Dear readers, puking tried to ruin my Christmas plans.
Seriously. I'd taken Friday off work. The retrieving supervisor had felt ill for three days prior with a "gnome gnawing [her] intestines," but I'd brushed it off as "She sits pretty far away." I spent Friday cleaning the house and feeling just fine. I got up very early and made it to Trader Joe's by 8:05, to Whole Foods by 8:45, and to MedEquip (to get my CPAP pressure adjusted) by 10:00, then pretty much worked nearly non-stop but for a 30 minute break to lunch and a 45 minute nap late afternoon. All was going sort of well, other than I didn't check in on stepdaughter's cleaning of the bathroom, which I should have.
(I had said, "Clean your bathroom before my mom gets here." Which meant, before K. left for her mom's house. When I checked on it after she left, I discovered that hadn't meant, you know, wiping any hard surfaces down with chemicals of *any* sort, or even a wet sponge, or getting rid of the... debris? she was storing behind her toilet. I mean, yes, cursory floor sweeping; yes, cursory putting-away of cosmetics; yes, cursory cursoryness of all sorts. When I actually went to town on it with my version of cursory, I was semi-appalled by how dirty my paper towels got. Of course, my version actually involved wiping what I can only feel were snot blobs off the bathtub wall!?!? When she came home, she said, "I went into my bathroom and just stood there, amazed. I get what you meant, now." I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS. When she was a tyke, she kept that bathroom as spotless as one could wish. I had to tell her that the toilet did NOT need to be cleaned every day, as we'd've been spending all our money on Tidybowl. What happened, exactly?)
I also, as usual, slightly misestimated Time Needed to Clean, per usual, so redistributing the chore load with my husband ended in an epic discussion, but we sorted it. Anyway. Mom arrived. We chatted, we watched 30 Rock, we got ready to eat...
My mom was putting together the aloo choli and I was toasting naan and suddenly I was overwhelmed by nausea. Like, "I DO NOT WANT TO EAT" levels of nausea. And I admitted it, which is not usual for me and feeling bad in front of my mom, because she swings into Full-on Nurse Mode.
Maybe that's why my husband feels I'm a hypochondriac. I know it's safe to mention feeling ill in front of people who aren't my mother, so I mention any twinge that comes along.
Now, Full-on Nurse Mode with my mother isn't like some awesome thing. I mean, Full-on Nurse Mode is awesome to behold, but it's not such fun to experience. She does things to you. Flu? She tries to make you drink hot pineapple juice laced with garlic, then feed you milk toast, and then everything you try to do for subsequent days afterward is met with a sharp, "JUST LIE DOWN AND BE SICK." She does not think well of people who try to do things while being ill. They're just asking for more being ill time in her book, and ultimately making her job harder. She has a highly competent bedside manner; you feel safe with her. But it's a kind of competence and safety that is occasionally hard to bear, especially if you were just feeling vaguely nauseated. She is not sympathetic.
So the fact that I said something and didn't try to choke down any food right then probably, in retrospect, should have been the sign that something was going to happen.
My stomach seemed to settle, and I had a bite or two of food, and a bite or two of naan. And stopped there.
And then I puked into my hands, all down the front of my shirt, across the floor, and finally into the bathroom sink. Four times. Then I changed my shirt, washed my face, rinced my mouth, and sat down for a while; my husband came home and was like, "What the hell did you do?" And then I went back to the bathroom and puked four more times, and changed my shirt again. And washed my face. And brushed my teeth.
I spent the evening being nauseated and considering ways in which not to puke, and having waves of body chills and aches. I fell asleep on the couch around 9ish, sitting up, unwilling to go to bed even though I was wretched because lying down seemed like a bad idea; Dann played video games (Mom went to bed). Sometime past midnight, after I drank some electrolytes and ate some applesauce, I made it to bed.
I woke up mostly okay. I tried toast; toast was a friend. Then I had to start cooking Christmas dinner, which my mom was a huge help with. Every time I mentioned part of the plan that was complex, she nixed it. "Don't make it complicated, you're sick..." Full-on Nurse Mode, right? I hadn't gotten to do any of the prep I'd wanted to do the night before. All I'd managed was to hard-boil some eggs and doing the turkey brine.
So, morning. Turkey in the oven. Mom peeled potatoes. My husband took pity on me and made the bread. (He also did the chocolate pie, but not from pity.) We put together squash and sweet potatoes and broccoli. Everything was humming along. Then Diabetic Cat, Kali, yowled for a few minutes and randomly ran into the bathroom to puke on the rug. I sat down with her for a minute a little while afterward, and noticed she hadn't cleaned the puke off her paw; yet, she was purring, almost uncontrollably while she sat on my lap, not in any sort of cuddling-purring position. Dann and I looked at each other, a little worried.
Odd. Dann's parents and brother arrived. Back to the kitchen. We were achieving controlled chaos. It was noted Kali was drooling. Then panting. K. came home as I was looking up "diabetic cat panting drooling" online. The suggestion was not low blood sugar, but "symptoms of cystitis." Hm. But time to go to the vet, the website suggested--and hurry.
When I went back to the living room, Dann was already looking up the emergency vet's info. I sat with Kali a minute. Her pupils were wide, and she was strolling into unconsciousness. I almost went to get corn syrup to rub on her gums, but I wasn't sure that wouldn't hurt her more. Dann was back, I was calling the vet, they were saying come in, cars had to be moved, Dann and the cat were gone, K. was on the couch being comforted by her grandmother.
All I could think was that the last time there was a pet health crisis, Dann had had to deal with it alone, and it had been so hard on him, and I'd promised he wouldn't have to do it again--but there we were. I thought K. might feel better if she were there, that if we had to do the hard thing, she might prefer the chance to say good-bye, so I asked her if she wanted to go. She nodded, miserable and crying, and thirty seconds later I was saying, "You're in charge of dinner" to all available parents.
It was a long drive to the vet. Inevitably, on Platt, there was an old man driving ahead of me, who kept staring at the garbage dump and going 5 miles below the limit. I thought about how people regret chances they miss by minutes instead of by longer periods of time. I thought if the cat died while we were en route, it was going to be hard not to hate this old man.
K. and I held hands and sniffled silently the whole way there.
We got in the door to find Dann calmly filling out paperwork. A wretched few minutes later, the vet tech came in to say that Kali's glucose had been 31 (down from the 150 which would be considered normal-managed for a diabetic cat), and she'd been given dextrose and was perking up. We did the medical history of the cat, which nearly took all three of us anyway.
They wanted to pump her with fluids and monitor her for a few hours. We were let to go see her. The vet and the tech both told us about how when she was given the dextrose, she certainly seemed confused, like, "How did I get here???!?", coming out of her half-conscious fugue state. She meowed at us to let her out of the damn cage when we came in, as we each took a turn petting her. Only towards the end of the petting did she try to get up and come out, but we pushed her back down.
I texted my brother-in-law that the cat seemed stabilized, after the parents failed to figure out how to operate the landline phone; then said, "We're coming back in 20 minutes." He texted back, "With or without cat?" which I didn't get until I got out of the car. So we came in announcing that the cat was okay. Or, K. did. She's getting to that point where she thinks of these things.
We went home, opened presents, had Christmas dinner, opened more presents. It was slightly subdued, but much the cheerieer for having avoided the worst result. We had alternating bouts of self-recrimination for not figuring out what was going on with her earlier, and being glad we got her to the vet when we did. Or I did. I'm not sure about Dann.
The turkey was fantastic, if I do say so myself. That recipe is solid gold.
At some point, the vet called to say Kali's sugar was up and down and weird, and they wanted to observe her overnight. The cost was... high. Dann and K. went to the vet's to say goodnight to her, and to give the vet her food and insulin (and pay the deposit). Mom and I cleaned the kitchen...
Life went on... Folks-in-law went home, while we here watched a lot of 30 Rock and ate stocking candy and I fondled my new books.
Dann and K. picked up Kali this morning. She was better, and deeply pleased to be in their company on the car trip home, from all accounts; normally, she despises the car.
Today, got news from a friend (iuliamentis) we were supposed to meet up with that her husband had a puking migraine. So that was the third way that vomit iterrupted this festive weekend. Three pukes in three days! We did head on over to splash_the_cat's to exchange some presents, after a trip to the non-emergency vet for glucose testing and advice.
And... that was the holiday. I'd like to plan on a pleasant and easy-going five days to round out 2011, but I'm not counting these eggs before they hatch.