grew up, up a holler with mud, farm animals, and brothers. A friend actually had a shirt made for me that says 'I was raised up a holler with brothers' because apparently when I have to much to drink I always end up saying that phrase at some point. Well there's a river that runs along the 'main road' that the holler road branches off from. And it floods a LOT. Like seriously, if somebody spills a drink up river, we would end up flooded in for days. Thursday night it monsooned and sure enough, Friday morning the road was flooded. Or maybe it was Saturday. These details blur...

Saturday evening we have a tradition of going to one of the brother's houses for family dinner. In order to get around the flood, we had to use one of these to ride along a swampy road around a hill:

View from the hill. The entire valley filled with water. 

The end of the holler road. The stop sign is where the main road should be. 

Husband checking flood levels. Yes I yelled at him to not die. 

So we got around the flood and made it to dinner and egg hunt, then back around the hill to my parents' house. It was time for the evening dose of antibiotics for me and the kids. 

About an hour later, Morgan climbed into bed saying she felt terrible. I took her temperature and it was 106. I panicked.

So I did what I always do when one of my kids is sick, has a rash, eats dirt, et; I posted about it on facebook asking for advice. I wasn't sure if she needed to be taken to the ER. The two main hospitals in that area are so busy that sometimes it takes hours (even all night) to be seen. And it was after dark. And we were flooded in. 

Flooded in up a holler with a very sick child. Doesn't this stuff happen to anybody else?

Well facebook never disappoints. I had one friend message me saying her husband, who works for a local EMT  squad, could get to her by raft and get her to the ER. She basically had him on standby, waiting for my call. Another friend who is an ER doctor messaged me with advice on what they would do for her in the ER; to rotate tylenol and ibuprofen every so many hours, told me to try that and if THAT didn't help then she obviously needed to get to a hospital. So my mom and I sat in my old bedroom, wiping Morgan down with cool washcloths, administering medication, keeping track of the numbers on the forehead thermometer (seriously the best invention ever), one of us at the bed and the other in a rocking chair like two country wise women. 

Her fever broke. 

There is no worse feeling than when your child is sick or hurt and you have no idea what to do. 

The river was down by the next morning and Morgan was back to bouncing around the house. We skipped church (for like the first Easter ever. Sorry Jesus) and drove to the inlaws for a full day of grandmothers' family get togethers. It was warm, perfect weather for the egg hunt, my kids were happy and having fun, everything seemed fine. 

That night, Morgan had a fever of 105 and threw up. 

Seriously child?!

So I did the same as the night before, this time with my mother-in-law as my fellow wise woman. Her fever broke. 

Next morning I told my husband we had to get home. I was so over taking care of a sick kid in somebody else's house. Morgan was fine all day. 

Guess what happened again that night?? 

Yep. High fever. 

She stayed home from school that Tuesday even though she felt perfectly fine.  During her bath that night I noticed she looked really blotchy all over her body, but she went to bed WITH NO FEVER!!! so I assumed it was some virus she was fighting and she was getting over it. 


The next morning she looked like this:

I immediately called her doctor who was getting ready to leave for the day. Morgan had slept in, and the doctor was leaving at 11, but he told us to come in immediately. I rushed her there, he looked her over and said 'she's got a penicillin allergy.'


She was in her 7th day of a high dose of penicillin. I had been poisoning my poor baby and had no idea. 

Of course we stopped the medication immediately and she was better by the next day. I posted about it on Facebook and all of my husband's family commented that they were basically all allergic to penicillin, including Michael's dad. My grandpa also had the allergy. I don't down if it's something that is genetic or not, but I made sure both of my sister-in-laws were aware of a possible allergy. 

So next week is Thanksgiving....please no plagues or rashes or floods or flus or arms falling off, okay?  

Have a blessed holiday!