Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Perspective

My devoted readers, I do apologize once again for the extended hiatus from keeping you ever so entertained with my humorous existence. I intended to blog from the road, first from the lake trip to Cory's parents in Tennesse, and second from my trip back home to Racine, for my 20th High School Class Reunion. Both deserve entries in their own right, and I will be posting in the near future with flashback moments, so do not stray far. However, with those two trips and life in between and recent events, I have not had the time to spend like I want to - and the reunion by all means deserves much attention! Tonite however brought a morsel of reality to my week that I felt I had to share.

I had a short week last week in between returning from Tennessee on Sunday and flying out to Wisconsin on Thursday, most of it spent working, laundering, re-packing and settling Cory into what he needed for the boys while I was away. One of which was a plan to build a beach for our lake so they could enjoy the water as much as they did the weekend we were at my inlaws. That leads into the manic week we've had since I returned. And let me apologize in advance to my mother in law who is reading this and learning it for the first time...I have not had a moment to call and catch you up...and I needed this break for my sanity!

Cory built the beach while the kids were in school and while I was away. However, in the midst of it, he neglected his own well being in favor of getting it finished in between working and not having the kids underfoot, which meant the hotest time of the day and found himself in the throes of heat exhaustion by Friday night. (Note to husbands out there, avoid mentioning such things as illnesses that could potentially keep you from being able to manage your children on your own while your wife is away on a trip that requires a plane to get her home.)

He assured me he was fine on Saturday. And even Sunday, he seemed fairly well, tired, but that was assumed to be due to having the kids entirely by himself for 4 days.

Monday afternoon, I started to get a bit concerned when he said he was planning to nap because he thought he was still feeling some effects from the heat exhaustion. And by 5:30 when he called while I was at my church small group meeting for our summer community outreach to tell me he just woke up, I got even more concerned. He said he spoke to his pharmicist buddy who told him he probably wasn't replacing what he needed with just water, but rather should get some Gatorade, along with calcium, potassium and magnesium. Since we were headed to Publix, I could handle the Gatorade and told him to just down one of my leftover prenatal vitamins for now and the next day, he needed to see a doc.

Tuesday came, doc was booked, he said he felt better, just his back was locked up. Probably from the mattress at his mom's (again, sorry Ruth Ann!). So instead he made a visit to the chiropractor. That afternoon - seemingly better. That is until I got home.

All through dinner prep, he was sighing, that "oh, I feel so miserable" sigh. At first, my instinct was, "For Pete's sake! Get over it already, I'm home!". I even went so far to tell him to go to bed and leave me with the kids, I couldn't take the martydom anymore. But later, after I got the kids to bed, he came out of the bedroom and was shaky and said he felt really hot. I felt his forehead, and in a second, told him to get in the shower. I took his temp - it was 105.4. I dropped the air conditioning down to 70 degrees in our room, gave him two ibuprofen and put a fan on him while he held ice packs under his arms until his temp dropped to 102 an hour later and then eventually to 99.3 when we went to bed.

This morning, fever still hanging on but not as high, since the kids are out of daycare the rest of the week, I called in to work and sent him out to the Urgent Care Clinic.

And waited. He called at 8:45 from his doctor - they worked him in so he didn't have to wait at the UCC.

I waited.

He called an hour later, he was on an IV and they were setting up a chest xray.

I waited.

Finally just before noon he called and said he was halfway through the 2nd IV and all the test were negative for any kind of damage from heat exhaustion/stroke. They found a virus in his lungs, I guess through the xray. Apparently from the sinus infection that still didn't seem to have completely gone away, and when the heat exhaustion set in last week, it opened the door and his body just couldn't fight it. So after 5 shots, 2 IVs and prescriptions for 10 days of 2 other antibiotics, he came home.

He's been in bed since, probably will be until Friday according to the doc. I can tell you my emotions have ranged from anger at his lack of care for himself and the risk he could have brought to the kids because of it, to frustration at getting behind in things at home and work playing single parent on a week I had planned for having help. But all were usurped by the fear of what I'd have done if the outcome had been worse, heat stroke can lead to permanent organ damage, even death; and what would I tell the kids (which brought back another round of the anger, short lived, but there nonetheless).

I am settled now, checking on him regularly, glad he's home and we know what we should watch for. His fever is still hanging on, but lower, and should break by tomorrow. And I'm relieved, for reasons you all can imagine.

This brings me, the long way to the short story, of what lightened me up tonite.

Jack has been working hard at using his manners, more specifically, instead of "I want my water, snack, etc.", it's "Please may I have..." But always, it's my prompt that brings him to it.

So tonite, he's in the tub, yelling to me in the kitchen "I want my water, I want my water, I want my water!" I'm tired, I grab the water, but before I offer it, I catch myself and remind him, "Jack, we need to use our manners when we want something." He responds, "I want something." To which I reply, "Then use your manners to ask for something that you want."

The light bulb behind those blue eyes with the long eyelashes did not flicker, didn't brighten as if on a dimmer switch, it turned full on that instant.

"Please may I go to Old McDonald's!"

I have no doubt that someday, a long time from now, he will still be the one to put perspective back into my day.
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