Sep 20, 2012

Half Full

Yesterday was a hard day.

Scott's healing is twofold. There is the surgical site which is an upside down horseshoe held together with staples. Deeper than the flesh, of course, is the skull. Beyond the skull is his brain. Just in case you haven't heard, it hurts. It hurts so very, very much.

The injury is hospital caused. On the first day and in ICU, he could eat clear liquids. This included jello, which he hates, and broth. The broth arrived and I held the cup in my hands. It was lukewarm. I put a straw in and held it up to his lips. He sucked in a mouthful and his eyes popped. He spit it out. It was so hot that it scalded his tongue, throat and esophogus. When he spit it out, he caused second degree burns across his chest. This is what they gave an ICU patient. Yesterday he told me he needed to see an ENT specialist. It's been 7 days and he still can't taste while his throat feels blistered. I told him I'd find a doctor tomorrow.

I cleaned up throw up. Jacob started out with another problem related to gastrointestinal issues. I'll let you guess. Then he threw up. Three times. He did a good job getting it in a contained area including a garbage can that I think might be put in the dumpster.

The lawn still didn't get mowed. I still needed to do laundry, although with the help of Samantha, I was able to do one or two loads. The house was in shambles. I sighed deeply and got to work. I finished folding laundry and put it away. I cleaned off the table, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed the surfaces, signed neglected papers for school, and set out a note excusing Alyssa for being tardy tomorrow. I wanted her to drive Jaxon to school. An hour and half later, I had picked up the clutter, cleaned up the living areas and I sat down just for a second. I was exhausted and disheartened.

Then a fresh breath of air walked in the door. Alyssa, with all of her 17 years of optimism came in after a football game at the high school. She agreed to rub my back while she regaled me with stories of her friends at school. Her dog, the one I sometimes swear at, responded to her presence by pushing her nose into Alyssa's hand. When Alyssa didn't fall for her cute antics, she started rubbing her head on the carpet and snorting. Alyssa gave her a little shove which only encouraged the dog who then started nibbling on me. It hurt. She bites only hard enough to pinch which is normally tolerable but she bruised my hands and she wouldn't take no for an answer. Alyssa started laughing which started me laughing and the endorphins were released. An hour and a half later, I had spent quality time with my daughter, she'd lifted my spirits and life was bearable again.

Today would have been another really hard day but the endorphins were still present in trace amounts. Tonight Samantha threw up and my gag reflex kicked in. There was nobody to pass the odious job of cleaning it up to. I held my breath and blugged by dose and felt grateful because she made it to the toilet but not necessarily all of it got into  the toilet. By the looks of things, not much of at all. On the other hand, it was relatively easy to clean. And the girls have a clean toilet.

We've also been looking forward to this afternoon at 3:00 for almost two months. The cardiologist agreed to see Alyssa even though she's a minor. There was no rescheduling. No cancelling. This was the one opportunity and her heart has been stuttering and causing anxiety for awhile. Meanwhile, I started calling doctors to see who could see Scott and his blistered throat. Not a lot of takers. He just had brain surgery? Yeah, there was possible liability and I kept getting pointed to the emergency room. I finally found an ENT who agreed to see Scott. What time? 3:00. Ah, crap. Neither of the appointments could be negotiated. One was an emergency. The other was important. I did what I do best which is punt and run. I herded the two into the van and drove to Scott's doctor's office. Alyssa's doctor's office had an address of a half a block away. On further inspection, the half a block included the same office building I was already parking the van. Both of my problem children saw their doctors. Not to mention, we get a lot of sympathy points for Scott walking around with staples in his head. I suggested he keep them in for Halloween and be Frankenstein. He was not amused.

So I ran from one office to the other, trying to help and figure out what treatment to give to each patient. Rather than feeling harried, I felt grateful they were at the same building at the same time. I also realized that, although I am clearly having growing pains, my job transfer came at the right time. There is no way I could have done what I did today if I still worked at the old school. Old commute = 30 minutes each way. New commute = 5 minutes each way.

Scott finished up and joined us in the waiting room while we scheduled additional tests and follow up appointments. I pulled out my planner and talked through possible conflicts I'd have with upcoming dates that were open at the cardiologist. As Alyssa and I are discussing it, we heard Scott call out, "I can come with her, you know." We both turned and stared at him like he was an alien life form. Oh, yeah. The man with the staples in his head. I guess he might be an option. He might even be able to stay awake long enough for the test to be complete, poor dear and bless his heart.

On the way home, a friend called and announced she was bringing over dinner. Like I'd refuse. I have no pride, anymore! And I don't care!

I'm exhausted. The lawn still isn't mowed. I still have laundry to do and throw up to clean and a husband who still hurts a lot and falls asleep mid sentence (okay, not really. Anymore), but I'm a little less overwhelmed because of laughter. Instead of seeing the thorns, I actually did see the roses.

I only have two more children who will get the stomach flu. We're going to make it, after all. Thank you, Laverne and Shirley.


Tiffany said...

So I stopped reading your blog for like 10 seconds - you took the summer off, you know - and what the heck? A cavernous hemangioma! Oh my goodness. I'm so glad your sense of humor has survived this! What's next for Frank(enstein)? My goodness woman - I will certainly put your family in my prayers!

Jenny said...

I stumbled across your blog and love that you are still able to see the glass as half full. Sound like a rough week. God bless you and your family.

Rachel said...

Oy vey. Praying that things are SO much lighter for you now! Praying that everyone is healed up and healthy and at peace!