Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mom is Sick... Now What?

For those that follow the Inklings' facebook page, you know I've been pretty sick lately. Final verdict from the second round of doctors was that I tested negative for strep throat, but had a very bad case of strep throat.

Yeah, sometimes I don't understand what schooling doctors went through for their degrees, either.

Being sick for a few days, near death for one of them (no joke- my fever was at hospital level, but I'm too stubborn to go to the hospital) made me really look at how things in my house are run when I'm not the one running them. Some of it was funny, some of it angered me, and all of it made me realize why moms don't get sick very often.

When Anyone In the House Except Mom is Sick:

  • Mom makes homemade chicken noodle soup, from scratch, filled with germ-killing ingredients.
  • Fresh sheet on the couch, TV remotes within reach of the sick person, and they get to watch whatever they want on TV while the rest of the family watches with them. After all, they are the sick one.
  • The rest of the house is clean, sprayed down with lysol (by mom, of course) so the sickness doesn't spread.
  • A grocery store run is made, and the house is stocked with gatorade (or powerade), ginger ale, popsicles (or Italian Ice- I grew up with Italian Ice when I got sick), saltine crackers, and jello- anything the sick person may need.
  • Cold, wet rags on the forehead when the fever gets high, changed every 30 minutes or so, to ensure the person with the fever stays as comfortable as possible. 
  • A timer is set for exact times when meds are to be taken. If a fever is high, ibuprofen is alternated with tylenol in even increments of time, with cough or sinus or whatever else symptom medicine thrown in.
  • No one argues about having to stay home from school. Either they are sick, or a loved one is sick and they have to help take care of them. It's viewed as a vacation day.
  • Meals are kept up, as normal, for the non-sick people in the house.
When Mom is Sick:
  • Chicken noodle soup is from Campbell's, in a can, and if you are lucky (like I was), it's the Homestyle kind, so you are somewhat tricked into thinking it's homemade.
  • No sheet on the couch, remotes are scattered everywhere, and while Mom watches TV in the living room, the kids are watching TV in the bedroom, and as soon as Mom passes out for a few minutes, Hubby turns the TV to preseason football news.
  • The rest of the house looks like... well... like Mom is sick. Kids still have to be reminded to clean up after themselves, no one does a final straighten before bed, and lysol so the sickness doesn't spread? They just figure Mom will do that when she's better, because then no one in the house will be sick and the germs can be killed all at once.
  • A grocery store run is made, and the house is stocked with powerade and ginger ale. The sour melon flavor of powerade at that, when Hubby knows the blue one is the favorite. When asked why in the world he got sour melon flavor, he replied, 'Well, it's something I would have liked.' Right, because you are the sick one. We moms forget things with our 104 degree fevers. Sheesh.
  • After calling for a child for 5 minutes with a barely-there sore throat voice and finally resorting to having to bang on something for someone to finally retreat from the bedroom and ask, 'Were you calling for me?' a wet rag is obtained for the forehead. It never got changed, and the happy little helpers disappeared back into the bedroom.
  • No timer is set for meds. Mom has to remember, in her sickly state, what she took last and when. More than likely, some minor overdosing on ibuprofen or tylenol is what jolts her system back to a healthy state, because her body realizes if it lets her continue on in a sickly state, a full overdose could occur. 
  • One of the children takes it upon themselves to argue about not going to school that day. For whatever reason, Mom's near-death state is not as important as band practice/reading test/seeing the best friend at school, and an all out temper tantrum occurs because Mom's 104 degree fever is inconveniencing them. The other child screams, 'Woooo Hoooo!' and runs off happy as hell that they are missing school to help take care of Mom. But there's always the one that causes trouble.
  • Fast food is gotten for the non-sick people in the house.
Things are definitely different when anyone in the house is sick except Mom. We moms are the ones who run everything, so when we're down for the count, all hell breaks loose. Take my latest bout with sickness for example.

I started feeling bad on Tuesday night. Throat was tickling me, my whole body was aching. I took some ibuprofen and went on with my night. Wednesday morning I woke up after a horrible night's sleep, took some more ibuprofen, took the kids to school, came home, took some mucinex and more ibuprofen, and cleaned the whole house. Yep, you read that right. I could tell I had a fever coming on, but I just took more ibuprofen and scrubbed the bathtub, the bathroom, swept, mopped, vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the kitchen, and collapsed on the couch. As soon as I stopped moving, the fever seriously set in. I had chills, my whole body started to hurt, and I still had to go get the kids from school. I popped more ibuprofen and mucinex, made a pit stop on the way to getting the kids to pick some stuff up that we needed (yes, with a fever and some vertigo going on- that was fun in the store), got the kids, came home and collapsed. The chills were rampant at this point, my fever was skyrocketing, my throat was killing me, so I passed out until Hubby came home.

When Hubby got home from work and saw how bad I was, he made a list and ran to the grocery store. He got me theraflu, a thermometer so we knew just how bad my temperature was (mine is lost somewhere in storage), Homestyle chicken noodle soup, sour melon powerade (see bullet above), and ginger ale. He also got Taco Bell for everyone else in the house for dinner instead of making chicken parmesan like I had planned. Oh well, I had a fever of almost 102 at this point, I just wanted my theraflu and chicken soup. I ended up going to bed early that night, to toss and turn all night and wake up Thursday morning with a fever of 103.3. Hubby freaked out for a bit, forced theraflu down my throat because I was refusing it, gave me some ibuprofen, and we checked my temperature again- 103.6 now. Thanks to the military life, he couldn't take a day off of work, so he woke The Girl up, told her they were staying home from school because I was hella sick, and she and her brother needed to help take care of me. She proceeded to throw a temper tantrum because she had a reading test to take. When Hubby explained to her that I was on the verge of needing to go to the hospital if my fever didn't go down, she calmed down a little- mind you, a little. She still proceeded to hold a grudge for the next 4 hours, staying holed up in her room, making me bang on stuff to get her attention. She didn't drop the attitude and pitch in to actually help me until my fever began to break and I told her I'd go ahead and drive her to school, black out while driving and kill us all. 

I was pissed, severely sick and had an ungrateful child. So sue me for the route I took to help get her head out of her ass about missing a day of school and help her mom who was on the verge of having to call 911.

The kids brought me chicken soup and refilled my powerade/ginger ale mixture, got me my meds as I needed them, and after begging them to come into the living room to spend time with me, they finally turned off the TV in the bedroom and watched TV with me. About 15 minutes before Hubby got home from work, I made the kids straighten up the house they had trashed, unload and load the dishwasher, and try and make it look like I wasn't sick. It doesn't work that well, just so you know.

Hubby got home, made dinner, took care of me, and thus ended my horrible Thursday. Not before I decided to actually take a look at the back of my throat with a flashlight for the first time. It looked like WW3. Oozy, bloody, pussing... absolutely disgusting. Doctor was being called first thing in the morning, no questions asked.

Friday was hell. My fever was pretty much gone, but I kept a steady cycle of ibuprofen and tylenol, so I'm not sure of how high it would have gotten had I stopped taking the meds. I had to head onto base for a walk-in strep swab; they wouldn't give me an actual appointment with a doctor. Then I had to wait 3 hours for the results of a 7 minute test, and filled that 3 hours with couponing and grocery shopping (a mom's work is never done, not even when she's sick). I noticed when I came into the apartment from grocery shopping that the apartment had a funky smell. Seriously? I had just scrubbed the house not even 2 days before. Now it smelled funky. I was pissed. I took 1 day off of everything, and had a funky smelling apartment now. And, the house was trashed. I hadn't really looked at it when I was sick, but seeing it now from an outside perspective, it was bad. But, I had no time or energy to clean it. I had to head to base, get my kids, get my negative strep results from the clinic and head to an off-base emergency center to have an actual doctor see me because the base doctors couldn't fit me in. A second negative strep test came back from the off-base doctor, but when the doc took one look at my throat, she said I definitely had strep. She prescribed me antibiotics, I had a huge fiasco with the pharmacies that took hours to get straightened out, and Hubby had to go get my meds. By the time Friday was done, I had my antibiotics, a still-trashed apartment, and a Hubby that passed out on the couch at 8 o'clock at night, leaving me to get the kids in bed and myself situated. 

This post is meant to be humorous, of course, and does ooze of truth, but I can say that I understand that Hubby works a full time job, outside in the hot AZ weather, and when he gets home he does the best he can when I'm sick, which the first night, was Taco Bell. He does wait on me hand and foot when I'm really bad, but as soon as I start the healing process, I'm back to having to take control of the house. I am thankful for the things he does for me when I am sick, so while I make light of it, I'm grateful at the same time.

Being sick makes moms realize how much we do, because when it's not done, people notice. I think that's why moms get sick every once in a while- so the family can see how much we do for them. No one seems to notice things until they aren't being done. When a mom is sick, things aren't being done. It's that simply put. 

My doctor told me to rest for 24-48 hours to allow the antibiotics to kick in, but something tells me that doc wasn't a mother. It's hard for me to rest in a trashed apartment (which was spotless just 3 days ago). So today I will clean moderately, all the while throwing out guilt bombs to everyone else that I'm still contagious and sick and they need to do more cleaning than me because I did my part on Wednesday and I've been comatose for 2 days so I didn't make the mess. We'll see how well that goes.

And I can't forget to spray the house down with lysol. Apparently I'm the only one who knows how to use that spray can. Tricky sucker, it must be... Sheesh.

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1 comment:

  1. Hope you feel better soon! Being sick only has an upside when you're a kid, I think. As soon as you hit adulthood, the tender care-giving is gone with the wind. Thank goodness the rest of the family is healthy to help out a bit!