Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hump Day

Not just Wednesday, but we're also midway through NABLOPOMO! You know, I had a spell of a few days, actually just a couple, when the weight of daily posting was wearing on me. But now I'm finding that the commitment to getting something in every day is, at least, good for ME. It's cathartic and therapeutic and all those good psychological catch-phrases. Now, whether it's good for whoever's reading, that's debatable. But for me, for now, it's a good thing.

It's about 11:00 PM, and I'm listening to my husband cough up at least a portion of a lung in the shower. We spent several hours at the medical clinic today, going back and forth between the doctor's office and the lab. After listening to Alex's breathing, Doc sent him immediately for a chest X-Ray, and that showed some definite crud, especially in the bottom of his right lung. In other words, pneumonia. AGAIN. The frequency of him getting pneumonia is starting to be unsettling. The doc really wanted to give him a steroid dosepack to reduce the inflammation in his lungs, but he had to refuse, since steroids cause mania (Jane Pauley: cautionary tale). So he got ANOTHER big ol' shot of Rocephin, and a LevaPak for more antibioticky goodness...this should probably handle the infection, but as for any relief in the meantime, well, he can't have that, because of the crazy it would cause. It's so nice to have these choices, isn't it?

Also, we both got flu shots. Ordinarily, Doc said, he wouldn't give someone as sick as Alex a flu shot, but under the circumstances, it's late in the season, and if he gets the flu now, he's likely to just plain kick off. I don't usually get a flu shot, but this year I got one because of my proximity to my husband who, if I were to bring influenza home, would probably drop dead the next day or something. So I'm in the "living with/caring for a person with compromised immunity" category. Which usually means the very old or the very young. If you could see him, this huge, strapping husband of mine, you wouldn't even believe he could get sick. But BOY, can he.

And now the big trauma for tomorrow is that they told us to bring Bella in for a flu shot, as well...both because she lives with Alex, and because she goes to school with a bunch of other people's children. And we all know the universal rule that (present reading company excluded, of course) other people's children are NASTY, germy, disease-carrying critters, from whom we must protect our own precious, clean, practically sterile offspring, don't we?

I didn't feel it was right to just take her there and AMBUSH her with a shot, so I told her about it tonight, in my best light, twinkling, Snow White Singing With The Bluebirds voice. That didn't work. At first she thought they were going to "cut her open" (this concern has been with her since my surgery), and then when we got that quashed, she still cried and cried about not wanting to go. I'm just hoping it's over quickly and I'm not the traitor mom who took her to be tortured. I remember that my own mother NEVER lied to me about medical procedures, and that when one nurse told me that the shot she was about to administer would feel "just like a little mosquito bite," I whipped my little head around to my mother to assess the veracity of this unlikely statement, and she delivered with an honest, "Yes, it will hurt a little, but only for a minute."

I also have a VIVID memory, which my mother confirms, of being held down onto a table by large, muscular male orderlies during one vaccine session, so ferociously did I fight against it. Let's not hope my daughter takes after me in THAT respect.

I hope I can strike that same balance between soothing her fears and telling her the truth that my own mother did. I knew that if Mom said something, I could take it to the bank, and truly, she never gave me reason to doubt her my whole life, except for that time when I was eleven and she sat behind me and helped my dad cheat against me while playing "Mastermind." I'll never let her live that one down. Dad, on the other hand, was the one who inadvertantly set Mom up as the arbiter of truth within our household. He'd tell us some ridiculous thing, and we'd run to her, crying, "MOOO-oooooom! Dad said..." and got the straight story. I find myself in that same position with Bella and her father now. Irony.

SO, it's off to get my poor baby stuck for the first time since she's been old enough to really anticipate and dread it. Wish me luck. Between the two of us, I expect there to be much boo-hoo-ing, consoling, and probably the purchase of another Barbie dancing princess.


  1. As if knocking one into mania isn't reason enough to avoid a dosepack, I know two people whose are now Type 1 diabetics due to their use. Scary stuff, huh?

  2. Good luck with Bella.

    Alan is getting a flu shot Friday (scheduling permitting). I get one due to asthma and Alan will get one due to daycare. DH doesn't :(

    Can Alex have chicken soup? I'm not sure it will cure him, but it can't hurt :)

  3. I decided to get our kids the flu shot for the first time this year. I saw what a tiny needle it was when they got stuck and figured it was no big deal as sticking goes.

    When our church offered adult shots on the cheap the following week, I signed myself up. Those shots HURT!!
    It wouldn't have done for me to scream motherF**ER and slap the nice church lady who gave it to me, but I felt like it.

    Not that I am delicate flower, but my arm was sore for two days.

  4. Get this one...Bella's little twin from the North BRAGS about getting shots. We saw our neighbors at the doctor's office last week when I took her in for her flu shot and she said, gleefully, "guess what, I'm getting a FLU SHOT!" They were amazed at her attitude. Her pedi gives special band aids, stickers and a Safe-T-Pop so maybe that helps?
    However, on the "I want every single item I see advertised on TV and in the Holiday Flyers" from your last post (which I couldn't respond to yesterday for some reason) she and Bella are on parallel planes.
    Michelle W.

  5. I dread having to get shots because I usually end up stiff and sore. I hope all goes well with Bella's visit today and it is over quickly. I hope that Alex feels better soon!!

  6. We NaBlo'ers are still hanging in there, eh? :)

  7. Good for you for staying the NaBloPoMo course!

    I hope that the pneumonia goes away quickly. That must be very scary to know he's so susceptible.

    As for the honesty thing--I try to be totally honest with my dotter about such things as well. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. (Cold medicines...sigh. Nasty-tasting stuff.)

  8. I am needle phobic but I can handle flu shots. The needles are so thin you barely feel the pinch. I can't be without a flu shot - the flu can be fatal to B since he has very little ability to cough.

    Can Alex get a pneumonia shot? B and I got them last year - they help prevent lung infections. They are supposed to last for at least 5 years but some think the protection is for life.

  9. Well, my sympathies are entirely with Bella. I am 63, and today, I had to have blood collected. Not only that, my middle name is Isobel!

    When I sat in the reclining blood sucking chair, I told the lovely technician I was not at all friendly about what was going to take place. I hate it! However, I did not bite her - this time. She has been warned, though

    I have very vivid memories of an immunization session, being chased under the desk of the doc who wanted to give me the dreaded shot. He did and I lived (somehow). I was about Bella's age.

    The next time I remember a needle adminsitered under duress, came from a dentist who pried my mouth open to administer it. I bit him. Oh my, mother was not happy with the dentist's response to dear Alice's bite. What a woosie he was ;)

    I hope you can get it though to your little Bella that she is going to be "good to go" almost immediately after the little prick. Tough job though.