Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Maybe it was the lack of Vikings that sealed my fate....

My life is one big ongoing reality show that no one is watching and that I'm not getting paid for.
Seriously, the best writers in the business couldn't come up with this shit.  And if they did.  Well, if they did you would be wondering A) what the hell were they smoking and B) all that is missing is the fake death scene and corny reintroduction of the once dead character that occurs in most soap opera's.

"Is this where they cue the cheesy music or where it's announced that I have some ridiculous ailment?  I've lost track."

About a week or so ago I had this twinge in my neck.  It was the week of the kids spring break.  Olivia had gone to spend the week with her dad in Florida and I had the opportunity to spend one on one time with Hannah.  I don't know about anyone else but it's like Christmas/Birthday/Jonas Brother's sitting in my living room/Justin Bieber mowing my lawn kind of adoration from my youngest when she knows that all attention will be focused upon her.

Jon and I did everything possible to maximize our time with Hannah and give her some "only child" time.  I had taken her to a pizza lunch and to see a movie on my day off.  Jon's mom took her to various activities around South East Louisiana to occupy the time that we were working and even managed to sneak in a surprise for Jon and I in the form of a garden outside our  kitchen window.

Two nights before I was scheduled to go and pick up Olivia, Jon and I took Hannah to dinner and to see "How to Train Your Dragon".  It was an all around pleasant evening, which speaks volumes given the things that Jon and I have gone through in recent months.

As I walked into the theater lobby I felt this excruciating pain that radiated from neck into my ears and down my spine.  It literally stopped me in my tracks.  I did this half yelp, half laugh and muttered, "god I wish I had a vicodin" in a volume that I thought was just above being barely audible.  Jon who had been next to me barely heard the words I had said so I thought I was in the clear until Hannah's voice pipes up, "well you should be glad that we are going to see this movie then".  I paused and looked at her with a puzzled look but before I could verbalize the question forming in my head she spit out the rest of her thought, "this movie is FULL of Vikings....so you'll come out feeling much better after you see it."

I busted out laughing and a series of  body twitches ensued which of course made my neck feel worse.  Jon just looked at me like "what the hell is your problem woman" and I had to tell him why her statement was so damn funny.  Jon burst out in laughter and for a moment I felt much better.  Guess laughter is the best medicine...I mean when you don't have vicodin Vikings on hand.

"I'm glad we were both involved in this asinine plan so we can split the stupidity equally at 50/50." 

Sadly two days later when it was time to wake up at the crack of "SERIOUSLY who the hell get's up at this hour on a friggin Saturday" I was struck with the feeling that something wasn't right.  After I shuffled my way into the bathroom to hop into the shower I realized that I was having trouble swallowing and that I had a lump on the side of my neck.  Upon further inspection I realized that both of my glands were swollen. 

Well isn't that just lovely?  I had a good 9hrs of driving ahead of me and an impromptu BBQ planned with friends later on that evening.  Sick was not in my plans for the day.

To be honest, sick wasn't in my plans for at least the next 6 months if not more.  But there it was...plain as the lumps on the sides of my neck.  Something was a brewing.

I made it to Marianna, FL which was the meeting point for Olivia's father and I to exchange our daughter and to sit down to have a talk with her about her grades.  I really have to say that if you must crush your child's hopes and dreams of being a school Mascot because they have been getting crappy grades that the McDonald's on I-10 heading East (exit #142) is a fabulous place to do it.  Because when you realize, like a jackleg, that you've just unleashed an emotional beast into a dining room full of unsuspecting familiesnand attempt to send your child wailing in tears to the bathroom so that you may have a few minutes to discuss the "situation" that is your daughters reaction to said disappointment and our mutual "ruining of her life" you will end up with employee's that go in and check on sullen child and offer her food as if she has been abandoned there and not just been told "no"! If that isn't service, well I just don't know what is.

I wanted to chalk up how horrid I was feeling to the drive, stress from having to sit with my ex and talk face to face about our child (because 635 miles doesn't allow for a lot of face time) and the fact that I had left my 10 yr old in charge of spot cleaning before the BBQ but it was slowly creeping in that I may actually be getting sick.  As always I felt the need to play off how I felt with humor and told Paul (Olivia's father) that doing the drive and exchange was probably the most ridiculous idea that we have had in a LONG time.  The sole reason we had done it was to save money which did not happen because, "hello ruh-tards gas prices are at an all time high" and I'm the idiot that drives an SUV.  It was a painful reminder that when Paul and I are left to make decisions we tend to fail miserably. 

"I want to blame it on the wine, but I think I need to face the facts and admit that I am S-I-C-K!"

Drive was done and behind me.   BBQ went off without any major hitches unless you count the fact that I don't remember people leaving.  BAD HOSTESS!  But when Sunday morning dawned all I could think was "Dear God, when did I swallow a pair of golf balls that were coated with razor blades and why am I so frigging cold"?

I got up and looked in the bathroom mirror and I noticed immediately that I had a little chipmunk cheek action going on.  I felt exhausted and couldn't fight the urge to just crawl back into bed.  I slept the day away only waking to drink something every few hours.

By the start of work on Monday morning I resigned myself to the fact that I was indeed getting sick and called the doctors office making an appointment for my day off on Wednesday.  It was a crazy week and I really didn't have time to fit in illness so it was imperative that I get in, find out what was going on and get better ASAP!

Monday night brought chills and fever.  I had trouble getting comfortable because my left side was killing me.  I repeatedly made statements to Jon that I felt like I was gonna die.  Dramatic much?  Whatever.
Tuesday morning brought feeling like I couldn't swallow without pain.  While pulling my hair back I realized that the lump behind my ear had grown and the glands were...at least to me...swollen more and visibly so.  I looked like shit and I felt like shit and there wasn't enough Almay foundation, concealer and bronzer in all of the southern hemisphere to make that fact less visible.  But I gave it a go.  

I felt as though I was sleep walking through the day.  

"Is it wrong to want to know if that is your personal or professional opinion, cause one will definitely make me less pissed off than the other."

By the time I rolled into my doctors appointment on Wednesday I was so goddamn miserable that I didn't even make an attempt at looking presentable.   This fact alone made my doctor coming in and voicing the obvious "you really do not look good" only a little bit hurtful.  Thank God that my give a damn was busted at the moment or I'd have to take time to find a new family doctor.  Seriously, I don't think he would have seen me or my family again if I'd been on my A game.

I actually agreed with the man.  I truly looked like death.  Pale.  Disheveled.  Weak.  And did I mention the slight resemblance to a chipmunk??
One exam later I was diagnosed with a dual ear infection, no strep throat and in need of a CBC because "you're way to pale, which concerns me".  I walked out with scripts in hand and figured I was well on my way to feeling better.

Thursday saw me off to New Orleans for a dental conference and I went from feeling "so so" to feeling like I was gonna die come the end of the day.  I knew that night when I got home that this was WAY more than an ear infection.  I was in pain.  Laying on my left side was OUT of the question and I had this increasing, albeit irrational fear that my spleen was gonna burst. 

The last part was totally the fault of WebMD and it's ability to fuel my "self diagnosing paranoia".  You go through the symptom checker and a mere 5 minutes later your face to face with a list of possible ailments all of which start with the reminder/warning that "if you are experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath you should call 911 or proceed immediately to the nearest hospital".  What jackleg thinks they might be having a heart attack and pops on the computer first to check it out?  Hell all I need is a slight pain in my chest and a tingling sensation in my arm and I'm packing up the kids, making a mental will and driving like a mad woman to the ER.

Does anyone else smell burnt toast right now?  Why is my head hurting all of the sudden?  Oh, wait...let me hop onto the computer and see what could possibly be going on that might include these two symptoms.  And people wonder why they don't survive heart attacks and strokes.  It's because your second guessing your bodies internal monitor that says "hey fucktard...your experiencing a medical emergency"!

"What you call ridiculous...I call being in tune with my body.  Now stop laughing and be honest...do you see something bulging out on my left side?"

Seriously, I have just enough medical knowledge from years of mothering and growing up around nurses and my dad working in a hospital to be downright ridiculous in the self diagnosis field.  I am one of those people that watches a medical show and then finds myself Googling the disease and wondering if that is what can explain away that nagging headache, extreme bouts of gas or eye spasm.  Instead of rationalizing that maybe I should cut back on the wine to rid me of the headaches, consume a little less dairy to control the gas issue or get off my fear of the ophthalmologist and go get my eyes looked at.

But being level headed would be just too simple and do less damage on my psyche...why in God's name would I ever do that?!?

It took another trip to the doctors to earn me the lovely diagnosis of  Mononucleosis.  I knew my irrational fear about my spleen wasn't baseless and unfounded like Jon had so mockingly said!  I love being right...even when it ends with me having to be on bed rest and drinking enough fluids to make me pee at least a dozen times in 1hr.  

"So last time I looked like crap and now your telling me I'm a virtual carrier monkey?  Shit, you can totally assume that you won't be getting a handmade Christmas card this year!"

After I got over being happy that I was right I sunk into a feeling of "seriously WTF" I am a 33yr old mother...how the shit did I get Mono?  Luckily my doctor was quick with ways that I most likely got it and NOT one of them involved kissing on anyone.  Turns out the virus is airborne as well as transferred through saliva.  What?  The?  Shit?

Then he busts out what he thinks the upside is.  Great, I've just been told I have a virus that can't be treated with any medications and just has to "run it's course" and now he wants to give me the upside.  I wanted to scream out...do I get a cash bonus for getting this at my age??  Nope, my prize is that once you get it you can't get it again.  Well fabulous!  But then he follows it with "even though you won't get it again or be sick like this again, you will remain a carrier for the virus". 

Must remain positive.  Must remain positive.  Must stop visualizing myself with a long tail being hunted by men in bio-hazard suits like in the movie "Outbreak".   Overly dramatic much?  Oh shut up...I've got Mono and the awesome power of coughing on you and making you as sick as I am right now.  Don't make me use this power for evil!

Okay...enough of that and we are back to the positive train of though.  It turns out that upon further inspection my spleen is just fine.  Phew...that's a relief.  I know you were worried too.

"Go ahead...do it...add insult to injury.  Kick me while I'm down...whatever."

And just to further prove that NOTHING that goes on in my life is just plain black and white.  Cut and dry.  I've also found that I have another medication that I am allergic too which resulted in the gum tissue on my lower front teeth swelling to the point of covering 90 % of the tooth structure.  That has made me look especially pretty over the past few days.  I've NOT taken pictures just to spare you the horror, but let me tell you there is nothing that will freak a person out more than brushing their teeth before bed and seeing teeth and then waking up the next morning to brush and seeing NO TEETH!  I seriously thought I heard the theme song from "Deliverance" playing when I saw 4 less teeth in my mouth.

Having serious problems maintaining positive thoughts...

Getting Mono is not really conducive to the new job I have either or to taking care of any of my responsibilities.  It's also opened me up to everyone teasing me and asking "who you been kissing on". 

This whole positive thinking is frustrating as hell when there are about a billion other things for me to be attending to.   Maybe instead of rest and fluids I just need a good heaping dose of Vikings...I mean it's worked in the past.


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