Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Cheer?

I know, it sounds a bit Bah Humbug-ish, doesn't it? But when your holiday vacation begins with a trip to the ER, and includes one subsequent trip to a different ER, followed by an appointment at an out-of-state pediatrician's office, you'd be looking for a little cheer, too!

That's exactly how our holidays began. I could tell on Christmas Eve that my throat was beginning to swell and become sore. By Friday morning, I knew I had strep. With clinics and urgent cares closed because of the holiday, I waited until Saturday morning to go to the ER (this is really a long story...I'm trying to make it brief for the interest of, well, your interest - just know that needing a doctor on a holiday is one of the most inconvenient and frustrating things ever!). Saturday was the day we were leaving for Pella, so I was out the door before 8 to be the first in at Urgent Care, only to find out that their weekend hours were switching to 9am beginning that day! F.r.u.s.t.r.a.t.i.n.g. Off to the ER for a throat swab, which eventually came back negative. Go figure, right, considering my throat was a combination of fire and swords cutting through razor blades slashing their way through a hatchet. Yep. That bad. Antibiotics prescribed on the chance that the two-day culture would come back positive, and finally, on our way to Pella.

First stop in Pella was Brad's mom's family gathering. We arrived an hour and a half late...only to turn around and leave about an hour and a half later. Drew caught the bug. Poor thing wanted to snuggle with Mommy instead of play with his cousins. That was a pretty clear sign he wasn't feeling well. That and a temperature of 102.7. Off to Brad's parents house we went to rest before our evening gathering for Brad's dad's family. (Keep in mind, I feel like total poo, taking care of Drew who feels like total poo, whilst not at home. Stinks.) After we ate dinner and enjoyed some fellowship with Brad's extended family, we crashed. Drew and I in bed together, Reed in the pack and play, and Brad as far away from us as he can get. Someone has to stay healthy!

Sunday was Christmas with the Vander Waals...and I'm still waiting for my antibiotic to kick in. I'm on a ritual of medicine that includes amoxicillin, ibuprofen, and two different kinds of sore throat lozenges (the one positive thing about all this is that I had no appetite and what I did eat didn't taste good. No problem controlling the holiday diet!) Although feeling like I was pretty much near death, and Drew battling his fever (following through on a regimen of ibuprofen and tylenol), we muscled through and had as good of a time as we could opening gifts and playing with family.

The traditional grandchildren photo (notice how Lightening McQueen became an honorary member!).

Drew was, once again, very helpful in opening Reed's gifts. A new Mater truck from Grandma and Grandpa.

Our monkey got a monkey! (from Alison)

Puzzles for Drew from DJ.

It was definitely a Lightening McQueen kind of Christmas for Drew. A blanket made by Grandma.

Putting together one of his puzzles with cousins Elise, Lauren, and Janae.

After all the fun, it was another restless night for Drew and me. My antibiotics not working, and Drew's fever not wanting to break. By the time I got up Monday morning, it hurt to talk. Brad took me in for ER trip #2, and another long story short, ended up having a blood test for mono (negative) and was prescribed a stronger antibiotic, along with prednisone for the swelling, and a bit of vicodin for the pain. And let me tell you what...Dr. Thoreson of the Pella Regional Healthcare are MY HERO! Those babies had kicked in within an hour, and I was feeling so.much.better. In the meantime, however, Drew is still battling, and our ibuprofen/tylenol routine continues. After a short rest, we got our things packed and headed up to Minnesota.

Side note: My apologies to the Vander Waal clan for our unhealthy disposition. I certainly hope we didn't leave any of our sick bugs behind for you to catch. Thank you to all of you for taking care of the boys when I couldn't. And a HUGE thanks to Brad, would swept in like the superhero he is, taking care of all of us.

Tuesday became day #4 of Drew's fever, and it was now his turn to go see the doctor. Thankfully our insurance has coverage in Mankato and we were able to get in with a pediatrician instead of going to Urgent Care. Dr. Davis was kind and gentle with Drew, and diagnosed him with a double ear infection. After feeling his glands and finding out I was currently being treated for strep, she was pretty positive he probably had that too. A prescription for amoxicillin would take care of both ailments. One more trip to the pharmacy, and six bottles of medicine later...we were finally on the mend.

That night we celebrated Christmas with the Cliftons.

A backpack full of art supplies from Uncle Justin.

More Lightening McQueen! Who knew?!

That would be puzzle number 7 for Drew this Christmas. Yep, that's right. Seven puzzles in one Christmas.

Both Drew and Avery were very helpful in opening Reed's gifts for him.

"Aw, Dad, those are my toys!"

I just love this picture! (That's Reed's toy, by the way!)

Reed loves this gift - the Shop and Learn Grocery Cart. He chases that tomato throughout the entire house!

"YEAH! Puffs! That's what I like!"

Elmo slippers. Adorable.

His three newest puzzles, done and done.

We figured we wouldn't be able to get away from our travels without spreading our germs. By the time we left for home New Years Eve morning, my mom had fallen prey to congestion and, most likely, strep throat. Reed is also beginning to show signs of illness. He's got one nasty snotty nose, and a ferocious cough even a lion would be afraid of. For now, the usual TLC of Vicks, saline solution, humidifier, and a lot of snuggles will do.

Somehow, and I have no idea how, the Dad Made of Steel came out of the whole ordeal scott free. Huh. Sheesh, what's a girl gotta do to stay healthy around here?!

Regardless of our saga of sickness, it is always nice to be with family. This was Reed's first Christmas, and I'm having a bit of a "bad mother" moment thinking about how absorbed I was with myself and with Drew. But both boys were showered with love and gifts, and I know that above it all, those are the memories that will last.

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