Friday, May 02, 2014

Sick news

By 2 AM Benjamin had thrown up sixteen times in 5.5 hours, which seemed a bit excessive. He also showed no sign of slowing down. We'd called the nurse hotline and she said to come in if we started seeing bile mixed in with his vomit—not that we really knew what to look for. He had gone from throwing up food to throwing up clear liquid (since that's all we'd been giving him) to throwing up yellow liquid (where was that coming from) that was increasingly greenish (which was worrisome).

Andrew had a final the next day—his last final ever!—and Rachel had to get up and ready for school and I had a baby (he's still a baby, okay?) on my lap, throwing up every 15–20 minutes.

"You're going to have to take him into the ER," Andrew said. "I don't know who we'd call to stay with the kids and Benjamin won't agree to going without you. I don't know how long you'll be there but I have a final to be at. I can get Rachel off to school and then find a place for Miriam in the morning."

Can I just say how much I hate driving in the dark? I don't like driving during the day. Driving in the dark is terrible—especially in areas that don't have street lights (which are plentiful around here).

But Benjamin was seeming really sick, so I agreed to do it. And I got us there without too much trouble.

Of course, I had the roads mostly to myself, which I suppose is one benefit of driving in the middle of the night.

Benjamin threw up once in the car.

He threw up again as I was navigating my way through security (you have to put all your stuff through an x-ray machine and walk through a metal detector—it's almost as bad as an airport) while holding a puking child, which was awesome.

I was taken to a room as soon as Benjamin had his bracelet on. I talked to a nurse, I talked to a resident, another nurse came in with some zofran. She was a nice nurse. The other nurse was all "Why are you even here—this isn't life threatening!" And I was all, " tell me: how many times have you been puked on this shift? Because I've been puked on more than a dozen times. And I still have other children to take care of at home. All I want is for my 20 lbs. baby—who has vomited now eighteen times in six hours—to stop vomiting. That's all."

But those were inside words. And her words were more in her attitude. Oh, and the time she told the doctor outside of our door, "I haven't seen him throw up once. I don't even know why she came in."

Seriously—zofran's magical, isn't it? I have no doubts in my mind that Benjamin would have continued to vomit until the morning had we decided to wait things out at home and then he really would have been sicker and more dehydrated. So, that nurse can just stuff it.

The other nurse was kind. And actually came into the room more than once.

Like I said, she gave Benjamin a dose of zofran, just a few minutes after we got there, and when he showed he could keep that down she brought him a sippy cup full of apple juice, which he guzzled down and then fell asleep—for the first time of the night—at around 4 AM.

The doctor came in while Benjamin was sleeping to check his heart rate—which was still racing—so decided that Benjamin should be kept under observation for a while longer, just to see if we could get the impending dehydration under control. Or something.

Besides which there was a tornado warning and we were kind of on lockdown, which was fun. Not.

Alarms kept going off and announcements about seeking shelter were blasted through the hallways. I just sat on the bed and held my sleeping boy because I couldn't see anywhere safer to be. We were on the ground floor, anyway. There was no window in our room.

Anyway, the tornado warning ended around 6 AM and soon after Benjamin was discharged. We made it home in time to turn off the bus-rider alarms and turn on the car-rider alarms, giving everyone just a little more sleep.

Andrew got Rachel ready for school and took her there and then came home to hang out with Miriam until around 11:00, when he left for his final. Benjamin and I were still sleeping so Andrew got out the bread and the peanut butter and told Miriam should could make her own lunch when she got hungry, that she could turn on a show, that she could do basically whatever she wanted...but that she was not to wake up Mommy.

When I finally came out of the room, about an hour later, Miriam ran into my arms crying.

"I made myself lunch, but I couldn't find honey or jam so I just had a peanut butter sandwich and it got all stuck in my teeth!"

"You could have had a banana and peanut butter sandwich," I pointed out. "You know where those are."

"Yes," she said. "But I thought it would be better to leave those eight bananas for banana bread."

"You counted the bananas?" I asked.

"Yes," she said.

We still haven't made any banana bread for her (though I did just make banana bread on Monday, which was rapidly consumed (I guess she wanted more)) because we're still not over this thing.

Benjamin is mostly better, though he did throw up once yesterday—all over the dinner table, during dinner. He'd only eaten toast and applesauce, but it was plenty gross.

Miriam dropped her fork on her plate, said, "Well, I'm finished eating," and left the table.

Other than that one incident, though, Benjamin has just been the king of diarrhea. He even sneaked a sausage from the table while Andrew and I were busy cleaning up his throw up and managed to keep that down. But, oh, the diarrhea. He's doing his best to get it all in the potty, but, man...

Last night at around 2 AM, Rachel thundered down the steps of the bunk bed and ran into the bathroom where her stomach made a forced evacuation of all its contents. About ten minutes later she threw up again. And then ten minutes later she threw up again.

We made her a little bed on the couch and put on a movie for her.

When I got up at 5 AM with Benjamin (who I thought had decided to wean himself over the course of the illness because he didn't nurse for two whole days...but is now demanding to nurse frequently throughout the day (and it's hard to say no because he's just so pathetic)) I found Rachel asleep on the couch. She'd filled both throw up bowls we'd left out for her.

I made Andrew get up and empty them because Benjamin needed me. He is so clingy right now!

When we got up in the morning, both throw up bowls were still empty and Rachel was still asleep on the couch. Her grand total for this illness, so far, is five throw ups. Nothing like Benjamin's nineteen.

Today we've been doing a lot of cuddling, movie-watching, and napping. Nobody's feeling great. Andrew guesses that Miriam will succumb before the day is through. She's running a slight fever already (she's the only one with a fever though, but fevers are kind of her thing).

This has been Benjamin today...

First he'll get up and do something: play with a car, ask for a drink, find a book.

He'll busy himself with that activity for a minute or two. Then he'll collapse on the floor:

Then I'll pick him up and within seconds he'll fall asleep in my arms:

He'll refuse to transfer to a bed unless I stay with him for a long time. The longest he's stayed on his own (asleep) is about a half hour. If I can get him to let me leave his side perhaps I'll go crazy with bleach in the bathrooms. Maybe.

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