Sick and tired of sick and tired, Part III

I haven’t blogged lately about the plague of illnesses that has infiltrated our household and refuses to leave. I kind of figured everyone is as sick of reading about it as I am of dealing with it. But people, it’s been a hell of a week, and I just have to put some thoughts into words and send them out into the oblivion that is the blogosphere.

I took all three kids to the doctor again Tuesday afternoon. The appointment was supposed to have just been a follow-up for The Drama Queen and Baby Boy on their ear infections. But Miss Attitude was still having asthma trouble, so I had them work her in. Plus, Baby Boy had not been feeling well, and had starting a barking-seal-type cough Monday night. On the way to the doctor’s office Tuesday (Have I mentioned that we drive about an hour one-way to the pediatrician? So, taking the kids to the doctor is guaranteed to be at least a three-hour ordeal.), all three kids were coughing in the car. I was totally exhausted, driving and thinking, Will this never end?

Now, when I say I was totally exhausted, I mean I was truly, seriously fighting to stay awake. And, for the first time ever in my driving-life, I lost that battle. I have no idea what happened, except that I “woke up” to find myself driving in the grass, in the ditch, with the cruise control faithfully maintaining 70 MPH. I fought my natural instinct to slam on the brakes and somehow managed to keep control over the Suburban and slow down to a stop without injuring anyone or taking out any road signs. I was absolutely scared shitless, especially when I thought about What Could Have Happened. The very next day, Deputy Dad worked a wreck where the guy had fallen asleep and flipped his car. Broke his neck and back. Holy shit, that could’ve been me and my precious babies. Thank You, God, for watching out for us.

So. We made it to the pediatrician’s office (Mama still trembling profusely) with our bodies intact. Sickly, but intact. The Drama Queen’s ears looked fine, and she just needed a little medicine for her cough/runny nose. Miss Attitude was wheezing, so the doc put her back on her steroid, and we’ll continue to do her breathing treatments until her asthma trouble lets up (if that ever happens…please, God, when will that happen?). Baby Boy’s ears are fine (Thank goodness…took two rounds of antibiotics to clear them up.), but he’s wheezing again; so he’s back on the nebulizer (breathing treatments) again. Doc says when a baby gets RSV, and then gets better, and then gets another virus, the lungs are often susceptible to wheezing. Doesn’t mean he has RSV again or has asthma; just means he needs to go back on the breathing treatments again to clear his lungs up. That sounds encouraging, but this same thing happened when Miss Attitude was a baby, and she did develop asthma, which we’re still dealing with every day. And people, her asthma is kicking our asses this cold and flu season.

Baby Boy’s little cold was at its worst Wednesday night and last night. He was up no less than 8-10 times Wednesday night…running fever, coughing, fussing…just generally not feeling well at all. And last night……….I believe we slept from 12AM-3AM and off-and-on from 4:40AM-6:15AM. We were up with Baby Boy several times, plus Miss Attitude had an asthma attack about 4:00. I had just put Baby Boy back down, I believe, when she woke me up and said she needed a breathing treatment.

Deputy Dad and I are totally, completely exhausted. My brain no longer functions normally. I am totally useless at work. I cannot even string words together to make coherent sentences. (Was that a coherent sentence? Hope so. It took me about four attempts. I wish I were joking.)

Warning: I feel a long-winded ramble coming on….

When I don’t sleep, a fog starts to envelop my mind….my soul, even. This is a fairly new develop for me. I’ve never had a problem running on little or no sleep before…but, then again, I didn’t have three kids before. I find myself slipping into a…..darkness, I think. I’m having trouble putting this into words. Here’s an excerpt of a reply I sent the other day to an email from a concerned friend who was “checking on me”:

I’ve just been so totally stressed out…over the kids and their illnesses, over the bills, over the bills caused by the kids and their illnesses…..And I seem to be flirting with depression…although “flirting” sounds like I want depression to buy me a few drinks or something, which is really not the case…not that I couldn’t USE a few drinks! I have been a little antisocial lately, and I apologize for that. I guess I’ve just gotten so used to being at work or at home with the kids…..I don’t even know how to be “me” anymore. That sounds a little dramatic, I guess. (I don’t know WHERE [The Drama Queen] gets it.) But I am feeling slightly….I don’t know….disjointed or something. I keep waiting for the dark clouds to lift, thinking maybe things will be better when we’re all well again….but THAT’S JUST NOT HAPPENING. Sigh.

I guess that’s about the only way I could describe what’s going on in with my mental/emotional state lately. I don’t know if it might be PPD (Can you get post-partum depression when your baby’s almost 8 months old?) or just the stress of trying to take care of three kids and dealing with their collective illnesses. But last night, with Deputy Dad at work, as I was trying to cook supper, make Baby Boy some more baby food (yes, I make my own baby food), help The Drama Queen with her homework, get the girls into the shower, feed Baby Boy and soothe his fussiness (He cried the whole time I fed him his supper.), I just kept thinking, over and over, I am just NOT dealing with this very well. The girls were better than usual, only minimal bickering, took their showers without fighting or too much playing….and yet I found myself yelling at Miss Attitude for leaving her towel in the bathroom floor. And, even while I was yelling, I was thinking, WTF? It’s just a towel. Pick it up and shut the hell up. But I had just gotten through trying to feed Baby Boy, him crying between spoonfuls of sweet potatoes and green beans and rubbing food all over his face, into his eyebrows and his hair. I needed to get him into the bathtub…and what? A towel in the floor? Why, the audacity! So, I finally got him in the tub, and I just sat there by the bathtub and cried. (Hell, I’m crying now, just writing about it.) I just kept thinking, I am so totally NOT the mother I wanted to be. What the hell is wrong with me?

I’ve gone back and read this stupid thing four or five times now. I’m so hesitant to post it…..
I’ve always had such high expectations for myself, in everything I do. And I feel like posting this will be admitting that I’m failing.

I am aware enough of myself and my emotions to know that, given a few uninterrupted hours of sleep, I’d probably feel differently about…well, everything. It’s just that right now……right now, everything looks so bleak.

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