I have exactly fourteen minutes to write this journal, which is the extent of my lunch hour today. I have a proposal to complete for work by Friday. It's been in our company's hands for three weeks and finally got to my inbox yesterday, four days before it is due. I also have a presentation to complete for Tuesday, which should have been my primary focus for the week. I have an ultrasound and baby-check tomorrow morning, and despite being the first appointment of the day, I will arrive to work two hours late. And the babies have a 3pm doctor's appointment on Friday, crunch day for the proposal and the presentation, and I have to leave early. Think I'm stressed out???
Oh yeah, happy new year. And what a year it's been.
The babies have been not quite themselves since Thanksgiving. A couple of trips to the doctor, and they had been on antibiotics. The day after a re-check two weeks ago, Reagan took a turn for the worse. And naturally, she slobbered all over Reese, and Reese was sick within a day as well. This occurred over the New Year's holiday weekend. I called the doctor on call that weekend not once, but twice. Finally, with raging fevers, massive chest congestion and an overall bad feeling, I got the babies in to the doctor's office to find out exactly what was going on.
I left work early, picked the kids up from home and got to the office. I had a bit of angst, believing that whatever was going on, they had picked up at the doctor's office during their re-check only days before. Mental note going forward, put the kids in the stroller, so they can't touch and play with books or toys in the waiting room. Be that as it may, back in the office we were, and the doctor was a little too somber for my liking, immediately putting me on alert that something was really wrong, and it was.
The doc heard pneumonia in both girls' lungs. Given how they looked and how they responded to him, he told me to pack them up and head to the Children's Medical Center. The doctor called ahead, and given the babies' condition, the ER staff took us right in, took vitals and got us into an exam room. An ER doctor was speaking with me within minutes, even before my husband arrived.
The long and short of it is that the babies both had RSV and pneumonia, and it came on quickly, even while they were still on antibiotics. I went with my gut with my kids' health, and I'm grateful to that inner voice that prodded me to call the doctor and was not satisfied until I did.
The worst part of the experience was watching the ER's medical staff poke Reese and Reagan. It was heart wrenching. But that wonderful little inner voice of mine reminded me to be grateful that we have the resources and have simple access to doctors, drugs, sanitary conditions, superior medical personnel from the top doc right down to the assistant who so compassionately took vital signs.
The holiday season seems to have been overshadowed by this. Heck, I've pretty much ignored my last few weeks of pregnancy, and I am completely and utterly exhausted, just to be sure my precious little girls are held and consoled and given the best medical treatment we can get for them. Now that we are on the road to recovery and I can breathe easy, well not really, since I have the perpetual right foot sticking into my ribs and a baby who seems to bounce on my bladder throughout the day and night, but there is nothing more important or all-consuming than when your child is dangerously ill, a feeling of helplessness that I hope I never have to feel ever again, but I know I will.
As we recover slowly but surely, one of my New Year's goals (I don't do resolutions), is to always remember to be grateful for the things it is so easy to take for granted: living in the United States with a good, albeit frustrating job, health insurance, access to health care and most of all, the fact that my children are all healthy and do not suffer from diseases or long-lasting health problems.
Onward and forward into 2010, and now that the household is returning to our freakish normal, I am looking forward to delivering this nameless little boy in exactly three weeks (or less!). I will try to check in again before the excitement of my last child's birth, but for now, I am sooo over my fourteen minutes.
Happy New Year!