On Feb 24, 2011 I got a phone call a little after 7am. My Grandma McLaughlin had passed away. I packed our things and jumped in the car by noon. After grabbing some lunch Christian, Grayson and I made our journey to Salt Lake. We arrived around midnight and tried to get settled for the night. A couple days later my 2 kids and I along with my little brother and sister flew to San Jose, CA. At the airport, Grayson had an allergic reaction to something (we're thinking it was from sucking on the stroller straps) and his lips swelled up really huge. He seemed mostly fine otherwise. Thankfully after a couple days he was back to normal. Phew! While on the plane to CA I was eating some fruit snacks with Christian and one of my fillings came out. I had a hole in my tooth. Great! And I was far away from home on a Saturday night. My Grandma's funeral was on Monday. What on earth was I going to do? Thankfully it didn't hurt, so I just left it. This trip was starting off pretty badly!
We went to church in my Grandpa's ward on Sunday and spent the afternoon with family. On Sunday night I started to have a cough. But otherwise felt fine.
On Monday morning I woke up not feeling well. I was soooo cold. We got some breakfast and went back to the hotel room to get ready for the viewing and funeral. It all went downhill fast from there. My memory of the events is a little iffy so I'll try to make it make sense.
On the way to the church I was really, really not feeling well. I asked my dad for a blessing and while it helped me to feel comforted I got the feeling things were going to get worse before they got better. I was assured that my kids would be well cared for. That concerned me! I am their mom...of course they will be well cared for!! I got worse...much, much worse. I was so, very sick. So sick that my mom had to call an ambulance from the church during my Grandma's funeral. If I wasn't so sick I would have been
embarrassed. But there wasn't time for that. So, the ambulance came. It seemed they came really fast. I left the church on a stretcher during the first talk at my Grandma's funeral. I missed it all. :(
Soon I was at the hospital. I remember almost nothing about the ambulance ride. I know my mom rode with me. But I don't remember seeing her. We got to the hospital and I remember them doing a chest xray and other tests. I tried to sleep as I could. I must have slept, I don't remember much. And then I got the dreaded news after being in the ER for several hours. I was being admitted. What?? Other than childbirth, I've never been admitted to the hospital. I've been to the ER several times. Even been on an ambulance a few times in recent years (my health sorta sucks!), but never admitted. I'm in CA without my husband. My kids are with my dad, brother and sister at my Grandpa's house. My mom is with me at the hospital still dressed for a funeral (a funeral that she and I missed). I'm a nursing mom. I have a child that does not take a bottle....ever. How were we going to make this work? I remember that even though I wanted to panic I had a very overwhelming sense of calm. It was like I couldn't panic. I didn't cry. I just took it all in stride and assumed I'd be going home the next morning.
The next day I was told I had influenza A. The flu? I got a flu shot. How do I have the flu? So, I was started on the proper medicines and told I'd be going home the next day. Ugh! My room was placed in isolation. Anyone that came in my room had to wear a gown, mask and gloves. And before they left they had to toss it all in the garbage. I felt so diseased!
The next morning I had a fever of 104.3ºF and it wouldn't go down. I had to wear this stupid, dumb, I can't come up with enough bad words to describe it, cooling blanket. It was awful. It is set to 6ºC and when you already feel like you're freezing to death it is quite possibly the most uncomfortable thing to have on you. But that, plus tylenol, plus ibuprofen was the only way I got my fever reduced to 102.7ºF. Seriously? It was awful. Guess what....I just landed myself another day in the hospital. They were long days. My mom and dad came to visit once or twice each day. But other than that I was by myself. I was so sick I didn't even watch TV. I tried to catch up on Facebook, but reading was difficult. And after looking at my status updates a while later I posted the same update 3 times in one day not realizing I'd already posted it. I clearly wasn't all there!
|The cooling blanket|
My fever finally came down enough they didn't have to use the cooling blanket anymore. Thank heavens! I was still getting a lot of medicines both orally and through my 2 IVs. One IV blew one night and my hand was very swollen. To this day (3 months later) my left hand is still tender. My last day I woke up at 2am with excruciating headaches. Really bad! They sent me for an MRI just to make sure I was okay. They came back good...so I was finally released that afternoon. I was still sick...but I could walk and talk so that was better than I started.
I wasn't well enough to travel just yet. And I had to wear a mask still, but I was released to stay at my Grandpa's house for a day or two until our flight. On Saturday we (my mom, dad, me and my 2 kids) flew to Salt Lake. I was still coughing a ton and could not breathe well. Plus I was so dizzy I could barely stand, let alone walk. I was all over the place. I'm sure I was a sight to see. My parents sacrificed their room for me and my boys to sleep. I'm assuming they did that since it's on the main floor and they didn't trust me on stairs (considering I was still having really dizzy spells). I stayed until Wednesday. I finally felt sort of well enough to travel the rest of our journey home. We'd been gone for 13 days. That's about a week longer than we expected!
How we all survived, I do not know. I know Christian and Grayson were both sick with colds and my mom got sick with a cold, too, while in CA. Grayson was not a fan of eating, taking a bottle or sleeping sometimes. I'm sure it was a long week for my parents and anyone that helped out!
It was so good to be home. I was still recovering, but at least able to get around and take care of everything. But, unless it was vital for our survival, I didn't get it done. It's taken me a long time to recover from that illness. But I'm so happy that I'm feeling better now than I have felt in several years. I'm glad they took the time in CA to get me better instead of just getting me functional. Why this all happened at that time, in CA is a mystery. I've thought about it all A LOT! But I'm not sure the "whys" are as important as the testimony I gained during that time in my life. I suppose it was a lesson I needed to learn, and I hope I got from it what I was supposed to! Life is full of crazy twists and this year, more than most, we've been on a bit of a roller coaster.
Now that life has calmed down a little (it's still crazy, though) I hope we can get back on track and start the blog up more regularly!