I had this week off. By off, I mean I didn't have to work in the classic sense of the word. I didn't have to sit at my desk, or attend meetings, or answer the phone. I was supposed to have a week to do nothing at all with Judah. And, as Christopher Robin once observed, doing nothing is one of the sweetest somethings to do. Instead I ended up having a week that can best be described as more arduous and stressful than any work week I've ever endured.
It started late last week. Luke had been showing the classic signs of a cold for a couple of days and by Thursday, lo and behold, I had a sinus headache the size of the GTA. Both of our colds took their time morphing into various runny, sneezy, scratchy, achy characters. The cold was a bother, but a bother we could live with and best of all, Judah appeared to be healthy.
Monday I woke up at 4 am with discomfort in my left eye. It took me a moment to realize the eye was sealed shut...with a lovely yellow crust...not the apple pie kind.
A trip to the doctor confirmed my suspicion- I had made it through childhood without pink eye, but re-entering the world of childhood germs with Judah, had broken my hopes to make it through adulthood as well. One tube of antibiotics, 24 hours of annoying itching, and 156 hand washes later - the eye had cleared up. Again, we were thrilled that neither Judah nor Luke shared in the rosy wealth.
Yesterday our "good luck" ran out. Judah had a normal morning. Better than normal in fact. He was happy as a clam, full of laughter, running around. Luke and I commented to each other how he was in such a great phase right now- so independent and happy and free. We spent the morning shopping with my mom and sisters and Judah settled down for his nap in my mom's bed. He woke up around 12:30 and promptly threw up. Odd we thought, must have had an unsettled tummy.
Then he threw up again...and again...and again....every 15-30 minutes from 12:30 until 7:30.
I was in a bit of a panic. We called in the family on-call physician (my sister's boyfriend) who very kindly calmed me down and told me what we could do, with the warning that if it kept up we should probably take him to the ER. By 7:30, with no signs of abating, and the knot in my stomach becoming unbearable, we drove him to the Children's Hospital and started the wait. Judah regaled all the other families in the "contagious" waiting room with his frequent vomiting into an ice cream bucket (which he occasionally gazed at long enough to say "mmm!"). After 2 hours of waiting, Judah's bucket contents started to include blood. Suddenly, my normal non-conflictual self kicked into overdrive. Someone needed to help my kid- now. I brought the nurse the bucket and explained what was happening. My insistence was enough to get us moved up to being next in line for a room that was just being cleaned out.
The room was private- a lucky break- and we were seen by a resident in fairly short order. We expected them to give him a shot of something to stop the vomiting and send us home. They didn't. Also concerned about the colour of his vomit, they deemed it wisest to hook Judah up to an IV drip, take some blood for blood work and have him spend the night. The doctors left the room and I broke down. Never had I felt so helpless. My child was in pain and there was nothing I could do for him, except allow them to inflict more pain to fix the problem.
Two nurses, expert in finding baby veins, came in with their IV kits. Five horrible minutes later the IV was in, yet Judah wasn't calming down and falling asleep, instead he seemed to be in more pain than before. The IV had missed the vein and hadn't shown the signs while the nurses were in the room. Luke noticed his fingers starting to go blue, before I ran for the nurse again. They came quickly and removed the IV. The fluid had just been pooling into his heavily- taped hand. With the swollen hand wrapped in a warm blanket they tried again on his left side. It worked- an answer to prayer. He quickly calmed down and fell asleep.
It was midnight by now and Luke and I were both exhausted. Luke still had studying to complete for the next day's tests so he headed home to do what he could and collect anything we may need in the morning. Judah and I curled up on the narrow hospital bed where he slept and I kept vigil. Around 1 am the nurse came and administered some stomach calming drugs via the IV. At this point, Judah hadn't thrown up for almost 3 hours, things were looking up. Judah had developed a slight fever (which he hadn't exhibited until this point and was also given some Tylenol). At 2 am, the new doctor on call came in and diagnosed him with a violent case of some stomach virus, but one that was now safe to treat at home thanks to his newly-full hydration levels. The relief I felt was indescribable. We called a sleepy daddy. Watched the nurse remove the IV and bundled up for the car ride home.
I've spent the day snuggling my little Judah. He has a fever, but no more vomiting. In between naps, he's been reaching up to me and kissing my face. I'm so thankful he's on the mend. I'm so thankful we live in a country where we received the care we did, in the time we did, without giving a thought to cost. I'm so thankful he's home with us. I'm so thankful he's ours.