Monday, June 15, 2009

A needed break

Sorry I've been so MIA. Actually, I guess sorry is the wrong word. I needed a break--from everything really, not just blogging. It's not that I love to leave people hanging, but my life isn't always fit for blogging. Sometimes it's too boring. Sometimes it's too personal. Lately, it's just been too busy.

I filled you in on the visit to the camp over Memorial day week. Very nice, minus the terrible GI ick I had. The next week, I had my yearly physical with my internist (necessary for Tim's health insurance). I actually hadn't seen her in two years, since my prior year obligation was filled by having Sophie and seeing my OB constantly. So, two years without a real doctor's visit--it didn't seem that long, since I have regular bloodwork done for other reasons. My internist is ok--she's friendly enough, but I am unimpressed with her medically. I told her about my insomnia and she suggested an herbal supplement I had never heard of. Fine--except when I looked it up, it has been labeled as dangerous by multiple reputable health offices. Strike one. She took a look in my throat and noted it was red. I told her that I've had allergies, but I've been taking zyrtec religiously, and my throat still hurt. That'll be strike two in one minute. The only thing she did suggest is that I see a dermatologist for a mole check. I also told her I was due for a tetanus shot, so I got that as well. My bloodwork showed that I am mildly anemic with a low phosphate level, but I was told to eat more dairy and protein and have my bloodwork rechecked in a few weeks.

I got home from her office Thursday afternoon and felt a little feverish. My tetanus arm hurt like crazy, so I figured that was it. Friday I was in early to do more imaging experiments, and midway through the day, my throat started swelling up so much I could barely swallow. I figured it was my rat allergies breaking through the zyrtec. By Friday night I was feverish and shaking. I thought it must be the tetanus shot. I popped a bunch of motrin, grabbed two comforters to sleep (despite the fact that it was a warm evening), and crashed.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling terrible. I was so weak I couldn't walk. I was dizzy and shaking uncontrollably. I felt nauseous, and my skin and hair hurt with the slightest touch. I took my temp: 102.4. It took me about ten minutes, but I slowly crawled downstairs to call the doctor. It was 8:30, and they couldn't get me in until 10:15. I tried to wash up and change as best I could--I almost passed out trying to shower--and my sister drove me to the doctor.

I saw a different internist than my usual. When I got there, the nurses were concerned I was going to faint. I heard a lot of "wow" from the nurse--wow, you're pressure is really low; wow, you're heart is really racing; wow, you're fever is really high (over 103). I told them that my daughter's day care had a note about strep going around. A side note on this: my daycare constantly has health alerts posted. I had only taken Sophie in once that week--Tim had been doing daycare duty because of my crazy schedule. Plus, Sophie didn't have strep. So when the doctor noted my red throat at my physical on Thursday, strep didn't even pop into my head. But now that I had all the symptoms, I let the doctor's office know.

They did a rapid strep test. And as soon as the doctor came in, she said, "wow, you're positive for strep!"

Shocker. I guess very few adults that they see are actually positive for strep, and most of those aren't positive on the rapid strep. She gave me a prescription for z-pack, told me to take motrin regularly, and she told me that if the swelling in my tonsils didn't decrease by the next day, she'd call in prednisone for me.

That Saturday was a total wash for me. Thank goodness my sister was up. She and Tim did Sophie duty the entire day. I was barely able to walk to the bathroom. I did start to feel a little better at the end of the day, and my fever broke sometime that evening. By Sunday I was able to walk and function some. And I was mobile just in time to get in early Monday morning for work.

Another problem was that Sophie started getting fussy for Tim and Jen on Saturday. She didn't have a fever, and she was eating well. She wanted to play and run, so I thought maybe it was teeth or something minor. By Sunday night she was running a small fever, but Monday morning she didn't have one when she woke up. I was worried about strep, but since she had been exposed for well over a week without symptoms, and she woke up in a good mood without a fever, we took her to daycare on Monday. Of course, daycare called Monday afternoon--she was running a fever again. Tim was able to get her in for a late appointment. Sure enough, it was strep. I picked up her amoxicillin that night, but she had to be home for 24 hours after starting antibiotics. I understand the premise of this. However, all of those kids in daycare had already been exposed for over a week. Even some of the teachers had come down with it. If it is already a known risk, and she has no fever, what is the point of keeping her home?

Anyway, we followed protocol and kept her home Tuesday. I had imaging experiments, so I couldn't stay home. Tim's been good about going to get her when daycare calls, and we wanted to leave some vacation days in case she gets sick later this year. Thankfully, we do have family around who are wonderful about helping out in situations like this. My mom came and watched Sophie during the day, and my sister came up after her class let out to be another pair of hands. It worked out really well.

Sophie was totally fine by Tuesday. She went back to daycare Wednesday, and Tim and I were back to our crazy schedules. It's been long days for me the past few weeks because of the imaging experiments. I've got another long week this week (early mornings especially), but then things should be back to a more regular pattern next week.

Since I've been down with GI/strep, which adds to my insomnia (and anemia, apparently), and I've been working long days, I though we needed a weekend off. It's rare that we actually have the ability to say that. There are usually multiple events every weekend that are near-mandatory. And if we aren't booked with outside events, our to-do list usually fills up the rest of the time.

Instead, we shirked the list and decided to have some fun. My mom was out of town for the weekend, so my dad and sister came up to watch Sophie Friday night. Tim and I got dressed up and went out to one of our favorite Italian restaurants. We had a gift certificate there that had been sitting around for quite some time, so we decided to use it. It was absolutely wonderful to get out. It's one of the few actual "dates" we've had since Sophie's been born (nearly 20 months ago).

On Saturday, we decided to go to the zoo. It's only about 15 minutes from our house. We bought a family plus pass, which gives us reciprocal membership to the Akron and Pittsburgh zoos for free, as well as lots of other zoos. It also gives us one free guest pass every time we come. For $88 a year, it is money well spent--especially for having an extra pair of hands! In two visits it will be nearly paid for. And it gives us the ability to spend a few hours at the zoo without feeling like we need to see every exhibit to get our money's worth.

Sophie seemed to like it. I think she liked the dogs and cats the most--they were hosting an animal shelter fundraiser, and Sophie loved all the puppies and kittens! She also liked the monkeys and the other animals. We didn't make it up the big hill to the main primate/big cat/aquatic building, and we didn't do the rainforest either. Items for another time!

It was a great day to be out. We got home in time for Sophie's naptime, and we all crashed too. Sunday I went to church, and I did some tasks while Sophie took a nap. Afterwards we went to my parent's house--I had planned to just drop off a few things I had borrowed, but my dad volunteered to babysit while we ran to Sam's Club. There was dinner ready when we got back, and my mom was back from her trip by then, so we hung out for a bit, Sophie got her bath, and then we headed home.

Tim and I both agreed it was a much needed rest period. I especially appreciated it this morning, when it seemed like everything that could go wrong did. Had I been exhausted, I think I would've been really agitated and stressed. Instead, I enjoyed the long walk from my parking spot up the hill (I left my gatecard in Tim's truck, so I couldn't get into my parking garage). I was able to let the experimental hiccups pass. It's a Monday thing, I swear.

It'll be another long day today, but I think I am more prepared for it. Tim and I are already talking about how we can relax next weekend while still getting some things done. I promised him one full day to do whatever he wants for Father's Day. He wants to tinker around the house, so Sophie and I will hang out all day. Other than that, we'll probably try to see our dads this weekend. I'm hoping there will be some time to work on my garden, but otherwise I am just letting things happen.

No promises on anything exciting to blog about the next few weeks. I'll try to get caught up on pictures sometime soon, but I'm just going to try to leave as much off my to-do list as possible. I think I've earned a little rest at home.

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