Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Week 8: When Illness Strikes

So the other thing that happened last week was that my children developed an illness. Not a runny nose, feeling-a-little-sleepy kind of illness, but a projectile-vomiting kind of illness. I have gotten to point in my parenting where it doesn't even bother me if my kids have this one...unless I catch the same one, which always happens. So the stomach bug really does bother me a great deal.

Between my husband and myself, we changed six sets of sheets, washed 11 loads of laundry, and wiped up vomit off the floor on five occasions over the course of four days. In the same time, we went through 5 half-gallon bottles of juice, one 2-liter of coke, and a few small bottles of Gatorade just trying to keep everyone hydrated. And most of those were poured down the drain due to contamination with germs, rather than having been consumed.

Since the remaining three children who had not yet been sick became so on Monday night of last week, my husband and I got to Saturday and hoped we were pretty much in the clear. But as you probably guessed, we were wrong.

When my husband was lying in bed all day on Sunday, I secretly suspected he was exaggerating his symptoms, as I uncharitably always do when my children are sick. There was a very real part of me that knew my husband does not do this (his appendix came pretty close to bursting one time before he said anything about the pain), but he'd had a cold the previous Friday and I think what really happened is that I just couldn't bear the thought of going one more day without his help. So I pretended that it wasn't really all that bad and that he was probably complaining excessively (as I often do...oh, the irony!), and secretly resented him a bit.

Then, on Monday, I woke up thinking I had a bit of morning sickness, and tried to choke down my breakfast to get rid of it. But it only became worse. My symptoms increased in pitch, and I began to feel more and more sick. I became desperately anxious, worried that everyone else would think I was exaggerating my symptoms and that I wasn't really very sick and would resent me for it, and so I began to complain loudly about my pain (oh, the irony!). I laid down in bed to wait it out. I vomited, drank very little and ate nothing, as everyone else in the family had done. By the end of the day, my husband had cooked some pirogues and they sounded pretty good so I had a few to eat before regretting it and lying down to wait out the pain. Fortunately, the next day I felt better.

What was really happening was not that everyone secretly resented me and suspected that I was exaggerating my symptoms, but that my husband was just still not feeling well himself and the boys didn't really know how to help. My husband, of all people, didn't suspect me of exaggerating my symptoms, because he'd had the same ones just the day before. In fact, mine were probably not as severe as his, and yet his sympathy extended to me as though they were.

Side note about diabetes and illness: Some people complain about their blood sugars getting wildly high when they are sick, but I usually find that they trend low. Not dramatic lows, but just hanging out just a little lower than is comfortable. I'm usually able to manage it with some temporary basal rates, but the amount of time to assign to the temporary basal and the percent of basal to give is often wild guesswork. I usually do it in 2-hour increments somewhere between 10% and 50%, depending on how low it seems like it will get.

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