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Poor, poor little bunnies

I was feeling pretty good yesterday, which was surely my first mistake. Sure, the pollen count is SO HIGH (how high is it?) that no one can breathe, but whatever. Details.

Yesterday evening Chickadee commenced falling into giant chunks of woe and sickness, and the FANFUCKINGTABULOUS thing about the combination of 1) chronic illness and 2) TEH DRAMAAAAHZ is that it can be very difficult to suss out what is a real crisis and what is merely a teenage crisis. It took the threat of a trip to the ER and about an hour on the phone with various doctors to determine a course of action and decide she was okay for some watching and waiting, and eventually she was better and Otto and I were left to do some late-night adrenaline management (“I’m just going to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS before bed!”) once she was finally asleep.

We went to bed at about 12:30. At 2:00, one of our smoke detectors started beeping. Not a fire, thankfully, but even low batteries kind of suck when you’ve only been asleep for an hour. At 3:15, Monkey—the polar opposite of Chickie when it comes to illness—materialized at the side of the bed to say that he couldn’t sleep. He was directed to go back upstairs and lie down, and after a minute my mama-senses started to tingle and I went up to investigate further. Yep, burning up with fever. But “no, I feel fine, I just can’t sleep.”

Is it 2013 yet?

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Well, here you go

In the continuing saga of My Oh My What Exactly IS Wrong With This Chickadee Kid, Anyway… a while back one of her doctors sent us to another doctor who sent us to a third doctor. And she told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and… oh, wait. That’s a shampoo commercial, not what happened to us with the doctor. My mistake. (But your hair really DOES smell terrific.)

Anyway, we met with this new doctor—we’ll call him Dr. Zebra, for reasons which will make no sense to anyone but me and Chickie, who leaned over to me the moment we left his office that first time and said, “IF YOU BLOG ABOUT HIM YOU MUST CALL HIM DR. ZEBRA”—about a month ago and sat in his office and Talked About The Situation while he took copious notes. I find that all good doctors start out with taking a lot of notes which you never end up getting to see, and I strongly suspect them to be a combination of “Kilroy was here” doodles and phrases like “Holy crap this kid is a medical mess but darned if I have any idea why.” He asked both of us a lot of questions about everything that had happened so far, and her symptoms, and her medications, and then he started asking all of the standard “history” questions, like if her birth was normal and such.

“And what do you do, Mom?” he finally asked, pen poised over his clipboard, while I briefly fantasized about answering “I’m a hooker,” just to see if it would break his easy composure. (more…)

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What happens when you pray for boring

I used to pray for patience, you know, because I figured that was what I needed. But it turns out that if you pray for patience you get a whole lot of “character building” experiences wherein your patience is “tested” and you want to say “lots of blasphemous and profane things” to whoever’s in charge. Go figure. (I swear to you I just typed “Fo gigure,” and almost left it like that, but after admitting to such poor behavior, I reasoned it was best not to further tempt fate just now.)

But hey, sometimes I learn things! Slowly, sure—always pretty slowly—but I am capable of learning and changing. So now I pray for boring. Boring is good. Boring is AWESOME. At least, I think it probably is. I don’t really remember. The first time Chickie was in the hospital, I prayed for her to come home. And then she came home and things were still scary and drama-filled and she ended up BACK in the hospital, so I started praying for boring. Now that she’s home again, any moment in which I am not actively caring for her or being screamed at by her (these two events coincide more often than you might imagine, incidentally) is one which is boring and therefore GOOD.

We’re still a long way from boring, but getting closer. (more…)

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And we all lived… um… after

Oh, hey. Sorry to leave you hanging for a week. I didn’t mean to, it just sort of… happened. It turns out that when my kid is in the hospital my level of functioning reverts to “barely alive” and I am a total delight to be around. Like, Otto will come home from work and say, “How was your day?” and I’ll blink at him and say, “I’m not sure.” Then he’ll say, “What’s for dinner?” and I’ll say, “Dinner?”

Actual conversation we had this week:
Me: Why did you marry me? Our life is a mess. I’m a mess.
Otto: Well you weren’t ALWAYS a mess. I assume eventually you’ll not be a mess again.
Me: *blinking*
Otto: Oh. Um. That’s not helping, is it?
Me: Not really.
Otto: Sorry. I mean, I LOVE YOU, that’s why!
Me: Uh huh.
Otto: Also, you’re pretty. So pretty!
Me: Shut up.

Otto is a lucky man. (more…)

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Words I hate

I hate the word “miasma,” which is meant to describe something unpleasant, so I guess it’s just doing its job. Still. Hate it.

I also hate the word “torsion,” which comes from having once had an ovarian torsion. (Pro tip: That really hurts.)

I have issues with the word “pretty,” even though I use it all the time. I just don’t think a single word that sounds so darn perky should be so loaded. And it is, in our society. I wrote about that today for Off Our Chests, as I’m seeing the legacy of female teenage inability to see clearly unfold in front of me.

But mostly, I hate the word “relapse.” Relapse can just go screw itself sideways, thanks. [Related: Chickie is back in the hospital. I am beating myself up for letting her do all she did this weekend... maybe the trip really was too much for her, maybe she was coming down with something and didn't say anything because she wanted to go. Who knows. Moot, now, I guess.]

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Into the woods, again and again

It seems like we were just out in the wilderness with Hippie School, doing important things like licking slugs, but today it’s time to go do it again. (I am hoping we’re exploring a slug-free zone, today.)

The last time I wrote about going on one of these adventures with Hippie School, Chickadee was freshly home from the hospital, and I was sure we were finally coming out the end of a long, dark tunnel. It was the beginning of Better; it had to be.

I guess I can’t say it’s NOT Better. Frankly, hot sauce to the eyeballs is probably better than having a kid in the hospital. So yes, sure, it’s better. I guess I just wish it was MORE better. I wish it was ALL better. I’m ready for the times when we can say, “Remember when you were sick and everything sucked? And see how great it is that you aren’t, anymore?” That time will come, I think. It’s just taking its sweet time arriving. (more…)

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The secret ice cream society

Chickadee’s been home for a week and a half, has successfully managed two half-days at school (and is attempting the whole day today), and while life stubbornly refuses to stop or even slow down while we find our new normal, over here, I am rediscovering the healing power of frozen dairy confections.

The list of things I can control at this point would probably fit on a post-it, with room to spare. The list of things I CAN’T control (but desperately wish I could) is a lot longer. Go figure! On any given day, I sandwich small stints of actual work between doctors’ appointments and carpool and play rehearsal and just plain sitting down with the kids a lot more often than I did B.C. (that would be: Before Crisis), just because my priorities have shifted.

My sanity has remained loosely tethered on getting Chickadee to eat and gain weight. The doctors have to go do their thing, I get that; but I’m her Mama, and I can fatten her up. Right? Maybe? Looking at her will hurt less when she no longer looks like a strong wind might snap her in two? (more…)

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I do believe in fairies, I do

The first thing I need to do is offer up a great big group hug to all of you ravishingly pretty people who commented and emailed and kept my little family in your thoughts when I so rudely up and announced I needed to go silent for a while. I’m not sure what I thought was going to happen when I did that—I wasn’t really thinking about the possible reaction, only that I needed to get away from the computer—but I was pleasantly overwhelmed by how kind and patient you’ve all been. So thank you for that, so much.

The second thing I need to do is explain that I am often guilty of what we refer to as “magical thinking” tendencies. As in: As long as I don’t say this thing out loud, it isn’t true. Or: If I say this thing out loud, it will JINX IT. No need to point out how utterly crazypants that is, because I’m well aware, believe me. But I’m just laying it out for you, by way of explanation. Sometimes this is how I think.

That’s what happened two weeks ago. I couldn’t say what was true, because it was too scary; and I couldn’t say what I hoped, because saying it might mess it up.

Crazy, I know. In my defense, I was really, really scared. (more…)

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The elephants on my chest

Oh, hello. You know what’s awesome? Being the sort of person who is prone to psychosomatic illness. Now, a lot of people think that “psychosomatic” means “faked,” but in fact it means real physical illness that just happens to be caused or aggravated by mental factors such as stress.

If they gave grades in psychosomatic maladies, I would get an A+, as well as comments like, “Really gives it her all!” and “Rarely do I see this sort of dedication.”

When I made it through our two-week-long tour of illness, stress, and family dysfunction over the holidays with nary a sniffle, I was set to declare myself champion of staying healthy. Then we came home, I did ten loads of laundry, and promptly came down with a miserable chest cold. Whoops.

Fortunately, the hits kept on coming, with several dreadful pieces of news arriving in the last week. I figure I should be on life support by February. (more…)

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The continuing saga of pestilence

Thank you all for the well-wishes for my mother-in-law. She had surgery and they were able to insert a rod into the bone to repair it, and it is around about this point in the story when Monkey puts his hands over his ears and says “YOU CAN STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS NOW” because it weirds him out to think about operations and people being fitted with rods. Because we are excellent parents, we assured him that Grammy is just fine, and we will all love her just as much now that she’s a cyborg as we did before.

In the meantime, my poor brother-in-law Nearly Nickless wasn’t feeling so hot, and the LAST time we were at their house, you know, he got a stomach bug which I ended up getting (which landed me in the ER), so I immediately started spritzing myself with hand sanitizer and giving him an extremely wide berth.

It turned out that he had strep throat. Because of course he did! As the excellent house guests we are, we clucked sympathetically, asked him if we could get him anything, and then promptly packed up all of our stuff and left. (more…)

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