2011: Let Me Sum Up

I just spent the last 36 hours straight in bed with a feverish kid. I woke up this morning and my back and shoulders hurt so badly I could barely move (when he’s sick, he wants to be held, so I’ve been in all sorts of weird configurations) but the kid was better, so yay! Except then, apropos of nothing, he threw up all over the living room.

This, I think, is a perfect encapsulation of 2011: the year of suck. Just when you think things are going to get better, you’re cleaning half-digested Cheerios off the carpet.

It wasn’t all bad. Our new book came out, and it rocks out loud. We moved to Sellwood, where we have friendly neighbors and a yard and a house that no one lives above. The kid started kindergarten (!!!), which is just crazy talk, because wasn’t he just a tiny little thing that I could fit under my chin? And we got a new cat, because cats are all good things, even when they pee on the rug, Maru.

So, yeah. Not all bad.

The rest of it was pretty roundly awful, to varying degrees, and who wants to hear about that? Instead I will just refer you to the encapsulated version, above.

I’m not doing any resolutions this year. Fuck resolutions. I’m just working on getting out of bed on a regular basis. Honestly, when you find yourself saying things like “No, I get dressed most days,” there might be some sort of issue there. And maybe not having to declare bankruptcy. That might be awesome, too. (Or maybe bankruptcy is awesome, and I’ll be all, you guys, why didn’t you tell me how great bankruptcy is? And you’ll be all, dude, you just screwed yourself out of all your credit cards, and then I will cry.)

Next year will have to be better, because honestly how could it not? That’s how optimism works, right?

Happy New Year, kids!

a world of ow

So I bet you will be SHOCKED to hear this, but health problems don’t just disappear if you ignore them! I KNOW, right? It’s been like a year since I had The Pain (you may remember The Pain as having been diagnosed as ovarian cysts, and then re-diagnosed as you’re really annoying and should just go on Prozac to be more malleable, and then re-diagnosed as an ulcer, and then un-diagnosed as an ulcer because my innards look great, isn’t that good news? And then I ran out of health insurance and also it didn’t hurt for a while so I decided it was fine). WELL, The Pain, it is back. With a vengeance. I thought I was dying yesterday, and that’s not hyperbole. I actually thought something important had ruptured internally and that I would die of it, which would have been a relief because OH MY GOD THE PAIN.

It only lasted about two hours. Only. Then The Pain turned into just regular old non-capitalized pain, which is where I am right now. Hurts to move, hurts to stand up, hurts to cough, but if I’m very still it’s kind of OK. I’d complain somewhat more vociferously about how my entire abdomen feels like someone beat it up, but since I’m not writhing on the bed in acute agony I figure I ought to be pretty grateful.

Pain is stupid. Why couldn’t I be one of those creepy people who you can poke with knives and they don’t even notice?

So, to recap: in the last month I’ve had a nasty cold, two migraines, a two-hour Pain extravaganza and also my left wrist hurts like whoa for no discernible reason other than HA HA your wrist hurts.

YOU WIN, November.

UPDATE: I went to the doctor, who sent me off to have a CAT scan. So, see, I’m not TOTALLY dropping the ball here.

UPDATE #2: The CAT scan said (CAT scans talk, you know) that I do NOT have appendicitis, and also that I DO have ovarian cysts, and also that the ovarian cysts did not cause The Pain, because of reasons. HOWEVER, new Kaiser Doc is an internist & will be doing ACTUAL TESTS to figure out what IS causing The Pain. So yay. Ish.

obamacare can’t come soon enough

A couple of weeks ago the kid was sick. Not sick like sniffles and cough, or even sick like yarfing all over our bed (which, WTF, kid? Mama’s lap is the only place suitable for vomit?) – he was sick with a fever, and fevers mean trouble.

I mean, right? Beth in Little Women dies of a fever. (Was I supposed to spoiler tag that? SORRY, EVERYONE WHO HAS NOT READ LITTLE WOMEN BUT WHO ALSO READS MY BLOG. Beth dies, and also Amy is a bitch.) The Velveteen Rabbit gets set on fire, because of a fever.* Helen Keller. BLIND AND DEAF. Why? FEVER.

So as you can imagine, I was a little bit, shall we say, concerned. About the fever.

But here’s the other thing: we don’t have health insurance. We haven’t had health insurance since the Poorpocalypse of ’10, when all of the money in the world spontaneously decided to opt out of being part of our income. So instead of fretting to an advice nurse, I fretted about on the internet (which, I hasten to point out, sort of universally said that unless his fever went over 106 for any length of time it was probably ok) and felt like the World’s Worst Parent while fever-kid lay on top of me and was feverish and also I couldn’t work. True story.

And of course if his fever had gone over 106 or if it hadn’t gotten better after five days we would have brought him into urgent care immediately, or possibly faster than that. The money part of it wasn’t the issue – the accessibility part of it was. If we’d been card-carrying insured people, I probably would have brought him to the doctor, just because I could – and the doctor would have checked him out and given him some Tylenol and told us to get some Pedialite and bring him back if he got worse. Which is what we were doing already.

It would have made me feel better, being told that we were taking the best care of him that we could by an actual M.D. instead of Dr. Google.

But we pushed fluids and encouraged naps and snuggled with him nonstop and the fever broke on its own, finally, and the kid perked right up and was running around like a crazy person again. So looking back, we did just fine.

But it still bothers me. I dislike the feeling that I was making a choice – the choice to wait it out and see if he got better – based on the fact that we didn’t have insurance rather than any deep-seated belief that the kid was going to be fine.

And he is fine. But UGH.

*It is possible that my memory of childhood classics is a bit hazy.

scratch & sniff

My kid’s breath smells different when he’s sick. Not gross-different, but definitely different. My mom used to say that my breath smelled like rubbing alcohol when I was sick, and it’s kind of like that with Ellison too. It’s cool that the mom nose notices things like that, isn’t it? It’s like an early warning system.

I mention this because today Ellison’s breath smells like rubbing alcohol, and I foresee nothing but doooooom. (Though it does explain yesterday’s foray into Meltdown City, in which a sobbing tantrum was thrown every five minutes or so by my normally cheerful kid.) We all had the flu a couple of weeks ago & are only just now getting back to normal; the last thing I want is another illness! But the kid’s got a fantastic immune system and usually kicks whatever bug he gets pretty quickly. Mommy and daddy, though, are another story…

like ten thousand spoons

Through my mighty powers of contagion, I managed to fell the rest of my household yesterday. Not So stayed home, which ironically meant that I got to sleep in. (Ironic, in this case, is apparently meant in the Alanis Morissette sense. Shush, I’ve had a fever.) Sleeping in when you have a cold is lovely. I highly recommend it to myself, and will keep it in mind for next time, when I will invariably be seized with a compulsion to clean the house the second I start feeling wretched.

What’s up with that, anyway? Whenever I get sick I get all over-achieve-y. When I was a kid, I used to know I was really sick because I’d voluntarily clean my room. (I was not a spic-and-span sort of child, obviously.) Now it’s cleaning plus work plus obsessively reading my RSS feeds because god forbid something should happen in the world without my knowledge. It’s almost a relief when the illness progresses to the point at which I can’t focus my eyes or stay upright.

But that’s all water under the bridge, since I’m better now. Well, except for a few errant sniffles. Er, and a bit of a hacking cough. Aside from that, though, I am the picture of good health!

Although maybe it’s a bad sign that I’m obsessively doing laundry…