Malaise

I am so, so thoroughly cheesed off with illness.

Harry, the sorry little soul, having crusted the last of his chicken pox blisters, has promptly come down with the most godawful cold, and is propped up next to me on the sofa, as fast asleep as it’s possible to be while coughing, choking and wheezing every few seconds. The child is rotten poorly, and directly after the tribulations of chicken pox: deserve this, he does not. 

Anti-histamine delivered no benefit regarding his chicken pox rash – possibly the reverse – and a particular lowlight of last weekend was the long hour he spent inconsolable, emitting continual thin, tearing screams of distress, hysterically attacking his own itches and fighting us off whenever we tried to approach him. We knew what was exacerbating his illness and fever – extreme exhaustion and sensory overload – but working out what to do about it was awful problematic. I ended up fleeing, shamelessly leaving John to it, and departed to sob in the kitchen for a while, because there was absolutely nothing I could do for him. Maternal function return: void.

Eventually, his exhaustion won, and he submitted, first to giving his bleary attention to endless repeats of his ‘Bouncy Fun’ Pingu DVD, and subsequently to sleep. He awoke in the small hours, blessedly cooler and calmer, and immediately spotted me lying on the airbed in front of his sofa-sickbed. He insisted on wriggling inside my cocoon of duvet, and was naturally delighted with the discovery that airbeds go boiINngg. The rest of the night is a confused and semi-conscious un-fun memory of Pingu and bouncing, both off- and on-screen.

I wish I had my child’s powers of recovery – although he’s welcome to keep his susceptible immune system; it took me 30 years to harden mine off slightly. I am in roughly the same state I was in Tuesday morning, albeit able to move a little easier. Given that I hadn’t improved much, I dutifully trotted off to hospital yesterday. John did his best to avoid the bumps, but it’s 31 miles there, and I hung on the Jesus-strap the entire way, howling dolefully whenever the tarmac became more corrugated than usual. The last time I did that – well, apart from returning home last Monday – was when I was in reasonably advanced labour. Out of those three journeys, I’m not sure which I’d rank worst.

Cut a long story short: I have OHSS (quel surprise) and a bonus added extra: a UTI. I suppose being dehydrated to the point of brown pee (I kid you not: it was quite a sight) can do that to a girl. I was revolted and horrified by the gynae ward’s method of obtaining urine samples: you are sent off to the toilet, which serves a dozen or more beds, and told to leave your named pot of urine on the floor by the toilet for the nurse to collect. I have a reasonably high tolerance to grot, but that exceeded my comfort zone by several miles. When I immediately questioned the (senior) nurse on the practice, when being presented with my pot + instructions, she told me defensively that they were very busy on that ward, and that was just how they did things. When I emerged from the bathroom, having been treated to the edifying sight of someone else’s heavily, heavily bloodsmeared pot of piss sat at my cringing feet, I complained to a (junior) nurse, who assured me she would scurry off to collect them straightaway. I hope the unlucky woman got there before some other poor bugger kicked them over and trod in it all. If there was a little box, or special shelf, or just SOMETHING designed for the purpose in the toilet, I can see how it might improve infection control and cleanliness, but a little collection of repellent (gynae ward, people) pots of piss underfoot is not how I expect things to be done. Harrumph.

Anyhoo. I’m taking my antibiotics. I’m making a mess of my underwear with progesterone pessaries. I’m trying to rest.

The embryos are doing OK. As of yesterday afternoon, there are nine that are still going strong; of those nine: seven are at the expected 4-cell stage, one is a 5-cell, and one is a 6-cell. Four of them are Grade 2, the rest are Grade 3. (1 excellent, 2 good, 3 average, etc, 6 worst) The industrious 6-cell is one of the Grade 2s, so I am already thinking approvingly of it, and planning which grammar school I should put down. They all went into blastocyst culture yesterday afternoon, and I will hear again from the embryologist tomorrow afternoon.

I have been chewing my lip a bit at the prospect of becoming pregnant – on past data, I am rather expecting IVF to succeed temporarily, at least* – and finding that my OHSS becomes severe again. Linked, as it is, directly to levels of hCG, (see, I’ve read up on OHSS now. I know it’s triggered by the… well, the trigger shot… and everything) I am fairly apprehensive of returning to the state I was in Monday evening, in a couple of week’s time. Do Not Want, etc. They shove a drain in your abdomen if it gets bad bad – which I would have welcomed, sans anaesthesia, with open arms and an eagerly exposed expanse of belly on Monday night. Eeep.

*an expectation equivalent to wearing wet copper armour and shouting ‘all gods are bastards’ on a stormy hilltop; I know, I know.

But! But! It generally resolves after the end of the first trimester: hollow hurrah! Right about the time my other pregnancy symptoms would be receding: I am a confirmed sufferer of the nausée-fatigue-misérable type until about week 14. A ridiculously colourful cocktail of Hell, No! in short.

But there’s nowt much I can do about it, so I shall continue to chew my lip, look anxious, and try to bloody well get better. Which task would be made a damn sight easier if our poor unlucky child was a little better at dodging germs, and able to go to nursery.

At present, Harry wants to be either a doctor or a hairdresser when he grows up, having been in contact with both types of professionals recently. He’s already a mean hand with scissors, but we don’t think much of his bedside manner yet.

In the bath with John, upon spying a (innocent) red mark on his leg, in a quietly satisfied tone. ‘Daddy! You’ve got chicken pox.’

Upon being shown that Mummy had a poorly, swollen tummy that was too full of water, in awed tones: ‘Yes! It’s enormous!’

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