As you know from my last blog post, my boss and I had an extensive conversation about my being out of the office quite often this past year due to my “medical issues”. These issues were for fertility treatments and now, my pregnancy. His argument was that when I’m not in the office (even for good reason), it affects him negatively. My argument was that they are valid medical issues and that he was acting like a douchebag (mind you – I didn’t tell him that last part. I just thought it really, really hard). He and I ended up talking it all out, putting everything down in writing where he wrote that he understands my health is important but my position requires I be in the office as much as possible and where I wrote that my occasional absences and lateness have been due to my pregnancy and won’t be an ongoing issue into the future… and that he was acting like a douchebag (Ok, I didn’t write that last part. But again, I just thought it really, really hard). We sent the document into human resources and all was right again with the corporate world.
On Saturday, October 29th, I got a migraine in the afternoon. This is not uncommon for me so I wasn’t alarmed. I took two Tylenol and laid down for nap. When I woke up, the pain had gone away but I felt dizzy. As the evening wore on, I went from mildly dizzy to having the spins (of course, I wasn’t drinking but that’s how it felt) and then, by Sunday morning, I felt like Amy Winehouse… the day she died. I couldn't open my eyes, the bed felt like it was flying, walking was near impossible and I felt this unnatural urge to put my hair in a beehive.
Due to the constant dizziness, my stomach eventually succumbed to motion sickness and literally every time I tried to move, I threw up. I’m not talking a little morning sickness kind of sick either. It was more like THE EXORCIST kind of sick. If people saw me, they wouldn’t say, “Hmmm. Jay is under the weather.” They would have said, “Holy shit –Give her the last rites!”
For the record, I never wanted to throw up in front of my husband. Never. It’s bad enough he’s seen me be an emotional hormonal wreck during the last few years of infertility treatments. Then, add the weight gaining hormonal wreck of a pregnant woman that I’ve been in the last couple of months. Now, on Sunday, in what I can only describe as my lowest moment in quite a while, he saw me laying on the bathroom floor wearing only a pajama top, sweating uncontrollably, non-bikini waxed and throwing up non-stop into our tub. If he ever wants to have sex with me again after all of this, it will be nothing short of a miracle.
After calling the doctor, we were told that I should head into Labor and Delivery at the hospital immediately. I was, of course, VERY nervous about both myself and the baby but really, my main thought was, “Please God… let this stop. I’ll do anything. I’ll go back to church, I’ll be nicer to my mother-in-law, I’ll even stop saying mean things about how ugly Jennifer Lopez’s kids are – just please make this stop.”
When we arrived at the hospital (which entailed me laying down in the backseat and throwing up some more. Again, very attractive), they immediately knew I was dehydrated. So much so, that they had trouble even finding a vein to put in an IV in to. They quickly also put a monitor on my belly to check the baby. They were concerned that they wouldn’t pick up anything as most of the women in Labor and Delivery are further along than me and… well… are in labor. However, through some sort of luck, they picked up our baby’s heartbeat and determined that not only was he totally fine but that they were also quite impressed how strong he was under the circumstances. I’m telling you – from only one lone embryo from a batch of 13 eggs right up until now, this baby has been a kick ass hard core fighter.
They gave me three bags of fluid that included anti-nausea medication and had me rest. As soon as the room cleared, the quiet kicked in and I lay on the hospital bed miserable, my husband said something I will never forget. After a minute passed, he said very matter of factly, “Today was the first time I ever heard you fart.” *sigh* Great. Yet another milestone in our marriage. Does Hallmark make cards for that?
By the end of my stay, the doctor on call guessed that I had something viral. He told me there was nothing they could do other than give me anti-nausea medication, send me on my way and hope for it to pass. And this is what I did for the next few days but when I saw it wasn't getting better, I phoned my neurologist who told me to come in to rule out a stroke. A stroke? Really? If ever there was a good reason to miss work, a stroke would definitely be a damn good excuse.
After a few tests, my neurologist said that I have an extreme case of vertigo (not the Hitchcock movie but the neurological affliction) which was probably set off by my initial migraine. He said I should continue with the anti-nausea medication, go home and rest as much as possible. This meant that I would have to be out of work for a total of two weeks. I don't know what's more amazing, that I was in yet another two week wait or that my brain apparently heard my boss complaining about missing a few days here and there and said, “Oh yeah? I see your complaint of a missed day and raise you two whole weeks. Suck on that!” It was then that my virtual Jenga tower collapsed.
To be fair, both my husband and a good friend/co-worker of mine spoke to my boss on my behalf and he has reportedly been very understanding. Still, I can’t help but marvel at the timing of this. I've spent more time than I care to admit in the past few weeks worrying about my job and now, I feel like this unexpected illness has just made things worse. In the words of Krusty the Clown from THE SIMPSONS, "This... I don't need."
Meanwhile, I did what I was told and rested. My husband dropped me off at my parents house so he could get back to work and I could get the constant care I needed as I have been unable to get around other than go to and from the bathroom. As soon as I got to my parents house, I was tucked into bed and my mother, for some unexplainable reason, started showing me her recent clothing purchases. I can only compare it to the movie, MISERY but in this scenario, I was James Caan and my mother was a very loving, well-intentioned woman who loves a good clearance sale at Talbots.
The BEST part of this dizzy fashion show though was when she showed me a pair of pajamas she bought for me. They looked a little like Vincent Van Gogh’s painting called “Starry Night”. “What is that?”, I asked.
She said, “I bought you these to have vertigo in.” Wow. Clearly, they DO make an outfit for every occasion. Vertigo pajamas. Yikes.
My father, bless his heart, kept forgetting I was upstairs and in bed. At one point, I sent him a text asking him if he could bring me lunch. It went ignored so I called him. The conversation went like this:
ME: "Hello? Dad?"
DAD: "Hello? Who's this?"
ME: "Dad - it's Jay."
DAD: "Ohhhh, hi! How are you?" (As if he hasn't spoken to me in months)
ME: "Uhhh, I'm ok. Can I have lunch?"
DAD: "Sure! How's peanut butter and jelly? It's all I can make."
Twenty minutes later, while wearing my vertigo pajamas, I ate a peanut butter jelly sandwich that looked like it was sat on. I didn't critisize though. I was just so grateful to have food.
I’m happy to report that I’m feeling better but it’s been a very slow, difficult process. I’ve spent a lot of time lying in bed thinking. I can’t really watch television (as I’ve been too dizzy), I’ve had trouble walking and up until today, the computer was completely impossible. In order to stay sane despite feeling like ass, worrying about work and dealing with my parents care taking skills, I would occasionally recite anything I’ve ever memorized: The Pledge of Allegiance, the Lord’s Prayer and a monologue I had in my second grade play (I played a cavity).
What really kept me from totally losing my mind though was how often I felt the baby kick. Anytime I’d worry about losing my job, or that I was never going to get better, or when I had a crying fit over how crappy I felt, the baby would kick as if to say, “Hang in there! I’m here!” It’s corny and perhaps a little crazy but I swear that it felt like he was cheering me on.
That’s one of the many things I’ve learned in the last two weeks: The timing of this has sucked and being this out of commission has been scary and frustrating but I’m pregnant… and that’s all I ever wanted. No matter how many virtual Jenga towers I knock over, I at least have that... and that means the world.
I've also learned that I can now freely pass wind in front of my husband. I’m just sayin’. The barrier has been broken.