Saga of Sick

Things started unraveling two weeks ago. Just as I caught my breath in life.  It was Thursday, my last day of the work week, and I returned home to my Mom holding the baby. Standing in our bay window. Cursing through her cell phone at my Dad.

“Hi Mommy!” Jack hugs my leg. Our two dogs squirming and shrieking at my feet.

“Your Dad’s in the hospital,” my Mom sighs heavily. She hands me little Ella. A beautiful smile at the instant connection with my eyes.

My Mom and Dad are married. He lives in Cheboygan. She lives in Highland. Both retired. Happily married. The cabin up north was his dream. I joke her life without dirty shoes and his fuzzy dog was hers. But, hey it works.

A week prior, my Dad brushed off tummy pains and chills. Blamed it on two friends with stomach flu symptoms. He cross-country skied for three hours. Shoveled his driveway. Ate pizza. Then, seven days later, decided to visit the doctor.

His appendix had burst. Infected his colon. Immediately into surgery.

That’s my Dad. One-of-a-kind silly man who shrugs off a lot of things. “Papa’s an idiot,” as Jack puts it.

That night Justin was flying in from a three-day work conference. My Mom had stayed with me one night. Took Jack the next. And was headed home after 72 uninterrupted hours with my borderline insane two-year-old. She’d cooked two meals. Watched both my kids. Cleaned up my house. A saint. Now she was packing a bag and driving four hours to my Dad.

At 3 a.m., I was up nursing Ella and texted my Mom, who still hadn’t slept. “We’re in a room. He’s sleeping. Going to be here for at least a week.”

Fast-forward through the weekend and Monday Jack’s little cold turned ugly. Slight fever. Rough cough. Up all night wheezing. The doctor diagnosed RSV, an upper-respiratory infection, which I’d never heard of until becoming a parent. There should be a dictionary dedicated to the illnesses kids can get!

So with my Mom on hiatus and a sick toddler, I called off work Tuesday. My Mother-in-Law swooped in Wednesday to watch Jack – who was still too sick for preschool -while I worked from home and watched Ella. Justin heads up north to visit his accounts, an overnight trip. Wednesday afternoon, Ella’s coughing. Slight fever. Second doctor trip in two days and “She’s going to get worse, but should be able to work it out.”

Thursday Ella’s cough thickens. Jack’s much better, but still clingy. I called off work again. Justin came home early to help. That night, at 2 a.m. I was up to nurse Ella and found Justin puking in the bathroom. He was up since midnight. Chills. Sick stomach.

Friday morning Justin’s better, but not much. Ella’s worse. Fever climbing. Very sleepy. And I’m basically forcing-feeding her. I can’t put her down. Is this what it’s like to have a colically baby??

Third time to the pediatrics we went. Luckily, her fever was on pause, but any higher and we were headed to the ER. Then good news came. My Dad was released from the hospital. I could barely digest it though buggers and popsicles.

On Sunday, Ella’s fever broke and she was her smiley self again. Still a slight cough, but in the morning followed by a large upchuck of phlegm. Yay for slimy mucus!

Again I settled into breathing normally on Tuesday and Justin calls. His stomach still hurts. His doctor said he has an inflamed appendix from a stomach bug. If it’s not better by Friday – or gets worse – head to the ER. I’m not kidding. Are unhappy appendixes contagious?

In the middle of chaos, we finally had a date night. On cheesy Valentine’s Day. I got drunk on one glass of wine. Nursed my headache while nursing Ella that night.

Wednesday Jack was back in preschool. Finally. Went off without a tear. No freak out? Just going to play trains? Our world is spinning crazy and the wildest of us all was actually under control. I pinched myself.

Thursday continued with a chunk of Ella’s phlegm and another non-freak out preschool drop off. Even gave me a kiss. “Love you!” Jack hugs my neck. No joke, I felt his forehead to make sure he didn’t have a fever. Nope. Feels fine.

Here we are today. Thursday afternoon. I’m busy at work. Jack’s busy in daycare. “Workin’ for worms,” he says (We told him we all have to work to pay for big toys and gummy worms). Mom's busy at home with Ella and our mountian of laundry. And Justin’s busy at the hospital.

Yep. Hospital.

His tummy pain got worse. Now I’m waiting to see if one more appendix will be leaving another important man in my life.

And the saga continues… Where did I put my special sippy cup?


Ellen said...

Oh, wow! Hoping things turn around for you and your family soon!

Blended said...


Leah B said...

Thank you Ellen! Everyone is once again healthy/happy! And, thank you Blended for the info-checking into it this week :)

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