Tuesday, February 1, 2011

24 hours.

I thought I could write this post in the Jack Bauer, 24 style.  Starting 20:10hrs : Arrived Soho House.  But the style got in the way of the story.  The point of it was that in 24 hours I went from feeling fantastic at a great Burns Night party in an exclusive private club, to being at the pits of sleep deprived paranoia caring for my sickly children.

We arrived at Soho House at the same time as a very famous actress.  She got to the desk first, but because we were expected, we found ourselves away in the elevator before her.  I took this as a sign that this was going to be a fun night and I wasn't wrong.

A Burns Night can be a tricky thing to get right.  Robert Burn's poetry can be great fun, but it's still poetry and how many great poetry-based evenings have you gone to exactly?  From the moment the piper arrived and we made our way to our dining room, this felt special.  Macallan's whisky sponsored the event, hosted by Duncan Quinn, so we experienced both taste and style.  Oh and the chef from the restaurant, 'The Gorbals' made the most amazing haggis.  Like the food, the poetry readings were well chosen and suitable sized.

We met some amazing people and within about an hour, I persuaded Lynn to become my designated driver... Soon after, a character known only as the Red Baron - supposedly with some links to the German aristocracy, was found searching under the table.  Apparently he'd lost his wedding ring and though clearly perturbed at the loss, he managed to retain his good humor and effortless smile.  The next piece of poetry was about love and the young couple who read it, were in the midst of planning their wedding.  Somehow, this discovery led to an instant wedding "pre-enactment" where the Red Baron married the beautiful couple and thus 'saved' them the expense of a more normal ceremony.  It was a truly moving experience, after all we even had the man with the bag pipes for the walk down the aisle.

You may note from this experience that not everyone was sober.  I felt fine but was glad Lynn was driving when we departed at about 12:30am.

After such a fun evening, things really changed at 2am.  I awoke to hear my youngest coughing.  He was still sleeping but he was wheezing quite badly.  He wasn't hot, but he didn't sound good.  As he was sleeping, I hoped he'd just sleep it off.  At 4am, he awoke needing water, he was aware and lucid and immediately went back to sleep.  I couldn't sleep, the wheezing worried me and so I just lay there, waiting in case he needed me.  My tension woke Lynn at 4:30am and we agreed to let him continue to sleep and then get him to the doctors in the morning.  We were all up at just after 6am.

Once up, it became apparent that my eldest also was suffering with a slightly milder cold /flu.  So I now had both my boys off school and had to get both of them to the first available doctors appointment at 10:25am.

My youngest wheezed so badly, he couldn't walk from the car to the doctors' surgery.  The doctor wanted to use a nebulizer, however my baby had other ideas, kicking her and the nurse as hard as he could.  In end, I banished all health professionals from the room after they tried unsuccessfully to pin down my child and hold the mask to his face.

Previously the same doctor had unsuccessfully tried the same pin down technique to try to remove his ear wax.  That experience resulted in my little guy saying, "We're NOT going to the Doctors!"every time he saw a tall building.  Only through a white lie about Buzz Lightyear going to the doctor, had we diminished this doctor phobia...but that's another story.

My son is willful.  He is smart and he is resourceful.  It took me about 15 minutes to persuade him to try the nebulizer.  It seemed a very long 15 minutes, but there was none of the screaming and violence that had preceded.  He eventually accepted that we weren't leaving till he did it.  He understood that the doctor and I just wanted him to get better.  So, in his own time, he tried the demon machine.  The first attempt was just 5 seconds and I stopped it the moment he shouted "STOP!"  Eventually, he took 2 full doses, his wheezing ceased and this blood oxygen levels returned to normal.  In the end we were at the doctors' surgery for 2 full hours.  (That's $6 for the parking right there!)

Armed with 4 prescriptions, I left the doctor and headed for the pharmacy and it's associated labyrinth of nonsense.  I don't know why there's always a problem every time I go to to the pharmacy, there just is.  I've tried different pharmacies, but it doesn't make a difference.  This time the problem was the nebulizer.  "This is Medical Supplies," said the pharmacist.  When I said that I didn't know what she meant, she ignored me and checked she had all the drugs for the other prescriptions.  It was only when I pointed out to her that in my humble opinion, pharmacies are stocked almost entirely with "medical supplies" that even she attempted to explain.

I took my boys home for lunch and immediately after my youngest napped.  So I used this time to investigate "medical supplies."

Apparently, machines like nebulizers are sold by the special stores that also sell wheelchairs and those Rascal mobility scooters.  The next challenge was to find a store that takes our WGA health insurance... Pharmacists classify nebulizers medical supplies, insurers as I discovered categorize them "Durable Medical Equipment (DME)."  In the end, I just bought one, signed a form and fully expect to hear nothing more about being recompensed.

By the time Lynn was home from work, I was exhausted.  My boy, at least, was feeling much better.  He'd had his medicine, he'd used his new machine and now he was using his new energy to torment his older brother.

Lynn was spent too.  We fought over who should make dinner.  It's my job, but I was tardy in the execution of my duties.  To cut a long story short, this grown man cried.  I was finished, all my fight was gone.  I had fought sleep deprivation, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical insurers and medical supplies stores and I had nothing left.

Apparently some men think their stay at home wives are weak and emotional, I think those men need to stay home more.
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