Welllll . . . it’s been a coupla weeks, let me tell YOU.
My notice at work was two weeks long, as is typical. The first week of it, I tried to stick to billing 7 or less hours a day (my typical day is 9-10 billed, plus a bit of nonbillable). We have to bill 5 hours each workday, or else use a vacation day (so if you bill 4.9 hours, you have to use a full 8 hours of vacation that day. Obvs nobody ever does that, but it’s the rule.) So, I carefully plotted out all of my final assignments and case transitioning, in order to get everything done with the minimal amount of hours-at-work. After five full years in practice, with a billables requirement of about 2000, I’m weary and I wanted to maximize my chill before starting at a tougher firm. I was under-billing these last two weeks but what are they gonna do – fire me? Amirite? I exercised, I played guitar, I hung out with Craiggers. One morning I actually ran Craig to school in the stroller – a mistake actually, as what I thought would be 4.5 miles turned out to be 7.5. The distance was fine but it took way longer than I’d planned, so I didn’t get to work til 10:30. Other days I’d get up and run with him at 6:30 for about an hour, which after shower and daycare drop-off would put me at work at about 9:15 or so, and WHO CARES!! WEEEEE!! I’d leave every day at 5 to pick him up, and it was very freeing to have a 9-5 schedule, however briefly.
WELL. Thursday Craig woke up a little listless with a very mild fever, so I kept him home. I billed a bit from home, and didn’t worry about missing that day too much, given my status. Friday he seemed fine, so I dropped him off at daycare and headed in. The partner I work for most asked me to go to a lunch with him, and so I billed a few hours and then we went and had some really good sushi and talked about case transitions and it was overall very nice. (Side note – I did a really dumb thing and somehow put my SUNGLASSES on to look at the menu, instead of my regular glasses, and didn’t notice somehow, which tells you how non-strong my prescription is. In any case, once I realized how dumb I looked, I mumbled a lie that they were prescription sunglasses even though they clearly weren’t, and I will be blushing about that minor dumb moment for a while!)
So we’re eating and chatting and it’s going really well and then I get a text – Craig threw up. Ugh. So the partner drops me back at my car and says “have a good weekend” and I go get Craig, dose him with Tylenol, and settle in for a long weekend of just me and sick baby.
He wakes Saturday feeling fine, and we head to a birthday party, thinking the worst has passed, but he will not let go of me and clings to me throughout, so we leave early. An hour later, he has a 102 fever, which lasts all day Saturday. He has a 102 fever all day Sunday (I bring it down with meds, but as soon as they wear off it’s right back up). He wakes up drenched in sweat at night, as the fever cycles in and out, breaking and then returning. Every day it continues, I get a little more anxious and nervous, and first thing Monday morning when he wakes up still at 102, I call his ped and make a sick child appointment. I won’t be going to work Monday, but manage to get some things done from home til his late morning appointment.
At our appointment, the doc checks his ears, throat, and does a strep test – no problems, so the doc sends us to the hospital to draw some labs. Feverish and clingy, Craig weeps pitifully through the blood draw but screams in fury and terror through the mono test (which is a swab shoved way down the nose). He leaves smothered in stickers, and the fever continues. The doctor calls me later that afternoon and says the labs don’t show anything worrying, and we should hang out another day or two and see if he improves. Tuesday the fever goes in and out, he seems to be feeling a little better and the fever is lower, but still there. I take him to work for a couple of hours because Good Lord, this is my last week and there goes my carefully plotted timeline for transitioning my 30+ cases. This is what happens when a mom tries to relax and not work ahead, for ONCE IN HER LIFE. I’ll never do it again, God, I promise.
Tuesday night he’s feverish all night, and wakes Wednesday at 102. Back to the ped we go, who sends us to the hospital again for a chest xray and urinalysis. All of this takes hours, of course, and I’m running out of time go do what I have to do to get closed out at work by Friday. I have to pack up the office, write three briefs, have transition meetings, etc., and Craig doesn’t look like he’s going to get better anytime soon. Oh, and meanwhile, Tropical Storm Cindy is bearing down on us, and everything (daycare, camps, many stores) closes in anticipation. (Although it turns out to be mostly a dud, I do have to drive through some wild-ish wind and flooded streets to get him to the hospital Wednesday.)
So Wednesday after his x-ray, he gets diagnosed, at last, with pneumonia. The doc prescribes an antibiotic, Craig takes his first dose Wednesday night and goes to bed with a fever, but wakes up Thursday without one. He’s been fever free since then – coughing terribly, but that’s to be expected. The doc said that as long as the fever is gone, that means the antibiotic is working, so hurrah. You’ll note that by this point we are up to the last Thursday of my two week notice, and I’ve managed to work only 4 full days in that whole time.
I got a sitter (expensive, good Lord) to watch him half day Thursday and half day Friday, and I just . . . crammed absolutely every thing in that I could, into those two half days. I threw all my personal stuff into boxes (I filled 10 of those boxes that the reams of paper come in – I’m a nester). I skimmed through the crap on my computer to make sure I emailed myself all of my personal documents. I spooled out some draft briefs like it was my job – two replies (only 10 pages each and not so hard), plus finishing up one motion for summary judgment, some initial disclosures, some discovery responses . . . I was a machine, getting everything done and pushed out so my clients wouldn’t be screwed – since I carry the water on the bulk of these cases and frankly, no one else knows what’s happening with them. It was a tremendously stressful way to close out that job – anxious about my baby’s health, barely able to work at all given his illness, people wondering where the hell I was – no vacation time to spend on these last few days and so forced to try to bill 5 hours every day in between hospital visits, etc. Just awful. I walked away Friday afternoon thoroughly exhausted, and I’m still not fully recovered. The house is kind of a wreck, as I’ve been trying to work from home so much with Craig in my hair and thus he’s kind of had his way with toys, etc. Nevertheless I could not face dealing with it today. Craig has barely eaten due to his illness, so I haven’t eaten much either, and I don’t feel like making a real dinner. I just need to flop, to process this transition, to rest, and to binge on Orange is the New Black for a day or two, before I tackle the house. We’ve been grazing on fruit and peanut butter and crackers, except one memorable evening, when Craig asked for “menge-tables” to make his tummy feel better, which I made for him (just frozen mixed veg).
We survived, but it was awful – mostly the worrying about what the heck was wrong with him. It caused a draining low grade anxiety that made everything harder – as did our total lack of sleep, as he was needy through those hot feverish nights. But the fever’s gone, he’s feeling and looking perky, he’s sleeping extremely well, and I’ll be right as rain tomorrow.
I’ve made plans for us to go to a friend’s house for dinner tomorrow night, another friend is coming over for porch wine Monday night, and I’m doing lunch with a friend Tuesday. Filling up the social calendar, trying to enjoy a couple days where I don’t have to check email every five seconds.
When the boys come back I’ll go back to making dinners – I definitely miss eating them – but for now Craig and I are making do with what’s in the back of the pantry. I’ve had Craig basically 24/7, with only a few interruptions, for ten days in a row now. Looking forward to some kid-free time next week, in my own house, to rest and recharge for the next adventure.