Monday, May 01, 2006

Sometimes I'm a Jamaican Jerk

We returned late Friday night from a week in Negril, Jamaica. The weather was sunny and beautiful. The sand was fine and white. The ocean was crystalline blue, calm and warm. The pools had bars, water slides and a lazy river. The food was overflowing and without end. All of these are ingredients for quite a luxurious and relaxing tropical beach week – and while we did enjoy these elements I’m very sorry to say that there is more to tell about our trip and the details aren’t that sweet.

Despite it taking 11 hours for us to get from our home to our hotel in Jamaica, Noah was a prince. He enjoyed the walkways in the airport, had no problems with take off or landing, happily stayed seated drawing and playing during the flight and took two naps (one on the plane, one on the bus). Once we arrived at the resort we ate, walked around, spent some time in the water and went to bed exhausted at 8:30 pm because of our 4 am start time that morning. At 3:30 am on Sunday morning Noah woke up on fire. He had a fever and it was a scorcher. You could feel the heat emanating from his little feet. We took him to nurse Lillymay in the morning and while we pinned down our distraught and screaming little man she said Noah had a fever of a 103.3 and she called in the doctor. The polish doctor diagnosed him with the beginnings of an ear infection and acute tonsillitis and prescribed him antibiotics. He said the runny nose and drooling Noah had for a few days prior to the vacation were early symptoms of his cold and sore throat – though we’d blamed them both on teething. Noah had never been on antibiotics and never even been to the doctor for a sick visit so it was really rotten luck to have his first real illness while on vacation. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Noah was pretty ill. He was lethargic, grumpy and sad. Even when the ibuprofen would break his fever for a few hours his energy and mood were too low for him to be adventurous. He didn’t want to be in the pool, on the sand, in the ocean. The only things he seemed to enjoy were exploring the resort by walking in circles, looking for lizards, spotting an occasional Sesame Street character, and the attentions of his doting Grandmother. Oh and nursing. Endless, endless nursing. And since our eternal eater wasn’t eating any solid foods and barely drinking any juicy water, I obliged when he asked until I couldn’t do it any more and then he screamed and cried. Between my putting premature ends on his intended three hour nursing sessions and us having to pin him down for the doctor and to take his medicine, he was more than happy to turn his attentions to Grandma. And that of course was one of her reasons for the trip – so Noah and Grandma quality time were indeed a success.

And because Noah felt poorly, I felt poorly. I was so distraught about him not feeling well, about him not enjoying the vacation, about feeling sad while we were in tropical paradise that I was pretty miserable to deal with. I was just as moody and teary as Noah. Though it isn’t necessarily in my nature to be optimistic, I make a constant effort to always look on the bright side and to put any small discomforts or concerns I have in check with the dark reality that others have to face. And when I’m having a low patch and I’m not able to keep my focus on the positive, I get pretty disgusted with myself. Which of course doesn’t do much to alleviate the situation. I kept thinking “Yes my boy’s a little sick, but it’s nothing very serious, and I’m in JAMAICA for God’s sake! Stop whining!” And I’d put it aside for a little while and then Noah would have a teary episode and I’d be depressed again. I owe both my Mom and Mark a big apology and thank you for their tolerance and support. I can say with certainty that as sad as I was at seeing Noah not feeling well – it made my Mom and Mark sad to see me not feeling well. We all took part in a love-induced sadness downward spiral.

But then there was Wednesday! Noah felt good. He was eating. He was happy. We played in the sand, in the surf, in the pool. We smiled and cheered. Wednesday was a dreamy, perfect vacation day. Thursday was some more of the same, though honestly the sleep deprivation of the earlier part of the week had caught up with me and I felt like I was barely capable of dragging myself around. Plus we knew it was our last day and were disappointed that we’d just begun really enjoying ourselves. And Friday we headed home.

So illness, tiredness, sad bouts aside – there were some really great, memorable moments to share. And I’ll be sharing them this week as I have time to recount them. Mark and I have to send out a huge thanks to my Mom for taking us to Jamaica. I’m so very sorry that the trip didn’t turn out exactly as she had hoped, but I’m pretty sure she enjoyed spending lots of time with Noah despite his sickness. And I know he enjoyed spending the time with her – he’s been asking for her endlessly and seems confused that she’s no longer living in the room next door.

Hope everyone had a good week in the blogosphere. It’s going to take me a while to catch up on reading and commenting, but please bear with me. I’ll post a few pictures from our trip now, but then I have to get ready to go to the doctor’s office. I’m sorry to say that my throat and ears are bothering me. Keep your fingers crossed that I’m just a paranoid, hypochondriac freak.


Allison said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Noah getting sick on your trip! Unfortunately, I have figured out (2 kids later) that you never know WHEN they will be sick. We've had so many plans that we've had to cancel because of illness. It really SUCKS, but I guess that's just part of life with children. I hope he is feeling much better now and I'm glad that he got to spend quality time with your mom! My kids have been confused too after going on vacation with my parents or in-laws, so confused that they even call me their names for a day or so. Loved the pictures - Looks like Noah was having a blast on the beach!!!

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

Welcome Home!!!! It could have been worse - you and Mark could have gone by yourselves and Noah get so very sick and no mommy! I'm glad things turned around at the end. So how was the flight home? Was his sitting still and being so good due to his being a GREAT traveler or due to his getting sick?

Can't wait to see more pictures and I'm glad your home!

Mom said...

OK - I'm glad I read this at work at 8PM when all normal people have gone home because I'm dripping tears... Of course I had a wonderful time and I enjoyed every minute of my time with Noah and You and Mark. Since you are 31 years old, I'm pretty used to how you handle situations by now so don't fret!! Besides, I'm so very proud of what a great mother you are - if you dumped a sick baby on me and happilly went to the bar, I'd be horrified!

Missuz J said...

Oh no!

Sick kids are SO HARD. Even at home. Sick kids in a foreign country--dude. I think you did pretty well consitering the circumstances.

Selfishly--I'm glad you're home, and am looking forward to hearing more about your vacation.

Oh--and the pictures are amazing.

patrice said...

at least you had a few nice days in there. and it must have been at least a little comforting to have your mom be there while you were caring for noah - someone who has been there before with sick kids. but other than that, what horrible timing. seriously. next time I see noah, I will have to have a talk with him about that.

the pictures were amazing. it makes me want to hop on a plane and take my own sick kid to jamaica!!!

I am SO glad you're back, though. it was lonely here without you and mark.

lonna said...

I can't believe that poor Noah got his first real nasty sickness while away from home. How hard for everyone. At least he had multiple people to care for him and you weren't by yourself with him. I can't even imagine what kind of wreck I would be in your situation. I'm glad that he turned around fairly quickly and that you were able to enjoy the vacation near the end. Like you said that whole point was to have more extended family time, and you certainly got that. I hope that you didn't catch what Noah had.

Welcome Back!

Heather Evans said...

man that SUCKS! from the pics, though, jamaica looks like a dream...i'm jealous, despite the sick boy.

i hope he's feeling better now, and that you didn't catch his cooties.