Will This Week Ever End?
Monday I was gifted the stomach flu by students. My husband was out of town all week, and since I hadn’t been to the grocery store last weekend I was sadly lacking food and liquids to ride out this storm. I called my 77 year old mother and asked her to bring me the bland foods I needed. I arranged for her to drop them on the stoop rather than come in, I wouldn’t have her infection on my conscience.
As the week went on I’d occasionally have a ten hour stretch without symptoms, but the re-occurrences were nearly as vicious as the onset. Late afternoon yesterday I ran out of the over the counter diarrhea medicine I’ve been eating like popcorn at a movie theater. Mom came to the rescue once again. We reenacted the hands free hand off. I feel guilt for missing school all week; I don’t want her sickness adding to my guilt.
Today I surrendered and called the nurse. After checking with the doctor I was directed to go to the E.R. for fluids and lab work. I know the illness and aloneness has exacerbated the tearful reactions I’ve had the past two days. I called my husband weeping; all my friends are at work. I knew I wasn’t strong enough to drive myself. With his encouragement I, once again, phoned my mother. I had to rely on my mother for assistance. Bless her, she willingly offered to drive for me.
As I gathered everything I need for the ride to the hospital I grabbed yet another bottle of the Sprite Mom had delivered Monday. I’ve been forcing myself to drink any liquid I can stand. I rode to the hospital with my eyes closed against the head ache and alternated between my water bottle and soft drink, desperately trying not to get dehydrated.
The whole drive I kept as far away as I could, using every germ control technique I know.
I even sat two chairs way from her in the waiting room, “I don’t want to infect you Mom”, and I’ve told her that all week. After a moment my name was called. I stood, saying “I’ll go alone.” I don’t want you to get this Mom.” I shuffled off to the exam room.
Just knowing Mom was there was comforting. The first seven attempts to draw blood were unsuccessful. Yes, it took eight pokes to find a good vein for a blood draw. On the 4th attempt the 3rd phlebotomist finally found a spot for the IV. I lay in the quiet room, resting, watching as slowly the meds in the clear bag started working.
Three hours later, with several prescriptions in hand I walked back to the waiting room, I was re-hydrated and feeling stronger already. “Thanks Mom.” I repeated again as she stood up to leave. “No problem,” she declared, pulling out her keys and an empty soft drink bottle. “I hope you don’t mind I drank your Sprite.”
My 77 year old Mother had just enjoyed approximately 19 ounces of contaminated Spite.
Will this week ever end?