Pulled Over By The Reaper For A Warning

Poor Aubrey is sick. It started on Sunday with her asking for a ride to work. She’s been driving herself for ages, so it was somewhat unusual. By the time Ron picked her up and got her home, she was in tears. Her back, knees, ankles and shoulders were killing her. I immediately went into mommy nurse mode, and we figured her fibro was just flaring because she hasn’t had a day off in a couple of weeks. I got out ice packs, aspirin, and quercetin with bromelain, all of which are anti-inflammatories, and tramadol for the pain while she put on some pajamas.

After I had her stretched out on her stomach, I put the ice packs on her back and knees, and hooked her up to my TENS unit. I gave her 162 mg of aspirin, figuring if I gave her a half dose every two hours, it would keep her from getting an upset stomach. I switched out ice packs and moved the TENS unit around every half hour, and rubbed her down with Pennsaid. She was still crying because everything hurt, so I gave her 1mg of clonazepam just to knock her out. With a fibro flare, sometimes the only thing one can do is to sleep through it. She laid limp on my bed and watched Project Runway with her sketchbook next to her head. Finally I sent her to bed and threw the dogs out of her room so that she could actually get some rest; Amy was NOT happy. When I tucked Aub in, I realized she was burning up with fever.  Combined with a dry cough, it meant only one thing. Flu.


Crap! I’d been giving her aspirin! Visions of Reye’s Syndrome went through my head, and in spite of it being 3am, I ran to Walmart for Tylenol, pudding, and apple juice. Apple juice is useful if someone is throwing up, since it’s the only thing that tastes the same going up or going down, and although she wasn’t throwing up, I didn’t know if this flu was going to develop a stomach component. As soon as I got back, I woke her up enough to take her temperature again (101.3), and to give her the tylenol. She could barely sit up and her skin was hot and papery.

At 10am, Ron woke her up and gave her more tylenol. She said she felt much better and was going to work. She didn’t want to leave work in the lurch on New Year’s Eve, especially when they were expecting near 500 people. She still looked pretty awful, but her fever was down; Ron and I insisted that he give her a ride. I didn’t think she’d be able to drive home on the best of evenings, but on a rainy New Year’s Eve after a night of working sick, there was no way I’d want her behind the wheel of a car. It was a good call, because when Ron picked her up, she was shivering, crying, coughing, and burning up again with a fever of 102.

I made her some canned chicken and rice soup (we keep it on hand for emergencies…it’s not bad once I add garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and a dash of oregano) and hot tea, gave her more tylenol, and put a cold pack wrapped in a towel behind her head. Her cough was bad enough to warrant some cough gels, and she was hurting badly enough to take another dose of tramadol. I sent her to bed and allowed Amy to go with her this time. Amy comforts her, and seemed to know she needed to calm down instead of stomping on Aubrey like she usually does.

This morning when I woke her up to check on her, she was still burning up, this time with 102.5. She still wanted to go to work, as she hacked and coughed and shivered in her bed. Her voice was completely gone after all the talking she did the night before, on top of all the coughing. I played the mommy card and called her work and left a message for the managers that I was NOT letting her go to work. When one of the assistant managers got the message, he called to check on her. She was able to talk by then, but was obviously still sick. Considering she’s never missed a day of work, she’s worked every holiday they’ve been open, and she’s not a whiner, there was no doubt she was really ill, and wasn’t just trying to get out of work because of a hangover or something.

She spent the evening lying on my bed watching more episodes of Project Runway, drinking tea and eating more chicken soup. When the cough gels weren’t really cutting it, I dug out the chocolates she got for Christmas and had her eat a couple. The chocolate trick is something our old pediatrician told me about when Matt had coughing fits because of his asthma. He said to give him Hershey’s kisses because the chocolate would coat his throat. I try to keep kisses on hand, but we usually eat them as fast as we buy them. Fortunately, we have pounds (literally pounds!) of chocolate in the house after the holidays.

Now that her fever has broken and she’s had plenty of rest and fluids, she’s looking less deathly. She’s actually sitting up and even asked for real food (which for Aub translates to refried beans, cheese, and tortilla chips). She said she feels up to working on Wednesday, but doesn’t think she can fly. I would definitely prefer that she not fly if she’s still sick, just because it is dangerous when she feels her best. Going up in that harness after three days of fever is an accident waiting to happen, but I trust that she knows if she’s capable and is strong enough to stand up for herself if someone tries to pressure her into it. Anyone who knows her knows that she loves flying and isn’t just trying to get out of it by playing sick.

Whereas I’m half-sick almost all the time, Aubrey and Ron are rarely ill, but when they are, they are deathly ill. This is why Ron gets a flu shot every year, which this year turned out to be an excellent decision. It’s kept him from warding us away with flame throwers, as he tends to do when we have something as simple as a cold.

Of course, as Mommy, I don’t have that option. This is why I get every cold my kids have ever brought home, and how I ended up with the chicken pox at age 25 when Matt exposed Aub, their dad, and me when he was in kindergarten. Kids (even adult kids) need their mommy especially when they are sick. I figure I’m going to get whatever they have anyway, so might as well just dive in…and here I am now with that pre-fever shivery feeling. I’m buried under a quilt and a comforter and still feel cold.

Ron was able to drive Aub to work today. She looked like crap and wore her glasses because she didn’t want to put in her contacts while she’s sick. At least she’s not running a fever anymore. She took a couple of handfuls of Jolly Ranchers, which serve the same purpose as the chocolate. Her cough is her worst symptom now, although she’s also exhausted in spite of sleeping for the last three days. She’s hoping they’ll send her home early, but she refused to call in sick for a second day.

So I will spend the next three days lying in bed, watching “Hoarders” and reading Katie Fforde books. Ron gets to play nursemaid, which consists of heating up soup and making tea. This isn’t quite how I expected to start the New Year, but I have managed to get rid of several bags of trash at least. Watching “Hoarders” is very motivating, in spite of my being sick 🙂 Being sick makes me appreciate my husband even more than usual. I guess it’s not such a bad start to the year as I thought.

“You ever wonder why you get a cold
Look at the word – spell it – C-old.
You’re pulled over by the reaper for a warning
He says,”I clocked you thinking 80″
You know you’re not that old
You’ve been worried about the darkness in the morning

Well, I’ll give you something to worry about, he says
And he flips open his ticket pad
Appreciate your breathing

I’m gonna write you up a headache for those thoughts
Now why you been so worried
What have you been reading
And why do you have to tally all you’ve lost

I’ma write you up a head cold
It comes on like bad weather
So maybe you’ll appreciate the warming
See it gives a new perspective
Soon you’ll be feeling better

I’ll let you off this time
With a warning

He says, But take it easy, alright
People live around here

You won’t see it in time
What I’m trying to say is
You’ll miss it.”


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