For all my woes as of recent, here's one I would have never envisioned happening: being hospitalized for pneumonia.
For a few weeks, I've been feeling hopeless, tired out, irritable. The medications, especially the ADD ones, have been pretty good at masking this. I would take my meds, be able to focus and do, do, do for about 8-10 hours, with short small naps in the afternoon.
By 8 PM, the kids' would be ready for bed, and I would be so exhausted I'd climb into bed and say "I'm not moving unless I have a good reason". Alas, a crying toddler is pretty much 4-5 good reasons a night to get up off the bed, take care of toddler, and then crawl back into it, wishing there was a sleep fairy whould could just let me go right back to sleep.
Then last week the boy came down with a fever. For two staight days, he was coughing, uncomfortable and had a low end fever. It took about two days to break. The day he started feeling better, I started feeling lightheaded, sleepier, and had evening chills. I'd crawl into bed thinking it might be nice to have a vacation sans kids.
By sunday morning, I was getting said vacation in form of checking in to the ER for some chest and back pain. The nurse we consulted over the phone beforehand had guessed I probably was having gallbladder stones, and if that was the case, they could determine if it needed surgery or a change in diet, pain pill me, and go home.
By Sunday afternoon, it was clear that I had no gallbladder problems as per a lenghty ultrasound showing no unusual massing in the renal/gallbladder area, no heart arythmia due to heart troubles (they had taken an EKG to be on the safe side). The ER doc was guessing just a very bad urinary infection, but just to be on the safe side, I would get some chest x-rays.
The chest x-rays showed a mass of something in my lower right lung, and overall irritation in the area. D'oh! So off I get carted for a CAT scan, and the mass still remains inconclusive. It could be a tumor, or it could be fluid accumulation from a bacterial infection, aka, Pneumonia.
Long story short, while waiting for a pulmonologist to come by on call (hasn't happened yet), the staff decided to treat it like pneumonia to see what happened. The good news is that all of the vaporizing/expectoration meds/tracheal treatment has led to some mucus coming up, with the thickness and coloring matching the suspicion of pneumonia. The bad news is that if I thought it hurt to I dunno, move, by Sunday morning, I quickly was in for a new world of pain when coughing.
You see, coughing is never too pleasant on the throat. But it's particularly unpleasant when it's the result of a lung spasming long enough to try and expel over capacity mucus. Imagine being stabbed in your side as you cough. Now imagine that it takes about 15 coughs to liberate something out of that lung. Even with round the clock painkillers, it hurts like hell.
The funny thing about this, is that no one can tell if it was just a virus that became breeding grounds for pneumonia, or a straight bacteria infection. All we know is that because I had no symptoms between the "whenever I picked up these lovely visitors" and the "ow, ow, motherfucker, I feel like someone is trying to stab me all the time", who knows how long I've had it? Days, weeks?
Doesn't matter. The point is, it has to go away, and until I feel well enough to manage healing at home, I'm stuck here in the hospital. I'm bummed, because being sick is no fun. Mostly, though, I'm bummed that I don't really get to see my kids. At first we decided to keep them away because I might be contagious with who know what, but later, we decided that given how one trial visit went, seeing me hospitalized might be a bit of a strain for them. The 4 year old wants me to come home, badly. The one year old just likes to crawl on me and kick me in the sternum, which I've learned not to take personally, but is still not a good idea when mommy's insides are hurting really bad.
Add to this the extra guilt of having to wean my younger kid abruptly, when said kid has proven mighty stubborn about it (he was still nursing 1-2 times a day, plus twice in the nighttime, as well as sometimes demaning mom to be a human pacifier). My husband says that all things considered, he's been a trooper. He's transfered his nursing needs to a bottle full of warm water with a touch of honey (not to fear, folks, he's 15 months old, and we've given him honey after he turned one, and he's mostly been fine with it), and dad can reliably get him back to sleep now that "mom's boobs" are out of the picture.
From my perspective, I've been pumping sporadically while here to ease engorgement (who wants another infection? Not I!), but given all sorts of crap that has gone into my blood stream, any milk I've pumped has strictly been dumped immediately. My nursing days look to be pretty much over. I am strangely bummed about that. Yes, I'll finally get the nightly sleep I've been dreaming on for four years. Yes, I can finally wear regular bras, and not hurt when I hear babies crying. But... much as it had to happened with the daughter, we'll have to find another way to forge closeness. The "hugging you close to my heart" option will be out until we both adjust to the new status quo.
Right now, I'm being told that I may or may not go home today. It really depends on how well I improve without the aid of oxigen. I'll still not be able to do much once home. Planned trips to take the children to see Santa and maybe around Candy Cane Lane are looking to be affairs that their dad has to handle if he has the time to. I'll still try to do some stuff like crafting felt ornaments with the daughter (we would have done it this past Sunday after church), and at least the tree got decorated beforehand (in hindsight, pushing for a fake tree that I could decorate at leisure and not spend time caring for daily was a wonderful idea).
I'm not gonna get to take the daughter skating. She was demanding it, in spite of the horrifying experience she had with it last year (and I was game for it, even though it meant I might take another ridiculous fall or two again). I'm settling for making it home and being well enough so that I can watch my son discover Christmas a little. This would be the first Christmas he might vaguely remember, so my goal is to not have it be "the one Christmas mommy was in the hospital". Just the thought breaks my heart.