Hi, I’m Separated Dad, or “SD” to most of you. I imagine that by now I’m a fading memory, it’s been so long since I posted.
You can tell from from the title of this post that I haven’t been on vacation. I wish I had.
Instead I have a sorry tale to tell.
Some weeks ago, my youngest — Charlotte – switched from fainting occasionally in class to fainting 8-10 times per day. This caused her little consternation, as she rarely bumped her head and generally felt like she was getting a short nap multiple times per day. Other students and teachers, however, had some trouble getting used to finding Charlotte sprawled out in classrooms and hallways.
The clinic and counselor for the school had many discussions with me. On a number of occasions, I was asked to bring her home from school. Working in downtown Washington D.C. and bringing home a child are not very compatible and I used up a bunch of goodwill organizing rides home for Charlotte.
One afternoon, she fainted twice on the school bus. For Charlotte, an annoyance. For the bus driver, a scare. The second time, he didn’t just stop the bus, he called the paramedics. It took all my negotiation skills for them to NOT bring her to the emergency room, but instead let her go home with a parent. After this, the vice-principal banned her from the school bus until the fainting was resolved. Uggh. (Although I do see her point.)
Fortunately, I had already spoken to our local doc and Charlotte was scheduled to see a pediatric cardiologist the very next day. After running hours of tests (way beyond the short appointment we’d originally expected), he concluded that a lack of proper hydration may be the primary cause. As in, Charlotte may not be drinking enough water and, for this and other reasons, it was combining to produce the fainting.
The other reasons included both a family history of low blood pressure on her mom’s side and a medication she was taking that has dizziness as a possible side effect.
Hydration wasn’t enough to solve the problem and, yet again, Charlotte had to be removed from school. This time, I was told not to bring her back until the fainting was resolved.
So far, things were simply time-consuming.
That weekend, Charlotte decided to step things up and take more of her medication than she was supposed to. No, it didn’t make things better than taking the normal amount. Instead she ended up in the emergency room feeling very ill indeed. After that, she was moved by ambulance to a Pediatric ICU at another local hospital that could monitor her more carefully.
This was the day that my flu symptoms took hold. I had meant to get a flu shot right after Thanksgiving, as I have done for the last 20 years or so, but didn’t find the time. OOPS.
For the entire week that Charlotte was in hospital recovering, I was back and forth to the hospital with raging temperatures. I alternated between shivering and over-heating, especially as I walked between the hospital and the parking lot. Each night, I would perspire my way through the night. One night, I’d thrown the covers off after perspiring and was shivering uncontrollably. It took me some time to warm up and stop. Not a fun time!
Eventually, Charlotte came home. All was well. No, just kidding. Of course not! Off to a sleepover a few nights later, she had a minor seizure while relaxing. Back to the ER again. Yay! You know you’re having fun when they say “Hello again!” as you come in. *sigh*
This time she was merely observed until about 5am and then sent home. OK, it was a little more complicated than that, but I don’t share everything.
To sum up, for the last few weeks, I have barely been in the office (you will see me panhandling around the city soon as I used up all my sick leave). I have barely logged on to my PC/laptop. I have read hardly any blog posts from anyone and commented on even fewer. I have not responded to enough e-mails that I assume a lot of people are either sniffling into their pillow at night or grumpy and not speaking to me anymore, depending on their inclination. Although the flu is gone, I am still exhausted each day. One day this week, I switched my alarm off and didn’t wake until 10am. I think my body is telling me something…
Also, the pile of unopened mail is worrying. There must be something in there that’s important. But there’s a LOT of crap too. Nothing has red letters on the outside, so I assume I have no unpaid bills (I sign up for every automated payment I can for exactly this reason). I did get one call from a Collection agency but it was for something I *had* paid two weeks before and they had to offer a humble apology and go away with nothing.
Finally, you may have noticed that this post is about Charlotte. Does this mean that Amélie and Brigitte missed out on their chance for attention. Hahahaha! Of course not! In their own special ways, they both managed to add some woes to my list (which is why the ‘Woe #’ skips ahead so much between each post). For now, things seem to be calm again and it’s time to move on to new topics…