Starting last Tuesday I had a conference downtown - one of the two conferences that my group attends each year. I hadn't gone to the other back in January because it's in Vegas and being a five-hour drive away just doesn't jibe with the small person who sucks on my parts for food and stuff. I had spent last year's January conference roaming around Sin City eight weeks pregnant and trying to hide it from my colleagues by ordering "vodka cranberry" (AKA cranberry juice) while at dinner and fruitlessly trying to suck in my expanding waistline. I spent this year's at home nursing. Time flies.
This year was my first chance to attend the June conference - usually it's in New York, and only a select group flies to Manhattan to attend. I'm not swanky enough to be among those select few (phew), so I stay behind and hold down the fort. However, this year it was moved to good ol' sunshiney Los Angeles, just a stone's throw, a metro ride, and a traffic jam from home. Hot diggety! Conference, here I come!
And go I did, on Tuesday evening and Wednesday, while my sweet husband put the baby to bed and took him to school the next morning. I was planning to go Thursday too, and to ride the subway downtown like a fancy workin' girl (not the hooker kind either - the LEGIT kind). But alas, it was not to be.
For starters, on Tuesday my knee went out. I have a bad knee from playing tennis and running track in high school (I was a jumper, so I blame those damn hurdles), which makes me sound impressively athletic, which I am most certainly not. The fact is that my half-hearted high school sports experiences left me with little more than a crap knee that mysteriously gives out about once every few years. On this particular occasion, I think I'd twisted it while heaving Carter's 7,000 pound carseat into the car. Regardless, I hobbled into the office on Tuesday, determined not to let my gimpiness stand in the way of my fancy conference cocktail party that night. Then, Wednesday morning I awoke with a tickle in my throat. CURSES. The day was spent limping and sniffling my way around the convention center. But I would power through! I am a dedicated employee!
Then the real trouble began. On Thursday morning, Carter felt warm. The rectal thermometer read 102.1. Eeek. Bye bye, conference.
We gave him infant Advil, struggling to get the syringe in his mouth but finally managing. Then he vomited. He ate breakfast, and we tried Advil again. More vomit. My husband went to work, and I tried yet again with the Advil several hours later. It went down easily, and I felt like a baby-healing savant. Ten minutes later I was carrying him down the hallway and silently congratulating myself on my level-headed display of general awesomeness when BLORP! Projectile vomit. All over me. All over the hallway. I just stood there, aghast. And then BLOOOOOOOOORRRRP! More. And BLLLLLLOOOOOOORPPPP!!!! Yet again. After the blorping concluded, we were both silent and still - me, jaw agape, dripping in stink and standing in soggy carpet, and Carter, staring blankly. Poor sick baby. I called my husband ("Now. Come home NOW."), then stripped us both down and gave the little Roo a quick bath.
The afternoon did not improve - after three vomited doses of Advil, we weren't certain how much he'd retained and were thus nervous to give him any more before the requisite 6 hour waiting period. So there I was, helpless, as his temperature crept slowly up to 104.1 and he slept all day, waking only to sob weakly, flop around limply, and scream bloody murder whenever I attempted to lay him in his crib. My husband had to return to the office, but fortunately my wonderful mother-in-law spent the afternoon with us and we took turns holding the hot little slumbering patient until a final dose knocked the fever out for the evening.
By the next day, his temp was lower but the occasional blorp remained. His appetite for solids was nil and his interest in nursing was low. Then, by Saturday both the fever and vomiting were gone but were replaced by sniffles and coughing. It seems that my poor little Roo progressed straight from stomach flu to Mommy's cold.
Now, six days after the onset of the chaos, we are finally somewhat healthy. My cold is gone and Carter's has been reduced to a residual sniffle (although he blorped after his last bottle at school today - OY!). My knee no longer hurts, and instead just makes a disconcerting popping sound with each step. I'm back in the office, the RooRoo is back in daycare, and life is returning to normal.
In short, it was a hell of a week.