Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm Bringing Kerri Back.

The fact that I can see these words appearing on this screen is proof that I made it.
I have survived yet another swipe with death.

I have just come out of what was the worst virus of my life.
There were a solid two days when I thought I might ACTUALLY die. My life was flashing before me. I was having all sorts of really weird memories.
Most of them about the odd ways my old boyfriends dressed, strange jobs I've had and roommates I'd had that should have been INmates.

I was scared to go to the doctor because of fear they'd tell me I had mere moments to live and I just wasn't ready because I haven't even been shopping in New York yet.

Last Monday night, the whole family got sick.
It started with Tessa yelling, "Mommy! I frowed up" into the baby monitor at 1:00am.
We Greens use the baby monitor as less of a monitor and more of a cheap intercom system.

Before daybreak, they mayhem had progressed to Justin and Alena both throwing up and me trembling in the bed with chills.

It's really not prime newborn care-taking situation to have a fever yourself, while your three year old lays face down in a bucket on the other side of you.
It's really hard to nurse with one hand, hold back someone's hair with the other, all while feeling sickness overtake you, too.

I didn't even know Justin was sick until Chloe told me the next day. I had been counting on him to take care of us all.
He'd gone to sleep in the room with Chloe when Tessa had come into our room in the night. I thought he must have escaped it.
That dude was down for the count. Head in the trash can.

And now it was Valentine's Day, nonetheless.

Nothing says true love like simultaneous contagion.

We called my mom.
Because that's what we do.
We have a Bat Signal, of sorts.
And thank GOD for her, because we never would have survived the week without her. Never.

Valentines Day was spent with me in our bed shaking so hard, I think I chipped paint, and Justin down on the couch wrapped up like he was scaling Everest, ALSO chilling.
Or so I heard from my mom, who was running back and forth between us giving updates and taking orders.
I had a brief moment of being really glad we'd earthquake strapped the bookshelf.
It was pretty extreme.
We barely spoke two words to each other all day.

The girls just played, and kept coming in staring at me like, "But....Who's going to make LUNCH?"
I feel like I lapsed in and out of being conscious.
There was something about a mermaid baby, but I can't be sure if that was real...

And one of the worst parts of the whole thing was that my best friend, Lisa, had just flown into town days before and we were supposed to be doing a laundry list of things we'd planned, not the least of which was to watch the rap battles on 8 Mile - VERY IMPORTANT - and all of that was just thrown right down the drain.

By the next day though, everyone in the house was totally better.

Everyone but me.

I was actually WORSE.
Of course.
Because WHY on EARTH would I think I should get a break?

I mean - I only just had a baby.
I'd only just brought LIFE into the world after hours of hard labor and what ended up being TWO epidurals and a jab to the raw nerves of my spine.
Why should I get off easy?

Well darn it if that sickness didn't get worse and worse and worse.
I'm glad I never looked in the mirror because I'm pretty sure I looked like the scariest person you can imagine.
(Joan Rivers?)
I have never had an almost 104 fever for even one day before, let alone 7.

The bedroom had started looking pretty dreadful.
Like I hoarded sweat drenched tank tops and pain reliever bottles.
I was changing my clothes 8 times a day. First I was freezing. Then I was burning up. I gave up on putting the clothes away and instead just piled them high by my bedside for easy middle of the night access.

I wasn't eating.
My entire diet consisted of water and medication.

The baby stopped nursing.

The horrors just kept on and on and I thought, once again, that the end was near for me.

And in the midst of all of this, Justin came in to the room and stood at the foot of the bed.

He gazed at me. I thought, thinking of some loving words to say to me in this, my dark dark hour.

I waited, thinking he was surely about to utter some sort of affection.
Then he said the words every sick wife yearns to hear.

"How long has it been since you washed your hair?"

*blink* *blink*

Yes he did.

Alena kept showing up telling me how sorry she was I was sick and how she didn't like it because,
"You're usually the one who takes care of US and when you're sick it seems weird."

I took this to mean she wasn't liking the carrot stick and lunch meat dinner they were currently eating.

In some ways I think it's been good for them.
They'll appreciate me a little more, I think.
They'll realize that there IS a value to parting your hair well while it's wet so it doesn't dry funny because of those weird callicks.
They'll now see that it's nice to have someone around who contemplates balancing a meal and making sure not all four things on the plate are orange.

Justin's totally stepped up his game.
He went to the grocery for me. He's been bathing the girls and getting them in bed. He's made phone calls and totally taken care of business.
It's making me realize I can relax a little bit.
They ARE capable.
Imagine that.

When I finally came downstairs after almost days spent only in my room, I realized there is some damage control that needs to happen.

There was a Costco sized pan of Cinnamon rolls on the counter accompanied by a VERY large bag of Reeses Pieces.
And though I realize that the "CLEARANCE" sticker on them must have made them EVER so appealing, they are still something I'd never allow to enter our home if I was lucid.
The cabinet now holds a bag of Golden Puff cereal.
The kind in a bag.
I have a general rule just to never buy cereal in a bag in the first place. It scares me, just by nature.
The very first ingredient is sugar.
And if you don't recognize Golden Puff cereal, that is because you probably didn't grow up in a house that would buy something like that.
Or Kool-Aid. Or Tang. Or Spam.
Or any of the other accompanying "side dishes" that go with this childhood memory delicacy like Justin did.
He unpacked it from the grocery bag almost as carefully as he pulled Paige out of her car seat the very first time we brought her home.

Justin Green. The Golden Puff Gollum.

It was clear that Tessa had been on a candy free-for-all. Possibly for days. She feels about 8 pounds heavier.
She keeps repeating, "Candy is NOT a snack" as if she's trying to remind herself. Not sure THAT'S working.

And I'm pretty sure I heard some weird chirping sound coming from the direction of Chloe's hair.
I'm scared to stick my hand in there.

Today was the first day I've gone outside.
The wind felt strange on my face.
I had to fight the urge to not lay down on the park bench. I just sort of caressed it like a creeper while the girls ate snacks and fidgeted with their shoes.

I guess it all has taught me a lesson as well, though. That maybe I DON'T want to always be sleeping and have quite as much quiet as I thought.
I missed making the girls lunch and putting them to bed.
I missed the daily routine that can seem so repetitive at times.
Those kids are wild beasts, but MAN it's boring when you don't have them and you're listening to your 6th loop of the Relaxing Guitar cd you bought at Target while you wait to take more Advil.
A childless life seems so boring now.

It's why I HAD kids, actually. So I wouldn't wind up one day alone on my death bed with nothing to do but write my medication schedule on my mirror with eyeliner so I don't overdose.

The week long nap was OK, but now,

I'm bringing Kerri back.

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