Oh dear, where should I even start.
We left off last talking about how overwhelmed I was feeling because of the kids and the dog and the house. Little did I know, that was nothing compared to what has been going on the last 2 weeks. I'm starting to wonder what I might have done to piss someone off.
Josie had her regular 9 month checkup that same day (which by the way, how can she be 9 months old?), and she had a regular blood draw to check her blood count and do a lead test. And guess what? She tested with an elevated level of lead in her blood.
We rushed her to the hospital to have a repeat draw, this time a real one in her vein. The test itself was stressful enough, honestly. And guess what? It really was elevated! No false positive for us!
So we proceeded to rush Gabe to the hospital to have his blood checked for lead too, since it would stand to reason that if one child was positive the other would be too. While I was out of the house, my mother in law was staying at home with Josie. While she was at home with Josie, she answered the phone, spoke to my real estate broker and told her Josie's blood tested positive for lead.
Wait. Did you read that correctly? She told my REAL ESTATE BROKER my daughter tested positive for LEAD. Are you sensing a problem here?
I'm going to cut the story short here, because I cannot possibly rehash the nightmare that has been my life for the past week. A nightmare that included me hysterically sobbing on the phone several times, screaming matches with my broker, multiple attorneys, threats from my broker's firm against me about disclosing the information to our buyers, and finally a written disclosure we drafted (with the help of an attorney) and sent over to the buyers on Saturday.
And then we waited for a response. It never came, and Tuesday was the final date for our buyers to get their commitment from the bank (i.e. a mortgage), and they did. And that was that. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't even think about anything but this for days, but it looks like in the end the buyers were okay with it, and trusted my pediatrician's assertions that such a low level of lead combined with Gabe's negative lead test, meant the source of the lead was from a toy or from some other random singular event. The pediatrician feels confident that this is not coming from the house.
I feel tremendously guilty about this whole Josie having lead in her blood thing, and every time I talk about it, I start crying all over again. I don't know what I could have done, but it feels like I should have been able to do something. It feels like I didn't protect my baby. I shouldn't have let this happen.
The good news is that it is a very low level, as my pediatrician calls it, "a very slightly elevated level" and that level doesn't even need to be treated, although we are proactively giving her iron supplements.
At the conclusion of the weekend, and while we were still waiting to hear from the buyers, Josie was a mess. At midnight on Monday night, she woke up screaming (SCREAMING) inconsolably at midnight, and would not calm down until 6am, at which point I called the pediatrician in hysterics, because Josh was insisting we needed to take her to the hospital to be checked out. The pediatrician sat on the phone with me for 20 minutes listening to her scream and suggesting various possibilities, and he finally told me to meet him at the office so he could check her out before we went to the ER. As we were getting ready to walk out the door, Josie starts projectile vomiting all over me, herself, and our bed.
I rush over to the office, and the doctor and nurses start examining her and running bloodwork to figure out what the problem is. She would scream any time they touched her stomach, and the possibility of an intestinal obstruction started floating around. I, meanwhile, was crying quietly in the corner, because OH MY GOD, seriously?
We sat in the office for 3 hours, me rocking her quietly while she lay limp, pale as a sheet in my arms, and feeding her teeny sips of pedialite and discussing whether we should go to the hospital. Finally, the pediatrician gets the results of the blood test indicating she has some sort of infection, and he says we should go in to the ER for some tests. I'm packing up her stuff, and turn to him to ask, "this couldn't be an ear infection, right?" He assured me it couldn't, but then decided to check her ears right as we're leaving, and guess what? RAGING ear infection. Raging.
The relief, I cannot even begin to tell you the relief. The guilt came later, but the relief was amazing. We had a terrible 24 hours, but she is a different baby today after 48 hours of antibiotic and food and SLEEP, glorious sleep.
Yesterday I went to pick Gabe up from school, and somehow, within the span of just a couple of hours, he has become goop city. He is drooping, feverish, snotty, and generally unwell. I had to do the walk of shame out of the preschool, while all the other mothers eyed me angrily, all but saying out loud that I sent a sick kid to school to infect their precious babies.
I swear, he wasn't sick! I'm super paranoid about sending sick kids to school! Alas, no one believes me anymore, and although he seems better today, I'm probably going to have to keep him home tomorrow just to prove a point. Damnit.
Honestly, though, if karma is a bitch, as I always like to remind rude people, what have we done to deserve all of this? And I know that sounds totally self-involved to say that all of this is falling on me, but that is how it feels! Many many times this week I have thought about crawling under a rock to cry. Or at least under the covers. At this point, I'm thinking we should call 2009 a wash and move onto 2010. It can't be any worse than this year.