Saturday, October 3, 2009

So because it doesn't happen very often

I thought I'd use the opportunity to write about what flu feels like. It started on Wednesday with very achy muscles all over, which really I put down to, in a text to Jennifer as we were due to go out that night, being openly, honestly, tired from doing the nurse's job for her 3 days in a row and tired with all the tank-a-week-driving in LA that I do. There are of course the ups and downs of having a good public transport system: having one, as experienced year after year in London, you routinely get sick during cold and flu season. Not having one (though I will say the bus network in LA is excellent) means you get exhausted with all the driving and of course leave a huge carbon footprint even in an energy efficient car. Wednesday's nurse was sacked* by me and then by her agency due to her suctioning with dirty hands, no gloves, no hand steriliser so the school days were particularly exhausting this week.

So let me get back to the flu. See, my mind isn't what quite it was. I had developed a very irritating cough and the nurse sitting in the back kept asking me to turn the air conditioning on colder, or rather she didn't ask that, she would just say "I'm sweating back here" rather curtely, which I took to mean "Please can you turn the air conditioning up. It's hot". In the UK, every request has to first come with "Please may I" or "Please can you" or else it sounds very rude, but even without that, she was being rude.

And then as if a bloody axe had come down on my legs and wipped them away from me, I arrived home, got the boys inside, felt an immediate need to lie down and fell straight to sleep. I awoke in need of water, got up and burst out crying, which really I don't do too often of late. My legs were liabilities hanging on the end of my body and quite clearly good for nothing. My shoulders and neck ached. Then followed the inevitable ear ache, mind blowing headache, pulsating head as if my heart had been moved into my brain and yet I could actually see my dressing gown move with each beat so obviously it hadn't. Good Nursie Fanaye kindly looked after Callum for me which she's not supposed to do but there wasn't another option whilst Reuben was taken to Children's for his pre-op. Nursie Jenn as always did her extra long shifts to help out (bless them both).

Reuben passed his pre-op (would Cipro for trachyitus give him protection? would Callum's amoxocilin for his ear infection give him protection?) with pulmonary and surgical admitting and it remains for him to pass cardiology pre-op on Wednesday prior to Thursday's surgery. (No, I didn't go to the hospital). Always so much to do pre-surgery and this routine we last went through in June but the surgery was later cancelled due to him being sick. You all know how much I'm praying for some enlightenment during this surgery re the trach and how I'm panicking about that one testicle having been tied up so long since January.

I got up in the afternoon, felt a lot stronger and wanted to do Speech Therapy with Johanne. I was giving Callum his milk and the windows in the playroom were open which is often a very great relief during these hot, hot Autumn days and yet the breeze through the window felt very cold on me so as to bring me out in goose bumps all over. I checked Callum, he was warm and showed no signs of being cold and he was squirming in my lap and too boisterous for me to keep in place with my little strength. I got up off the floor and laid down on the sofa, all the while no doubt Johanne thinking, "Oh no, don't you give me what you've got" and me not quite realising I still had it to give. I put a thick plush blanket over me and was still shivering even though the thermometer said 101F and an extreme episode of fatigue grabbed hold of me coupled with these growing muscle aches.

It's Saturday afternoon and I'm still in bed, thankful for the wireless connection which allows my legs to be up with the laptop on my lap, stay warm despite the fact it's 85F outside, stop infecting the rest of the house and yet stay connected. And of course I'm roasting like a Christmas turkey one minute and freezing like an ice lolly the next. Rough translation: roasting like a Thanksgiving turkey one minute and freezing like an icepop the next.

So anyway, just because it doesn't happen very often, so it has become an unusual event, and I wanted to write it down, no other reason. I guess it's times like these I wouldn't mind watching a bit off banal television, but then, oh, I don't have a television!

* I now run a zero tolerance policy on this and other serious nursing misdemeanours


Sara, Julianne & Rachel said...

Get well soon Catherine. Hope no-one else catches it. Much love xxxxx

ellen charge said...

i jsut hope reu doestn get it and jepodise surgery