Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Sick and the Spoiled

Well, there's nothing like being sick to remind you what is really important in life. Like, say, for instance, your stomach lining.

My week started off a little crazy, a little hectic, but nothing foreshadowed what was to come.

Over the weekend, we noticed Hannah was acting a little lethargic. With rabbits, you have to watch for lethargy, since it is a major sign of illness. Unfortunately, the rabbit vet wasn't available over the weekend. So, I planned to take advantage of my office's flexibility plan and take Hannah to the vet on Monday.

Eventually, Brett and I decided all three rabbits should be examined. Hector needed a nail trim, and Peyton needed a tooth and nail trim. With Brett still on probation at his temporary job, I knew he couldn't take off work to help me. And I knew, as one person, I would need help handling all three carriers. So, I called Mom, and she graciously agreed to accompany me.

I woke up on Monday feeling a little strange. I thought it was just the Monday doldrums. I felt guilty about calling in to work and asking for a last minute vacation day without having given my boss any prior notice. But, as a responsible pet owner and the only spouse with flexible office hours, I couldn't see a way around it. So, I called in, left an apologetic message, and then drove over to Mom's to pick her up.

Before I left the house, I told Brett I felt "strange." There weren't any concrete symptoms, but I felt different than normal. I dismissed it, and Mom and I headed to the vet.

Once we were inside the exam room, I started to feel faint. We had Hector, scared to death, out of his cage and anxiously awaiting the vet. Mom noticed I had started to sweat and sway a little bit. She told me to sit down. I took a moment to sit down and blamed the whole thing on low blood sugar.

The vet came in and trimmed Hector's nails. She was ready to start on the other two, but then she was paged to return a phone call. As she left, Mom and I extricated a non-helpful Peyton from his cage. I started to calm Peyton but found myself drained of the energy to stand. Mom went to get me orange juice, since we were both still operating on the assumption that this was all the result of low blood sugar.

While she was gone, I was swamped by a wave of nausea. I crawled across the clinic floor on my hands and knees and was violently ill in our vet's trash can. Twice. In between, Mom came flying in with the orange juice and – in the most calming thing any child's ear can hear - said, "Oh, baby!" in her sympathetic, concerned Mom voice. I was never so glad to have my mom with me. Suddenly, I was ten years old again, as Mom helped me sit back up, leaning against the bunny carriers for support.

By this point, our vet had returned to find me half-laying on the floor. I told Mom I had to get horizontal pronto. My body was sending me urgent messages to, "Lay down, NOW!" So, Mom had to half-drag me out to my car where I crawled gratefully into my back seat and smartly cracked my head against the door handle. It felt so good to lay down; I didn't even care.

Concerned and little frantic, Mom was running back and forth between the vet's office and the parking lot, checking on the bunnies, and then checking on me. We decided (actually, Mom decided. I moaned in agreement.) to call for reinforcements. Mom called Gary who dropped everything and drove right over.

By the time Gary got there, the vet had finished with all three rabbits (three cheers for our valiant vet). Gary loaded the carriers in my car, and Mom got me situated in the back seat of her car (which Gary drove over) where I gratefully zoned out.

We had no more than just pulled out of the parking lot when I felt another wave of nausea. Frantically, I looked around Mom's car for something – any type of receptacle. But Mom's car was spotless. It could have passed a military inspection. So, I used the only thing I had - Gary's favorite flannel shirt he had given me to use as a pillow. I was violently ill again, about five times.

Mom was driving, yelling comforting statements over her shoulder, and (I'm sure) trying not to freak out about how I was desecrating her still-pretty-new car. Thankfully, Gary's shirt was super-absorbent. The car emerged relatively unscathed.

We got back to my house, and Mom and Gary unloaded the carriers and got the bunnies back in their areas. I changed quickly and grabbed some sweatpants and underwear and crawled right back into Mom's backseat where I nearly passed out again.

Once we got back to their house, Mom helped me lay down in the spare room, with a bucket this time.

I stayed with Mom and Gary from Monday to Wednesday as I battled nausea (thankfully, I didn't get violently ill again), severe stomach cramps, sweats that soaked my hair, aches, dizziness, and skin that felt like it was on fire. Brett called each night, concerned, and even drove over my medication after his shift.

I had all but given up on the idea of voting on Tuesday. I was overwhelmingly dizzy if I stood up for more than a minute. But, Gary persisted, until I couldn't say "no" any longer. With Mom on one side, and Gary on the other, I walked into the polling place to exercise my right to vote for the candidate who would not be President.

There was some concern at the judges' table over my age. Apparently, with no make-up and my hair undone, I look "entirely too young to vote." I had to verify my age before they let me near a ballot. Not the most unflattering thing to hear as sick-as-a-dog 30 year old.

So, I voted, swaying a bit near the end from all the standing.

Gary was very persistent, to the point of agony, that I vote. I found myself thinking if John McCain had Gary as his campaign manager, he might not have lost.

I was out of it most of the time. I remember watching part of the election coverage and feeling giddy near the end. Just because it was really finally over. I might have been a little hallucinatory. I mean, I'm assuming Obama didn't have a koala bear on his shoulder, right? Because I saw one.

Brett picked me up on Wednesday night, after his shift was over, about 11:30 p.m. I'm still not up to snuff, and as much as I hate it, I think I'm going to have to call in again (4 DAYS!). Right now, I'm still moving pretty slowly and having to take everything at a slow pace.

But, as a dear friend once said, "Sometimes God catches your attention in unusual ways."

During my stint in Mom's spare room, I found myself reexamining my life. I don't know if it is sickness, the reminder we are mortal, which makes us take stock of our lives. I took stock of mine and (per my humanness) found myself wanting. I prayed over those few days and asked for guidance on the tough road I'm currently traveling. I asked for help, for contentment, for the peace that passeth all understanding.

So, I thanked God for the reminder, for Mom and Gary's kindness, and especially for my stomach lining.


Alice said...

I am so sorry you got the dreaded stomach virus. That's awful. It does make you re-examine your life though.

And it would have been really COOL if Obama had a koala on his shoulder. I didn't see one though...

Laura Brown said...

Ugh, poor you! Hope you feel better soon.

CANDICE said...

wOW. I HOPE I DONT GET SICK!God has been reminding me i am mortal also;-0

Heidi said...

I am sure McCain appreciated your valient effort for him, though it did not prevail.
I am sorry to hear of your illness. Not fun.
I didn't see a Koala either, sorry.

Juliet said...

It was a "JOY" to have you stay with me. Since Brett works nights, I didn't want you to be alone.

Now just get better and hopefully we both can enjoy some good health.

MommaHarms said...

so . . . are the bunnies ok? Just kidding - yucky stomach bug!

Anonymous said...

I hope you're feeling completely well now! Thank God for solicitous moms.