We're not sick anymore but we're still reeling.
Jared had to cancel his trip to Salt Lake City. I was sick for 9 days before I was well enough to get up and walk around. Everyone in the family got over being sick much faster than I did. I felt weak. I put off going to the ER because I kept thinking that surely I would be turning a corner and getting better any minute. Surely if I could hold out one more day I'd wake up feeling better, ready to attack the pile of pukey poopy laundry. I realized that I had made a mistake when I was staggering into the ER, focused very intensely on staying vertical. Standing in line for five minutes was enough to make my heart race. When they triaged me, my blood pressure was low and my pulse was irregular and fast. The cherry on top was my first ever ear infection.
I know that bad news is bad news, but I was so glad they said that. I was so glad to finally have outward confirmation of how bad I was feeling inside.
They pushed 3 liters of fluid into me and gave me some anti nausea medicine and anti diarrhea medicine and I actually got to take a nice nap in my little hospital gurney. I think that's what helped me start making progress on healing because after another day I was able to eat and drink.
When I finally rose from my bed I was met with so much build up of everyday work that it was completely overwhelming.
Actually, it still is. I'm still overwhelmed. I'm still buried.
I feel like Orwell's Boxer, my mantra the ever-famous "I will work harder." I've been working harder. Working harder works for a while but eventually even the strongest machines break down. It's three o'clock in the morning and I should be sleeping but instead I'm awake because my brain won't power down, no matter how tired I am.
Oliver has been having such a hard time. He's been acting out and pouting and I guess I don't blame him. For two weeks I couldn't do anything for him. For two weeks he lived off of whatever food he could scavenge for himself in between repeat episodes of Scooby-Doo. He couldn't go to school. He couldn't be loud and noisy. He couldn't leave the house. Every little infraction of the rules was enough to provoke me into scoldings and time outs.
Now that I'm well, I've been making such an effort to spend time with him but it feels like a drop in the bucket. I still find myself touting the party line. The one that's been worn out since Colin was born. "I'd love to do x, but I have to do y for Colin." "I can't do that right now, I'm busy doing z." "You need to wait until I finish doing x before I can help you with y."
I see why Oliver gets so frustrated. I would be frustrated with me, too. It really isn't fair to him. He really does get the short end of the stick. But worse still, what can I do? I keep saying, "I will work harder." but I don't know if I really can anymore.
The most frustrating part is that every little thing seems like nothing. Taken one at a time, all of my to-do items are insignificant. I know that. That's why it's so humiliating to be defeated by the little things. Nobody wants to admit to being done in by a long list of minutia. Nobody wants to get her ass kicked by Scotch taping Valentine cards or scheduling doctor appointments or filling out registration forms for preschool.
But that's exactly what's happening. The little things are getting me. My gravestone will read, "Died of making too many sandwiches and being put on hold for too long and also grocery shopping, laundry, and dishes."
Last week I took Colin in for a check up and found that he hasn't grown at all since September. Not height. Not weight. Actually nothing.
I did it again. I starved another kid. I don't know what it is with my body, but my boobs must just confer with each other and say, "Yep. We've put in our time. We quit. Consider this our two weeks' notice."
I worked so hard this time to avoid that problem but here I am regardless. Frustrating.
I've been giving Colin formula for the last week. He objects to the taste but since he's been getting more food, he has been happier. I know I've done the right thing, but would you know what? I still feel guilty. I still feel like a failure. I feel betrayed by my own stupid body again. What can you do when its your own flesh just decides to quit? Answer: nothing.
In my heart of hearts, I knew there was nothing I could really do and that nothing was really my fault. But admitting that outright and accepting it and moving on? Oh no. That would have been to easy.
Instead, I hooked myself up to the ol' breast pump and divided my time even more. I was getting nowhere and getting almost nothing for my efforts. After a few days I realized that adding pumping, cleaning the pieces, storing the milk, defrosting the milk, and washing bottles onto my list of stuff just couldn't happen. So I quit.
And I swear I know it was the right choice but I also swear that there is nothing I can do to not feel bad about it. It's the breastfeeding paradox.
But anyway. Enough about me. Tell me, how have you been? Surely there is some good news out there.