January 24, 2017

Here and Now

I get periodic emails, voice mails and text messages reminding me I haven't posted since April 2, 2016.  And I think, "Hmmm... blogging.  I remember that.  It was fun."  And that's about as far as it gets because then life smacks me in the face and the moment is gone for another month.  The rare moment I have had to open my computer, seriously twice over the last nine months, I get so overwhelmed at the idea of where to start I get absolutely no where.  The other night I was thinking on this very topic and I thought, "Why not stop trying to figure out how to catch up on all that I've missed and just start with the here and now?  At least that way the world at large will stop thinking I am being held hostage or dead."

The sad fact is the here and now is quite an uninteresting and pathetic sounding post.  We are sick.  We have, in fact, been sick for  more than five weeks.  It started with 10 colds which grew into 7 cases of bronchitis and a ruptured ear drum.  Despite finishing antibiotics and many breathing treatments, there are 7 asthmatics in our home, people are still sick.  We've been to the doctors more times than I can count and threw in a trip to Children's hospital for kicks.  We've run the gamut of flu tests, strep tests and chest x-rays.  And, by the way, since its a brand new year with a brand new deductible the out of pocket expense has been astounding.  My husband seriously flipped out when the pharmacists informed him the cost of inhalers alone was $1200.  Yikes.
Doctor's office selfies

But that is the least of the expense where big families and sickness come together.  Which reminds me why we are so careful to keep a healthy lifestyle.  Up until two nights ago, Allen and I had not had two consecutive hours of sleep since December.  Christmas was a bust.  We are a month behind in school.  The kids have missed their classes at the college and many other commitments.  We have suspended Addison's early intervention therapies and missed appointments and meetings.  We haven't been to worship since before Christmas.  Work on the house project has been at a complete stand still.  Not that anyone knows a whole lot about the house project since I haven't posted since last April... but just saying.  

On January 12th, I headed out of town with Addison for his monthly therapy.  As I kissed everyone and drove away I thought to myself, maybe they will be better in a week when I get home?  While I was away I received daily reports of the carnage.  Kids coughing until they throw up.  Fevers not controlled by medication.  And Nathaniel's complaint, "I cook but no one will eat a bite!"

So we were out of town just chugging through therapy sessions when Addison became violently ill with a stomach bug.  By the time we were able to get his medication and get him stable he was too weak to stand up and cyanotic.  We brought him back to Maryland so we could have access to his doctors at Children's Hospital in DC.  He surprisingly bounced back from both illnesses very quickly, considering he is usually the concerning child who ends up in the hospital with each sickness.  Within four or five days he was eating his typical diet.  Unfortunately, because of his hypoglycemia he lost two pounds in just about three days and it will likely take him several months to regain that weight.  But we are glad he was able to recover without a need for serious intervention.
Unfortunately, the rest of us came down with the same bug within 24 hours.  Eleven people and two bathrooms.  Do the math.  It's scary.  During the very long night I came to appreciate the value of the three new bathrooms we will have in the addition.  Ironically, I have spent three years trying to talk my husband out of those bathrooms, which used to seem excessive.  

Mostly, after a week the rest of us have bounced back from that ordeal.  Unfortunately, the additional strain pushed Carmella's bronchitis into pneumonia.  More doctor visits.  More chest x-rays.  More tests.  More steroids.  More antibiotics.  It has been a long, hard ordeal for our girl.  She is weak and mostly unable to eat.  She ate a banana one day and I was overjoyed.  She is up and walking on her own again, which is a huge relief.

While I wish I could wave a magic wand and make them all feel better and we could get back to life, I have enjoyed the cuddles.  The last 8 days I have pretty much sat and snuggled Carmella day in and day out in an effort to keep her upright and minimize her coughing and asthma attacks.  As I feed her 1/4 of a saltine and 1 sip of juice at a time, we move between her bed, the sofa, the family room, her tent lined with a down comforter and my bed, depending on the time of day.  And I pray without ceasing for her little lungs to get better and for her to start eating again.
Two nights ago, she made it through the entire night without a coughing fit for the first time since December 14th.  That night Elisabeth woke with a nasty asthma attack and I felt horrible because my second thought after making sure she got a breathing treatment was, "I hope she stops coughing before she wakes Carmella."

It is something.  No matter how many years I've been at this, it never gets easier to see our little ones suffer. I never stop wondering if we are doing the right things.  Allen says that's what makes you a good parent.  Still, wouldn't that instruction manual and magic wand be nice?  


  1. So glad for the update! I am so sorry you have all been super sick, that is awful. I hope you are all better and your house is back to normal in no time! I follow your daughter on Instagram, so I saw a photo of the house addition, it looks beautiful. you probably don't remember but a few years ago you sent me a Bible. I think of you everyday as I am doing a "5 day a week reading plan to go through it in a year". Which has been helpful because it groups similar topics together. So every time I open it I see your note in the front and say a little prayer for you and your family.

    1. Jenny,

      I am so glad to hear from you! Absolutely, I do remember you and think of you often. One of the things I miss about not having time to blog are all the great women I came to know over the years. I still have your question concerning family visiting and complaining about your house size tucked away in my reader questions to answer... someday. I think of your topic frequently as we go through our house project. Your family Christmas card turned up when we were packing up the house this summer and we were saying how big the kids must be now. It makes me so happy to know you are continuing in the Word. I remember once, it must have been a warm season in Ohio, you mentioned sitting on your porch studying. That's how I always picture you. Thank you for the prayers. They are the glue which cements this crazy family together through this windy and often tumultuous season. Let me know how the family is doing.


  2. Oh dear, so sorry to hear about Carmella. Poor, sweet girl. Praying she is better now and praying your whole family will get some reprieve from the sickness. Love y'all.