When I picked the kids up from school on Monday afternoon Wes got into the car and immediately started honk-coughing. I turned around to look at him at a red light and was taken aback by his rosy cheeks and sunken eye sockets. "Oh, Wes, are you sick?!" I asked him. He said no, so I dropped him off at piano as usual only to have them come home an hour later telling me that "Mrs. V checked my temperature because I looked really sick. She couldn't tell if I had a fever so she checked Charley's head too for comparison." I had an actual thermometer. 102.6. Oops. Takes a village!
He came to school with me on Tuesday after a morning at the doctor's office being tested for flu (negative). He watched a movie at my desk looking especially pitiful while I taught and then we went home for some miserable lying on the couch. Ryan picked up the other kids and took Charley to therapy, picked up Mary, and then brought everyone home where we all ate dinner very quietly so as not to disturb the ball of misery who had finally fallen asleep on the couch.
He was home all week, but his fever finally broke yesterday at 7:58 AM and I emailed his teacher to explain that he was climbing the WALLS and barring another fever episode in the evening, would be attending school on Friday, since he would technically be 24-hours fever free at the beginning of the day today. I have never seen a child leap so gleefully from bed and get dressed in the morning. As much as he loves TV, he loves his friends more, and he is willing to sit through a day of school just to spend forty minutes with them on the playground.
Yesterday was fun because after class I had to go get SHOTS IN MY SPINE.
You are by now all aware of my ridiculous back problems, beginning with the superknot and progressing nicely down the path of arthritis and bulging disks and nerve involvement, to the point where my right hand was basically useless for writing (on paper and the board) and my right leg and foot would intermittently go weak or numb or start cramping up. Did I mention that all of this excitement was happening at two levels in my spine? Good times. The GP put me on an arthritis medication that was helping, and then sent me to a pain specialist who said I can't take the arthritis med long term and switched me to an anti-SEIZURE medication that works for nerve issues.
It works great in that I can write and trust myself walking up stairs again, and as a side benefit makes me feel a little bit buzzed for about an hour after I take it. #winwin
Since taking 2-6 beer buzz anti-seizure meds for the rest of my life is not an appealing plan for a 36 year old patient, he also recommended epidural steroid injections, which sounded like a party, so I signed right up.
They told me about half the patients choose to have sedation for the procedure, and half did not, and that if I chose sedation I would need to allow two hours for the appointment, fast all morning, and have someone to drive me home. I fasted all morning just in case I wanted sedation, but I still didn't really have a way home and really wanted a Schlotzky's for lunch and decided I'd just wing it.
I regretted that decision almost immediately when, after I had changed into my sexy robe, hairnet, and booties, they led me into a sterile room and arranged me facedown on the table, hooked a bunch of things up to my back, tucked a drape into the top of my undies, and swabbed my whole back with iodine, then left me there for several minutes while the doctor and nurses discussed what to listen to on the radio (Mumford and Sons). I took lots of deep breaths to keep myself from completely losing it. The actual procedure took about two minutes and was as painful as you would expect multiple spine shots to be (actually, I realized later, that what I was feeling was the numbing medication) and when they hit the right spot burning fire ran all the way down the outside of my right leg from hip to pinky toe. And that was awful, but kind of awesome because then I knew they'd gotten exactly the right nerve.
I was pleasantly surprised when they said "OK, you're ready to go!" I mean, if I'd known the whole thing would be over in two stressful minutes I never would have considered sedation. I mean. I had DINNER PLANS.
My lower back has been a little sore since the procedure, but a warm shower helped and my foot hasn't gone numb a single time since then, so I am optimistic. This effect will last anywhere from two weeks to seven years, from what I've heard. Let's hope for seven years.
In other news, we had a long conversation the other night about how badly we need a larger house, which feels elitist and wrong, but there it is. We really need a second living area and another bedroom so Charley can have his own quiet space away from the hubbub of younger siblings, which is enough to drive anyone up the wall, even someone who doesn't spend the entire day deep breathing through normal classroom hubbub. Ryan found a house that had a bedroom on the first floor, separated from the main part of the house by a hallway and the dining room. We could swing it and it is about half the distance between here and the kids' school, with a more direct path that doesn't involve the stupid highway that I hate. We were so close to going to look at it, you guys. Ryan was all ready to talk to the bank. But then we thought about our wonderful street and great neighbors that we love (and the general pain in the ass of moving and selling a house) and we just couldn't pull the trigger. It is so sad to let that one go. But we also really really love this house and don't really WANT to leave. I'm still trying to figure out a solution to these competing feelings. Adding a huge addition on the back would solve the space problem, but probably would cost more than moving and might just make our floorplan weird. Sigh.
And finally, the kids were extra emo this morning while we were getting ready to leave for school. Wes came out of the bathroom, leveled his crazy-eyed gaze at James and said sweetly "I spy with my little eye..." then angrily "TWO PEOPLE WHO NEVER STOP TALKING." then stomped out of the kitchen. And then Mary put down her toast and said wistfully "I looked at my pillow today and saw someone crying and that someone was me."