I am feeling better, at least the flu/whatever it turned into is better. I am sure the Hashimotos is still around - it does not usually go away that quickly. :)
(Emily captured the above cloud formation tonight - I wanted you to see it. So interesting, isn't it, the way the light is shining from behind. I have finally purchased a little point and shoot camera for myself. I have relied on the kids to take pictures for me for several years now - they have their own cameras and I have not had one. They do a fabulous job, but every once in awhile I want to take a picture from my own perspective - to capture a moment, to take a picture of them, the picture takers themselves (!) Also, I realized just how many pictures I had of deer, and butterflies...and mostly I'd prefer to take pictures of the things taking place around this house. The boys went on a big caving expedition a couple of weeks ago, and came home with pictures of deer, buildings, and tennis shoes roasting over a camp fire. That's it. Nothing else. I'm like, "Seriously? No pictures of you, getting ready to go caving? None of you in your gear? Nothing at the cave entrance? Not even a sign to the cave?" They're like, "Nope. Just tennis shoes." So...from here on out, the beautiful pictures will be from Emily, the buildings, legos, and deer will be from the boys, and my pictures will be the ones featuring real-life adventures. I have even hid the camera cord so that no one can find it. Likely, not even I will remember where I put it by tomorrow. Ha.)
I want you to know how much I appreciate everyone who left me a comment or a note or dropped me a letter. I've got some of the best friends in the world - both in real life and on line. Friends, such as you are, are a real gift from the Lord and a genuine mercy in my life. Thank you! (And yes....I still intend to get letters back to each of you. Thank you for thinking of me!)
Just a quick note about the events of yesterday, and then some pictures:
Wednesday night was horrid. Yes, even after mothering for 19 years, and so many different children in different situations, I can say that it was truly awful. I was sick, sick, sick - and the baby was too. We were both feverish and this thing that seemed to start out as the flu sneakily migrated around until it seemed to be lodging in my sinuses, so that equaled pain. Gabriel decided to picket the "open all-night, all-you-can-eat" milk diner (otherwise known as a serious nursing strike.) I've never had a child pull such a complete, out and out nursing strike. He went without nursing for almost a day. I was fairly sure he had an ear infection, and that contributed to the refusal to nurse.
So, between midnight baths and pacing and rocking and crying (both of us....) and ear pain and sinus pain and not-nursing pain, we managed to sleep not a wink that night. (How great would it be to get mastitis to go along with sinus pain and Hashimoto's? Not!) I tried tylenol for Gabe and he just spat it up.
Jeff is working such long hours that I could not ask him to get up with the baby. He always has in the past, but I just can't ask him to do that now. He drives heavy equipment now and is responsible for the safety of other people - I want him to be fully equipped the best he can be to do his job. And the big kids were supposed to start working for a corn research facility...I couldn't get them up, either. It was just me and the babe. :) I prayed all night - thanked the Lord that I knew He was with us, prayed for others who are suffering who do not have access to medical care for their babies; for mamas who rock their hot babies in huts and no air conditioning, no memory foam mattress to sink into for reprieve. I took a big step and thanked him for the strengthening that comes thru trials, for how we learn that He is with us when we suffer. That's not an easy thing for me to do.
I showered before everyone else the next morning, with Gabe crying outside the tub. Sometimes, you've just got to do what you've got to do. He cried the whole time I got myself and him all ready, the diaperbag put together, documents, etc. packed and ready to go. I generally keep things packed, but I'd been sick all week so was out of kilter.
Mothers just aren't supposed to get sick, you know? I'm reminded of that. There's something so wrong with the universe when a mom is sick.
We made it out the door, buckled up, drove to the convenient care. It was hot, already 84 degrees at 7:30 in the a.m. The front air in the van was still not working. Feverish baby, feverish mama...no air...misery.
(I'm telling you all of this so that the next time something like this happens to you, you will remember you are not alone.)
I pulled into the convenient care parking lot, and....ta da!......
they were not open for another hour.
What to do? Sit in a hot van? Carry a sick kid around the 24 hour Walmart? I was so weak and my head was about to crack open....no way! I decided to drive across town to the other convenient care. I was pretty sure that it opened at 8.
Twenty minutes later - only to learn that I was wrong. Again. It too, opened at nine.
Back to the first clinic
As I was pulling in, my cell phone rang.
It was my eldest son, Jake. (Who, by the way, put in a new starter on one of our old cars this week. Successfully! Jake stepped out of his computer geek role for a few days to learn a new skill - aided by directions online, of course - but it worked and I'm so proud of my grease monkey kid. He also made Dean's List at college last semester, but I digress....)
Back to the story:
Jake said, "Hey mama."
Jake: "Um...Just wanted to let you know that Nick cut his hand cutting a bagel."
Me, foggy headed: "What? How? With what? Why was he cutting a bagel? I didn't leave bagels out..."
Jake: "Yeah, uh, well....he cut it with a bread knife."
Me, picturing a knife like you use to spread butter on bread, thinking, Hm, how bad could this be?: "A butter knife? How bad?"
Jake: "A BREAD KNIFE. It's pretty bad."
Me: "Like you spread butter with? Like I keep in the kitchen drawer with the spoons? How do you cut yourself with THAT?"
Him: A BREAD KNIFE. Like you CUT a loaf of bread with. A really sharp one with jagged teeth."
Me: "Sigh. This is not happening. Meet me at the West Side St. Mary's Convenient Care."
So, yes. Three of us were in the doctor's office at the same time. I had a sinus infection, Gabe, an ear infection, and Nick....a pretty deep cut. It all seemed too wacky to be true. Once again, I find myself grateful for some place to turn when we really need medical help. Sick babies make me so sad, and I wouldn't want to sew my son's hand up all by myself. That, and, I learned that the muscular anatomy of a hand looks actually quite cool, in a sympathetic "I know this hurts you son, but look at those muscles!" sort of way.
We made it. We all survived. Nick got up and went to his first day of work in the cornfield, and then on to mow three yards later in the afternoon - one handed, of course. It was kinda pitiful to watch....but I had to admire his gumption. Good thing he's right-handed. (Nick turns 17 on Sunday. Jake turns 19 on Monday.)
The kids at home were fine, thanks to big sis Emily, who held down the fort while we were all off making merry at the health care center. I know that Josiah doesn't look happy here, but he's okay and really just into gelling his hair into some pretty interesting styles. Julia also lost a tooth while we were gone. The drama just does NOT stop.
We're all on the mend, doing much better tonight, all thanks and praise going to God. That's Daddy (pretty exhausted at the end of the day, but enjoying loving on his kids....) and Gabe, who is now nine months old and happily over his nursing strike. Thank you - for your love and concern and kind words.