I tried to plan for Daylight Savings. I really did. Light Saturday dinner, early bedtimes, open window shades so the sunlight could do its reprogramming trick, and alarms set to the usual Sunday time.
But my husband’s immune system had other ideas.
He noticed small patches of raised skin in the early afternoon — itchy, but not too bad, so he wrote it off as winter-dry skin reacting to the chlorine from the kids’ morning swimming lessons.
Then it started to spread.
The kids were just coming out of the bathtub around eight when his face started to swell. He drove himself to the emergency room, while I settled the kids and got them into bed. I went down to tell my MIL what was going on, and she volunteered to keep an eye on the kids.
The emergency room was packed and once the staff confirmed that my husband could breathe, he waited for about two hours, feeling a little silly for overreacting. He hadn’t been— it turned out to be an extremely bad case of hives that might have turned even nastier during the night.*
They put him on a Benadryl-steroid drip while we played a few rounds of “What on earth caused this?”
After dismissing undue stress (“Bring it.”), STDs (“Who has the time?”), lupus (“Umm, no.”) and dissecting everything he’d eaten that was different from the usual (“Dill pickles? Barbecue sauce? Soft serve?”), we remembered that he’d had my car washed that afternoon. The cleaning stuff they’d used on the interior seemed to be the likely culprit—a theory that had the added benefit of making this hypochondriac both guilty and itchy.
Afterward, my husband was too loopy to drive. I was deemed the marginally safer driver, jazzed on diet Pepsi and worry as I was, so we left his car there. We arrived home around one a.m. Being, as I said, a bit over-caffeinated, I didn’t shut my eyes until at least an hour later.
Guess what else happened at two a.m.? Americans won’t have to guess: one whole hour of blessed sleep went poof.
As much as I tried to get up three hours later to teach Sunday School,** it wasn’t going to happen. Even if I had managed it, my husband—feeling much better and looking it—teaches an early morning Sunday class, and we were down a car. I made a couple of phone calls to the church and my co-teacher, and fell back asleep until the kids woke up. An hour later.
When my husband returned, we all jumped into my car. We stopped at the pharmacy to drop off his prescription, then drove to the hospital for his car. He took Janie to go pick up his meds and Sunny and I went grocery shopping. Which is when I figured out that I hadn’t had breakfast yet.
In case you wondered, they aren’t kidding about shopping hungry.
But we made it back without breaking the bank or our nutritional standards, such as they are. My husband, while sporting some pink patches, is looking good. And the kids appear to be so over whatever loss of sleep they might have had.
Me? I’m gonna go nap now.
*And that’s as much as I want to think about that, thanks.