Yeah, I’m sick. I left work in the middle of the day yesterday, which I never do, but staying upright was becoming a challenge. I came home, had some soup, and went to bed. But not before telling Luau at least twelve times that I felt like crap. And that my throat hurt. A lot. And that it felt like I was swallowing sandpaper. And that I really, really didn’t want to be sick.
Yeah, I was just a barrel of monkeys.
For the past few days I’d been worried about Brooke. Out of the blue, she’d insisted on sleeping on her floor. Despite the fact that she adores her bed – like seriously ADORES being in her bed, she wouldn’t go near it at bedtime. She took her “guys” along with her blankets, pillows, and some of the various and sundry other items that adorn her bed and set them up on the floor. When I asked her why, she offered up the very illuminating, “I don’t know.”
But despite not being able to communicate a lot about how she’s feeling, my kid is far more self-aware than her ability to describe that self-awareness might lead one to believe. So when she drags her stuff onto the floor to sleep, I start playing detective. You see, if we really believe that all behavior is communication, as I whole-heartedly do, then we spend some time as Encyclopedia Brown to find out what exactly the behavior in question is meant to communicate. And when a kid with a seizure disorder eschews her bed for the floor, well, yeah.
I called Luau on Tuesday from work. I began the conversation with, “Hon, I need to say something and I know it’s going to sound a little crazy, but I need you to bear with me, k?”
He’s been married to me for a long time. Long enough to think, “Honey, that pretty much describes 90% of our interactions,” and also long enough not to say it out loud. Instead he said, “Of course, what’s up?”
When Katie was a baby, her ear smelled funny to me one night. I didn’t know what it was, all I knew was that it felt “wrong.” At my insistence, Luau took her into the pediatrician’s office the next day. When he got to the exam room, the nurse practitioner, a lovely middle-aged woman who had raised three kids of her own, asked why they were there. Upon his own admission, he rolled his eyes and could barely keep from laughing as he said, “My wife says her ear smells funny.” The nurse checked her out and said, “Your daughter has an ear infection. Tell your wife she’s got a good nose.” He never laughed nor rolled his eyes at my Mama gut again.
So I told him that I had a weird feeling – that I felt like something was going on with Brooke. That the sleeping on the floor had started it, but that there was something else — something that I couldn’t put my finger on, but that just didn’t feel right. I told him that I’d had a vision of getting a call from the school telling us that she’d had a seizure in the middle of the day. That I saw myself running out of the office to get to her. I told him that I just needed him to know. To be extra vigilant. To make sure she wasn’t alone, even in the house, for long periods of time. He promised.
That evening, when I came home from work, I posted the following.
My kid was in her nightgown at 5pm. Exhausted. Something wasn’t right. And as amazingly wonderful as her response to “How are you feeling?” was, it gave me no insight into how she was actually feeling. I mean, except for love, which is awesome. But, yeah.
Although my throat had been bugging me for a couple of days, it wasn’t until I hit the wall yesterday that I realized that I was actually sick. And it wasn’t until sometime later that afternoon that I began to put the pieces together fully. There I was, in bed, in the middle of the day, just like Brooke had been the day before. So perhaps she had been struggling through a low-grade version of what I’ve got (or a high-grade version and she’s just a lot more resilient than her Mama, which is highly probable.). Of course none of this explains the sleeping on the floor bit, so it’s still possible that there was indeed increased seizure activity, perhaps due to the illness, but either way, it all felt a little less sinister.
Anyway, my point in all of this comes back to where I started. Yesterday afternoon, I went to bed after a good ten minutes of bitching to Luau about how I felt. And being able to do that helped. It just did. Being able to say, “Grrr, I feel like crap,” helped. Hearing, “Oh man, I’m so sorry you feel that way,” somehow made it just a little easier to feel that way.
Knowing that if I need to, I can go to the doctor and tell him or her exactly what I’m feeling so that s/he can diagnose it and get me the treatment I need, helps.
My girl can’t do that.
And that scares me.
Both practically and emotionally, it scares me.
Thinking about how I would feel if I couldn’t tell anyone what was going on inside my body scares me. Thinking about how I would have felt at work if I had no way to explain why I needed to leave terrifies me. I don’t have a better word than claustrophobic. That’s how it makes me feel just to think about not being able to tell anyone what I’m feeling — trapped.
I have no way to wrap this up and I’ve pretty much exhausted the energy that I had for the day writing what I already have.
I guess I just wish that Katie’s magic wand could help us out with this one too.
In the meantime, I’m going back to bed.