illness of the day

So I missed blogging this morning because I was distracted by a scary rash that appeared on my body right after I got dressed and then began spreading like the Nazis blazing through Europe. At first the spots looked like brand-new bug bites, unobtrusive and harmless. Then they spread. And they puffed up from my skin and pufffed out into each other like cookies placed too closely on the cookie sheet with a low flour content. They got redder. And redder.

So I did what any calm, rational person would do. I called Kim and woke her up. (It was barely after 6am her time.) Can I take Benadryl if I'm nursing? Oh, yeah, that does knock me unconscious. Probably bad for the kids, then. When should I go to the hospital? What will I do with the children? Who will see me the same day with my funky, out-of-state insurance? Do you think it could be the detergent from the Laundromat? Okay, I'll change clothes.

We agreed I should take a non-drowsy Claritin for the antihistamine and go somewhere to be seen if it didn't get better. I made my coffee, and decided it was now late enough that I could call my mom. Just in case it was a previously undetected, fast-spreading cancer that would have me gone by dinner. Just to let one other person know. Well, technically two other people, because my husband knew. He saw it before he left for work and took pictures for me in case I needed to email them to Kim for a diagnosis. (She's clearly a medical superhero in my world.) But why does he have to be so calm all the time? It makes me want to kick into full-blown hysteria. If only he would be concerned or the tiniest bit alarmed, not to mention worried, then I could flip sides and be calm and reassuring, full of good ideas and courage to press on. But no. He always plays calm in our dance, which I generally mistake for ambivalent. It was useless to me. I needed a woman. I needed my mom.

She had two recent anecdotes of people we know who've had rashes as a part of their bodies' response to warding off viruses. This confirmed a similar story I got from Kim, so by now I was convinced that I would be okay. No medical attention required. Just to be safe, I gave Amelia instructions for what to do in case I get really sick or hurt or I'm asleep and she can't wake me up. Emergency is a new word in her vocabulary, the full nuance of which I'm not sure she quite grasps. But one can try. To humor the neurosis, if nothing else.

We packed our lunches and went to the park because it is a balmy 56 degrees here today. Amelia befriended a sweet boy her age and they were pals the whole day. She didn't even learn his name but called him "my little buddy" the entire time. His mom was nice. We swapped numbers in case we want to intentionally run into each other there again.

Now that we're home and my little ones are sleeping (what bliss!) I can see that the rash is fading, if not shrinking. It seems I will live another day.