For the back story of this drama, please read my last post.
Desperate, I brought Missy to an acupuncturist on a friend’s recommendation. He suggested a complete diet overhaul: no wheat, no gluten, no dairy. Stay away from processed food and cut down the sugar. And no peanut butter — peanuts can contain mold. Good grief, she’s allergic to mold and I was poisoning her every day with PB&J! What else is there left to eat?
Missy was a good sport as we combed the aisles of Trader Joes stocking up on almond milk and sunflower seed butter — all that good-for-you crap that I would whiz by on the way to the wine aisle. We tried our best to stick with the plan. Her energy levels improved, but she still had bouts of dizziness and stomach pain.
Somewhere during this time, she started to throw up when she got home from school. Once on her friend’s arm, who thankfully didn’t start a chain reaction and is still a good friend! The puking went on and off for two weeks.
In mid-March, she got hit with a high fever and woke up screaming from the pain in her arms and legs. Back to the doctor to say that she has the flu. It was passed on to Junior and then eventually me. No surprise that all took place while Tom was out of town and we were meeting him for Spring Break in two days. High on my fever, I packed like a jackass. Apparently we were going to need 26 tampons on our trip.
The eating plan went down the drain while we were in Florida. There was a meltdown by all four of us at Busch Gardens when we tried to find decent options for her. Going to Universal Studios wasn’t much better, but she was a trooper. The sun kissed her face with a few freckles and brought back a healthy glow. She swam like a fish in the pool and rode the waves onto the beach.
Things were looking up until we got back home.
Missy’s head started to spin again. Acupuncture provided short-term relief and occasional bouts of endless peeing. Apparently, this is common reaction as the toxins are leaving the body. She must have had plenty of nastiness because an entire night was spent going back and forth to the bathroom. I called her in “Sleepy” (as opposed to the other dwarf “Pissy”) to school and brought her in late.
A few weeks ago, the dizziness hit her hard. Afraid of falling, she scooted up and down the stairs on her butt and asked if I could get her a cane. Her head kept snapping forward because it was too heavy. We moved her mattress off the loft and set her up on the floor for her safety.
We head back to the doctor. I told him the acupuncturist had a hunch this could be migraine-related pain that appeared through dizziness which in turn threw off her stomach. Not know what to do with us anymore, the doc wrote a prescription for migraines and a referral for a GI specialist.
I ran over to CVS and grabbed her drugs. Determined to not make the same “fine print” mistake twice, I carefully read the label. Within seconds, I broke into guttural sobs and laughter at the exact same time…
I am not sure which was the crueler joke: the warning about causing dizziness or my 11-year old not breast feeding.
She took the medicine with lunch and settled in on the couch for the next six hours. Knowing that she was down for the count, I headed over to my ignored son’s baseball game to give him one hour of my attention. It was such a relief to get out of the house even though I had a million things to do before I left for the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in two days.
I called home from the park to check on her and she answered in tears. She had been throwing up and then collapsed in the basement. “I couldn’t get up for 20 minutes,” she cried. “I feel like a rag doll!”
I raced home in a panic and tried to calm her down. When Tom and Aidan returned, we decided that I should take her to the ER. Enough was enough. She wasn’t getting better and we needed answers.
When we arrived, Missy was teetering so badly that the nurse set her up in a wheelchair. I showed the ER doc all of her blood results and she was just as puzzled. To be on the safe side, she ran a CT scan and put Missy on IV meds for pain and nausea. Thankfully, nothing showed up on the scan but we still did not know what was making her sick. The doctor suggested to follow up with a neurologist and we headed back home at 1 a.m.
The next day, I tried wrapping up projects at work and calling neurologists during my lunch break. One group couldn’t see her until November and I broke down to the sympathetic receptionist. I finally got her an appointment for six weeks later and scheduled a visit with our ENT to see if she had an inner ear infection.
My flight was the next day and I couldn’t find four lousy pairs of clean underwear that didn’t cut off my circulation. I stayed up until midnight doing laundry and printing tacky, homemade business cards for the conference.
I was feeling very sorry for myself and it was not pretty.
This trip was part of my mid-life crisis to finally escape, focus on me and figure out what to do with the stories floating around my head. It was the first time I invested in myself and I had absolutely no desire to go. I knew that she was in good hands with Tom and my parents. I was only an hour flight away, but what if something else happened?
The other part of me wanted to change the ticket to one way. I could reinvent myself in Dayton! Write an Erma & Karen version of Julie & Julia!
Waves of guilt and exhaustion consumed me before the nerves completely took over.
It suddenly occurred to me that for the next four days, I would be surrounded by 350 humorists.
Thinking of being funny was downright depressing.