Tag Archives: illness

The Family That Ails Together: It’s Snot for Everybody

Song Lyric of the Day:

Once you get the feeling it / Wants you back for more / Says it’s gonna heal it but / You won’t make the call / One step back you’re leaving it

Bombay Bicycle Club / “Shuffle

It has not been a lot of fun around our house of late. First Coraline got diagnosed with a double ear infection, then Rich got sick, then I got sick, and we’ve all been sick since. I think I’m on day eight or nine of this sinus infection/bacterial infection. It’s been an utter delight, not being able to breathe through my nose, coughing so hard my chest hurts, feeling so run down I get exhausted just thinking about doing stuff (forget actually doing it), and the phlegm. Oh dear God in heaven, the phlegm. The good people at Kleenex should be sending me thank you notes at this point for driving their stock up because it turns out my sinuses are the respiratory equivalent of a bottomless pit of snot.

I was put on an antibiotic, Cefdinir, on Friday. Even though I started it immediately, I kept getting sicker and sicker over the weekend. I ended up taking half a sick day from work Monday I felt so bad. Yesterday morning I called my doc again and he called in a Z-pack for me, so I’m hoping I start improving over the next couple of days. Rich got put on it first thing when he went to the doctor on Monday.

And Coraline, my poor baby, developed such a horrible, painful-sounding cough over the weekend that I took her to the doctor on Monday, a day early, for her already-scheduled ear recheck. It turned out to be the worst office visit with her so far. Not only are both her ears still infected and she almost certainly has allergies, but her lungs sounded rattly enough that her doctor ordered a chest X-ray to rule out pneumonia. I had to help a nurse hold Coraline still while she screamed her lungs out as they took X-rays as quickly as possible, with her crying and saying “mama, mama” over and over; it was horrible to see, let alone have to contribute to her misery. Then another nurse had to help me forcibly hold Coraline still so she could get a breathing treatment — she kept trying to knock off the mask. Coraline fought so hard and cried so much that I almost started crying. We don’t know why, but Coraline is now terrified of the nebulizer, which has made it next to impossible to give her breathing treatments at home. Her doc wants us to give her four treatments a day; we’re lucky to manage three. I think it’d be easier to give a cat an enema than it is to get Coraline to just breathe in that medicated mist.

Too Many Prescriptions

Coraline got four prescriptions yesterday: a steroid, an antibiotic, a nasal spray, and Singulair. We already had the Xoponex.

The worst part of all of us being sick the last few days is that we’ve missed out on seeing my aunt, uncle, and cousin from New York who are renting a cabin in the mountains nearby; I last saw my aunt and uncle in 2006, while my cousin and I last saw each other when we still lived in Houston (so circa 1985, 1986). I also only got to see my sister, who was in town this weekend, for all of three minutes on Monday when she dropped something off at our house; we didn’t even get to see Elliott and Miranda this time around. So being sick these last several days has really, really sucked. The only upside to me being house-bound has been catching up on season one of Once Upon a Time (only 10 more episodes to go!).

This Z-pack better work its magic but fast. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. And I haven’t bought any Kleenex shares yet.


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I’m Just One Stomach Flu Away From My Goal Weight

Song Lyric of the Day:

I’ll be your keeper for life as your guardian I’ll be your warrior of care your first warden I’ll be your angel on call, I’ll be on demand The greatest honor of all, as your guardian

Last Wednesday night was my turn to put Coraline to bed. Rich and I alternate nights, so I was at the bat. Two books in (Coraline averages at least four or five), I noticed she was going a bit slack against my arm, like she was falling asleep. I know that when my sister S watched her one night, Coraline passed out halfway through a book after an exhausting evening playing with her cousin. She’d never done that with me before, but I enjoyed watching her sweet little face as she drifted off. Only she wasn’t falling asleep — she was going to be sick. No sooner had I smiled at her sleepy countenance than she opened her mouth and vomit hit me. All over. And I mean all over — I even got some in my bra.* Which is something that, as a parent, you expect might happen. But when it actually does happen? Oh dear God. I shifted her a bit, and she vomited again; my jeans were now soaked. I stood up to go holler for Rich, and — you guessed it — she got sick again. She threw up in the hall when I yelled down the stairs for Rich to come upstairs NOW. She threw up again in the hall bathroom when I sat her on the counter to start cleaning her up. We managed to get her stripped down to her diaper and set her in her playpen in the living room while we set about cleaning up her room (even her rocker and ottoman got drenched), the hallway, and the bathroom. Once we finished, Rich took over bedtime duties so I could go shower (I’m gonna wash that barf right outta my hair, I’m gonna wash that barf right outta my hair …). I now think of that night as The Night of 1,000 Vomits.

Fortunately, Coraline was perfectly fine by Thursday morning. Unfortunately, Rich and I were not. We both woke up horribly sick to our stomachs and ended up calling in sick to work. For me, the day went by in a horizontal haze since almost all I could manage to do was lay curled up in pain on the couch downstairs and whine about how horribly nauseated I was (worst nausea since my first trimester). We were both still sick Friday; Rich managed to drag himself into the office while I was still very weak and worked from home. It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that I felt my stomach starting to return to normal. The only upside to having been that sick and eating next to nothing thanks to an all-but-dead appetite? I now weigh the least I’ve weighed since 10 days after giving birth to Coraline. But for those four nausea-filled days, even chicken soup turned my stomach. The faintest scent of any food made me want to hurl. Now the trick is to keep my workout momentum going so I can at least maintain my weight. I’d been wanting to shed a few pounds of late, but I didn’t want/expect to have a stomach bug do the work for me. 

And in case my blog post title didn’t give it away, I’m a huge fan of The Devil Wears Prada, which is where that Emily Blunt quote is from. Although I’ll stick to working out to drop a couple more pounds.

Now that we’ve all gotten over that stomach bug, we’ve hit the jackpot again in that Coraline was diagnosed yesterday with a double ear infection (it’s worse in the right ear) and I woke up sick with respiratory and sinus congestion this morning. Just in time for Rich to go out of town for business and our high school reunion this weekend. Let the fun begin! Again. Sigh.

*For you youngsters out there who needed an extra dose of birth control, you’re welcome.

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Muted Momma

Song Lyric of the Day:

Shh! Shh! / It’s oh so quiet / Shh! Shh! / It’s oh so still / Shh! Shh! / You’re all alone / Shh! Shh!

Betty Hutton / “It’s Oh So Quiet

Tuesday night I felt a bit wheezy, like my asthma was acting up, a rare occurrence.  So I found my rescue inhaler and took a couple of puffs. Yesterday I still felt a bit wheezy, so I kept my inhaler with me and used it twice during the first part of the day. Later on, my voice started to get a bit spotty. When reading Coraline bedtime stories, I couldn’t do the voices I usually do because my voice couldn’t hit the higher notes. Also, I didn’t want to scare her; she was already giving me the side-eye on account of how different I sounded. This morning when I woke up, my voice was all but gone. It progressively got worse throughout the day, even though I did my best to not talk too much. Late in the afternoon my throat started to hurt; it almost feels like I have a lump and like something (my vocal cords?) is swollen. The only bright side is that Coraline thought I was whispering on purpose, so she’d whisper back to me. The timing of this really stinks since in two days we’re hosting a 40th wedding anniversary party for my parents. It’d be nice if I could congratulate them without having to write it down for them to read.

Other than the throat weirdness and a mild cough (which hurts because of the throat pain) I actually don’t feel too bad. I just sound horrible. I was proactive this afternoon and called my doctor’s nurse line and left a voicemail in my raspy whisper describing what’s been going on since Tuesday night. The nurse called me back pretty quickly and scheduled an appointment for me for tomorrow morning. It works out that I’d already asked to take tomorrow off from work to prep for Saturday’s party. Of course, I hate that I have to waste time at the doctor’s office, but I need to get to the bottom of this since I’ve never lost my voice like this before, and the throat pain is pretty uncomfortable. I Googled “sudden laryngitis” and from what I read, my best guess would be a yeast infection of my vocal chords brought on by my rescue inhaler. Or I could just be affected after watching the “Hush” episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the other day. Either way, this really sucks.

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From Bad to Sicker

Song Lyric of the Day:

Waiting for a ride in the dark / The night city grows / Look and see her eyes, they glow

M83 / “Midnight City

I survived my MRI yesterday without freaking the hell out, which was a very real concern for me. The only other time I’ve ever gotten an MRI was a few years ago to check out my right hip. My feet were tied together to keep my hips aligned, which contributed significantly to the feeling that I was going to suffocate in that sleek, too-narrow metal tube; the technician actually had to remind me repeatedly to just breathe. Which is why I asked my doctor to prescribe something for me this time around. He gave me a benzodiazapine tablet, which was supposed to work as an anti-anxiety med. I took it an hour before my appointment like I was supposed to, but other than feeling a wee bit dizzy, I didn’t feel any more relaxed or prepared to be shoved into that claustrophobic metal coffin. But lo and behold, the pill worked its magic right when it was supposed to (in tandem with a towel over my eyes), and I didn’t freak out during my 17 1/2 minutes of scans. I only know exactly how many minutes because the technician announced how long each scan was going to be: 1, 3, 1, 2 1/2, 5, 2 1/2, 2 minutes. Which made me think of that scene in Clue where they count the bullets.

While I should hear from my doctor in a couple days regarding the MRI results, right now it’s Coraline I have on the brain. After seeming, once again, to start to be on the mend from this awful stomach bug she’s had since Saturday, the diarrhea returned last night and she woke up even sicker today. Rich managed to get her to drink almost four ounces when she woke up, the most she’s drunk in one feeding in days, which she then promptly threw up in her bedroom. And in the kitchen. And in our bedroom. I called the pediatrician’s office again as soon as I dropped her off at my mom’s (I had to be in the office today) and left a message explaining how we’re more concerned than ever about her getting dehyrdrated. The nurse promptly called me back and told me to bring Coraline in again. So I’ll be leaving work early today to do just that. Poor Coraline is beyond miserable at this point, as are Rich and I from worrying about her. Even a couple of days ago, she was still smiling despite being sick. Now she’s almost letharghic and not herself at all. Any healing thoughts you can send her way would be greatly appreciated.

Coraline doing her best to stay hydrated with water and apple juice on Saturday

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Ce N’est Pas Un Poste de Blog

Song Lyric of the Day:

So keep your eyes set on the horizon / On the line where blue meets blue / And I would let that silver lining / Where I know it’d find you soon

Rachel Platten / “1000 Ships

I’m writing this at 11:30PM because this is the first real free time I’ve had all day. That’s pretty much how things have been going lately, at breakneck speed. The Relay for Life went really well. I made it through the night, which was a bit more challenging for me this year as it was my first night away from Coraline (at 267 days old). Sure, I was still in town, but I wasn’t around for her evening playtime, bedtime ritual, or morning wakeup. As it turned out, after being up for almost 24 hours straight, I only managed to quasi-nap for about three hours when I got home the morning after the Relay. The rest of the day I would essentially pass out anytime I sat down or got comfortable. Made for a long weekend. This year it took me about three days to feel like I’d fully recovered from the Relay — sucks getting older sometimes.

The week after the Relay was a doozy. Rich went out of town for work for the first time in ages, the first time Coraline and I would be alone in our new house. Rich was only gone one night, but that happened to be the Night the Lights Went Out in Knoxville. No sooner had I put Coraline to bed than a massive storm moved in, causing our lights to flicker a couple of times. I managed to find flashlights and candles just in time for when the power fully went out. I managed to get a few messages out via Twitter/Facebook using my cellphone, but since I don’t have a smartphone (just a semi-intelligent one), I couldn’t receive any responses in return, save for a few Twitter direct messages. The next day my sister came to my and Coraline’s rescue: She brought big bags of ice to try and save food we had in the freezer and then dropped us off at our parents’ house across town so I could work and we could enjoy air conditioning. When Rich got home later that night, he bought more ice to try to keep the stuff in the freezer as frozen as possible. The power ended up being out for four full days, so we lost everything in our main refrigerator in the kitchen as well as in the secondary fridge in our downstairs kitchenette. Rich managed to pack the freezer items into coolers and get them to his parents’ house’s freezer just in time. I can’t tell you how happy I was that he got stuff over there when he did, since I had frozen bags of breastmilk I was in danger of losing, which would have devastated me.

We spent the next couple nights coming home from work to a hot, dark house. Thursday night another massive storm hit, which woke me up at 1:45AM and had me up and terrified all night that a tornado was going to hit — it was that bad.  The next night, Friday, we packed up for our friends’ house in Sequoyah Hills; they’d invited us to stay at their house since their power had been restored the day before. Coraline and I spent two nights sleeping in air-conditioned luxury there, while Rich took one for the team and came home to sleep at our house for the dogs’ sakes and for protection (the security system’s battery backup had only lasted the first 12 hours of the power outage). We were so grateful to Don and Fran, Coraline’s honorary grandparents, for welcoming us into their home, particularly since their grandson Thomas was visiting at the time. We had fun swimming in their pool that Saturday afternoon — Coraline’s first time in a real pool — and eating yummy burgers after. It was a little while after that dinner that our next-door neighbor’s son texted Rich saying “I think I saw lights come on in your basement.” Turns out Abraham was right and that our power had been restored; his family, however, would be without power two more days as a tree had fallen and ripped the power lines from their house. Rich went home that night and left Coraline and I at Don and Fran’s since it would be hours before our house would be fully cooled off again. He came and picked us up Sunday morning, and it was glorious to go home and have power again.

So what lessons did I take away from the Great Power Outage of 2011? First, that we have awesome friends and family who stepped up and offered us places to stay (our friends’  house is much closer to our house than our parents’ houses are, which was the deciding factor for us staying there). Second, reading by candlelight/flashlight is highly overrated; it was really just an irritating pain in the ass to try to read like that. Last, I can manage without AC. I can manage without the Internet. I can manage without TV. Just not all at the same time. I was again reminded that I am NOT meant to live without modern conveniences like electricity and air conditioning. I am now convinced that had I lived in pre-electricity, pioneer times, I would’ve been one of their first recorded suicides. Give me air conditioning or give me death.

Once everything got back to normal, I of course got sick. I went to the express clinic by our house two Saturdays ago, where I was diagnosed with pharyngitis, which has turned out to be hands-down the most irritating illness I’ve ever had. I didn’t even feel that horrible, but I sounded like shit (there’s a reason pharyngitis rhymes with laryngitis), couldn’t talk without wheezing and losing my breath, had a horrible sore throat, and was so congested I felt like I was suffocating 24 hours a day. And it had been going on for weeks. Work has been ridiculously busy lately (job security!), so I only managed to get to the doctor again on Friday, when I was prescribed an antibiotic and another steroid. I am now no longer congested, no longer have a sore throat, can get through a sentence without wheezing, and have stopped coughing up my lungs. Thank God for those last two prescriptions.

So that’s what’s been going on at Casa Lee of late. Fun times. Fun times indeed.

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I’m Not Dead Yet

Song Lyric of the Day:

Furry walls can take you on a magic carpet ride / Furry walls surround you till you got no place to hide / Let your furry fingers be your guide / Furry walls turn out the light / Furry walls please stay the night

Infant Sorrow / “Furry Walls

Wow — it’s been longer than I realized since I last updated. To the eight of you still reading, sorry about that. So what happened? Life, basically. To be more specific, life filled with illness. First Coraline got sick. She developed her first-ever fever on a Friday night, and by the following Monday was beyond miserable. It turned out she had an ear infection, although she never once pulled on her ear to clue us in. That is, other than playing with her ear while sucking her thumb, which she regularly does when hungry or tired. In addition to the ear infection, Coraline also had the cold from hell, with a horrible, hacking cough that made her cry. Rich and I agree she was sicker than when she had RSV, which is saying something. Most nights all three of us would suffer from lack of sleep since the poor kid would spend most of the night coughing and crying. It was awful seeing our little girl, who is normally so happy and non-fussy, whiny and crying from sheer misery. A few days after she got sick, I developed horrible congestion and my own hacking cough. Almost two weeks later, I still have a bit of a cough. Add in the humidity and heat here in Knoxville these days, and I’m now also wheezy. That’s right — my asthma’s kicked in again. My inhaler helps a bit, although the weather not being so oppressively hot and hazy would help more. Here’s hoping we get out of the ’90s soon. At least until my car AC is working again (we got it fixed in March and it’s not working again. Pattie is not amused).

So what else have we been up to besides illness? Work and the usual daily grind. Although Rich and I did enjoy a performance of Spamalot at the Tennessee Theatre in late May. It was awesomely hilarious (I was particularly fond of Herbert). Now I’d like to get tickets to see Young Frankenstein when it plays at the Tennessee in November. Because, really, if ever there were a Broadway musical based on one of my all-time favorites movies that I’m destined to see, it’s this one.

Despite being sick for a few weeks, Coraline still managed to practice pulling up on a regular basis. She’s now a pro at standing, although still with support. She’s gotten to the point now where she’ll cruise a bit, using whatever’s on hand to hang onto, including her play yard walls.

Standing at the Gate

Standing tall

Despite the ridiculous heat here in Knoxville, we’re still looking forward to the start of summer. Mostly because it means we can spend quality time letting Coraline play in her baby pool. We introduced her to it yesterday, and while she liked the idea of it (she loves bathtime), the water turned out to still be a bit too cold for her taste. We’ll let it keep warming up and try again in a few days. But at least I got some cute pictures of Coraline in her yellow swimsuit and matching hat. Not only did Rich and I think she looked adorable, our dog Caleb (her favorite) wholeheartedly agreed. 

Smiling at Caleb

Smiling at Caleb

In fact, Caleb thought Coraline looked so cute, he kissed her until the hat flew off her head and she tipped over.

A Kiss to Knock Her Hat Off

A kiss to knock her hat off*

*No babies or dogs were harmed in the taking of this photo. There was just a lot of saliva.

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