The morning after the girls and I went raspberry picking with friends, we decided that HG had so much fun that we would go again on Saturday morning to take Ethan with us. Hannah Gray was not nearly as excited about it as we anticipated, and kept complaining that she had to go potty. After Ethan taking her potty, literally like 3-4 times just at the farm, we finally told her she was fine. No sooner did I turn around, she was on her knees bracing herself on the raspberry basket, just throwing up. What do you do when your kid throws up in the middle of a raspberry, u-pick place? I felt like I should clean it up or throw mulch on it or at least somehow let people know not to pick those berries right there. What did we do, ran. Just kidding… kind of. We packed her up and headed home as quickly as we could but needed to stop 2 more times en route for her.
We got home and she seemed to be perfectly fine by Sunday morning. We decided to play it safe and stayed home from church. Ethan had to leave for CA that night so we just had a laid back family day at home. Tuesday, we went with friends to an event their church had with free food, bounce houses, clowns, etc. My friend Renee joined us just for fun and to help keep me company and to keep up with the packing schedule (moving day was less than 2 weeks away).
We were up late that night and Renee and my other friend Kate left for the night and I headed to bed around 1. Thankfully I was awake or I don’t think I would have heard the interesting, worrisome noise come from Tenley’s room. Yep, she was sick and I had no idea that her stomach could hold as much as it did. Was it the flu since T had it now? This went on through the night with her getting sick every 30 minutes or so and couldn’t even hold down a sip of water. So Wed am, I called the doctor to see Tenley. I cancelled plans for HG and took her with me, thankfully b/c no sooner did we sit down at the doctor’s office, and she said she had to throw up. We made it to the restroom thankfully and I now had to puking kids. You know it’s bad when you put your baby in a bib and a dish towel over her lap so I could make the drive.
The doctor was very concerned and wanted cultures immediately as he feared it was a public health issue thinking it was salmonella, e-coli or even giardia. So I asked, “wait a sec, does this mean that if the girls have any one of these 3 things that this process of them each puking every 30 minutes and severe diarrhea will continue until we figure out what it is?” and with an extremely apologetic look he said, “yes”. Oh geesh. I called Ethan on the way home to give him and update and to see if there was any way he could catch an earlier flight home from work. But by Wed evening, he had the earliest flight home that would get him back to Seattle by 3 on Thursday. Bummer.
God bless Renee- she came over just to stay at my house with me over night in case I had an emergency or both girls were sick at the same time and I couldn’t do anything about it. My friend Lauren and her little guy Zeek brought dinner and temporary tattoos, Wayland brought chicken broth over for the girls and a few other friends called to see what else could be done. Renee even took the girls cultures to the drop off box at the lab so it would be there first thing in the morning to expedite the whole process, but the box was locked! Who locks a drop box??
Hannah Gray slept but Tenley was so restless. By the middle of the night when I went it to hold her, she was absolutely burning hot, a great combo for a kid that is already borderline dehydrated. I called Ethan’s dad at 3:45 our time (almost 7 am in Ohio) to find out what to do. My local doctor gave me some tips as to what to look for to know when to take her into the hospital and said it was crucial to make sure she wasn’t getting dehydrated. So in the morning, I got the girls together, dropped off the culture, picked up some meds that the dr wanted me to have just in case and at this point, Tenley was listless. I made the last minute call to take them to children’s and checked in around 11 am. Praise God that Courtney, Wayland’s wife, called me to see how the girls were doing b/c she knew he dropped some stuff off for us. I told her I was on my way to the er and she offered to come meet me to help with the girls. The ER nurses were extremely concerned about T and got us into a room asap. Hannah Gray was slightly dehydrated, but doing okay. They gave both girls anti-nausea meds and orally hydrated HG, but Tenley just couldn’t get enough fluids. Courtney arrived and took Hannah Gray out of the room so she wasn’t freaked out by what was going on. So 3 nurses and 4 IV attempts later, they decided to force hydrate her with syringes. She did well, but just couldn’t get what she needed. They called in the IV specialist team, and 2 more attempts were finally able to find her vein. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the airport at this point to get Ethan. Renee to the rescue! She left a fund raiser for work in Tacoma and drove to the airport to pick Ethan up and to bring him to us in the hospital. Courtney came back into the room with HG just before Renee arrived with Ethan. By this point, HG was lying next to me in the bed smooshed b/t the side rail and my leg and Tenley was sprawled out, I thought sleeping, over my lap. Ethan looked through the window and saw us all on the bed and I have never seen Tenley come so alive. She sat up and in the most tiresome, sick voice called out for Ethan, “DADDAA!!!” just reaching and straining for him as she was held back by all the cords, IVs, etc. It was heartbreaking to see her reach for him as though she was just asking him to make everything all better. I think Courtney, Renee and myself all teared up as Ethan was obviously choked up. He knew they were sick, but he didn’t expect Tenley, to be so terribly sick.
We got home and just kept an eye on the girls and Hannah Gray seemed to bounce back fairly quickly. Tenley didn’t really eat anything for several days and the lab reports came back after the weekend with negative results. They have no idea what it was, but are sure it wasn’t the flu or common stomach bug. We had our going away party on Sunday night that Renee and Courtney and Wayland hosted where poor Tenley’s system completely blew out an outfit and I didn’t even think to pack an extra pair of clothes. Oops!
My mom continued to call a couple times everyday to try and check in to see if there were any updates. So on Tuesday, I got the call from our doctor that the results were in and called my mom to let her know. My dad answered the phone and I thought that was odd. I filled him in and he said, “well, there is something you should know too. I am in the hospital with mom… she had a stroke this morning and she’s in a CAT scan now to see if there is any damage.” I am not sure I heard many details after that, but just that he would call me when he had some results. A couple hours later, my dad called back so I could talk to my mom. Long story short, she was traveling with my dad to Chicago for work. They were at their hotel and went down to the lobby to get coffee. When they got back to the room she fell and was slurring her speech (dad said it was just like she was completely drunk). So he convinced her she needed to get to the ER so he got a cab. Here is where miracles began to happen. The cab driver did not know mom was having a stroke, he just took her to the nearest ER which happened to be Northwest University’s hospital which happens to be a stroke specialist hospital and a leading researcher on strokes and his team was in the ER. So they got my mom in immediately and my dad said that before they even wheeled her to a room there was a team of 8 people on her getting blood, doing tests, etc. There is a 3 hour time window (generally) where it’s crucial to survival that a stroke victim be seen, and they got mom taken care of in that window. So my parents spent a few days there, running tests, etc and released mom later that week.
Then we moved on Friday. It was an exhausting, exhausting 10 days or so, but we made it in one piece! And the hope was to unpack our house and have all boxes out by the time I flew to Ohio for a visit (which was preplanned weeks before). We did it!