Ryan left Friday night to go to the states for 2 weeks, and Saturday morning I had to drive my sister back to the base so she could return to Iraq. Already Saturday was going to be a sad day for me, but I had no idea how bad this week was going to get. We had to leave the house Saturday morning by 6am to get Brooke back in time (it is about a 45 min drive), so I just took the kids right out of bed and put them straight into the car PJs and all. About 2 minutes before we got to the gate Alayna begins to puke everywhere! Good news is that I had an extra set of clothes in the car so I was able to change her clothes and clean the carseat the best I could. We said a tearful goodbye to Auntie Brooke and then headed back home. At this point I was hopeful that it was just a little car sickness. As you probably guessed, it was not.
Now for the next few days she was pretty sick...not eating much and vomiting whenever her stomach got full. By Monday afternoon I was getting concerned because she had not done anything but sit on the couch all day and sleep A LOT. By Tuesday morning she was really not doing well and very lethargic so I brought her in to our Health Unit at the US Embassy. They tested her blood sugar and urine and said she was getting close to needing to go into the hospital for IV fluids. Since Ryan was not here, I REALLY wanted to avoid the hospital if I could. (Which by the way I don't even know how to get to) They said to take her home and let her eat or drink whatever she wanted in order to get her counts up and come back to see them at 4pm. Alayna wanted a smoothie and the nurse said to let her have it. Lets just say I don't want a strawberry smoothie anytime soon. We went back at 4pm and she was perkier and her counts were slightly up so they said to go home and to come back in the morning for them to check again. Oh, and they put her on an antibiotic. (This becomes important later)
At about 6:30pm things took a turn for the worse. The only way to say it is that the poor little girl literally exploded. Simultaneous - violent, vomiting and diarrhea. It was traumatic. After that she had the whole sunken dark eyes thing happening, and I knew we needed to go to the hospital. Calvin was already in bed sleeping at this point. Lorna and I got Alayna and the mess cleaned up and then I called the Health Unit to let them know I was going to be heading to the hospital with her. They informed me to be prepared to be admitted for an overnight stay since it was late in the day.
Here is where things could have been a lot worse. Now remember, I don't know where the hospital is, it's dark outside, I am in a foreign country and I have another child asleep who will need to get to school in the morning, oh yeah, and my husband isn't here! Why do these things always happen when the husbands are gone? What if I had nobody, no support network, no live-in maid? NIGHTMARE!
But guess what? I do have a support network here! I am so blessed that I even have a live-in maid who can sleep in the house and get Calvin ready for school in the morning. And I have Anita who volunteered to take Calvin to school and pick him up for me the next day. And Marcelle who offered to let me follow her to the hospital and stay with me till we got settled. And Hanneke who was already at the hospital with her little one and who checked on us several times while we were there. And even more friends who were in contact with me all day checking in on us and offering to do anything they could to help. Thank God for friends; it really does take a village. (At least it does when you don't live near your family)
Now did I mention it was BAD...really bad? Yeah Alayna did NOT do well at the hospital. The poor girl was overtired, not feeling well and not happy. By time we got to a hospital bed it was 8:30pm (way passed her bed time).
The good news was they were not going to admit us overnight, but just give her 2hours of IV Fluids and then send us home. They first tried to put the IV in her right hand, but the needle bent and blew her vein. Ouch! Now they had to put the IV in her left hand, and this presents a problem because Alayna sucks her left thumb.
Alayna was really pretty brave while getting the IV and only screamed when they messed up the first time. But after they got the IV in, she pretty much lost it. I am not exaggerating when I say that for an hour and a half she screamed, "I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" It was her mantra and she was not to be swayed. I tried everything I could to calm her down, but whenever I did she would scream at me "Don't touch me!" and then it would be right back to her mantra. They even gave her a drug in her IV to help her sleep and even that didn't work. It was an awful feeling to see my daughter in such distress and not be able to help her. Eventually she did fall asleep, just in time to be discharged. We got home fine, but she was still up several times during the night with diarrhea. It was a long night and we were both exhausted.
The next day she really turned around and it seemed the antibiotics were kicking in and she was up playing and smiling by the afternoon. Then around bedtime I noticed she had a rash on her face, arms and legs. After conferring with the Embassy nurses I gave her some benadryl and put her to bed. The next morning (Thursday) she woke up in full-blown hives.
Her eyes were even swollen. Poor girl just couldn't catch a break. The picture doesn't really do it justice at all. It was not good. Back to the Health Unit again to discover that she was most likely having an allergic reaction to the antibiotic she was on. We now have her on a new antibiotic and she is doing much better. It actually took till this afternoon for the hives to go away.
How are we now?
Alayna is feeling great and back to being her normal happy self.
Mommy is exhausted, but very thankful for all the help and support from our friends here. Like I said it could have been worse.