I Didn’t See That Coming

Thank goodness I had a good time on Friday night. DearDR and I headed to the Three Rivers Arts Festivals to take in the Black Keys. Afterwards we had a beer with this guy. It was a great night.

It all came to a screeching halt when Monkey woke up at three o’clock in the morning complaining about having to throw up. After taking her temperature, which was a lovely 101.3, I tried to get some Tylenol into her. No go. She immediately threw it up (along with whatever else she had in there). DearDR helped her out; we bathed her face with a cool washcloth, then all four of us fell back to sleep in our bed. (Shockingly — not — all the activity woke Bun.)

DearDR took off for work around 8 a.m. Monkey slept on, burning up, now an even lovelier 102.8. I tried some more Tylenol but she sicked that right up too. After a phone consult with my pharmacist mother, I sent Bun to Bella’s and tried to get Monkey in a bath to bring the temperature down. I intended to send Bella for Tylenol suppositories, but I noticed a fine rash all over Monkey’s face, so we headed to the pediatrician’s instead. She was so lethargic, I had to carry her.

I know what the term “glassy eyed” looks like now. A bit of an education I could have done without, thanks.

Turns out the rash on her face was something called pitikia, and generally appears when little blood vessels in the face burst from the heaving of vomiting. Well, she certainly had had that going on. However, one look in her throat, and the doctor declared, “Oh, that’s strep.” He backed off a little saying they would do a culture to be positive, but between her throat and the rash on her torso, it was almost surely strep.

It was.

As I was running the necessary errand to the pharmacy, I reflected that such a day with such a sick child certainly was a distraction from grief.

It also got me to thinking of a post I had read recently at Niobe’s place. Which, summed up, basically says if you put your troubles in a big pile with everyone else’s, you’d take yours right back up again after looking around.

This is pretty much true in my case too, especially now. I love my girls, and my husband, and my life. Yeah, I would tweak a few things here and there — who wouldn’t?

What about six years ago, though? If I had to throw my grief on the pile, my life after babyloss, wouldn’t I quickly snatch up someone else’s bag? I mean, anything had to be better than this.

But then I thought, well that would mean someone else would have to pick up Gabriel. Pick up where I left off. To whom would I do that? One of these families?

I declared on the first day in that hospital room: “If I have to go through this so that no one else I know has to, I’ll do it.” I meant it too. Kind of magical thinking in reverse.

I’d pick my bag right back up. Now, six years ago, anytime. Hell, I have it good. Gabriel’s loss is the worst thing that ever happened to me. But I own my troubles, not the other way around.

What about you?

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