My head is full of thoughts. Stuffed with them, actually. They keep falling out of my head, probably through my ears. I can feel it. Oops, there goes another thought! It may or may not come back! Sometimes if I think of something random, like kittens, they'll come back. But sometimes they are lost for good. This is bad for my grocery list. I've been to the grocery store more times than I want to think about because I forgot to get something. And something else. And oh yeah, that too.
So the girls have been sick for a month. I took them to the pediatrician last week, he put them on antibiotics. Then Megan promptly got sick with something else. Anna most likely coughed on her, and that spelled her doom. Megan's asthma kicked in (yes, the pediatrician is calling it asthma instead of hedging "reactive airways disease"). Then she got a fever 4 days ago. She's not eating, not drinking and not sleeping. She's coughing constantly. I've been giving her more and more Accuneb - the maximum allowed (3 doses at once every 3.5 hours), and it's not helping. Last night she was awake most of the night and I was awake with her, stressed out, wondering if I should take her to the emergency room. She was not responding to the breathing treatments. She was not wheezing, but her breathing was shallow and her heartbeat was rapid. She finally fell asleep for a bit and so did I, but first thing this morning I called the pediatrician's office. Again.
The nurse at the office made the call for Megan to go in instead of heading to the emergency room. I woke Megan up and started her on the 3 dose treatment again because she could not stop coughing. Anna ran into the room and started to flip out that I didn't lay out her modesty shorts with her school uniform. Normally being over-tired, headachy, stressed out about Megan's illness and resenting that I can't care for Megan without Anna freaking out about something, I would have snapped at her. But I held it together and said "Anna, I will get your shorts in a minute. You can go ahead and put your dress on".
"No, no, no!" Anna responded. "I can't! I need to put my shorts on first!". Her hold on her control was wavering, but she looked at me and didn't throw herself on the floor screaming. That helped. Instead of either party getting too frustrated, she was able to tell me the reason for her resistance and I was able to understand that her routine was broken. That was why she was about to flip. That really helped my attitude. The more she communicates with me, the better I feel. On some level, it still surprises me that she's so dependent on her routines. How many does she have, personal routines that I don't know about, that help her govern her day?
So, crisis averted. That felt nice. I dropped Anna off at school and tried hard not to race like a speed demon to get to the pediatrician's office on time - stress is a powerful accelerator. We were there for almost two hours. The verdict is that Megan likely has pneumonia, a complication of her asthma. We've been flirting with pneumonia for some time - every time I have to drag her to see someone because of her breathing, pneumonia is an unseen spectre hanging in the air. This time it materialized. Her right lung is not working like her left lung, which means it is likely filled with fluid. It could aslo mean her lung is collapsed, but the two are hard to tell apart on an x-ray. So we're treating her for pneumonia first and if she does not improve by Monday, we'll get x-rays and think about the possibility of a collapsed lung. The poor girl is so tired that she fell asleep on my lap to the background noise of infants screaming in harmony (it was a bad Friday for babies at the office!). She didn't even wake up when the pediatrician pulled up her shirt and listened to her breathe with his cold stethoscope.
We've been to see the pediatrician a lot this year. He says it's been a bad year for seasonal sickness, but also that Megan gets hit hard - gets quite sick - every time she gets a little cold. Something Anna can brush off will take Megan down. I asked if that's genetic - DH has asthma too and grew up taking oral steroids to control it. The pediatrician laughed at me and said well, we know who to blame! I'm pretty sure oral steroids will be a part of Megan's regimen in the future. Even though the pediatrician says this will get better as she gets older, I think we'll be dealing with this for a long time.
I walked into the house after we got home from the pharmacy and surveyed all the things that need to get done that have not gotten done because everyone's been sick for a month. There are dishes in the sink, the floors need to be swept, the dusting needs to be done, there are piles of clothes to be ironed and mended, the laundry is overflowing, baking needs to be done, the bills need to be filed and there are piles of winter clothes that need to go into storage. And I have a cake/cupcake order for a birthday party to fill tomorrow. And oh yeah, I still need to go grocery shopping. I'm tired and I have a lot of work to do. I also have a lot to think about - I need to go write my thoughts down before they escape me again. Wish me luck.