Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I've been sick for quite awhile now.
I was on antibiotics for a sinus infection, but it didn't clear up. My doctor put me on Cipro to try to knock it out. I started taking it on Thursday evening, and on Saturday morning I woke up to a rash of hives all over my stomach. I immediately called my doctor. His office was closed, but he returned my call and told me to discontinue the Cipro (already done), and take Benadryl every four hours.
By Saturday afternoon, my right hand was swollen like a water balloon and the rash had spread to my thighs. I called my doctor again and he said that the medicine takes awhile to clear the system. I was to continue the Benadryl regimen and go to the ER if I had any difficulty breathing (!).
On Sunday, the hives had spread all the way down to my feet and hands and they had gotten so big that in some places it looked like one giant hive. Both of my hands were swollen and I could barely move them. My whole body felt like it was burning and itching and everything hurt. Strangely, my cough (the sinus infection had morphed into bronchitis) largely subsided.
By Sunday evening, I honestly felt like I could not go on. I could not get comfortable in any position. I could not remember ever feeling so sick. I couldn't really imagine not being sick anymore. Marc called our home teacher, who came over immediately so they could give me a blessing. After the blessing, we decided to go to the ER.
The ER doctor wanted to give me 3 medications by IV, but my hands and arms were so swollen, they couldn't find a vein so I had to have the IV in my thumb! That was a painful first.
After receiving Benadryl, Pepcid, and Prednisone by IV, they examined me and determined that the hives looked to be subsiding somewhat, so they sent me home with orders to continue the three drugs orally for three more days. Oh, and to watch the rash carefully because it could develop into a life-threatening one requiring hospitalization! Good grief.
I wasn't really feeling any better. I was, to be honest, despairing. But here's the good stuff: throughout the truly miserable weekend, the only thing I could do to gain any peace at all was to turn to the Lord in prayer. I thought of anything at all that I could be grateful for. I was grateful that my cough wasn't bothering me very much. I was thankful that Max was willing to be home and put Eva to bed and take care of essential things (Marc was at the Sundance film festival until Sunday). I was thankful for Benadryl.
I was thankful that Jill came over and brought soup and croissants and cleaned up the kitchen.
I was thankful for a sweet neighbor who brought a bag of oranges and cough drops.
I was thankful that Marc was home and could take care of me and go to the pharmacy.
I was thankful that normally I have hands that work and allow me to do all kinds of work and things that I enjoy. But mostly, I was thankful for the Savior and his sacrifice and marveled again and again about the pains he must have borne on our behalf.
I had to keep doing it over and over, but you know what? It really helped! Those prayers sustained me when nothing else could.
When I woke up yesterday, the Prednisone had kicked in and my hands weren't swollen anymore. I could use them! And it felt like a miracle.
Throughout the day, the hives started to recede and fade. They still itch like crazy, but they are no longer burning. My cough came back with a vengeance, but in a strange way, I didn't mind, because it was so much easier to deal with than the pains of the previous two days.
I was able to walk and read. I even put in a load of laundry! And I was grateful beyond words.
I still have bronchitis. I am coughing like crazy today. I'm weak and not doing much beyond sleeping and watching Downton Abbey on DVD (thanks, Amy!). But Eva went to school today, which was a huge blessing. And when I went to bed last night, all I could think was: Amazing. Grace.