Folks, I'm not gonna lie to you. I'm coming off of the worst weekend I can pretty much remember, ever. I kind of hate that it happens this way, that I finally make time to post because I really need to get it off my chest, and so the two people that still have this blog in their feed reader are subject to my morosity (is that a word? Spellcheck doesn't think so, but I'm going with it anyway) and general down-in-the-dumpness. But, it just works out that way, I guess.
My husband left town for ten days last Wednesday, for meetings in Europe. I'm actually pretty psyched for him, because truly, the more he travels and racks up frequent flier miles, the closer I get to a vacation on the beach somewhere. But this time, the timing was just too much to bear. I joke sometimes that its easier when he goes out of town because its one less hapless male that I have to pick up after, but there is something to be said for the moral support he brings even when he's working late and I'm on my own until after bedtime.
On Friday I had an event that I'd planned, that while it didn't suck completely, it was definitely not what I'd hoped for in terms of attendance. I would drop it into the FAIL category were it not for the people who did attend really seemed to enjoy each other. Then on Saturday, rocking a headache that got worse and worse with every waking hour, we went to the cub scout Pinewood Derby, with cars that I had finished because of my husband's aforementioned travel, and let me just say small woodworking is really not my thing. I was supposed to run a little snack table with coffee and donuts, except getting my kids out the door proved too challenging for me, and I showed up without donuts. That didn't go over well. Then I had to drive to North Kansas City to represent our cub scout pack in a lottery for camp, and I can't even put into words how annoying that entire adventure was. I will say, however, that for an organization celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, the boys scouts still have woefully bad communication skills.
This story is getting long and stupid. It went downhill from there, save for the part where the boys and I attended the high school musical at Shawnee Mission North, a production of "Children of Eden," which was really a lot of fun. I needed some fun.
At 12:45 am, I awoke to Drew hollering down the hallway, and found him vomiting all over the bathroom. For the next hour, he vomited about every fifteen minutes, but where we really got into trouble was when he started hyperventilating, he was making this horrible wheezing sound, unable to fill his lungs, his eyes were out of focus, and he was complaining of chest pain. I very nearly called 911 to send me an ambulance.
I actually stopped to think about it first, however. What would I do with Will, if Drew and I had to climb into the back of an ambulance, wake him and take him with me? Should I call a neighbor at 2am and say please come sleep on my couch while I go to the ER? Why do these things happen when my husband is out of the freaking country? Maybe I should call the nurse triage line first.
So cooler heads prevailed. Drew calmed down and went back to sleep by the time the nurse called back 15 minutes later. She said he probably pulled a muscle in his chest from vomiting so hard and fast, which is fairly common. She also said he may have had a panic attack, which, I didn't bother to ask if that's genetic, because then BINGO! The kid may be screwed. The bottom line is that chest pain in children is rarely an actual cardiac issue, and if he'd burst his appendix or something the pain would have been lower and to the right of his belly button. I actually knew that, as I had appendicitis in college, and someday I'll tell you that story, too.
At 8am this morning, he'd not vomited in a few hours, so I thought maybe I could load the kids into the car and go into church to fulfill some work obligations for just a few minutes. Remember, Sunday is a work day for me. He had a bath and did fine, he ate some jello, it looked promising. I thought maybe it was food poisoning instead of a virus, and maybe it was done. As we headed into the garage to load into the car, however, his head suddenly turned into a geyser. He puked on the garage floor, the side of the car, and then ran back into the house and puked like a firehose all over the bathroom. I seriously do not know how that much liquid was stored in such a little body that had already pretty much emptied itself. As he collapsed on the floor in the bathroom I stood in the doorway and thought "ABORT MISSION RETURN TO BASE." And then I started to cry.
I was able to make a couple of phone calls and get someone to cover all my stuff for the rest of the day. But I can't help feeling like people are thinking "Oh great, Jenny flaked again." I had to beg a few people to help me, and that's never a nice feeling.
I just want to point out that I am not a someone who likes to be rescued - I usually am the person doing the rescuing. Usually when someone calls me and says "I need a favor," I drop whatever I'm doing to help them. That's just how I roll. I get a little frustrated when that doesn't get reciprocated back to me, but I know I shouldn't expect that.
But I am not Scarlett Freaking O'Hara over here, I can solve my own problems, thank you very much. But today I couldn't. And I didn't have a husband to back me up. And it SUCKED.
It is really difficult for me to admit that I need help. Like with the donuts at the Pinewood Derby, I should have been more vocal about needing to pass that off to someone else. But I didn't, because I thought I could handle it. In retrospect, I can't believe I thought I could just load Drew into the car, take him to church and hide him in my office while I tried to make a good show of it all. I kind of can't believe I didn't put him first. I should have made the call early this morning. I shouldn't feel so guilty about saying "I can't do it, my kid is sick." But I do. People are counting on me, and I really hate to need help.
So maybe this is the lesson I was being smacked with this morning. I need to get better about admitting defeat, about asking for help. About knowing when I am in over my head. And people, I was in over my head way before the geyser of vomit hit the side of my car.
We're doing okay now. Captain Puny has held down some watery Gatorade for a few hours now, although he is still terribly weak, and as he says, he feels very "weary." He's not going to school tomorrow, because even if he doesn't puke again he won't have the energy to function, so I guess I'll have to figure out some more work stuff.
And my over-scheduled weekend ended with a full day, albeit unexpected, of sitting on the couch and watching TV and folding laundry. Maybe that was what I needed.