Skip to main content

Gone viral

Me that is, not my blog (sadly)! 

Well let's see, our story resumes when I returned home from the aforementioned fabulous makeover day with the girls on Saturday to a telltale scratchy throat.  I was a picture of health at 3pm but around 5pm developed an immensely sore throat, followed by aches, then fatigue and finally congestion and a cough.  All within a 12 hour time frame - very efficient, even for me! 

Optimistic, normal me dismissed the fear of an approaching fever (fever is deemed the chemo patient's worst nightmare), but cautious, cancer me started monitoring my rising temperature hourly.  Not wanting to infect my kids, in particular, my newborn, I holed up in my bedroom and listened to them playing outside in the balmy summer-like weather while my husband tried his best to entertain them and care for the baby.  Now, not sure about you, but I personally have trouble minding two kids all day, much less a hungry newborn at the same time.  Super-human, my husband truly is - they don't make many from his stock!  I did eventually call for reinforcements (enter Grandma) as the mercury was rising not only outside, but within my core.  Once my temperature reached the magic number (38 degrees), I was done.  Protocol required me to report to the emergency department of our local hospital, stat.  Call me crazy, but I have never been so thankful for heated leather seats in sunny, 22 degree weather. 

It was dinnertime on Sunday when we arrived at the Ottawa General Hospital, so I was one of only 4 patients in the new and spacious waiting room.  And as soon as I uttered the "C" word, the staff pulled out all the stops.  It was indeed a sobering experience to be instructed to put on a hospital mask "for your own  protection".  I was then given the drill: I would be registered immediately then given a bed so they could assess me.  And that is exactly what they did, in record time.  Not 20 minutes later I had been registered, taken to observation, quarantined, blood tests done and chest X-rays taken.  I was to wait about an hour for results so I piled on the heated flannel hospital blankets (oh how I've missed thee!), sent mum to fetch me more water with requisite "no ice", and got as comfy as one can when suffering a fever and chills and asked to sport a flimsy, short-sleeved cotton hospital gown.  I wonder, can they not make long-sleeved gowns, and out of a cosier fabric?  That flannel hospital blanket material would fit the bill nicely.  And the one size fits all gown?  Truly comedic.  I hadn't noticed how ridiculously large the gowns were when I last donned one - perhaps due to the fact that I myself was ridiculously large (at 39 weeks pregnant).  But I digress...

Test results came back before I could claim so much as a cat nap, and thankfully, my neutrophil (white blood cell) count checked out - it was low (to be expected at 10 days post chemo), but not critically low, so I was allowed to be discharged with a course of antibiotics in tow.  Lady luck was on my side, yet again!  That's right, I was not forced to stay the night to recover in a bed all to myself, with no kids around to wake me up and someone bringing me food and drink at my beck and call..wait a sec...perhaps I should've thought this one through better.  I of COURSE am kidding, and was so thankful and relieved to be returning home and leaving "Germ Headquarters", as my friend Nikita deemed it.  And home is exactly where I found myself, just 3.5 short hours after arriving at emerg.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Yay Ottawa health care.  You've really got your act together.

I guess I should insert a dose of reality here, after all, you may be thinking, it can't all be good (although, I honestly don't see why not).  Reality check for me was again, regarding Imogen - it always comes back to my dear baby.  What are mums always told to do when they get a virus?  Breastfeed more.  All those wonderful antibodies you are producing will go right in to your breast milk and protect your baby.  So where did that leave me?  This was a huge bummer to say the least - not only could I not feed and protect her from her first exposure to illness, but I now had to avoid her, for fear I would infect her and then have to send her off to the Children's Hospital - a place I myself could absolutely not go in my current "condition".  None of my kids have ever gone to the hospital without mommy, and I wasn't about to let this happen.  So for the past 2 days I have been smiling at Imogen from a distance, sleeping on a separate floor from her (instead of within arm's reach...don't worry, her dad is!) and perhaps hardest, not kissing her!  I finally caved today when I realized I must be past the infectious stage (I hope) and held her for a very brief time.  The goofy smiles, squeals and gurgles of delight were instantaneous.  Oh, and Imogen smiled too! 

I now seem to be on the mend.  My combination of (1) going about my daily life and (2) staying up late blogging seem to be pushing this cold right out of my system.  Though I suspect the antibiotics, tonnes of water, and fabulous home-cooked meal fairies (Mo, mum and Melanie) may have something to do with my recovery, my personal theory is that all of the prayers and positive energy coming from each of you are healing me, and for this I thank you! 

You are my blessing report of the day.  Didn't see that coming, did you?! <wink>       

Comments

  1. I'm so glad you're on the mend. Nothing scarier than having to watch your health and worry that you could spread something to your wee ones. Big hugs! x0

    ReplyDelete
  2. another wonderful positive post! I laughed when you talked about the hospital gowns - my husband was in hospital last weekend - and well...the umm gown was a bit small for him as he is so incredibly broad! - anyways glad you are on the mend! take care and lot of love and hugs. Auramarina

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Faith

We were just a few days into December when my 9-year-old came home from school demanding an explanation as to why our family couldn't have an Elf-on-the-Shelf. Now I'd had this discussion in previous years, but it was clear to me that he wasn't going to let it go so I had to choose my words quickly and carefully. I was reminded of his favourite holiday film, The Polar Express, in which a little boy comes to believe in Santa, and that magic stays with him into adulthood, unlike his friends and sister, for whom the magic disappears. That was it, I had my retort.
"First off, remind me how this elf works. How exactly does he move about?" to which he replied, "First you must name the elf. Then it comes to life and starts doing all of these crazy and fun things at night" - I interrupted, "So you have to name him and believe in him for the magic to work?" "Yes, that's right". I could almost see the finish line. "Oh dear...well here&…

FIVE

Wishes do come true. But only if you make them happen. 
It was late evening on March 21, 2012. I was standing on my front porch, surrounded by the chill night air, and listening to the melting creek bed whispering notes of spring. I had just left the hospital and my MRI and there was nothing to do now but wait, and live in this moment. 
I stared up at our second storey windows. Inside, my children slept soundly, oblivious to the turmoil in their mother's mind. I turned my head to the baby's window. She stirred. There would be no nursing tonight, the MRI's contrast agent coursing through me had nixed that. At 15 days old, she was already getting used to my not being around. I wondered if this was to become a pattern. Would I be there to hear her first words, to see her first steps, and to watch her enter kindergarten? I was angry and determined to do away with most, if not all of these unknowns. I didn't know how I would do it, but I was going to give it my all.
Of course,…

Quality vs. Quantity

I found myself last month frantically racing against the clock to figure out which of the myriad recreational activities I should select for my children this fall.  It was terribly disheartening watching all of the good swim lesson slots being scooped up with every refresh of my screen, and even more stressful trying to coordinate the lessons with our increasingly busy schedule.  Then, just as I had it all figured out, I started to have doubts.  Maybe now is the time for her to start dance classes?  Or gymnastics, I loved gymnastics so perhaps she will too.  Oops, I've forgotten about skating, when does that start again?  Before long, I was mapping out the various activities on a large grid, scribbling course codes into what looked to be some sort of Venn diagram in a vain attempt to make sense of this madness while cross-referencing my Google calendar.  Then, thankfully, reality struck me while I was chatting with an old friend.  I was reminded of a simpler time in my life, a tim…