Here are the highlights of my past week or so:
1. Alex had a croupy cough going to bed on Thursday. I did a saline nebulizer, and that settled him down...until 2:40am when he woke me up coughing, saying he couldn't breath, and ASKING to go to the hospital. He has asthma that presents as coughing, so it's hard to tell with him. The cough was definitely croupy, so I remained calm, and put some Albuterol in the nebulizer. John wanted me to take him to the hospital. I had no intention of driving for 1/2 hour, with a child who couldn't breath. If he went to the hospital, it was going to be by ambulance. Thankfully, he was able to catch his breathe with the breathing treatment. He feel fast asleep. John and I spend the rest of the night listening to him breath. He's been fine ever since! Good thing we had decided to take Good Friday off from school.
2. I woke up early Saturday morning to the delightful news that Olivia had climbed in Rachel's bed during the night, and then had an accident. As I stumbled about, I realized that I really was stumbling...I appeared to have a pretty bad case of vertigo. I spend the next several hours sitting in my bed (laying down was way worse), watching the world spin by. I did manage to stumble to the bathroom a few times when the motion sickness got the best of me. I figured I had picked up whatever virus Alex had. I managed to get up around noon. I had to make a casserole and cheesecake for Easter. I also made a quickbread for church in the morning. Then the kids reminded me about my promise to color eggs. I didn't know I'd be feeling so rotten when I made that promise, but a promise is a promise. I managed to survive that, and actually felt a little better when I was up and about. Somehow I survived until bedtime, and after ironing clothes for Easter, I went to bed.
3. I awoke on Easter feeling like things were still spinning, but not as bad. We got dressed and headed to church for a Continental Breakfast fellowship. I pretty much just sat in one place. I'm sure people at church now think I'm on drugs, since I couldn't walk in a straight line. Unless you got stuck sitting next to me. Then you think I'm a real whiner. I felt better during the service, and barely survived dinner at my in-laws, before heading home. By this time I had changed my diagnosis to ear infection. I decided to go to a walk-in, the only one open at 5pm on Easter. My ears were fine. The diagnosis: Vertigo! Fifty bucks to hear what I already knew! I was given a prescription for motion sickness medicine, some head exercises to do, and instructions not to lay flat when sleeping.
4. Yesterday was more of the same. The vertigo was manageable, and we did get school in. I was sure I had licked it by bedtime. I was feeling much better, but still tried to sleep propped up. Until...
5. I woke up this morning. Saturday's spinning was nothing compared to this morning. I stumbled downstairs, and called the dentist to cancel Olivia's appointment. I somehow got back up the stairs, and spent the next 4 hours watching the room spin by. (And stumbling to the bathroom) By noon I was able to walk, and called my doctor. Her office was closed until 1pm, so I left a message. Let's see, it's now 7pm, so I guess I won't be hearing from her today. We skipped school, since I was only barely functional. I did manage to clean the bathroom, and broil some chicken for dinner.
There you have it. My exciting week. Please pray it gets less exciting. I really don't think I can handle another morning like that.
Friday, March 14, 2008
And I'm not crazy, I just don't sleep right. I got a call from my doctor last night. The sleep study results came in, and it appears that my brain has forgotten how to sleep. (Assuming it once knew how) According to the study, I don't cycle through the sleep stages in a way that would provide restorative sleep. Every time I moved into the deep sleep stage, (Delta sleep), it only lasted a minute, then I popped right back to the lighter level. My doctor says that the Delta stages are when your body restores itself, and your brain processes all it learned that day. No wonder I've been such an airhead, lately. I'm seriously sleep deprived! She wants me to try taking 2 Benedryl every night before bed. The hope is that by sedating myself, my brain will get some restorative sleep. She said I should expect to continue to feel badly because I have a huge sleep debt at this point. In theory, when I go off the medicine in 2 weeks, my brain will have remembered how to sleep. I hope this works, because if it doesn't she's sending me to a sleep psychologist. That doesn't sound fun. She referred to it as sleep boot camp, where he will prescribe all sorts of lifestyle changes that will make my life miserable. It's a relief to know there's a reasonable explanation for my fatigue. I was starting to think I was either nuts, or a whiner. I wondered if everyone felt like this, and I was just lazy or something. It's nice to know that there is a reason behind my fatigue. I also felt good, because she said she's amazed that I can function like a normal person given my sleep patterns. Well, I don't know how normal I am, but I guess I manage to do OK for myself. Please pray the Benedryl works, and my brain can figure this sleep thing out. I really don't want to go to sleep boot camp!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Rachel came home from Theater Group in quite a huff. I alternate driving with another mom in the group. This was Rachel's second time driving with the other family. She was not happy. Apparently the little sister, who Rachel sat next to in the car, was quite annoying. According to Rachel, the little girl was very loud the whole time. Rachel says she yelled in her ear most of the ride. I can't blame her for being annoyed by that. Alex was outraged when he heard about the little girl's actions. My little man is very black and white about how people should behave, although he makes exceptions for his own behavior. After hearing about her awful experience, Alex said, "That's it! No one yells in my sister's ear!"
Then he added "Except me!"
Then he added "Except me!"
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
My firstborn daughter was born. At 8:12pm, after 28 hours of waiting (and pain), Rachel came into the world. She was born with a full head of black hair, and was the most beautiful baby I ever laid eyes on. I remember the shock and awe that I was actually somebody's mother. It seemed so strange to me. By the time we left the hospital 2 days later, I was convinced she was also the most intelligent baby ever born. I mean, look how well she took to nursing. I remember my husband cautioning me that it may have been instinct, but I didn't believe it for a second. She continued to amaze and delight me as she grew. She became a big sister twice over, and wears the title well. Rachel is a genuinely kindhearted person. She loves to make little cards for people, and pick out the perfect present. She takes joy in making other people happy. In some ways, it's hard to believe it's been 10 years already. On the other hand, it's difficult to remember what I did before she made me a mommy. My sweet, little, baby girl is really growing up. I know I'm truly blessed to be her Mom.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Well, the sleep study didn't turn out to be the rip, roaring, good time I had anticipated. I was supposed to get there at 9:00 pm. I was a few minutes late, and then had to deal with some paperwork. Much to my husband's relief, both the techs were female. He was very worried that some man would be watching me sleep! Kinda cute, him worrying like that. After the first round of paperwork, I got in my jammies. The tech then had me sit in a chair while I was hooked up to all sorts of wires. I had wires glued to my head, my legs, and my face. By the time this was all done it was 10:20. I then had a bunch of questionnaires to fill out. When I finished it was 10:45. The lights have to be out by 11:00, so I had a grand total of fifteen minutes to read! Not exactly my exciting plan for the night. At 11:00 the tech came back and hooked my wires up to the monitors. She then had to test the set-up by having me lift a leg, bite down, look up, etc...., while she watched the monitors in another room. I was allowed to watch TV, but I was so tired, and I knew they were going to get me up at 6am, so I just tried to sleep. Then I tried some more. It wasn't easy. I finally decided to think about my cat. It seemed like a boring enough subject to put me to sleep. (No offense, to Hannah my cat) It must have worked, because the next thing I knew the tech came in to readjust the wires on my head. I found out in the morning that it was 4am when she came in. I had trouble going back to sleep, so I thought about my cat some more. I awoke at 6am, and a few minutes later the tech came in to take all the wires off. She wasn't allowed to tell me anything, other than whether there were any respiratory incidents. She didn't see any, meaning I didn't stop breathing while I slept. That sounds like a good thing, but I was somewhat disappointed. If that is the problem, it seems like an easy fix. So I'm stuck waiting 10-14 days for my doctor to get the report. I was walked out, and given a voucher for the hospital cafeteria. No thanks...I was so tired. I couldn't believe how much traffic there was at that hour. I headed straight home, and put my PJs back on, and went to sleep for a few more hours. I'm hoping they find something to explain my constant exhaustion. It may just be that this is the thorn in my side. If that's the case, I guess I can live with that. I have been for so long, anyway.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Tomorrow night I'm going out on the town, all by myself. Well, I may be exaggerating a little. I'm spending the night at a sleep lab. I went to my doctor for a physical on Thursday. I had some concerns about things going on with me, but was quite surprised by the doctor's opinion. She is convinced that I have a sleep disorder. In fact, she said she would be shocked if my results are normal. Here's the thing, I am tired ALL the time. I have been as long as I can remember. I wake up tired, I'm tired all day. This has been my normal existence since I was a teen. I've complained about this to doctors for 20 years. I've always been told things like: get more sleep, eat better, slow down, and you have kids what do you expect. Well, according to my doctor, it's not normal to sleep 8-9 hours and wake up exhausted. Who knew? It's normal to me. I've always felt this way. She thinks, that while I appear to be sleeping, my brain isn't getting restorative sleep. It may be apnea, or restless limbs, or a few other issues. She basically thinks my brain hasn't had a good night's sleep in 20 years. (Which would explain, alot!) So, I'm excited about this for 2 reasons. The first is the possibility that I may someday wake up and not be tired! It seems like a pipe dream, and I've come to accept that this is just the way I am, but maybe there's more to the story. Maybe one day soon, I'll actually feel rested for once. The other reason for my excitement is a little on the pathetic side. I'm really looking forward to a night alone with a good book. I'm told the room is very nice. It has a large comfy bed, a flat screen TV and is very homey. I won't be called by any children, the entire night! Apart from the monitors and the cameras watching me, it sounds very relaxing. I'll let you know how I make out.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I just don't know what. I had a very strange and vivid dream a few nights ago. It was 3am, (in my dream), and I was yelling at the kids to get to sleep...we have to get up in 3 hours. Why were the kids still up? Why was I still up? I don't know. Suddenly Rachel asks what's going on outside. I look out the window and notice a crowd has gathered in the street around my house. In my dream they were neighbors, although I've never laid eyes on any of these people before. They're all milling about. Then there's a knock at my door. There are a group of government people at the door. The leader, a fifty-something woman with short, sandy, blond hair, hands me a document. (She looked suspiciously like Hillary.) I was informed that some potassium capsules that the government had placed in the surrounding mines were missing. (Just for the record there are no mines that I'm aware of in this area. And why would the government put capsules in mines, anyway?) I noticed lights in the woods, as the government agents searched the mines. I was told that my house was to be searched immediately. I protested, "It's three o'clock in the morning, we have to get up in three hours!" No one seemed to care. My husband let them in, and they proceeded to ransack my house looking for the missing capsules. They were insisting that my children had taken them from the mines. They were dumping out Legos like crazy. I just kept repeating my objection, "It's 3 o'clock in the morning!" No one cared. The neighbors are looking in my windows. I'm freaking out, but everyone else was calm as could be. After trashing the kids' rooms, the government retreated to the woods. That's when I realize that the reason we need to get up in three hours is because we're leaving for Disney in the morning. Oh, no! I forgot to pack! Now I'll never get any sleep. I started to cry, and then I woke up. Boy, was I glad to realize it was all a bad dream. So what does it all mean?? Keep in mind that I live in a blue state, where it's pretty accepted that we need the government to "help" us out. Do I have some deep-seated fear of the gov't? Or is it just Hillary in charge that I fear?
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Today Olivia, age 5, came to me with a piece of paper that she had written her name on. She asked me to sign it, so I did. Then she had me put my initials in several places. When I was done, she informed me that it was a contract. (No idea where she came up with that.) According to the contract I'm now required to do whatever she wants. Thankfully she hadn't written anything other than her name, so I doubt it would hold up in court. Of course nowadays you never know. When I told her I didn't think I'd be "doing whatever she says", she amended the contract. Now I'm only required to do what she wants when she's sick. I think I can live with that one.