Sunday, May 14, 2017

It's Mothers Day.

This is my 3rd Mothers Day as a mama with a child here in my arms. And I still feel emotional and disjointed and just... yucky about this day. I am so grateful for Jack. SO grateful I don't even know how to express it and when I think about it too much I tear up. And I miss Petey. And when I think about it too much I tear up. (And now I am fighting back tears at a sidewalk cafe with happy people walking by. Dammit.) I hate that I still feel so effected by this day. I try not to make it a loaded day but it still is. I fight the depressive feelings. I fight the memories and the what-ifs. I fight the feeling that I'm somehow a fraud as I hold my one child in my arms on this day and have no way to hold my other child. (And now I'm not even fighting back the tears; crying in public - not a first for me unfortunately.) I don't know what to do with myself on this day besides just wishing for I t to pass. Hubs got up with Jack this morning and let me sleep in. Then I took a loooong shower and it was glorious. That's exactly what I said I wanted for Mothers Day. And that's what I got. But what I truly want is to somehow change the past. I want to have both my babies in my arms. I want to not have gone through what we went through. I want to not have a day that reminds me every second of what I am missing. I want to really truly feel at peace. Hubs can't give me that. And he doesn't even know I feel like this. We rarely talk about Petey anymore. I haven't said his name out loud since August when I told it to my friend for the first time on the anniversary of his due date and I can't even remember the last time Hubs and I said it to each other. I don't know where he stands on grieving our first child. There's so much to do and think about and focus on now with our living child. And I wouldn't change that for the world. I just wish I could change the past. To clarify: not the decision to terminate, as I still know that was the right decision for us, just to change what happened, period. But I can't and I never will and I have to find a way to live with that. Most days I do okay. Today is not one of those days. Today the tears are slowly rolling down my cheeks as all the sweet happy families pass me by. And that's my reality right now. That's how Mothers Day effects me. Maybe before next Mothers Day I'll find a way to figure out how to not let the past take over my present.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hand Foot Mouth Disease in Adults (Day-to-day)

So here's something fun: I caught hand/foot/mouth disease from my kid. Uggggghhhhh. I didn't know much about it before but have since learned it is a BITCH.  And it's super contagious. And of course he caught it after only being at a new daycare for TWO DAYS.
There's tons of internet info on HFMD in kids but not as much in adults because they don't always get it. (Lucky me!) So I've decided to keep a daily log of every strange gross detail in case others go searching like I did.

Before I knew I was sick
I was taking care of Jack 24/7 while he was sick with HFM because Hubs was traveling for work. Sleeping was terrible for many days because he was waking up SO OFTEN and I was spending a lot of time "sleeping" in a chair because he couldn't sleep unless I was holding him.  Therefore, I was exhausted, getting very little sleep, and I started feeling like I was getting a cold.  Not surprising. I started taking DayQuil around the clock and just continued feeling under the weather the whole time I was nursing little man back to health.  After about a week he got better, his blisters scabbed over and he was mostly back to normal. Hooray! And then the fun started...

Day 1 (Thursday)
I woke up with an extremely sore throat and was really run down all day. Low energy, no appetite, body aches, headache, chills. I assumed the HFM had finally gotten the best of me but as the day wore on and my body ached more and more (even becoming sensitive to the touch) I started to wonder if maybe I actually had the flu. Went to bed at 6pm and for the better part of the next two hours, laid in bed super uncomfortable and, though I'm not proud of it, was actually moaning and writhing in pain from the soreness at certain times. Extra Strength Tylenol did nothing.

Day 2 (Friday)
Awoke feeling like there were knives stabbing my throat. This continued throughout the day every time I tried to swallow or talk. Decided it was better to try not to do either. Body still sore and sensitive to touch but nothing like last night. Then discovered that there were white pus patches all over my throat and tonsils which is indicative of Strep. Great. Decided to head to the doctor since Strep is bacterial and would need antibiotics. They ran a Strep test - negative. They drew blood to test for Mono - negative. I asked again if it could be HFM and they said it was "unlikely as you don't see the white patches in the throat with this disease and you don't have any of the telltale blisters on your body". They sent me home with a shrug and a prescription for more rest and some viscous lidocaine which I was supposed to gargle with every 3 hours to numb the pain and be able to eat. I tried it. It was like trying to gargle with metal-flavored pudding. Impossible, disgusting, and I have no idea how I kept myself from puking. Later in the day I decided instead to squeeze some onto a Q-Tip and dab it on the worst parts of my throat. It dulled the pain for approximately 5 minutes. I gave up. Who needs to eat, right? Popsicles became my new best friend.
Another strange thing this day: my nose. I had like a little leak in the very tips of each nostril where I had never felt snot before, and it would solidify into a translucent but yellow colored crustiness. (Yes I picked it to examine it.)  And I kept blowing and cleaning the crusties out throughout the day (I can't call them boogers because they really weren't...hard to explain) but stopped when I realized I was fighting a losing battle and they just kept coming back. Very strange.
Lots more rest and to bed early again.  Alternating Advil and Tylenol still was not doing much.

Day 3 (Saturday)
Again with the stabby knives in my throat. Also, woke completely drenched in sweat. I mean drenched - like I went swimming in the night and then just climbed back into bed. Aaaand...hello blisters on my hands!  Ah ha - so it is HFM!  So glad I spent most of yesterday in the ER and paid $125 for them to tell me it wasn't HFM. :-/  I almost felt a sense of relief. Not that I wanted to catch it but I was glad to finally know what it was so I could know what to expect.  But then I did research on how HFM presents in adults and realized I probably would have preferred something unidentifiable.
Throat sores were so sensitive popsicles were now a lovely distant memory (too much acidity) and ice water and ice cubes were the only possible replacement. Overall body soreness was much better but now I had itchy, pins-and-prickly-needles blisters coming out over all my fingers, hands, feet, scalp, and a couple on my face. The full quarantine began and I spent most of the day in bed alternately sleeping, watching Netflix, and trying not to swallow.

Day 4 (Sunday)
Throat ever-so-slightly less stabby upon waking. Still hard to swallow but no longer felt like I was eating shards of glass.
Could not use my hands at all due to painful blisters. This was extra fun because it was my son's 2nd birthday today and I was completely useless to help or play with him and had to just be the dirty diseased ragamuffin in the corner salivating over cake I can't eat, and then slinking back upstairs to my bed to hide once presents were opened. Starting to wonder if the Netflix show I'm binge-watching is actually my reality. Hmmm.
Towards end of day I was thinking that maybe I made it through the worst day (! Huzzah!) but then I discovered the rash had spread to both legs (thighs and knees mostly), elbows, ears, one side of my abdomen, back, butt...well, basically everywhere. FML. Bring on the Benedryl.

Day 5 (Monday   with pics!)
Feeling a little better overall. Sore throat still there but not awful every single moment of the day. Discovered I have already lost 8 lbs from my steady diet of ice cubes, ice cream, scrambled eggs and ramen. Quite itchy and Benedryl is doing nothing. Having a hard time walking because even though the blisters on my feet don't look like much they are super uncomfortable when I stand or even move a toe.  The ones between the toes are the worst. But hands are getting better (see pics) and I can now sort-of use them again. Thank God.
Took a shower today for the first time since oooh, Friday? Gross.  It was tough though. I needed to use cool water because even slightly warm water made the blisters hurt more.  And my head was one giant dreadlock so trying to comb that out with hands that barely work was fun. In the end I think I dried my skin out more. Super itchy now and day dreaming about a tub full of calamine lotion.
I feel like I HAVE to be getting better soon, no?  But I'm not seeing any evidence of blisters actually popping or oozing so now I'm getting suspicious. Thought they had to pop then crust over before you can start getting better. So I'm still in waiting mode, hoping every night that the next day will be better.

It's amazing that the blisters don't look like much in the pics but they hurt so much the last few days!

Day 6 (Tuesday)
I can sort of walk again! I can still feel the blisters on my feet and between toes and it's super annoying and itchy but at least they don't hurt as much. And the throat is a bit better. I even ate today! And my fingers are now becoming calloused, which is a good thing because I'm able to use them again.  All the itchy rashy parts on my legs, back, side, butt are just staying an itchy rash, not turning into blisters like on my hands and feet. But they are super itchy so we'll see what happens there. Another day of rest and my new Netflix world.

Day 7 (Wednesday)
I am officially on the mend. I even went out today to Target and the grocery store. Like a real person! My throat is like 80% back to normal so I am eating ALL the things. The callouses on my fingers make everything I touch feel like it has a layer of fuzz on it. I've still got some itchies in some places but for the most part, the places that were just rashy (like my thighs) are starting to clear up and the random single blisters around my body are hardening. Except my toes - those are still bothering me and wearing shoes today was not fabulous. I still have those weird calcifications (I refuse to call them boogers) in the tips of my nose and am resisting the urge to dig 'em out. They're just so weird!!  But other than that, I have my energy back and I expect to be back to normal soon! Hurrah!

That sucked.

In re-reading everything I wrote just now I noticed that I didn't mention anything about coughing. I had a dry, un-productive cough off and on the whole time I was sick. Sometimes it was just a tickle that I couldn't seem to get rid of and at other times it was kind of a deep chest cough.  Strange. That seems to be going away now too.

If anything else crazy happens I'll update this post again. But for now, I am just keeping my calloused fingers crossed that I don't lose any finger- or toenails over the next month+!


UPDATE (May 22): So more than a month later I'm now starting to lose my first fingernail. Yee-fucking-haw. And the scabs(?)/marks(?) on Jack from his blisters still have not fully disappeared. This is like the sickness that never ends.  I also failed to mention that my fingers peeled like crazy in the weeks after and then my feet too - in every place there was a blister.  So, like, 100 places. My feet are still peeling a little. Two layers of skin every time.  SO weird. I just hope to God I never get this again. Ugh.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

I'm still alive

And doing well! We're back in New Hampshire for the holidays. I am SO glad we were able to keep our house here (for now anyway - who knows how long that will be able to last) as I was able to fly back with Jack with just a backpack for the two of us. The flight itself ended up being a horrid experience; he did awesome on the flight on the way out to San Francisco with me and Hubs so I foolishly thought it would be no biggie to fly with him alone back to Boston while Hubs was on a business trip. I thought wrong. As it turns out, the poor guy had an ear infection.  The flight must have been excruciating!  I ended up holding and rocking him for 5.5 hours straight, singing and trying to get him to sleep and stop crying. It was hell and I honestly thought my arms were going to fall off and my back was going to break. I will never do that again if I can possibly avoid it.  I had to beg the woman across the aisle from me just to help me unscrew the cap on my water so I could drink something...ugh. My complaining is not even doing this justice. Suffice to say: It was a completely awful experience. I am already dreading the return flight.

Besides that though, things in general are good!  I have been loving living in CA. There is so much to do. We explore new places multiple times every week and I still have a bucket list a mile long.  We found a good nanny and Jack loves her.  She does a nanny-share so there are other kids there when he goes which is a really good thing because it's getting him socialization too!  And I take him to a gymboree play class every Wed morning which he LOOOOVES.  Bubbles, balls, songs, things to play and bounce on, AND other kids?! Yes!  He is in heaven.  When we get back after the holidays I plan to sign him up for swim lessons too.  Besides that, I should probably attempt to make some playdates or something too.  So far though, that has not been high on my TO DO list. We were in CA for just over 2 months before flying back here at the very end of November so I really just took that time to get my bearings and find ways to feel comfortable in this brand new place.  It's been good though!  The weather is SO good for me with my whole prone-to-depression thing so that's huge.  And I've been getting tons of exercise with all the walking.  I am super spoiled now with being able to just throw Jack in the stroller and walk out the door to anything we could want or need. The location is truly perfect.  I have to wonder though, if it's just that the novelty hasn't worn off for me yet, especially since some of that time was spent preparing to come back HERE, and if things will change once we go back in January. Then, we truly LIVE there...  I wasn't there long enough to miss anyone yet.  (Besides my sister, but that's to be expected.)  But when I go back, that will be the real test.

Things with Hubs are not fantastic. We were in couples counseling together here before we moved but nothing has really come of it.  I think I understand a bit more why he has certain issues and where they come from, but that doesn't really help in day-to-day life.  This is probably a whole separate post since that is really the base of any sort of unhappiness I'm experiencing in my life right now. But I'm just feeling some disappointment. I feel like we're really disconnected and I don't feel motivated to try to change that.  He also travels a TON for this new job and so it's just me and Jack more than 50% of the time. Really, probably more like ~75% of the time. I often sort of feel like a single mom. (A single mom with a great sugar daddy haha.)

Jack is doing great. We came back to NH when we did since he had lots of doctor appts but unfortunately, his ENT and orthopedics appts had to be rescheduled due to his ear infection. That was a bummer. But we've seen the Pedi and Geneticist so far and things are good. He's healthy!  On Monday we'll learn if he needs to have adenoids removed asap. (I assume the answer will be yes.)

Little guy is waking up from his nap now so I have to run, but there's the quick check in and a smattering of pics. Been loving doing all the Christmas things with him!! Merry Christmas!!

Jack loved Santa.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Quick update: ChickinSF

Sooooo...we moved to California.  We've been here about three weeks now and we're loving it so far!  We're in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is expensive and it is beautiful. We can walk to everything we need and if we drive 5 mins in one direction we're at the Bay, 20 mins in the other direction we're at the ocean. There's hills and mountains and water and hiking and biking and anything you can think of. Everyone is healthy and active and there is just so much to do. And as you have probably noticed, the novelty has not worn off for me yet :-)

Jack handled the move like a champ. No issues with a new place, no issues with a 3 hour time-change, no confusion upon waking up in a new room...the kid is amazing.  So far, so good.

My back has held up too!  I was concerned because obviously I'm not in PT anymore and with all the unpacking, etc. I wasn't sure how I'd do.  I've also been walking a ton every day because the weather is so perfect and there's so many places to walk to. Luckily that has not had a negative impact on my back and I've actually lost a few pounds already just due to the increased exercise. I got a new fitbit the other day and am interested to see how many miles I'm doing now.

Other big news: Jack started walking yesterday :-D  We're soooo proud of him!!!  Need to post some pics. In the meantime, he recently turned one and half!  My baby is no longer a baby.  Wah.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2 years.

Yesterday was the 2 year mark of when Petey should have been born. His EDD was 8/15/14. It's crazy to me to think that if everything had gone "according to plan" and Petey had been born, we'd have a two-year-old now... and it wouldn't be Jack.  I cannot picture that.  I don't even want to picture it. It was such a tough thing to go through and I still feel sadness, but we wouldn't be where we are now if that hadn't happened. We wouldn't have our Jack. And I cannot picture life without Jack so it makes me grateful.

I did have a bit of a cathartic moment yesterday though... One of my best friends decided to play hooky from work and came over for a pool day. While Jack was down for his nap, she and I were just floating in the pool talking and the subject of Petey came up. I talked to her about it. About all of it: the diagnosis, the procedure, the loss, the pain, the feelings I have now about Petey, even just his name. I've never shared his name with anyone in my "real life" before; just here on my blog, and with all my internet friends. I also told her about seeing "my rainbow" and knowing everything was going to be ok (blog post about that here if you have no idea what I'm talking about) and then finding out I was PG with Jack.  It was really cathartic and pretty ironic that this discussion happened to be on the anniversary of his EDD. I have never talked to anyone IRL about it to this extent, except for my therapist, ha. The fact that I could thoughtfully share without feeling overwhelming emotions or having it spin me into a downward spiral afterwards was huge. It's a turning point for me.  It says to me that I've made healthy progress and am in a good place now when it comes to grieving Petey.

I'm still sad.  I still miss him and what could have been. But I am okay. And I feel confident that he is okay. 

I love you my PN <3

(Still appreciate this pic so much JayTee and Cici <3 )