June 29, 2012

Decompressing

Wow!  It never ceases to amaze me how a week can start with one expectation and completely change in a moment.  That is what it has been around here.  My brain feels like it has been just about everywhere in the last few days.  Probably because it has.  Do you ever just need to empty it out and decompress?

Not like when you need to mull it over or figure it out or come to a conclusion.  Your brain just needs to clear out.  That's where I was when I sat down to write a post.  Before I knew it, I hadn't done what I planned but my brain was decompressed and there was long rambling rather meaningless to anyone but me post.

As I mentioned... in a prior post, Saturday we lost a sweet sister from our small church family.  In addition, two members of our group lost close family members over the weekend.  So to say things are a little shaken up among our church family is a bit of an understatement.

When... you belong to a group like ours, everyone is family.  And the littlest thing affects everyone in one way or the other.  Maybe it is visiting with the family or taking them a meal.  Maybe you are part of the funeral plans or the fellowship dinner.  Perhaps, it is picking up the responsibilities of those traveling out of state to be with their families in times of mourning.  In some small or big part life gets tossed around if you are in a good church and if you are doing your part.

Midway through last week... we began to think Aedan was making a breakthrough after nearly eight weeks.  He actually went two nights without any breathing treatment or Benadryl.  He was able to get by with just cough syrup.  His appetite was still not right and he still didn't look like himself.  If you are a mom, you know what I mean here.  But his breathing seemed better, his lungs seemed relaxed, and he was sleeping to a better degree.  That was Thursday.  Friday night he took a turn down hill and by Sunday we debated taking him to the urgent care center.

And that was when... Carmella woke with a fever. She has four top teeth coming in so I chalked it up to that.  She seemed to do well throughout the day but we kept the family home Sunday night.

In the meantime... the girls cooked a meal and we made a visit to the grieving family.  We were stopped in our tracks by the enormous gathering of family, literally from all over the world, to be with their father, uncle, grandfather and friend.  What an encouragement to see family still matters in some manner in our anti family world.

After another very bad night... for Aedan we made an appointment with the doctor first thing Monday morning.  Right after getting off the phone we went to get Carmella up only to find her temp was now 102.  I still figured it was related to teething, but a rough time for it since I wanted to care for her and Aedan wanted me to go with him to the doctor and the brother from our church who lost his wife had asked Allen and the boys to come by and see him.


But Praise God... This is where the true blessing of having such amazing daughters comes in.  They stepped right in to tend to Winnie and take care of getting suits ready for the funeral services and bake for the mourning family. 


Which... allowed Allen and I to take Aedan to the doctor, get his medicines and pick up the necessary groceries for the funeral dinner.

We had a little laugh... It has been so long since Aedan had a visit to the doctor, they couldn't even find his chart.  It has probably been moved to inactive storage.  I told the doc it was all the vegetables we make them eat.  He said it probably was.

When we were done laughing... Dr. H confirmed our concerns;  that little cold has developed into a full blown lung infection for Aedan.  He will be laid up at least for another week and is on more meds to clear it up, relax the lungs and hopefully help him sleep, too.  


Just try... to tell a boy as active as he is to sit still for a week.  It's driving him crazy.  Except that the slightest exertion and he is exhausted and breathless so then he sits back down.

Why is it... the pharmacy doesn't just tell it to you like it is?  It took an hour to get prescriptions filled despite the promise of the pharmacist that it would only take 30 minutes or less.  This always happens.  If they would just say it will be an hour, then we would be able to do a thing or two and come back.  But instead you hang around cooling your heels because you don't have enough time to do anything in 30 minutes or less.

We were worried.... the boys visiting would be too much for Brother Harry.  But he was insistent so we went.  We spent two hours visiting and were very blessed to see how his disposition had improved just being with them.  Praise God for the way he works through his youngest blessings!

We no sooner... had Aedan settled and dinner cooked Monday night when our friend text to say she was headed to the hospital with contractions... two months early.

Fortunately... they were able to get her hydrated and stop the contractions with medication.  She returned home that night.

Unfortunately... Carmella's fever climbed to above 104 and decided to hover there.  Except for the four top teeth coming in, there was no sign of illness at all.  As a mom that is the worse.  You know something is making her feel bad, duh, but you have no idea what.  You have no idea if it needs medical attention.  You just have to go on instinct and trust God to help you make the right choices.

While we debated... taking her to the doctor, we arranged for a friend to stay with her for the funeral on Tuesday.

And that was Monday.

It was long.

And so was Tuesday.

And Wednesday.

And Thursday.


Winnie's fever continued to hover around 102-103.  And her spirits disintegrated until she reached a point of no longer being consolable.  That has never happened before.

And Aedan continued to get worse.  And we just want to help him feel better.  But we have done all we can do.

Uncertainty...  I can really deal with just about anything.  But uncertainty makes me feel overwhelmed.  Helpless.      


Then the milk spilled.  Literally, Brianna dropped a glass jar of milk and it broke.  All over the steps.  It made a huge mess.  Fortunately, I wasn't there to see it.  I was in my closet trying to decide whether to put on work clothes or take the baby to the doctor clothes.  I'm not one to cry over spilled milk, but I did sit down.  Right there in my not-so-big-closet.  With the dust bunnies and my brown Keds.

Allen was there.  He sat down.  And closed the door.  Wacky.  I know it.  But surprisingly calming.  My hubby commented on how literal a prayer closet it was.  

Until... Ellie came looking for us, opened the door, came in and sat down, too.


We settled the uncertainty then and there.  Aedan will rest more and Carmella will see the doctor, just in case.  

Here again...  is where all those years of training pay off.  Kaitlin and the younger kids took over the house cleaning.  Brianna volunteered to handle the grocery shopping and errands for the baby shower and weekend company coming up.  Carmella and I went to see Dr. H.

And then... I got lost.  Here is the thing.  I have lived in the same town for forty years.  It used to be a small town.  In fact, when I was a teenager and volunteered in a hospital about an hour away, people didn't even recognize the name of our city... which happens to be the third largest city in Maryland.  It has grown over the years.  The population has swelled.  The roads have grown.

For a LOOOOONG time they have been working on one interchange in a major part of town.  It has been open for about a year now.  And yet, I still get lost in there at least once a month.  And once you take the wrong exit, you have to go incredibly out of your way to get back where you need to be.  If you go any other way you can just take then next exit (they are like every ten feet) and hop back on the high way... but not 70W.  Will someone local please tell me I am not the only person in town with this problem.

So... I was late.  And embarrassed.  Twenty minutes late means an hour waiting while everyone else has their turn.  Baby was not content at all.  Highly unusual for her.  I paced back and forth with her on my shoulder singing "The Old Rugged Cross" for what seemed like an eternity.

Especially... because I can not remember all the words to even the first verse.  She was just starting to go to sleep when the nurse came in to take her temperature.

Which... had the nerve to register NORMAL.  Nurse Maryanne leaves and I pace some more and baby closes her eyes again when the doc comes in.  Ears good.  Chest clear.  Abdomen good.  Throat very red but not likely strep.

He says... it's probably roseola but sends the nurse to do a throat culture, just in case.  Which Carmella just loved, in case you were wondering.  I am reassured to know it isn't anything serious, but really I don't buy that it's roseola.  We have had 7 kids who all had roseola and they all had a rash.  He said, watch for the rash.  So we are watching.

In the meantime... baby came home and slept like crazy and then played happy through the evening.  Whatever was bothering seems to have passed.  Maybe we should have taken her to the doctor on Monday?

All in all... I am glad he didn't find anything, but now I am annoyed we spent all morning torturing a baby by dragging her out when she obviously feels lousy to find out she most likely has a virus or has a fever from teething. Which for the record, the doctor always says is not related.  However, 20 teeth times 8 kids and they often ran a fever when they were cutting them.  Maybe it is a complete coincidence, but there you have it.  

The irony?   The doctors always comment on how our kids never have sick visits and here we were in their office twice in four days time.  I for one hope that will last us for another couple of years.


On another note... the funeral Tuesday was lovely.  The weather was perfect, if there is such a thing as a good day for a funeral.  The high was 77 and there was a beautiful breeze.  


Tuesday night... Allen and I were talking of how losing a believer is such a roller coaster experience.  One minute you are rejoicing at their presence with the Lord.  The next you are weeping at the loss.  And the next feeling bad for weeping the loss instead of rejoicing for what they have gained.  And in every way this week has been a roller coaster experience.  


As I often do... when someone goes to the Lord, I spent some time reflecting on what I could learn from Miss Lily.  She was a woman who could truly best be described as a meek and quiet spirit.  Our Pastor summed up my conclusion as best as anyone.  She was lovely.  


That sentiment was echoed by everyone who spoke Tuesday afternoon.  You had to really work to get to know her, but when you did, there was a blessing to be had.  If only in the example of the way she stood by her often hard headed and very opinionated husband.  Who, by the way, we love very much.  I've been to many funerals but never has my breath caught as it did when brother Harry quoted from Proverbs 31 and her children and grandchildren indeed rose up to call her blessed.


That's what I will take away from this week.  May I live each breath and each day as if it were the last and when I draw that final one may I have lived each moment in such a way that my children will one day rise up and call me blessed.

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." 

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