Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pneumonia sucks...the air right out of my lungs!

I woke at 3 AM on Tuesday unable to breathe, but convinced it was just a little congestion. Surely a shower would clear it right up? I was breathing so shallowly I could not walk or hold my baby. Gee, this might be bad. I'll call the neighbor to come sit with me & help me with the baby but I'll be fine. Sure.

Steve insisted that I call my doctor's office when he couldn't really get me to speak coherently. I don't know if y'all have noticed--I am a little stubborn. I promised I'd call when they opened and shooed him off to work. Never mind that he had to wake me up when I fell asleep sitting up nursing the baby. I was convinced I would be fine. I'm a dork. Things went downhill fast, but the baby was asleep in her swing.

Within an hour, I'd called the dr who said, "Don't come for an office visit! Pick an Emergency Room, any ER, and GO. Call 911 if you feel even more short of breath." Um, ok.

Steve turned back on his way to work & brought me in, the neighbor kept the baby, and I was delusional by the time I got there. Apparently I was moving so little oxygen that I wasn't just nodding off all morning, I was sort of passing out. And I was in the ER from 1030AM to 8PM when I got a room. I didn't feel the repeated IV attempts, I peed all over myself, and I would spike fevers and say I was going to throw up, and there's Steve with a barf bucket at the ready, and instead I'd break the fever in a shower of sweat!

The dr asked Steve if I was always so pale? I am normally red & flushed. The nurses were talking about my white lips. I sweated like a freakin' hog. Fun times. So the dr does a chest Xray and says I have "a spectacular case" of pneumonia. When I exhale I can hear the crackling. Ugh. They admit me and I wait many hours for a room.

And some pervy man was hitting on me. Imagine a large, pasty woman, sweating so much that her hair is now a Jenn-fro. I look like a damn lion. I have urinated on myself. I smell like a men's room. I am wearing ratty, around-the-house clothes (but clean undies, Momma!) and I am out of it. I woke up face-planted on my stretcher with my ass in the air and one foot dangling off. My nurse said she didn't want to disturb me so she was just watching to make sure I was breathing. But apparently this was like, what? Hospital porn? for the guy on the stretcher behind me, commenting on my lack of wedding band with a leer in his eye. I left my valuables at home, buddy! But I guess now I am drool-worthy? Steve thought it was hi-larious.

So, hospital time was boring & repetitive. And no private room. My roommate was nice and slept a lot but still, sharing a toilet was hard because there was nowhere else to go if she was in there. They let me use a hospital breast pump and gave me meds that were compatible with nursing.

I ran the aforementioned sweaty-hog fevers, I coughed up blood, my hair remained a Jenn-fro, I had problems with my IV falling out and I have a scary bruise to show for it. I am home now and can't walk more than 5 feet without getting winded. But I'm home. Time to feed the baby.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

April is Autism Awareness Month

So on a board I frequent, there is a thread about parents of kids with Asperger's. I posted about how Jonathan's behavior has been changing lately. Is he stimming more, and with more exaggerated movements due to stress or because I haven't been on his back as the behavior modification police lately? Finding a balance bothers me, because I want him to learn to blend in as much as possible. Life sucks enough without sticking out like a sore thumb for being "different." But on the same token, when all I do is correct his behavior, it makes me feel like there is something wrong with him that needs to be fixed.

I don't want him thinking that. I want to channel his energy and help him to thrive but it feels like I am a fun-sucker. If he is being loud and I quiet him, am I overthinking it? Is he really being too loud or am I just sensitive because we are in public? Am I being too hard when I limit the areas that he can stim? At home he is allowed to stim in his room or outdoors. If he gets carried away in the common areas of the house, I refer him to our rules. They are posted on the wall on huge posterboard for constant reinforcement. But I feel bad for constantly harping on him to maintain quiet hands in the house.

Guilt sucks. I tell myself over & over that he needs the structure and routin and the predictability from me & Steve, but some days I feel horrible (and exhausted, by day's end) after spending all day as the behavior modification police. I try to tell myself that I am doing the right thing, but you know moms, always second guessing oneself.

Anyway, I am going to close for now. I really need to blog more. This once-a-month stuff is nonsense. What's the point of having a blog if I don't use it?

Finally, my book recommendation for today is "All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome" by Kathy Hoopmann. It is cute and describes Asperger's to a "T" in a lighthearted way.