Sunday, September 27, 2009

This is kind of embarassing.

So I'm going to talk about something that makes me vaguely uncomfortable in this post.

Urinary Tract Infections.

What a gross name, huh? I mean, I guess it's all pretty gross. A year ago, we made a trip to Indiana for my friend Lindsey's wedding and decided to drive straight through the night. We made the trip in just under 20 hours and what with all the pumping and feeding and nursing and changing of Seth, who was like, 6 weeks old at the time, I totally forgot to actually, you know, relieve myself. We only stopped about four times to fill up the gas tank, and every time I was busy with the kids in the van and always forgot to go.

At the time, I thought maybe I had a super power.

Until a few days later, when I was feeling like I had to go every five seconds. Like that one commercial they used to show, where someone sang a song about having to "go, go, go right now!" But when I went, it took me roughly 37 minutes to pee about 3 drops.

I consider myself a fairly smart person, so it only took me another day or so to think I might have a UTI. Everyone said "Drink cranberry juice!" Problem is, I hate cranberry juice. Instead, I went to the drugstore and bout some over the counter pills, figuring I would just diagnose myself and avoid a doctor visit out of state.

It went great, although the medicine turned my pee bright orange. Freaky. At least it warned me on the box. Or at least I thought it was going great, until I woke up in the middle of the night literally in the worst pain I'd ever imagined and crawled up the stairs from the basement, heading for the bathroom. I never made it...I ended up just laying on the carpet on the landing, taking shallow breaths and trying not to aggravate the sharp pains that were shooting through my hips and back and just about everywhere by that point. John ended up finding me there and forcing me to go to the emergency room, although I seem to remember that I thought my version of coping; namely, laying on the floor and pretending I didn't exist, therefore the pain couldn't exist, was working pretty well.

It was terrible. Luckily when we got to the ER they quickly got me antibiotics and within a couple days I was feeling better. But I've never forgotten that night.

This weekend, the kids, my best friend Mara, and I drove to St. Augustine for a conference on childhood deafness. We were excited...a road trip, a free stay in a nice hotel, and lots of lectures. Lectures! I love lectures. Especially from people who can tell me things about how Seth learns, which is not the way other kids learn, due to his hearing loss. Mara was exited, too...they had a great pool and there was a lecture on classroom set up for kids with hearing loss that she thought would be really useful for when Seth is in her class.

We arrived late in the evening on Thursday, said a quick hello to friends in the lobby, then headed up to our room, where I had to call down to the front desk and ask for both a rollaway bed and a crib. (Her response? "You want both?" Um, yes. They're not sleeping with me!) By the time we got them settled and stopped freaking out over the disrespect poor George suffered in Grey's Anatomy, we were both exhausted and my back was hurting, which I attributed to the four hour car drive in my van, which has terribly uncomfortable seats.

The next morning I woke up and the hotel room was freezing. I don't deal well sleeping in super cold air...I had a sore throat and felt bad. I took a shower and then admitted to Mara that I didn't feel great...that either I was getting the kids' cold from earlier in the week or the drive had taken more out of me than I thought. Seth and I said goodbye to the kids and Mara and headed down to the conference for the morning meet and greet and first session. Seth wanted to be carried, and he was heavy. Oh my goodness, so heavy. He doesn't help hold himself at all, and I was exhausted. I actually put him down on the carpet in the exhibit hall and let him crawl around, to his audiologist's horror (her exact words were "I'm not even that kind of mom, but you just don't know who has walked on this carpet!"). But I just couldn't hold him. I headed in to the first session and settled in, just to see that I had missed a phone call from my doctor's office, which was odd.

We ducked out to call back, and she said the most terrible words to me: "You have UTI. I need to call you in a prescription."

I literally went cold. Suddenly the back pain made sense, although aside from that and fatigue, I had had no symptoms. I explained that I was four hours away from home, and after a quick conversation with the concierge, we found a pharmacy nearby where she could call the prescription in.

Apparently when the nurse uttered the word UTI, all hell broke loose. Fifteen minutes before, I thought I was mildly tired and sore. By the time I'd made it back up the elevator and through my room, I could hardly walk. My back was killing me and I felt achy and sore all over. Apparently even saying the words "Urinary Tract Infection" to me make me break out with hysterical symptoms, like the men who have pregnancy symptoms along with their wives.

Mara offered to take the big kids to the pool so I could pick up the prescription, and Seth and I headed out. I was freezing cold and shaky, and felt sick. I either had the worst UTI in the world or I was lucky enough to get a cold and a UTI simultaneously, making them both morph into something much worse than the sum of their parts.

Of course when I got there the prescription had not been called in. I couldn't take the air conditioning, so I took Seth back out to the car and chugged a gatorade and some cold medicine while I waited. It was past Seth's nap time, and he was tired and fussy. I kept calling the automated line to see if the prescription was ready, because I didn't want to walk all those steps again until I had to. The fake lady kept asking me to say my phone number and without fail, every time I opened my mouth Seth would scream and the lady would say "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that." Then I'd start all over. And he'd scream again. I was ready to die. I wanted to sleep on the steering wheel while I waited, but I was worried that someone would think I was dead and call the police. That didn't seem ideal

Finally, I got confirmation that it was ready and I picked it up and started the two mile journey back to the hotel, where I barely managed to get myself and Seth upstairs and laid him in his crib with a sippy cup (which I never do) and literally collapsed onto my bed.

By that afternoon, I was feeling a little better and we managed to make it down to the conference for a while, but what a terrible day. We went to Cracker Barrel and I ordered my favorite food, and then it arrived, and I couldn't even eat it. Couldn't. Eat it. My stomach was a traitor. It was a travesty.

By the next morning, and the third dose of antibiotics I was feeling more human and I was actually able to attend my precious lectures, but that's going to have to be another post, because all this talk of UTIs has made me depressed. But a quick shout out to Mara, who saved my life this weekend! I would never have made it if she hadn't been there to help. You're the best!

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