It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride the last few of weeks. On Wed, Sept 28th my daughter complained of her side hurting. Kids complain a lot. I’m used to dismissing most things as an ache or growing pain, and then it’s never talked about again. She persisted through the evening that it really hurt. I told her to put a heating pad on it, thinking it could be a pulled muscle. The next morning she said she couldn’t go to school because she was in too much pain, so I made her an appointment with her pediatrician. He ordered blood work and we waited. The results came in later that afternoon and all appeared normal. She woke up on Friday morning, doubled over in pain. I rushed her to the Emergency Room.
After 10 hours in the ER, she was diagnosed with having a large softball-sized cyst in the left side of her abdomen. Five days later, on Wed, Oct 5th, she had surgery to have it removed. Everything went well. They removed the large cyst, but it was also entangled in her left fallopian tube, so it had to be removed as well. Her ovary was untouched and able to remain. Her reproductive system will be fine. I was so relieved for her.
She ended up needing to stay two nights in the hospital. It was difficult, but necessary since she had a c-section type incision. She was such a trooper. I am so proud of her. She was discharged the afternoon of Fri., Oct 7th. The weekend was a good start to her recovery. She has been improving very well each day and can hopefully return to school next week.
In the midst of all this chaos, I was a bit of an anxious wreck, but I was taking it day by day. In between her ER visit and her surgery date, I did many things around the house and pre-planned for a change in our normal routine with my work and her brother’s schedule too. The weekend before her surgery, I did some much-needed yardwork and cleared out overgrown flower beds on one side of my house. It was a nice day and therapeutic to be outside, burning off some of the anxiety of the week to come. I showered immediately after doing yard work, happy to have another thing checked off my list.
On the day of my daughter’s surgery, I scratched at my forearm while in the waiting room. Then scratched again, pulled up my sleeve, and saw a small red rash. I was so stressed out from my daughter’s surgery and now having to hang out with her father for the next 3+ days, that I immediately thought I had some kind of stress rash. I wiped it off with some alcohol and put some hydrocortisone cream on it. For the next couple of days, that’s all I did with it. It did not become worse. A couple of people asked me if it could be poison ivy. Nah, it wasn’t very big and even though I did yardwork recently, it was 5 days ago.
Fast forward to Mon, Oct 10th, and I had a pus-filled golf ball-sized boil on my forearm as well as welts popping popping all over both of my arms and on the side of my face. WTF? I was itchy and in pain and the most uncomfortable I have been in a very long time. By this time I realized it probably was poison ivy, but I still wasn’t convinced since it had been so many days since I’d done yard work. It had been 10 days. I’m typically a research junkie about just about anything. But with everything going on, I never once looked up timeline information on poison ivy rash. Apparently it can start forming up to 5 days after being in contact with it, and it can continue popping up wherever you made contact with it and it can last up to a month. WHAT!?
On Tue, Oct 11th, I took myself to urgent care. It was the fastest urgent care visit I’ve ever had. They took one look at my miserable rash and prescribed me a topical cream and some prednisone to start the relief process. Little did I know that the rest of the week was going to be miserable with my best relief being cold water and ice packs, alcohol wipes, and hydrocortisone cream. My nerves are shot, I’m wired and tired at the same time.
I’ve been trying my best to work at home, care for my daughter, care for my son, and maintain some sort of functional comfort with this poison ivy rash, but it has been so difficult. I can’t sleep at night. I fall asleep quickly but wake up at 1 AM with my arms burning with itchiness. I spend the next two hours trying to relieve the itch and pain, only to wake up to my alarm to face another day of discomfort, work, and mom duties.
Somehow I managed to go to two nights of parent-teacher conferences in the middle of this week. Not ideal, but I had to get all of my daughter’s missed work, and I definitely had to keep tabs on my son’s behavior. Tinted moisturizer and mascara helped make me looked somewhat normal despite the red splotches covering the left side of my face. I slapped on a smile and got that mom crap done.
Last night I hit a breaking point after 1 and 1/2 weeks of nonstop stress. I went into the bathroom for my evening routine of running cold water over my rashy arms and hot tears rolled out of my eyes while I sobbed uncontrollably at the pure suckiness of life at the moment. I was so happy that my daughter has been recovering so well, but I personally felt like complete shit. I’ve had two babies, gone through a divorce, had my career crash (and rebuild), had to live at my parents, have had horrible dates this year, have put up with lice in my home, have experienced people dying in my life… and I’m letting a poison ivy rash break me?
That’s when I realized that it was PMS week, and just about anything was going to make me break. Haha!
October is half way over and has sucked the whole time. I guess sometimes life just sucks. Today is feeling better. I think the prednisone is finally starting to take effect after 4 days. I’m hoping for an upward swing for all of us.
Stifle Me Not