Not me

I ended up spending the night at the hospital to Thursday morning last week, with my two-year-old. We’ve all had colds and coughs for a few weeks, but on Wednesday evening she was acting really really dull. Not wanting to eat or drink or play or even tell us she was uncomfortable (she’s been pushing to use the toilet the last couple of weeks, although we’re keeping her in nappies between toilet trips while we’re between working washing machines). We had gone out for supper, and she tried to express some enthusiasm at the restaurant but just didn’t have the energy. She hadn’t seemed so bad before we went out, but by the end of the meal both DH and I were agreed we should go straight to the walk-in clinic around the corner and get her checked out.

There they took her temperature (low fever), listened to her breathing and then gave her a chest x-ray (DH took her in to that, since I’m pregnant, so he heard the radiologist say definitively that she had pneumonia, which I didn’t), a blood test, and then an inhalation treatment. She *really* perked up after the inhalation, and guzzled down the orange juice in the bottle she’d been clinging to like it was a teddy, and wanted to climb and play. Still, the doctor at the clinic wasn’t happy with her breathing (still too fast and laboured, so gave us a referral for the hospital, but suggested we not go there en famille. Since it was then midnight, DH took the four-year-old home to bed, and I took the younger one to the hospital. I gave them the referral, and told them what the clinic had said, but they never seemed to pick up on the pneumonia diagnosis, and just gave her paracetamol and a bunch more blood tests for a now much higher temperature, and then had us stay till morning. I wish I’d pushed them on that, because they simply sent us home in the morning saying it was a simple virus, and we didn’t end up going to her regular doctor until today. He wasn’t exactly happy at the idea she potentially had untreated pneumonia for five days, and said she needed to start strong antibiotics immediately, which obviously we followed through on. He did say she seems very well for that, but not well enough. Hopefully the antibiotics will help her get completely back to herself this week.

So more to feel guilty about, then.

Life isn’t a competition

A few things have come up this week that bring me back to an underlying aspect of my stress and distress: while a lot of objectively difficult things have happened for us over the past few years, for each and every one I know people who’ve had it far harder, so how can I complain?

I mean, I’m happily married, with two wonderful, healthy and intelligent daughters. I have a full-time job where I seem to be well-regarded and being given ever more responsibility, and in a country and position where we have the medical care we need, completely affordably, to look after me through this pregnancy, and all of us through whatever. We have a home that keeps us warm and sheltered, in an area with great neighbours, and mostly reliable utilities. The ongoing medical issues we have are things we can live with, and don’t block much/any of what is really important to us. I get three months paid maternity leave, by law. We make enough money to keep us afloat. So how can I complain and worry?

On the other hand, I do have legitimate worries what will be with the remainder of this pregnancy and its aftermath. This apartment is already bursting at the seams and falling apart with four of us in it, so we need to move, which means I/we need to find somewhere else and sort out all of the logistics. And we need to do that ASAP. I do worry if work will learn to get along without me quite happily while I’m on leave, and what that might mean for me. While my elder daughter’s CHD barely affects her, it does create a family history, and I don’t know who else that could impact. (My little brother and his wife are thinking about having a child in the next year or so, and I have no idea if this ‘counts’ for them. It certainly will for my daughter(s) in a couple of decades or so.) Similarly, DH and younger daughter do fantastically well with their visual impairments, but again, I don’t know how it might affect her through school and beyond, either academically or socially. (They’re both always going to have nystagmus and a head tilt, even with the surgery they’ve each had.) The fire we suffered outside our apartment a couple of months ago didn’t leave any permanent damage, thankfully, but it was more than scary, and I’ve had enough of my family ending up unexpectedly in hospital, even when they get out within hours. To move to the decidedly more minor, we’ve been at least two weeks with a dead washing machine now, and I’m sick of handwashing the essentials and doing without the rest.

There’s more, but I really don’t want to go into my litany of woes. It upsets me. So I keep bottling bits of it, and then my poor beloved DH wonders why I occasionally boil over and take it out on him.

Pretty sure (and have been for months, but just haven’t got it sorted, because that’s one more thing to do and I already have too many to cope with) that I, and possibly we, need some kind of counselling just to process all this stuff and move through it. The pre-e/HELLP stuff, and trauma from both births is huge for me, and terrifying at the moment, and everything else is just kind of piling on top of it.

Here we go. I’m opening up my emotions enough that I’m starting to cry. So most likely I’ll shut it down again and finally try to go back to bed, and then muddle through another day.

Goodnight.