Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day aka Triage at the Jennings

I spent 5 1/2 hrs in transit this afternoon between doctor appointments for Sweetpea and myself, a trip to radiology for an x-ray to rule out pneumonia for her, a nebulizer treatment to get my asthmatic cough under control, and then 2 trips to the Pharmacy to get all the meds we were prescribed, returning the 2nd time because some weren't done the first time. Argh! Who says electronic pharmacy fillings save time?!?!#@!

By the time I got home at 7 pm, Sweetpea and I were spent, and I was really looking forward to just giving her her meds, tucking her in, and then taking my meds and tucking me in.

Unfortunately, when I got home the nanny had Baby M slumped over her shoulder with a 102 fever and as soon as she passed him to me he vomited. Welcome home, Mommy!

So I told Sweetpea I had to get the baby down first and then I'd take care of her, then me, and finally her 2 middle brothers. The nanny said she could stay an extra half hour, thank goodness, because Bill didn't get home from work until 8 pm.

I had to give the baby a Tylenol suppository since he couldn't take anything by mouth, which normally wouldn't be a problem for me, but I only had 325 mg suppositories and he could only take 120 mg of Tylenol. Back to the kitchen to slice the suppository in half, putting those super-expensive German knives to good use.

Returned to the bedroom, gave it to him before he even knew to complain, and then asked the nanny to stay with him in my room while I took care of Sweetpea. She took her cough syrup, prednisone, and Motrin without any trouble. She did not want to do the nebulizer treatment, so I told her I'd give the medicine an hour and if it didn't work, she'd have to do it. About an hour later I gave her a second dose of the prednisone. For now, she has been quiet. So she may get out of the nebulizer treatment until tomorrow.

Then Bill got home and the nanny was able to leave. Bill was going to rub Vick's vaporub on the boys' feet for me, but when he went in there they were both asleep already. They really are sick! They never fall asleep before 8:15 without a fight.

I was finally able to take my prednisone and nebulizer treatment, and something for pain. In a few hours I can take my normal meds and then hopefully a capful of NyQuil will knock me out for a few hours. I suspect I will be up during the night with one of the four kids at some point, so I need to sleep in short bursts as much as possible. Can't take an Ambien tonight, that's for sure.

Bill walked into our master bath and said, "what on earth?" pointing at all the medicines and dosages I had written in 5 columns across the master sink mirror. I told him I had to write down what I gave each kid at what time, and then their temps, because at 2 in the morning when things started wearing off I wouldn't be able to remember what I had given to whom and I didn't want to overdose anyone. I think he even took a picture of it.

We apologized for not doing anything for each other for Valentine's Day, but we both knew we were doing the best we could given the situation in the house this week. There will be a make-up Valentine's Day celebration I'm sure.

Oh, and Grandma Ann's birthday is on Monday, and Bill's 50th Birthday is on Tuesday, and I've got NOTHING. I have been running so ragged the last 2 weeks I didn't plan anything. Thank goodness I ordered him a nice present ahead of time which has already arrived. Ann will be happy with a cake and some flowers, maybe a new shirt. I'm trying to convince Bill that a trip to Hawaii in September would make a good 50th birthday gift and that if we go see a volcano it counts as a Geology field trip for the kids!

As far as homeschool/unschooling goes, there was a whole lot of nothing going on this week. Just getting by. Their science tutor did come by this morning and did an experiment with them while the baby and I napped. I was quite out of it. I suspect the boys just watched tv and played video games while Sweetpea and I were gone for so many hours. The nanny had her hands full with a hot, fussy baby who wanted his Mama. Gordo did get his new First Communion book by Pope Benedict read to him yesterday, I'm not even sure by whom.

It's times like this (and unfortunately we've had way too many times like this) that I do feel like a good, competent Mom. I am good at triage and I get the right things done in the right order.  I take care of the most critical patient first and then me, and then proceed to second, third, and fourth. I wish I had family around who could help me during weeks like this, but I'm finally accepting that that is never going to happen for me and that I should be grateful that we can afford a nanny to be the second pair of hands while everyone is sick and Bill isn't available.

Tomorrow Toto has Vision Therapy with Dr. K. I think I'm starting to see a bit of improvement, though he hasn't been practicing his exercises at home at all. He's supposed to have Little League practice tomorrow afternoon, but I'm not sure he's going to be able to make it. I need to take him and the baby to the doctor tomorrow as well since their fevers have gone on way too long as well. By Monday, I'll have to take Gordo as well if he's not better. Gordo seems the least sick of all of them. Some nausea and fever, but not too high, and he's still able to play normally.

Tonight I took care of the ill, fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, clothed the naked, and comforted the sorrowful. I think that's an apt way to start my Lent this year.

Laying down my wants, and laying down my body, to be able to take care of them and comfort them the way only a mother can.

St. Therese, Pray for Us!

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