I got the day off from work today.
How did I do it?
With an ER doctor's note. I have contagious diarrhea, dehydration, and a white blood cell count over 13.
What happens when you are sick at work? Somebody ELSE has to do YOUR WORK. So, the guy on twenty-four hour call Sunday, gets to do a forty-eight hour call through Monday on Labor and Delivery. Fortunately, he is used to doing back-to-back calls, and is my friend.
He actually escorted me to the ER yesterday, from a respectful, 'I don't want to catch what you have' distance.
How did I get sick?
I am human.
In my quest for what made me 'feel better' I had started eating raw foods. Some of my friends are into it, raw dairy, raw meat. I would just do the raw produce and raw dairy.
Last week on Tuesday I had eaten raw when I was on OB call. Raw pizza, raw cayenne hummus, little peppers to dip, and raw goat milk. Although I bought from a well-known natural food store, I made the mistake of not actually knowing my growers like my friends do. The raw Hawaiian, she buys her dairy frozen from Pennsylvania Amish and ships it all the way out to Big Island.
I still felt good though, except sleepy, on Wednesday after my Tuesday call. I spent the day with my son, watching T.V. because I couldn't do much of anything else. Thanksgiving was cancelled by my family. Someone has a transplanted solid organ, and the steroid dose just got adjusted. My son had an ear infection. So on Thanksgiving day, we stayed at home. I cooked, but my oven is small. I made the stuffing, outside the turkey in a casserole. But I let it sit warm on the stove. This could have been culprit number two.
Friday, 'Black Friday' as the shopping industry calls it, is NOT an OR holiday. I was slated to work. I had orange juice with some SpiruTein powder in it. When I am pressed for time, I substitute a meal with that. We left the house extra early to take my son, who had no school, to my mother's who lives twenty minutes on the other side of my work. Mid morning, I got the chills, and couldn't shake them. I had hot water bottle, blankets, and was taking care of patients in the OR. I told the charge nurse I didn't feel good. I wanted to know when I could go home. She would have to call my buddy back, and he had just told me he was picking the kids up from his dad because his wife was going shopping. So I worked, sick, the whole day. I got home to my mother's and crashed for four hours, shivering under a blanket.
Saturday, seven a.m., I was back at work on Labor and Delivery. I had just dropped my son off at his dad's at six. Instead of checking the OR and saying hi, I lay in an old dirty bed. When the cleaning lady came by at eight, I went to the cafeteria. Cafeteria hours are strange on weekends. One hour for breakfast, two for lunch and closed in between. I got Coke, Sprite, bananas, Cheerios, a yogurt, fruit, and white toast. I came back and lay in bed, shivering. At noon, c-section. But RN couldn't get i.v. I did but it wasn't easy. I went back to bed until two a.m. Epidural. I didn't even do the paperwork. Just the electronic orders. Three a.m. epidural. Six twenty a.m. epidural.
Illness has a purpose. I want these two days off more than anything. I needed a rest. I have needed vacation for two months. I am working way too hard for my body. Add to it the hours I keep, so I drop my son off and make sure he gets picked up. And the fact that there is trouble from his father.
Can you believe his father and grandmother didn't want to take him to the doctor on Tuesday? They only agreed when I had said I had paid the copay in advance? And that yesterday he asked me to give him the money that he had spent on the medicine? I gave him fifty bucks. Our son couldn't believe it. His father is l-o-w.
If I didn't know, underneath it all, that love and kindness are going to win, I would fight it. But I haven't got much fight left.
So where's the Reiki?
I don't know. It's gone quiet. Sometimes when we learn powerful lessons, the help is unseen. And in my case, unheard. The kindness of the nurse and doctor in the ER meant so much to me. I apologized for the RN having to bottle up my stool sample. It was that gross. I learned that ER gurneys are never comfortable. And that the warm blankets get cold after about ten minutes, and you shiver under the air conditioner. You hear the neighbor say, 'I can't pee' and a great big 'ah!' after a nurse puts in the foley. You see in their eyes that the overworked workers really care.
I learned I can put in epidurals flawlessly while sick.
And that I break.
And in my quest for 'raw natural food wholeness', I almost died. My potassium was low, and if I had not been making myself drink coke mixed with LR, a very nasty substance meant for i.v.'s, the potassium would have been much lower. I was close to death. And now we are killing all the bacteria in my gut to get me well. And starting again.
Back to sleep. It is so nice to have a day off.