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!’

19 Responses

  1. Blood-covered urine samples? On the FLOOR of the TOILET? No. Seriously. No. Yeuch.

    I’m glad you went in. Can they not do anything for the OHSS except wait?

    I laughed at Harry’s remarks. And I’m also delighted to see how talkative he is:)

  2. oh, of all the…. have just deleted comment typed arduously, one-handedly. bugger.

    to sum up: feel urge to knit something blast-sized for the 6-er. also: my ohss did not return, despite being knocked up, hcg galore, etc. hope for same your way.

  3. Damn. I knew I meant to express proper horror and buckets of sympathy at your OHSS state after the last post, but was clearly too harrowed by your plight.

    Definitely expressing horror at the prospect of said horror continuing indefinitely (the WHOLE of the FIRST TRIMESTER? Dear god. I felt thoroughly aggrieved at the regular symptoms.

    And what QoB said. On the FLOOR of the TOILET?

  4. Somehow I always seize on parts of your posts that I KNOW are not the intended takeaway, but, boy, does it make me grin to read those lovely Harryisms.

    Hang in, nice lady. I am rooting for you, your embryos, and a shelf to be installed in the loo.

  5. Shudder-shudder-shudder. Also, grimace-grimace-grimace. On the floor of the toilet?

    Poor, poor Harry-boy. Poor, poor, POOR you.

    I do get a kick out of hearing his latest phrases. Too beautiful! Can’t get enough. More of this, please.

    And “cheesed-off”: I don’t hear it often enough, either. Love it. So my father-ish.

    Hairies, be well, embryos included.

  6. Just found your blog (Googling something about Brambly Hedge, and finding your father’s masterpiece in Harry’s bedroom) and find that I can’t breathe for laughing. So sorry about all the illness at your place BOO.

    When she was not quite three, my oldest had measles and then chicken pox, back-to-back. Her pox got secondary infection and were all green and gooey and she nearly had to be admitted to hospital, poor dear. I must say, the solution to our constant trips to the clinic in the early years of my motherhood was for me to quit work and teach the children at home(of course, there were other reasons we did this, but their health was definitely a factor). Also, we pulled them out of nearly all of their programs, and either do things as a family, or have folks over to our house. Yes, it was a drastic change in lifestyle, but it worked, and I haven’t taken a child to the clinic for illness in years. *Bliss* We don’t even get colds anymore! Just the occasional tummy bug for a day or two, and seasonal allergies. My dear sister works by choice and has her little ones in day care, and her boys are sick all. the. time. I’m sorry to say that I think most of her paycheck is spent between the sitter and the doctor!

    Homeschooling may not be something you’d ever considered, but it’s something to think about, anyway. Have you tried oatmeal baths for the itching? It has worked wonders for us when nothing else did.

    Congratulations on your new little ones–maybe you’ll get twins!


  7. I hope you are all feeling better soon. With regard the pot-pissing, I had a similar experience when I was pregnant, and they lost it! I can’t get the image out of my head of someone stealing a urine sample…

  8. Piss pots on the floor?! I see a hidden camera, panorama special and possible a Pulitzer in store.

    Thinking approvingly of your 6-celler too.

    That might be Harry’s little bro or sister there.


  9. Love Harry’s new verbosity. And am cheering the little hairy embryos: grow and sprout, lil uns! Grow and sprout!

    Ah, the illnesses sound dreadful. I hope the oncoming summer sun dries most of them up…forever.

  10. I’m hoping those 4 and 5 cell guys turn competitive and catch up to Ms. 6!

    OMG – how horrifying to have the urine samples on the floor. I am skeeved out by the window deposit that has old paper towels sitting in it, even though there are no other samples there. I have encountered another person’s sample, but not on the floor! Major strike against the NHS there…

    Hope you’re feeling better and more mobile soon.

  11. I’m with everyone else. Urine samples on the FLOOR. Good Lord. My clinic, in one you carry your pot to the nurse, who then puts it on her desk and, well, that’s her look-out, and in the other they have a SHELF in the loo. So, sorry, your clinic is run by unhygenists.

    Poor Harry. Can only hope he is building an immune-system of steel and will never ever be sick of anything ever in adulthood.

    As for you, AND a UTI? That was just mean, Universe. Uncalled for and mean.

    Clenching with hope the OHSS buggers off and does NOT come back no matter how wonderfully pregnant you are.

    I tremble nervously and hopefully at your nine good eggs and true.

    Harry would make a great surgeon (scissors AND doctoring, see?). Bedside manner is considered namby-pamby among most of them.

    • I can agree with this, in fact I can think of many who let what’s in their head (“Would you look at the size of that one?!”, “My God, that’s awful!”, “Would you like to keep the screwdriver we removed from your bottom? You would? Well for God’s sake don’t stick your dad’s best screwdriver up their again!” and “Hmm, yes, you are quite saggy aren’t you?”) come out of their mouth with very little intervention from their ethical synapses.
      Besides, bedside manner? A waste of the time when you could be cutting things!

  12. I’m so late to this particular party that all the best comments have been used.

    What they all said. With bells on!

    Thinking of all at Hairy Mansions and sending the best POQ vibes to the germinators.

  13. There is nothing good about wee wee samples but your experience beats any I’ve had. Bleughhh

    Hope Harry gets better very soon!!!

    Go embryos!!!!

  14. I love how you just threw in those Harry quotes at the end… I read them and smiled, and then I thought about how not long ago you wondered whether he would ever speak much at all… it is just fabulous, wonderful and awesome.

    At the total other end of the spectrum, I wish Harry’s pox upon OHSS and blood-smeared (ew! ew! ew!) piss pots. I know, that is not actually literally possible, but roll with me here. Anyway–I will veer back to the other hand again and express my thrillment for your wonderful blasts. Grow, grow, grow!

    • Um, it is fabulous wonderful and awesome that he says things like “enormous” now… the past days of concern were not so f/w/a. Sorry for my miserable grammar.

  15. […] out-of-hours reproductive medicine clinic patients – you know, they of the Leave-The-Piss-On-The-Floor fame.  They promised to get the sister to ring me back. She didn’t. Tried again. No answer. […]

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