Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm BAAAACK....with hallelujahs!!

The last two weeks have been nothing short of...what shall I say.....interesting?
It's hard to say "thankful" when the memories of these last 10 days have been super rough.

The night that followed my last post (February 1) was nothing short of a nightmare.
I couldn't get warm, and then, out-of-nowhere, I started throwing up.
I had already been sick, with "flu-like" symptoms, for several days, but not the slightest hint of stomach upset for which I had been so eternally grateful.
But that night began a collaboration of events that turned things into a sort of "perfect storm."
I lay on the bathroom floor because I was too achy and cold to keep getting in and out of bed.
My head just throbbed and my sinuses sealed shut, and the nausea kept coming in miserable waves.
Never before had I felt so at the end of my rope.
But just when the sun started rising and I thought the worst was was really just beginning.
That Wednesday was the coldest day of the year so far in Texas, and we had had an ice storm as I was laying on the bathroom floor.
There was a "state of emergency" declared in the Texas power grid and the powers that be felt it necessary to do these "rolling blackouts" of electricity.
We thought that when the power went out in the wee small hours of the morning, that it would come back on pretty quickly.
We were wrong.
By mid-morning, I was laying on the bed with no less than 4 quilts on me and the children were running through the living room out of excitement and boredom.
My poor husband, who was also sick with "flu-like" symptoms and needed to be in bed, was beginning to pace the house.
I could see the panic was slowly starting to set in for him.
I was not getting better.
In fact, by lunchtime, I started feeling worse (more nausea), the temperature in the house was about 50 degrees by now, and the roads were completely impassable. 
If I had wanted to get to the doctor (which I desperately did) I couldn't.
No one could help us.
Combined with the intense exhaustion from illness, lack of sleep, and 6 children running a million miles an hour, my husband and I could feel ourselves start to buckle.
He made reservations at a nearby hotel for us stay the night in case the power never came back on.
Not having the slightest idea how we could get out of our iced over driveway that has an incline up to our street.
Several of our neighbors had already gone to other family members homes, so we were pretty isolated.
By 4 pm, the power finally came back on, but I felt desperate for medical intervention.
I felt I couldn't stand another evening like the previous, so we began calling some folks for ideas.
The best idea we could come up with was calling 911 for a ride to the ER.
Some friends had tried to buy some wood for us to start a fire in the fire-place, but couldn't get out of the store parking lot without getting stuck.
We knew the roads were horrible, and no one else could get to us.
The paramedics came about 5:30 pm, and were so very nice.
One of them was sick too.
They hadn't had power at the fire station that day either.
They were very careful and understanding and were willing to take me to the ER.
But, in the end, they basically talked us out of going that route.
No guarantees I wouldn't have to wait a looooooong time.
They had been running accident victims and elderly patients with flu to the ER all day, and it was packed.
Then, how would I get home?
I'd probably be released late, late that night, and have to find someone who could drive on the ice to get me home.
The picture of being in my warm bed, quiet, by the bathroom seemed like paradise compared to that.
I was comforted when one of them said, "People who usually never get sick have been taken DOWN by this flu."
So, we thanked them for coming to visit and sent them on their way
I called back my best friend, and let her know that we hadn't gone to the ER afterall.
Her husband, who has a truck, then called and told me he would run me downtown to the "better" ER that he had already called and been told they were "slow" at the moment.
It was so far to go on the roads that I told him I would let him know if I changed my mind about that.
Then, within the span of seconds, I got two messages reminding me of a local emergency care clinic that has late hours and wasn't swamped.
My friend, with the truck, came and picked me up and very slowly drove me over there.
The doctor tested me for the flu.
Terrible sinus infection.
I left with three prescriptions.
The cough started that night.
That was Wednesday night.
Friday morning was my birthday.
Over night we received 6 inches of freshly, fallen, beautiful snow.
It felt like the shackles had only gotten tighter.
Now, we not only had 2 inches of thick ice, but SNOW 6 inches deep on top of it.
If we had thought we were getting out THAT day for toilet paper, we were sorely mistaken.
I couldn't even go out and play in it with my children.
I still felt horrible.
I had had enough, and wasn't feeling better, and I lost it.
I was hoping that after a couple doses of antibiotic, I would feel good enough to be out of bed.
So my children could see their Mama.......after nearly 6 days.
I didn't want to celebrate.
So I cried.
My husband felt helpless again.
After the tears, we lay in bed, holding hands, and I apologized for being a big baby.
BIIIIG baby!!
I reminded him that I have nothing to complain about.
I have a curable (although frustrating) temporary illness.

I learned of this young couple expecting their second baby.  She was 30 and diagnosed with terminal cancer.
She died last weekend.  They delivered the baby.  A pound and a half.  6 months gestation.  Breathing on her own.
Her funeral is tomorrow.

I have no problems.

Then this story came to me:
Mom and baby's funeral are also tomorrow.

My problems pale in comparison.

And how about this one:

Can you even imagine?
What do I have to fuss about?
I am blessed.
After nearly 10 days on medicine (which we can afford), I am finally feeling near 100%.
We have heat in our home.
Our children are well again (except for a few lingering coughs).
My husband has a job.
We own our home.
We are not about to lose our home, or our vehicles.
On the day after I was taken to the clinic.....some church family swooped down on us like the Hand of God.
Brought us enough meals and groceries for our family for THREE DAYS.
Took 4+ loads of laundry home with them to wash and fold for us.
On my birthday, another family brought even more food and groceries for us!!
WE are blessed!!! marks TWO years since our daughter's diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.
We're celebrating because it has been two years (it actually feels more like 10) and she hasn't been "back to the hospital since."

So I'm back today, reflecting.
On the grace of God in my life.
The gifts of today!!

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