#257 In which our hero desperately attempts to forget the goings-on of the past 24 hours.
Bad day, yesterday.
It started late Tuesday night. While The Scientist and I were still high from watching Obama’s resounding victory in the presidential election (aside to Ohio: thanks for not fucking this up) our three-year-old, Macey came into the bedroom. Earlier she told me that “I drank too much water” and I sat her on the potty, where she successfully peed. But now she was back for more. Which is her way… she seems to like to pee, then wait a half hour or so, then come back to poop. Which is fine; as long as everything is going in the potty and not her pants, I don’t care.
So I take her back into the bathroom and sit her on the potty. She sits there for a moment, then pukes, big-time. It hits the wall, it covers the floor; a significant amount covers my hands and arms. I’m a little slow in whipping her around to face the toilet, but much of the second round ends up in the bowl. And it’s a lot. Poor kid ate a big dinner, and here it was all coming back.
I strip her down and The Scientist takes her into the shower with her to clean her up. Now, this is amazing… that my wife is able to function in this situation. See, she has a puke phobia. She doesn’t like to see it, hear it or smell it. Watching it on TV is okay, I guess, but in person is right out. She’s warned me about this endlessly in the nearly 10 years we’ve been together, but it’s never really been an issue (baby spit-up didn’t seem to fall into the no-puke category). I knew she didn’t like it (who does?) but I wasn’t really clear on the extent to which she’s not okay with it--and wouldn’t be until the next morning.
Anyway, so The Scientist can take our kid into the shower--crossing over the puke zone--without incident, so I figured everything was okay. I mean, Macey wasn’t okay, clearly, but it was probably just a stomach bug and now that she threw up we were hoping the worst of it was over.
I cleaned up the puke in the bathroom, we got Macey all changed into clean jammies, and all seemed well. And all WAS well, until the next morning.
I got Macey out of bed, and she made some comment that she felt sick, and then she was. But I was ready with a basin, and her barf was completely contained. The Scientist came in and got clean clothes for her and we started the morning getting-ready-for-school routine. Then, the smell hit her or she saw it or something, but she sat down on the floor and said, “Craig! I’m not doing okay!”
I came back into the room and she was laying down saying, over and over, “I’m not doing okay! I’m not doing okay!” And I’m a little pissed because this is her stupid puke phobia, and there’s no real reason to be freaked out about puke, and little kids puke all the fucking time, so it’s dumb and you should really just get over it. But, I’m not a complete asshole, so I say, “What’s going on?”
And my wife doesn’t answer. So I repeat myself. “Hey! What’s going on?” She’s flat on her back, her arms in an awkward position, and she’s not saying anything. A little alarmed, I crouch down and give her a little shake. And she is as stiff as a board.
This is when I realize my wife is having a seizure.
Now, this should have been scary as hell but, honestly, The Scientist has spent much of the previous decade preparing me for this very moment.
Here’s the deal: when my wife was much younger, she went through a phase where she woke up unexpectedly, felt ill, had a seizure, passed out, woke up, and vomited. This pretty much scared the hell out of me when she first told me about it. Mostly, because for the first five years or so of our marriage she would wake up feeling a little sick, then wake me up so I could be there “in case I have another seizure.”
And I was all Joe Concerned at first… then it because apparent that she hadn’t really had a seizure in 10 years… then in 15 years… then in 20 years. And at this point I said, “Y’know, I don’t think you’re going to have another seizure any time soon. Can you please let me sleep through the night?” It’s possible I was a bit of a dick about this.
So when she went all stiff, I though “Well I’ll be goddamned, she really is having a seizure.” It lasted maybe 10 seconds or so, then her eyes rolled back in her head and she went limp. I grabbed another basin and waited for her to wake up. She recovered in about 20 seconds or so, confused. Then, true to form, she rolled over and started to heave.
The good news is that she didn’t have anything in her stomach, so she didn’t have anything to puke. The bad news is that the dry heaves suck for anyone, just recovering from a seizure or not.
So, she's heaving, and it occurs to me that I’ve never actually heard my wife puke. Well, she did puke after the horrible tattoo incident (I’ve written about that, right? I can’t seem to find anything about it in my archives) but that was fairly quick. Anyway, she heaving into the basin, and come to find out that she makes this funny noise when she’s puking. Kinda like “Uggghhh--hehk!” There's this odd little coda to her heave--and it strikes me as really funny. And I know I can’t laugh at her in this situation, so I try to stifle it. But my laugh pops out as a strangled little snort, which my wife misinterprets as me gagging.
So I just let her collapse on the floor, brought in a pillow and covered her up. She certainly wasn’t doing well, but she seemed stable.
Macey, on the other hand, was FULL of energy. Apparently the puking got out the last of whatever was bothering her, and she wanted to play, play, play! Naturally, I had to call The Scientist’s work and tell them she wasn’t going in (said she was sick, didn’t feel the need to add the seizure part) and I had to call my work and tell them I wasn’t coming in. Then I called the daycare and told them neither of the girls was coming in. Lily seemed fine, but we kept her home just to be safe.
And honestly, both girls were fine all day. They were actually overjoyed to get to stay at home and play with daddy. My wife was finally able to crawl into bed after a couple of hours. I set up the baby monitor next to the bed, and spent the next several hours running up and down the stairs to check on her, then to make sure the girls weren’t fighting. Plus I washed all the puke-covered stuff from Macey’s first round of vomiting.
The worst part of the seizure BS turns out to not be the seizure itself, but the after-effects. The Scientist was sore, but she was also nauseated and dizzy for hours afterward. Neither she nor Macey really ate anything all day. Well, Macey ate a couple freeze-pops, and The Scientist had a Slurpee.
All in all, it was inconvenient, but not horrible. The big fear, of course, is what if I’m out of town and one of the girls gets sick? That’s going to be a big problem. I think my wife would agree.
But that, like the previous 24 hours, is something I don’t want to think about right now.