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For anyone who’s read most of my blog posts from the spring, you probably heard me allude to some health ‘fun’ that happened back in February. It was a big wake up call for me about how easily I can minimize things in my mind as well as how important it is to take GOOD care of ourselves. I know I am not unique among mothers with the desire to take care of my family to the point of ignoring my own needs at times.
****Warning**** This post will contain images that someone might find disturbing or troubling. And, I am being brutally honest in my description of personal health issues in the hopes that someone else might avoid the ‘fun’ I had to experience.
Setting the Stage ~
Back last summer, I had signs of a urinary tract infection (shortened to UTI by healthcare professionals and further reference in this post.) I’m sure that most of my female readers get it when I say the signs were classic… frequent runs to the bathroom with extreme urgency and only a few drops of urine made their way out….burning sensation when urinating…and even some general malaise. Rather than toss a dart at the list of physicians listed as preferred providers and truck myself to get tested and on antibiotics if needed, I self-treated.
TONS of water was consumed, cranberry juice (low sugar/diet) made its way into my diet as well as cranberry tablets. In my mind, I figured if it didn’t abate in a couple of days I’d make that call to a randomly chosen provider. The call never happened as the symptoms seemed to go away.
Later in the fall, I had a day when those symptoms seemed to be returning and my urine looked a little cloudy. Self-treatment seemed to do the trick and it looked like I’d kicked the infection to the door, all without having to see a doctor.
Then, I joined the Mommy Blogger Weight Loss challenge in February which entailed eating healthier (no daily mochas or popcorn for me!) and doing an exercise video we’d been provided by the trainer for one routine. The first week was going well. I saw a dip on the scale. But, then I started feeling some lower back pain. Instead of thinking there was an underlying reason, I assumed that I’d just made my back mad from the increase in exercise. A day off of the exercise seemed to confirm that as it eased up some.
The Fall ~
By fall, I mean just that. I FELL. Well, something like that. Let me explain a little better.
On a Thursday morning, I woke up to a toddler calling for me and could smell exactly why he was calling so frantically. My 8 year old was out in the living room watching a cartoon while his big brothers were still asleep in their beds downstairs. I made a quick pit stop in the bathroom for me before heading into J’s room to change him. I was tired (and had felt tired for a few weeks prior, including bouts of nausea), but figured it was just the early morning wake-up call when my body longed to go back to bed.
Part way through the diaper change, I had the most incredibly violent feeling of nausea hit me. I wondered if some power bug was hitting me and frantically called for D to come and put a clean diaper on his brother. All I could think about was making it the bathroom where I was certain a day of homage to the toilet was going to happen.
I didn’t make it to the bathroom.
The next thing I remember is hearing D calling “Mom, Mom! Did you break your head?”
I slowly opened my eyes and found myself lying at an odd angle in the hallway outside J’s room. It took me a minute to realize I wasn’t waking up from a dream, but must have lost consciousness when I started to make a run for the bathroom.
As for D’s question about my head, I soon could feel just what he was questioning. My head began to hurt and was crammed along the baseboard. Feeling it revealed that I wasn’t bleeding all over the place. So, I put on my calm mom voice and told him to go get the teenager. It took him a little longer than I anticipated, in part due to his need to WAKE the teen who then got angry at a little brother disturbing his sleep on a dark winter morning.
P’s first question when he came upstairs and saw me sprawled on the ground was whether he needed to call 911. I asked him to call his dad instead. At this point, I was putting on my American Red Cross instructor training and considered that I had loss consciousness before I fell and seemed to be completely lucid and only missing maybe a few seconds of time in my memory.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider just having 911 called at one point. But, I also didn’t want panicky boys stuck at home and me alone on an ambulance headed into ‘town’.
While we waited for hubby to get home from work, I asked P to get me an ice pack and towel to put on my head. Rather than complain or get the requested items and then run the opposite direction, P served as a good example to his younger brothers by staying with me and holding it on my head. He also used what nature provided and grabbed a big bowl of snow in lieu of ice or frozen peas.
Sure, I got a few comments about the nasty knot that was growing by the minute on my head. (The photo below is from about 5 minutes after I fell.)
But, I also had D get me a pillow as I repositioned a bit without moving far as I wasn’t feeling especially steady.
For me, in the midst of this turmoil, I felt such an outpouring of love from boys that typically do their best to NOT show love towards their parents these days. J was worried and sat alongside me to hold my hand, his contribution to helping me feel better.