Posted by: Kate | February 2, 2010

What Color Was My Rock?

You know, the rock I just spent the weekend under.  I couldn’t tell, it was dark under there.

Just, ugh.  It started last Thursday morning; I got a small coffee on my way in to the car dealer for the fourth out of a total of six trips – seven, really, though we’re going to postpone that last, remaining repair as long as possible – in order to get three things fixed.  It seemed like I would be most likely to escape early if I got the kids off to school and went straight to the dealer, but that interfered with my habit of going back to bed for a few hours after loading the kids onto the bus… hence, coffee.

And it stung, going down.  Quite a lot, actually.  I don’t get sore throats very often, at all, and so I kind of have this clueless-baffled-what-do-I-do-now? reaction when it happens.  So I ignored it during the day, and then when I looked at the beef stew that Jacob and I made and realized there was no way on God’s green earth I could eat, I went to a walk-in clinic a few towns away (just one more example of the wonders of living in civilization… ain’t no walk-in clinics anywhere near the house in New Hampshire).  They did a strep test, but wouldn’t have the results until the next day.  “Go home, and call us at 9:00 for your strep test results… but you probably don’t have it, it’s probably just something viral.  But here’s a prescription for antibiotics, just in case.”

Friday dawned, a balmy -2 degrees with the wind chill, so I drove the kids to school, and stopped at Dunkin Donuts again to reward myself for not freezing to death.  (We’ve instituted an allowance, and I had $3 left for January… just about right for a last-weekday-in-January doughnut fix, right?)  A small hot cocoa and a Boston Creme doughnut, and then a return home.  Happily, I snarfed those down pretty quickly… because soon afterward, things got bad.

I don’t actually remember the day in very much detail, because I think I tend to block it out when there’s very intense pain.  I do know that my throat went from “sore” to “holy shit” in about an hour, and then it completely closed up.  Like an anaphylactic reaction, which I have had the privilege to experience twice with beestings, though without the hives and swelling.  Just… nothing going in.  Nothing.  I gargled with warm salt water, I tried Listerine, I tried Benedryl, cold things, warm drinks, lemony stuff, honey… no go.  Finally, around 4:00, after trading calls with the nurse at my OB-GYN all day, I was told to go to the maternity ward at the hospital to get evaluated for dehydration and get started on antibiotics, because I was unable to keep down the two pills I should have taken by that time of day.

Thus, instead of driving to New York on Friday for my much-anticipated maternity photo shoot, I spent the evening in the hospital, receiving IV fluids and antibiotics.  Do I know how to have a good time, or what?

They didn’t keep me overnight, though they could have.  The doctor wanted me to receive a certain amount of fluids, and at the rate it was going, it would be 2:00 in the morning before it was done.  I begged, and they sped up the machine so that I was done before 9:00, because it had derailed the kids enough to drop Mom off at the hospital… having me home for the night was just better for everyone.

I slept on the couch for the weekend, so that I could remain upright and not choke.  Because my throat was still closed up pretty tight, though they gave me a Lidocaine mouthwash that I could use right before a meal, to ease things up just enough to force in some fluids.  There’s a label on the mouthwash that warns that it is a numbing agent and could increase risks of biting myself or aspirating food, so I shouldn’t eat or drink within an hour of using the mouthwash… clearly written by nasty, mean people who have no desire for me to be able to eat and hydrate myself.

I still felt bad on Monday, but was able to get the car in for its sixth and final (for now) visit, and wander pitifully around Babies-Backward-R-Us and come home with $150 worth of diapers… that’s, what, like a two-week supply, right?

I’m much better today, though I’m dragging now (almost 7:00 at night).  I got banana bread and beef stock made today, which makes me a bastion of productivity compared to the weekend’s impressions of a whiny slug.  And I’ve rescheduled the photo shoot for this coming weekend, so that has its own measure of redemption.

But still.  Strep throat sucks, and I don’t recommend it.  And I’m very much hoping I don’t end up with the same long-term effects as last time, because that was just ridiculous.

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