Sunday, March 18, 2007

More Interrupted Sleep and Mom Might Have Shingles (catchy title)

Here's the The Boy stuff:

File this under "is this TS or just other crap?" I'm chalking it up to a smidge of both.

Tonight is the last day of The Boy's spring break. He's had over a week of going to bed probably between 9:30-10pm. We were always shooting for 9pm but we're suckers. What can I say. Tonight, we put them to bed at 7:30 because tomorrow is school. We were trying to watch HBO's Rome on our DVR. It's a one hour show that took us about 1.5-2 hrs to watch. This, because our sweet boys kept coming down stairs. Lil Bro has just recently discovered he can get out of his big-boy bed any time he wants. Tonight, he tried it out for size. Plus, he just plum wasn't tired. But The Boy...I'm not sure what his deal was. I would have just thought he couldn't sleep so he kept coming down with any excuse he could think of. But it wasn't the usual "I need water" or "I can't sleep" or "Turn down all that Roman bloodshed!" He kept coming down telling us he had a weird feeling in his chest or that he thought he was going to throw up.

I think I've mentioned before that The Boy tends to get these little panic attacks, of sorts. And he usually says that he thinks he's going to throw up. If we can calm him down and figure out what he's anxious about, everything is good. Rarely, he actually pukes (them are loverly times). And rarely, but a bit more often, we can't get him calmed down and it just goes on way too long. Those are the hard times for me. I like to think I'm a good mom. Well, I am a good mom. But I'm also human. And right now, I don't feel well myself. So you put the human sick I-want-to-watch-Rome factor in there and you have a mom who followed The Boy up the stairs about 7 times with clenched fists asking God to calm me down because The Boy doesn't deserve a jerk reaction. God is good.

The new factor to his tension tonight was the weird feeling in his chest. Today at church, they gave his class balloons - I forgot to ask why but all the kids were blowing them up and letting them make glorious farting noises. It would have made my brothers very happy to see it. But I digress. A couple of times, The Boy would get his blown up quite big and, I guess, as he was taking another breath in through his nose, the balloon would suddenly blow air back into his mouth and inflate his lungs a bit. He told me that was what the feeling was like. I can see how that would be disconcerting if you weren't actually blowing up a balloon. Then he also said he thought he would throw up. Since the last time he said this I didn't believe him, only to have him blow chunks all over my potty room, I took the precaution of taking him into said potty room and getting him into the just-in-case position in front of the toilet. He asked me if I thought he was going to die. No, actually, first he asked me if I had ever felt like this before. I told him I don't really think I had ever had this problem. Then he asked me if I knew anyone who had felt like this before. And I had to admit that no one I knew had ever described this exact scenario to me. I think that bothers him. Often times, I can say, yes, I've felt this or you aunt so-and-so had this once or whatever. That seems to make him feel so much better. But I don't like to just lie to him. Anyway, I got him calmed down enough to go lay in my bed (I had made a mommy judgement call that no puking would be forthcoming so I felt rather safe in doing this).

Here's where the 'Bad Parenting Handbook Volume 1' comes in handy. I knew that, if this kid didn't get some sleep soon, he was going to anxiety himself right out of his mind. Every time he came down tonight, he'd look at the clock and get MORE upset at how late it was and he wouldn't be fit for school in the morning, etc. So this last time, he checked the clock and got all upset again. So, mentally consulting my imaginary Bad Parenting handbook, I recalled that the Benedryl I give him for his allergies help him sleep. I asked him, "Do you think some pink medicine will help?" He was willing to try. So I dosed him up and hung out rubbing his back and he hasn't gotten up since. Bad mommy. But he's sleeping. And he does have allergies. And once he's had to get up at 6am for a day or two, his early sleep will be right on track again.

I wish I could figure out from whence came the anxiety (sorry - I love using 'whence'). At first, he really seemed worried about going back to school. He told me he was used to spring break. He loves school so this didn't really make sense to me. So I asked him if anything was going on at school that I didn't know about. There is one bully that can get to him so I was worried that had been happening. But no. Nothing about school. I think it was just the whole change in schedule thing. He's a creature of habit. The one change in schedule he adapts to very quickly is staying up late. He's like me. He can do that on any given day - and would, if we let him. But changing back the other direction, that's hard for him. And I think it fits into his whole change in routine thing. He doesn't like his routine to change. It really freaks him out at times.

I'm just guessing. But he's sleeping now. And our last prayer was asking God to multiply his sleep so he'd wake up refreshed. I'm sure he'll rally nicely in the morning. And tomorrow night, I won't have to give him Benedryl unless he's actually having allergies.

Here's the Paranoid Mom stuff:

That's the The Boy update. Now I'll give you the mommy update. And I'm giving you this update because, if I have what a few people think I might have, I doubt I'll be blogging for a while. And if I don't we can all have a good laugh and you can see just what an alarmist looks like.

A few days ago - like early last week - I had a weird sensation in my outer ear. For anyone medical, please forgive this. I don't know the proper terms for any part of my ear. But you know that little doink that sticks out right in front of the ear hole? Some people pierce it (well, I went and found a picture - and this is NOT my ear! - and the little bugger is called the tragus - but I like doink better). Well, on my left ear, my doink was itchy. When I scratched it or even just barely touched it (like, when you run a finger so it just barely touches the itty bitty hairs there), it would feel raw and painful. I had hubby check it out, expecting him to say, oh yah, you must have scratched it raw. He said it looks fine. No red. Nothing. I thought it odd but went on my merry way. It remained that way and then I started having discomfort in my inner ear. I would have sharp needly pain back deep in my ear - felt like it was near the ear drum and maybe in the Eustachian tubes. So I thought, lovely, I have an ear infection! But the next day, that pain wasn't really there but I had terrible sensitivity to sound. I could barely take the kids making normal sound. I could barely handle listening to my conference calls. I couldn't listen to any phone call in my left ear. It was either speaker or using the right ear. That was Thursday. So I figured, well, don't want an ear infection to go on too long so I called and made a doc appointment for Friday 7:30am (gack!). That night, I noticed a slight swelling happening just outside my ear - right in front of it, actually. Like, where men have sideburns. Right there. If you cut a quarter in half and placed it right there, that's the area of swelling. Odd place for swelling from an ear infection.

A much too long story made a smidge shorter: inner ear looked fine. She could see the swelling and it was pushing one wall of the ear canal in a bit but nothing very alarming. The swelling was itchy and hot to the touch but I had no fever. I didn't really have much pain to speak of. Just periodic little pin prick types of things that would happen down deep or near the original spot on the doink (I think that should now be the medical term for that part of the ear). She thought it could be an allergic reaction, but to what? It could also be an infection, but an infection of what? She erred on the side of caution and sent me home on some lovely antibiotics that are, at this very moment, wreaking havoc with my GI tract (fun, that). So that was Friday morning. Oh yes, and she told me hot compresses might help - especially if it was an infection.

Yes, well...a day of antibiotics, ear drops and hot compresses...Friday night, I have a huge area of swelling that basically has grown from a half quarter to more like if I had mutton chops. But in stead of following my jaw line toward my chin, it dipped down over the jaw line and under the ear lobe - like the bottom tail of this thing feels like a swollen gland. My nurse sis-in-law said stop the heat - that increases swelling. Try ice. Ice was nice - helped a bit. But not much. Saturday, I woke feeling like someone had dumped olive oil in my hear - everything sounded like I had my finger in my ear. That finally cleared about an hour after I was up. The swelling was still there and now you could see the difference in the sides of my face. The lower gland swelling thing hurts like a beast if I barely even touch it. Oh yes, forgot one important thing. On Friday, I get two small lumps on my lower lip - on the left side. They look like maybe zits but they're not. Hot compresses do nothing but make them bigger. I don't get cold sores so I have no idea if they are cold sores or not. They have not broken skin or anything. At times, they're lovely and red, at times, you barely notice them. I, however, can TOTALLY feel them. So can my vanity.

So that brings us to today. Today, I keep having needle pin prick pain or discomfort in my left inner ear, near the swellings on the left side of my lower lip, in the left side of the roof of my mouth, in the gum line (left side), on my tip of my tongue. The whole left side of my jaw, cheek and chin itch. The swelling itches like crazy. I want to just jam knitting needles into my inner ear to satisfy the itch there. When I do scratch my cheek, jawline or chin? Even with the lightest pressure, after I take my fingers away, it's on FIRE. It hurts. The inside of my mouth is really sensitive. Like, I rinsed with Listerine last night because I had one point on the tip of my tongue that felt raw. Listerine always burns but totally in a way I can handle. Let me tell you, last night and today? It BURNED. Yah. Good times.

So, as all of these things developed over a very short period of time (and as I sit here typing and I feel little things that feel like someone is dragging a needle over my skin), I'm wondering what the hell is going on. And I just love how all the major stuff started once I left my doctor's office.

Is this just some major allergic reaction to something? Maybe a spider was chilling out on my ear doink while I slept. And I rolled over and he was all, "WOAH! What's going on???!!" and bites me on the doink. Maybe (and I like this theory much better) some alien larva is nesting in my ear and will spring forth at some ghastly and inopportune time. Or maybe - and this was suggested by a few people today - I am getting shingles. Now, I love a good alarmist exercise as much as the next drama queen. But my sister just had shingles and she was like, "Uh...that sounds just a little too much like how things started with me," except it started with her side/back and this is my ear/face/mouth. A woman at church asked if I thought it was shingles and I poo-poo'd that because it wasn't my torso (like my sis had). I made sure not to kiss anyone or touch any of the kids today. Just in case I have some kind of contagious cootie (another alarmist paranoia is that I got herpes in my ear from some horrid public toilet incident of which I am unaware - I don't know where my brain gets this stuff. I'm just the messenger). I'm also not going to my great-aunt's funeral that is a 7 hr drive away because, honestly, I don't know what I have and don't want to do the meet-n-greet if it's giftable, you know?

So tomorrow, I will call my doctor's office and tell them, I need to see a doc. And when they try to give me an appointment that's like 7 years away, I'll just say, uh, no, I think I have "The Shingles" as David Letterman calls them. That should get me in pretty quickly.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope it's an alien larva. I've always wanted to be and exploding host for one of those. Just hope I can get it on camera. But all the tingling and itching and swelling and pain really reads like all the websites describe for pre-shingle onset.

I'll let you know. Oh, and I'll leave instructions with my husband that, if it IS an alien that will explode out of me? He's to log on here and let you all know.


Wanda said...

Oh my gosh! I hope you get to the doctor soon! I had a fungus in my ear once, and it was a horrible. Ears are not anything to mess with. I'm saying a prayer the doctors get this all figures out. Will certainly understand if you don't post for a while. We'll miss you.

Kendra said...

Ouch. I'm so sorry. I am very curious now, though. You have to at least post when you get back from the Dr. and let us know, ok? I know shingles can be related to stress, too, which has been a plenty in your little world. I can identify with the noise sensitivity. That's what I experienced with my treatment - it's awful, isn't it?? The world just hurts you! Love you - can't wait to see your mom here tonight!! I get to have all 3 Hawkins sisters here!

Wanda said...

Thank you, Thank you for your wonderful Pet story. I love cats to, unfortunately, several of my grandchildren have dreadfully allergic to them, so I had to decide....cats, or grandkids! So Molly has been with us 4 years and we adore her.

ellesappelle said...

I think you sound like a wonderful mother!

You poor thing, re the ears. Ears are one of the scariest things to have something go wrong with, I think; I do the same thing as you and start wondering about public toilets somehow affecting my ears or about alien invasions! Well, I hope that whatever it is you get it sorted out very soon.

Angela Marie said...

Oh sweetie! You poor thing!

I am reading this first and then playing catch up! I can't wait to read the next post!