Thursday, June 5, 2014

Vacation 2014 Part 1 - Where Do I Begin?

"Where do I begin,
To tell the story of how long two weeks can be?"

So, maybe those aren't quite the correct lyrics to Love Story . . .

I have to begin somewhere though.  When exactly did our family vacation begin?  When did it end?  Has it ended yet?  Will life ever get back to normal?  Will I ever catch up on laundry?  And do we count the pre-vacation mishaps in the retelling?

I guess you could says the adventures began on the day I commenced packing.  I'm going to take you back, back, far back into the hazy realms of distant memory, a full 16 days ago.

It was a Tuesday, as I recall.  I had spent all the previous day washing a mountain range of laundry.  Now I had the Himalaya's to put away.  That's when I had the Brilliant Idea.  Why not just pack all the clean clothes right into the suitcases?  So I did.  And that is how all the boys and Elle came to be packed four days in advance.  Sure, Dee didn't have any clean socks.  Evidently he didn't have any dirty socks either, because all the hampers were empty.  But as soon as we located and washed all his missing socks then I would pack them too.

I had just finished mixing up a batch of Tabouli for supper.  I was so proud of my accomplishments for the day.  This vacation was going to be thoughtfully planned and flawlessly executed.  Finally, no stress.  No last minute rushing.  And there would be ample time to have 30 close friends and family over for a barbeque two days before we leave.  (You can see where this is going, can't you?)

Just as I closed the refrigerator door, my sister called.  She was 28 weeks pregnant, having contractions and in a lot of pain.  She needed to get to the hospital.

Within thirty minutes her father-in-law and sister-in-law had shown up at my house to watch my kids while her mother-in-law and myself loaded Joanna into my van and we headed out to the big hospital in our area.

To make a long story short, Baby was rolled over on top of Joanna's kidney, thus causing pain, swelling and regular contractions.  When the nurses gave Joanna a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions, she had a bizarre reaction.  Instead of her heart rate elevating (which is normal) hers fell.  As did her blood pressure.  All the way down to 79/28 or something like that.  The nurses were scrambling to get oxygen and figure out what was going on.  Lisa called Joanna's husband (who was finishing up his shift)  I stood there and prayed for her and the baby.  Things eventually evened out.  Joanna was kept overnight so they could continue running tests.  Lisa and I hit Taco Bell on the way home.  It was about 1 a.m.

Wednesday and Thursday were a bleary eyed blur.  Joanna was sent home.  Mom came up and stayed with her for the rest of the week.  I cleaned like mad, trying to get ready for our Thank You dinner.  The suitcases stayed in the corner, untouched.

Friday arrived.  We were so excited to have everyone over that had helped fight the fires and evacuate our stuff the week that Ana was born.  We had been waiting for me to get my strength back and a good time that everyone could make it.  Memorial Day weekend looked perfect.  We would party on Friday.  Pack on Saturday.  Fly to Cincinnati on Sunday.  Spend Monday and Tuesday at the Creation Museum.  Fly home on Wednesday.  Maximum fun for minimum days off work.

The dinner turned out well.  We had a full house.  Kids were dangling from the ceiling fans, but no one seemed to mind.  After dinner we played games suitable for a large group such as Mafia, Identity and the Dictionary game.  A couple of the boys' friends stayed the night.  The rest of us got in bed around 1:30.

Saturday.  At last.  Time. To. Pack.  Seriously!!!  I spent the day throwing away red solo cups and stuffing underwear into the largest suitcase for Robert, myself and the baby.  I had made fairly good progress.  I figured if I kept at it there might even be time for a movie after supper while I finished the packing.  I had just thawed some chicken leg quarters in the microwave when Cy came hobbling in, holding his side.  It was a scooter wreck, he informed me between gasps.  He had been flying down our neighbor's paved driveway at a high rate of speed when he had to swerve suddenly to avoid hitting Alvin.  He had landed smack on his left side.  Already the area was tender and swollen.  I immediately googled "location of spleen".

Taking Evel Knievel to Urgent Care seemed to be the most prudent thing to do.  Especially since we were supposed to be out of state in twelve hours.  I took him over to our favorite Urgent Care Clinic.  Everyone there has become quite familiar with our family.  Unfortunately, they closed 4 minutes before we arrived.  I headed over to Plan B Clinic.  This place is supposed to specialize in pediatrics.  I think they specialize in ripping people off.  They have this weird policy that requires them to take your credit card number, invent an arbitrary amount that they think might be billed by the insurance and then proceed to reassure you that if the amount billed happens to be lower, they will credit your card.  If if happens to be higher, they will just charge your card without your knowledge.  Sign here.

The doctor came in, palpated Cy's abdomen for 20 seconds and urged me to take him straight over to the Emergency Room.  She was concerned about his spleen too.

That better not have cost me the estimated $209!

So, back to the hospital for the second time in 4 days.

The doctor on call had an atrocious bedside manner.  She was snappy and short tempered.  Not gentle at all.  And she was offended at having to compete with Sponge Bob for Cy's attention.  You knew this was pediatrics you signed up for, right Lady Doctor?

We were blessed by a visit from our friend, Bindu.  We met Bindu in the ER when Dee swallowed the quarter.  She was very kind to come check on us during her break.  She was very reassuring and pointed out that the spleen is way up high, not where Cy was experiencing pain.  Thank you, Bindu!!

A CT scan confirmed that the spleen was fine, nothing was ruptured.  Cy was just really bruised.  Thank the Lord for that!  I made it home, finished the packing and got in bed . . .

. . . around 1a.m.  We needed to get up at 5.

Let the vacation begin, I need it!