Last week I hinted that there were stressful things going on, but I didn't explain further and also, I kept the blog up, kind of impressively, but then more stuff piled on. Such is life.
Last Saturday night (so the Saturday night of Memorial Day Weekend, not of the Starlight Parade), my mother had two fainting spells and we took her into the ER, which resulted in her being admitted into the hospital.
That was the first source of stress, and also the first source of being reluctant to give details. After all, it is more her story than mine, and there are confidentiality rules about medical status. Of course, we have been giving every friend all of the details upon request, but that has been one on one. Anyway, she had some issues that are being treated.
I was not too surprised (though a little dismayed) when the hospital attending doctor had a completely different course of treatment in mind than the ER attending doctor; television has prepared me for different mindsets there. I was much more dismayed when every shift change in the hospital brought a different resolution. I was getting pretty murderous by the time we finally got Mom home Wednesday evening. It was still a relief.
Now, hospitals can be scary, lonely, and disorienting under the best circumstances, but with memory issues it can be worse, not only for remembering what is going on but remembering whether you are allowed to get up and walk around without staff present (no), so it seemed best to have someone there with Mom as much as possible. I spent many hours there, which I believe is germane (keyword: GERM) to what happened next.
Mom was discharged at 6 PM Wednesday. We came home, I threw dinner together, we ate, and I collapsed on my bed, exhausted, until about 3 AM Thursday morning, at which point I spent the next three hours violently expelling everything from my digestive system.
(I have not blogged since Thursday.)
At first I thought it could be that had been holding so much stress in that a brief relaxation of tension let everything loose. Plausible, but then I remembered that I had foolishly consumed some raw cookie dough before dinner. I knew dinner was fine, because everyone else was fine so far. Okay, food poisoning, brought on by my own bad decisions, but I would live and not spread things around.
Friday afternoon, Mom started to throw up. This is really scary with someone who just got out of the hospital - and who would be very reluctant to return to the hospital - and is on some new medications. Except, her symptoms were remarkably similar to mine. Timing, textures, color (I had to check for possible side effects, okay?) was exactly like mine. And then my siblings started to fall. Friday evening. Friday night. Saturday morning. And finally, just when we thought she was going to escape it, my final sibling succumbed yesterday.
We had all been together Wednesday evening for our mother's return. We ate together. It wasn't the food, though, it was me. I believe I picked up something (I suspect Norovirus) at the hospital, and have now demonstrated its extreme communicability.
I have been mostly okay since Friday. I mean, my stomach knows something happened, but it is digesting normally. I have also been trying to do a good job of getting things cleaned up, though it is hard to do a thorough disinfecting of the house when it keeps getting more infected.
Part of that is laundry. I wanted to wash all sheet sets today, except just on a normal load of clothes last night the dryer stopped turning and started to smell really hot. So, no, not fire, but if we hadn't unplugged it, who knows?
On one level it feels like time for a primal scream of "Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?????????", but at this point I am kind of just laughing at it. I don't know what happens next. I should probably be scared. I'm not.
I do have a greater understanding of how there is so much that you can't control, and yet it doesn't meant that things don't matter. It does mean that you should use time wisely, but I have wasted a lot of time and I don't care enough about that either. I may not have the energy to care quite yet. We'll see how I feel later.
But also, last night I woke up from a really interesting dream that has some good stories in it. It's not like I didn't already have things to write about, but something new is always exciting.
Of course, I'm probably not going there, but I do also have plenty of material for a gross-out comedy!