December 14, 2008

Curse the Medications

The impossible has happened, Seth and I are alone. We. Are. Without. Children. For five more days we will be alone. It wasn’t supposed to work out like this. I arranged for Josiah to come with us. My Mom offered to watch him and I haven’t had peace since. Better to keep him with me, but have a late flight across the country only to deal with time changes, flights of stairs, and dogs upon our arrival at my sisters’? Or should we trust that he will be fine and leave him safely with my Mom? Back and forth for the past two weeks.

I lay in bed yesterday morning, wondering if I should really leave Josiah. I wasn’t out of bed and I was praying for some clarity when I finally got up. As I stumbled past the girls’ room, I smelled something…yucky. Nah, putrid...fetid, rotten…you get the idea. Something reeked and I feared that it was coming from the sweet girls’ room.

Sally’s gained a little weight, as a result her TB meds have been upped. Last night was her first dose, eight teaspoons of medication. I guess it made her sick. From both ends. The story gets even worse, she not only vomited and had diarrhea, but she didn’t wake up to call out for help. A domino effect could get started here on what her life was like before we got her that she managed to sleep in such disgusting filth for a few hours. Nevertheless, we’ve got a revolting story to tell so I will press on.

I was at a complete loss. I’ve seen and managed some nasty things, even blogged about a few buggers. This one took the cake. Sally woke up, climbed down from her bunk and excrement trickled out onto the floor. Not knowing whether her meds made her sick, or she had a stomach bug, I immediately sent everyone else upstairs and shut them into the boys’ bedroom. Then, I shut Sally into the bathroom and got a BIG black garbage bag. I wadded up her pillow, jammies, sheet saver (which did an amazing job of saving the sheets) and threw them away. I heard the garbage men outside and ran, in my jammies, to stop them with my vomit covered junk in the bag.

Then, I called the doctor’s office. In a frantic tone, trying to keep from totally freaking out I explained that Sally had puke down the neck of her cast, feces up the back of her cast. I wasn’t speaking with a familiar voice, but tried to relay my urgency without screaming into the phone. She, matter-of-factly (as if she deals with this all of the time) told me to get a warm washcloth and clean her up as best I could. Then, take that washcloth and using my hand try to clean inside the cast, as best I could. Then, lay Sally on the counter and wash her hair (which was crusted with vomit). I’m thinking laying a diarrhea laden child on the KITCHEN COUNTER is probably not a good idea. Especially when you have four more kids who may be susceptible to whatever caused the...bodily explosion. So I started with the de-pooping of Sally’s legs and cast, with a lame wet washcloth. I promptly threw every washcloth into a new trash bag. My next job was to remove feces from floors and the exterior of the cast. I’ll share a little secret here, I used bleach. Lots of it. I know, it’s bad for you, but did you miss out on what I was up against? Possible infection of 4 more children, then fleeing the scene to visit my sister in Colorado? Horrible. So I bleached the floor, the bunk stairs… and the cast. I tried to bleach the cast, but was sadly unsuccessful.

Then, I let the four maniacs out of their prison upstairs and put Sally onto the counter for the vomit removal. Much easier than the other end, I still proved myself a flop in the ‘Can you remove filth from inside a cast?’ motherhood test.

I slathered Sally in smelly lotion, coated her hair in smelly goo, and put tights on her. The smell was still there. Really strong. I called the office again and got a voice mail, but warned them that I would continue calling until I spoke with them.

I looked at the clock and two hours had passed since the charade began. I’m frantically doing laundry, trying to get everyone packed, and calling the doctor’s office again. Calling the cell phone of the doctor’s assistant, until, finally, she calls me back. In an oh-so-nonchalant manner, “Apryl, what’s going on?”

“It’s bad!! It’s very, very bad!! I’ve done all I could and I can’t even sit next to her on the sofa, I just tried to and I felt sick from the smell. I’m leaving tomorrow for Denver, can you help us?”
She said we needed to come in right away. Like ‘right away’ is in my power.

It was 2:00, I had JUST SHOWERED and no one had eaten lunch. We were setting records. I threw together sandwiches, dropped the Bigs off at art lessons and raced to the office. Then we had to sit, in the waiting area, smelling up the whole place with pukey poop smell. It was wretched. They took one look at Sally and got out the big saw (after donning gloves and spraying the room with Lysol). She screamed, Josiah screamed, and we gagged. It came off and revealed a dime embedded in her chest (interesting) and just a wee bit ‘o mess around her bottom (surprisingly did a better job than I thought). They x-rayed—good results, new bone has grown and the rib is grafted in. The tore the old cast apart to just the shell then re-padded it and covered it to hold us out a little longer. Upon getting a look at her back, I was dismayed. She still looks lumpy, but has healed well, the pressure from the rods against the cast has caused a bed sore-like wound at the site of one hook.

Right now, Sally’s in her cast. An ace bandage is holding it together. She has a hole cut in the back exposing her tender spot (though I’ve been assured this is perfectly safe) to allow it to heal.
The foul odor? You’ll have to ask my mother-in-law about it, since I masked it heavily before I left. I have a sneaking suspension that Sally’s cast is still suffering from the episode. Only a few weeks left with it, then just a brace. Time won’t pass quickly enough.


Susan said...

YUCK. I am so sorry. Enjoy your time together!

Love you! Susan

Anonymous said...


Sounds like a good send-off to some rest! Try to enjoy it!

I hope all the kids are healthy while you are gone. I just bought bedding for my cute newest girl.. there are some good sales at target right now. Or maybe we should meet at IKEA ASAP!

Daneille said...

Good grief! Are you the same woman who told me you thought that *I* was dealing with a lot??

Your unflappable-ness never ceases to amaze me.

E said...

Ugh! I'm very sensitive to smells and have a low "ick" tolerance. A's had some *issues* since coming home, particularly after his circumcision. He had to go all the way under and let's just say his poops haven't been the same sense. He's been on Miralax since the beginning of September and we've been told he'll be on it indefinitely. Figuring out the right dosage & getting the boy "unplugged" led to a few poop EVERYWHERE incidents that still make me cringe, to be honest. Of course, husband was out of town for the worst of it (as is to be expected).

I'm always super impressed by you. The whole cast thing is such a drag and I can't wait until Sally is out of it and all better. Kudos to you & I hope you and Seth have an amazing time in Denver!!!


jill coen said...

So maybe this isn't the time to try to get rid of the ole bottle?! What on earth? I am soooo glad you and Seth are away together. Enjoy every minute. I'm glad the explosion happened while you were home (only if it HAD to happen) because that would have ruined your get away to be talking someone through that over the phone.

We'll talk bottles later....enjoy your vacay!

Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

HOLY MOLY!!! That's just crazy Apryl!!! I hope and pray this time away is great for you and things go super smooth with the kids. You for sure win the "Most Disgusting Clean-up Job" of the century in my book! LOL
Have a very Merry Christmas (if you can! :D),

Rob & Candy said...

UGH! this sounds awful!! I hope you and Seth are enjoying your time together.

Tracy said...

oh my goodness! thanks for sharing all the details of that episode! so thankful god gave you the grace to persevere and sweet sally could not be more loved! i'm so thankful to hear about the new bone growth! have a blessed christmas!