Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bye, E. Coli

So, E. coli happened. That was about as fun as...nothing. It was no fun at all. None.

Didn't know what hit me last Friday evening, but it hit hard and by Sunday, I managed to pull myself into the shower, and that's as far as I got. Mike dried me off, dressed me and took me off to the ER.

It took a few days of shivering and drenching in sweat and other activities that aren't fun chit chatting about, and even less fun enduring, before they figured out what had me so sick.

It's astonishing how quickly something can reduce a person to absolutely useless. I don't remember a lot about my four days in the hospital this week, or the two days before, but I do vividly recall while I moved from the gurney to the CT scanning bed turning to the tech to say, "I can't believe I'm out in public without a bra on."  She said, "Hey, when the patients come in with no bra and unmatched socks, we know they're the ones who actually need to be here. Don't you worry about a thing."  Somehow, her words comforted.

Did I mention we didn't even brush my hair after showering and before heading to the hospital? And that that wasn't rectified for another 2 days? Yeah, I was looking GOOD.

I recall there were some really cool, involved dreamlike states I faded in and out of during my stay. And one snazzy cat who morphed into a bowl of Honeycomb.

My Mom came to the Valley and stayed with me at the hospital, and got the kids out of the house and fed a few times; and Mike's mom was there with us, too. Sweet church ladies brought meals to my family in the evenings, so Mike could be at the hospital with me after work. I couldn't talk much, and holding my eyes open was painful. The only release was sleep and I do remember praying they would just put me out until I was well. Once the cultures grew and E. coli was confirmed, getting the right antibiotics on board brought about a quick improvement and they sent me home Wednesday to recuperate further.

I tried Facebook a time or two and managed a few minutes before realizing it just hurt too much to look at a screen for any length of time. I moved to the living room to be with my girls during the day on Friday, and finally managed to glance through some emails. I spent an hour reviewing and responding to emails and fielding a few calls and felt as though I had been at it for 15 hours. I called it a day.

Today, I realized if I have any chance of going back to work on Monday, I had to steadily increase my stints of being up and around. I have an 80-mile round trip commute to the office each day and would be in an office for hours before driving home; it was time to build up a little stamina. Time to venture out.

So, I bathed, I put on make up, a bra, pants with a zipper and pushed my hair around a little. I decided to take just a very short trip with the girls while Mike and Tanner were off at a church meeting together - a 10-minute drive to "Ladies Night" at a local bookstore, then a treat and come home. I made it about 7 minutes walking around the store before I realized I'd bit off more than I could chew. The girls were totally chill about cutting it short, Karlie let me hang on her arm as we made our way to the car, and I tried to walk straight though my eyes were mostly closed because seeing was tender and exhausting again. We decided to get a treat through Kneaders' drive through and a burger from In 'N Out, since I had no idea what to do about dinner. And I thought about how awesome it would be if we'd gotten Macy her driver permit all those months she's been asking about it.

Picture us in the drive through at In 'N Out; me, eyes closed, head hanging; the car ahead of us moves, Macy mildly says, "Mom, it's time." I lift my head, put the car in drive, inch forward 4 feet, press on the brake, wonder whether I can trust myself to hold the brake, decide I'm an iffy proposition, put it back in park; lather, rinse, repeat.

The girls weren't piqued with worry; this is just how we've been rolling lately. Tanner's years of crazy medical dramatics have made these kids pretty cool operators; illness and odd Mom behavior rolls off their backs. They were totally unflappable (for the moment); we chatted, they sang, and every so often, Macy would blurt, "Mom, it's time." And forward we'd go.

I'm glad no one was tense and worried, since my next trick on the trip home was to...well, let's just have do I say it delicately?...I ....ugh...well, I barfed a bit as we drove along. Yep, just driving along. Because life is just that awesome.  And the girls reacted just as they should...totally grossed out. Not stressed, not scared. Just fully and completely grossed out. Exactly as they should have been.

Trust me when I say, I didn't think I was overdoing it. I honestly figured 3 days after being out of the hospital, it was reasonable I should try to manage a 1-hr outing; that I needed to be moving around a bit and trying to move ahead.

Turns out, maybe it's a little soon. Since I managed to have yet another incident on the driveway when I got home, it kinda confirms it.

So, keys are back in the drawer, I'm limiting my forays to the house and yard, and I'm not sure I'll attempt that commute on Monday.  Don't want to be a menace to society with my head lolling and what not.

But for the moment, at least, there's a little eyeliner still intact, I've managed to get through typing this post, and the bra's still on.


E. coli, I believe we're beginning to see the back side of you.

Love from the couch,

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