Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wake-up Call

Last Tuesday I had lunch with DD in town. She said she had been feeling a little "off." She'd had a rash a couple days before that and her appetite was gone and she had a headache. I gave her the typical Mom speech- "drink lots of water and get some rest." After lunch, she went back to work and I finished up my town errands and went home.

About an hour after I walked in the door DD called me to say she needed a ride to the doctor. She didn't think she was able to drive herself. So I grabbed my keys and headed back to town. Before I was halfway there, she called again to say a coworker was taking her to the emergency room and would I meet her there? Sure thing.

I got to the E.R. to find DD in a wheelchair, too weak to stand on her own two feet. Once she was in a room, they ran the standard tests for her symptoms- mono, lyme, strep, pregnancy, ... All of them came back negative. The doctor said the only abnormality was a count that indicates she had a virus. He gave her some anti-nausea medicine and some iv fluids (she was a little dehydrated) and told her to get lots of rest and liquids and let it run its course. By this time her DH had arrived so I left them and returned home- certain that she was in good hands and on her way to recovery.

What I didn't consider was the fact that I had most likely picked up the virus also...'cause I'm a mom and that's just what we do....hold hands and kiss foreheads and share stuff.  Sure enough, 3 days later, I had a rash and a killer headache and a fever. By the next morning I didn't have the strength to get out of bed. I finally did make it to the kitchen where I tried to fortify with a cup of coffee-which promptly came back up. I was in a bad way. This was one of those attacks where you throw a towel over the puke and tell yourself you'll clean it later...where crawling is the only way you are getting back to bed...where the couch is a better option just because it is closer. It was tough keeping hydrated with the sink so far away and I would have signed my life away to anyone who would go down to my basement and bring up the bedside commode. And did I mention the headache?

I'll spare you the rest of the messy details. Suffice it to say it's been a rough week. But I'm on the mend! My fever finally broke last night so it should be downhill from here! I'm getting used to taking it slow. Things have piled up...bills, goat poop, chicken poop, and rabbit poop mainly. I have fuzzy memories of how I managed keeping the critters fed and watered and am sure if the symptoms hadn't started improving I would have had to call in back-up. And that's what got me to thinking: What if this hadn't been just a 4 day virus?  What if this virus hadn't shown up during good weather? What if the people I take care of had needed me? What if my regular back-up critter caretaker was unavailable when I needed him? The fact that my recovery is taking way longer than DD's reminds me that I'm not as young as I used to be. Being older and (mostly) alone is something I need to start considering.

So this week will find me checking into temporary home health care and training some other back-ups in critter care. I'll also be making a file that includes emergency info. What about you? Leave your comments on how you handle homesteading and illness.


  1. Its always a concern of mine with hubby working away through the week what if I take ill, who will feed and water the livestock, I have neighbours I could ask if I really needed to, I am doing a white board that can hang next to feed bins saying who has what and when :-)

    1. That's a great idea! My DH is gone for weeks at a time and I think preparing for my being unable to take care of myself and the critters will ease my mind.

  2. Yes I would come up with a plan too. Luckily our adult kids are in the area. That would be mostly for summer, since no garden then and just the 3 hens. You might ask your Doc to keep some antibiotics on hand? I've had good luck with essential oils too...

  3. Being a widow on a 62-acre cattle farm far away from "civilization," I worry about this, too. I've tried to simplify my life for myself and in case someone does have to help me. But I've finally decided it's time to seriously think of moving closer in, while I'm young and healthy enough to deal with the huge effort it will take to move. So far, I've bought the smaller acreage, but still not brave enough to do it! Georgiana


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