a december to remember

Yes, I’m cribbing Lexus’ slogan, because seriously, I don’t know ANYONE who gets cars as Christmas presents (though, Santa, if you’re reading, you know where my driveway is).

Last December was one of the worst months of our lives. I got the flu. Not the “flu” but the actual want to die, 8 days of 102 fever, entire month of sickness, influenza. The kind some people actually die from. (Side note: GET A FLU SHOT.) For weeks, I existed in a sweaty, shivery, coughing, bruised ribs, fluid in my lungs, drugged on codeine haze. Jon was working nights and spending his days dosing me, feeding me, helping me use the bathroom without fainting, and trying to catch some sleep in there too. It’s good to be married to an ER doc when you’re deathly ill, as he took great care of me. He admitted that a few times I looked so bad he thought about taking me to the hospital, but knew they’d pretty much just be doing for me what he was already doing– fluids, NSAIDs, cough meds, Mucinex. In retrospect, I might have needed a chest x-ray, but we survived. (My ribs were sore for a month afterward from all the coughing.)

Little did we know that Jon would be the one to wind up in the ER. One day, when I was finally starting to feel like I might be able to leave the house again, I got a text message from Jon saying that if I was up, he was now a patient in the ER where he had been working, and could I come there, please? He was having a weird heart beat and mentioned it to another doc he was working with, who checked him out, hooked him up to some monitors, and realized he was in atrial fibrillation. Basically, the top chambers of his heart were fluttering around instead of beating in a steady rhythm. Ultimately, it took an overnight stay in the ICU (where I tried desperately not to cough around any of the nurses, because I didn’t want to be kicked out of the unit), where he was the most lucid patient I think those nurses have ever treated, and some hardcore meds to get his heart back into a normal rhythm (they call this “converting” if you want to know some new medical speak). He was mere hours from being shocked with the paddles when the meds finally did their job. We got to look at his heart on the echo, which was pretty cool, to see the heart of the one I love, beating on a screen, but they didn’t establish what caused the a-fib episode. I have a feeling it was the exhaustion of working and taking care of a very sick wife. He hasn’t had an episode since.

Still, as a result, our December last year? While it was one to remember, it was also a pretty sucky one. I’m counting this year as a do-over. I got my flu shot, I’ve been washing my hands like a maniac, and if someone sniffles around me, I’m moving across the room. I’m pregnant, but I’m feeling good. My birthday and hopefully the Baby B gender reveal are coming up on the 16th. I’m looking forward to spending Christmas with my family and New Year’s in Colorado with Jon’s, and we’re determined to be healthy for all of it. Now I just have to figure how to decorate our house in a way that won’t immediately be destroyed by the wild and crazy Tinycat.

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