Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Getting Better

Here I am, taking it easy (again) in order to speed recovery from this illness. It has been over a week now since I started getting sick, and only yesterday evening did I begin to feel better. Two nights ago, I went to an urgent care near our house once Casey got home from work.

They did a rapid strep culture which was negative, and the Nurse Practitioner (whose bedside manner was lacking) could not find anything wrong with me. She sent me home with a prescription for an antibiotic, should I find myself not getting better within a few days, telling me it was the “safest” of the things she could prescribe. She also advised me to do a sinus rinse to aid in relieving the pressure I was feeling.

I went home and did the rinse, which didn’t work because of the congestion (I did feel a little more justified about the pain once I discovered this). Starting before I went to the urgent care, I noticed a building pressure in my ears, which, by night, had completely cut off any hearing in my right ear; throbbing and piercing like a needle in my eardrum. It reminded me of ear infections while growing up. I was not able to sleep. Finally, around 1:30 a.m., I called the nurse line and the nurse on call gave me several really helpful tips (all natural and none to affect the baby). I joked with her that even if they didn’t alleviate the pain and pressure, at least I’d be exhausted after doing everything she said, so I may be able to sleep despite the pain.

Having gone through all the steps, I headed to bed, laying my right ear on a heating pad set to “low” under a towel. The heat was soothing enough to allow me to fall asleep. Some time in the night, I woke to notice my ear pop slightly, and the pain was no longer as sharp. Still lots of pressure, and no hearing, but at least the pain was lessened.

By the time Casey’s alarm went off, I knew I still wasn’t doing well. Between the pain of my continuing sore throat and the pressure in my ears, I couldn’t picture how I’d get through the day caring for the girls. Casey graciously decided to use some personal time from work (what we’re trying to save for when baby comes!) to stay home. I stayed in bed all but about an hour of the day.

I ended up calling my doctor’s office to set up an acute care appointment, and they called back saying that since she would not be able to prescribe anything if she did find something wrong (since I’m pregnant), there was no purpose in me coming in. They gave me a few tips over the phone and that was that. Some women may have been very discouraged by this, but I really respect my doc’s opinion. She is pretty conservative when it comes to medications, and it said a lot about how “safe” an antibiotic really is in pregnancy that she wouldn’t prescribe one. (As “safe” as any drug is, since there have been no studies to prove any drug’s “safety” in pregnancy.) Needless to say, I will not be filling that prescription from the NP tomorrow.

Casey headed off to work this morning, asking me to please take it easy. I assured him I would. I know how discouraging it would be for him if I overdid it and ended up feeling worse tomorrow. I can see him wondering “Why did I even bother staying home that whole day?” It would really seem like a waste of the time he sacrificed, and as strange as it may seem to me, one of the best ways I can show my appreciation is to go easy, not try to “catch up” right now. (This is especially counter-intuitive knowing my husband the way I do. Normally, nothing says appreciation and love and respect to him like a clean, orderly house with well-behaved children and a good meal on the table. Barring an absolute miracle, he will not find ANY of this when he returns home today.)

So today, I’m parenting from the couch, and when the girls have their naps, so will I. My one goal for the day is to get one load of laundry done. Casey has been good about keeping up on things here and there, but (like they would be if Casey had been sick all this time) things are still piling up. There’s only so much one person can do. I don’t know how single parents do it when they’re this sick.

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