Friday, May 07, 2021

Flu & Friends: A Week of My Life

I’ll do my best to maintain the usual writing conventions, but God Damn am I exhausted. Spending close to two weeks in and out of the hospital for various reasons, I’ve seen the determination of a 5-year-old, the misery of a 3-year-old in pain, and a pregnant wife who has shown an impressive amount of resilience. If you’ve followed me this far, take a breather before we delve into the last week of my life.

It all started when our 3-year-old had a rough night’s sleep, keeping me or my wife up and down all night. When he woke up (If you can call it that), he was in terrible shape to say the least. Coughing, runny nose, fever, the works. The flu had finally settled its disgusting, cold hearted self down onto our household. One day, a little bit of Children’s Tylenol, and a lot of orange juice later and our worry meters were still striking way off the charts. We knew he had the flu, but the ever-impressive Motherly instinct just knew there was something else at play. Load up the car, Emergency Room trip #1. Low and behold, the white magic behind Motherly instincts was correct, and our poor little dude was battling two ear infections, on top of our old friend Influenza. Not the end of the world, but enough for a fresh prescription of anti-biotics.

Fast forward to our Sunday Morning and our trooper 5-year-old was calling out for Mom the second she woke up. Uh Oh. The bitter breath of the flu hit its second patient. At this point we felt well equipped to deal with the flu hitting the kids. Stocked up on Tylenol, and ready for all the cuddles. That was until Influenza’s cold hands decided to wrap themselves around my well-being. So, while my Wife worked her butt off at work, the three of us were at home wishing she was there. But we made it.

Put an X on the calendar, we’ve made it to Monday in the influenza laced journey. Following a hefty nap on Sunday evening, I woke up in even worse shape and slept right until Monday morning. While I was passed out and my lips were slowly being dried by dehydration, my wife was the next victim on the flu’s household hitlist. And it hit hard. After a lot of coughing, weighing options, and the shameful symptom searches, we decided to take her to the emergency room just in case it was pneumonia. 5 hours perched on familiar uncomfortable cushions, and we were reassured that it was not pneumonia, just a heavy dose of our new housemate.

Tuesday arrives, and boy am I looking forward to a day not in the hospital. However, life has a funny way of kicking you in the balls. Our poor girl was making approximately 0 progress in feeling better and couldn’t even eat or drink. Off to the hospital once again.

The flu’s good friend, pneumonia had introduced itself to the poor girl, and was taking a massive toll on her. The pneumonia didn’t mingle well with her sleep apnea, and together they brought her oxygen levels down low. What this means is that she spends the next 4 days barely moving in a hospital bed, trying her best to keep herself entertained. All while being hooked to machines, and in pain from an aching body.

We stayed by her side, two of us sleeping on a tiny hospital chair/pull out bed that had iron bars, eager to break through the other side of our hips. Waking up to the chime of low oxygen warnings, nurses coming to take her temperature, or waking just because we weren’t comfortable. It was awful.

I have myself a family of fighters, because we made it through. Our poor girl rebounded, got back her energy, her color and her one of a kind humor. We knew for sure she was feeling better when she asked for, and absolutely inhaled, a 6-inch sub from Subway. The next morning, we got to take the long walk to the car and take the girl home. Get well balloons in tow, it was a great feeling to finally see her walk out of that hospital and smile as the cold air hit her.

This was my first time dealing with any type of severe medical emergency since joining this crazy family, and the absolute strength I witnessed from all of them was stunning. I couldn’t be prouder of them for how they all handled everything, myself included. The power of love can carry you to super-human extents.

Now that things are starting to get back to normal, I will get back to my usual writing. But for now, I really hope you enjoyed this episode of “Flu and Friends”.

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