Monday, June 27, 2011

6 months and all's ... well?

Yes, all is well.  About a week ago I promised a post from Sean.  Ah, promises.  Let's just say, in the immortal words of Stitch, that this week finds the Edison-Albright family "little and broken, but still good."  Ja, still good.

Let's get the broken part out of the way, first:

Sean: That awful stomach bug that started two weeks ago?  Still hanging around in abnormal and unpleasant ways.  This week added the particularly scary symptoms of shortness of breath and asthma-like bronchial spasms.  Sean went to urgent care on Thursday and got sent home with an inhaler, which seemed to make his breathing problems much, much worse.  He's got an appointment with a doctor this afternoon.  Throughout the week we canceled all our plans for the weekend except a long-standing date to go fishing with friends from the congregation, plans we kept with some worries about bathroom proximity. I'm so glad we had that afternoon/evening out ... I haven't seen Sean so happy and relaxed in months.  He gets on the water and his whole posture changes.  Yes, as the day went on he had more and more breathing problems.  And it was probably a good thing we didn't try to do more fun things this weekend.  But it was worth it for those hours in the sun, by the water, with friends.

Hank the Dog: Hank also had the time of his life on our fishing trip yesterday.  He got to ride on a boat, play with wonderful kids who love him, overcome his fear of water with joyful doggy abandon, wear a snappy new life preserver, run, play, smell new smells ... such a good day.   After dinner he engaged in a rousing game of "STICK!" (chase stick, return stick, try to get stick away from children, jump, steal stick, run with stick.)  During the "run with stick" portion of the game, Hank managed to position the stick between the ground and his soft palate with such force that the game came to a rather sudden end.  It was awful to watch--we were so close and there was nothing we could do.  He cried, he threw up.  We rushed over and he laid down between us, letting me open his mouth all the way to get a look at the damage.  While we're pretty sure he gave himself a nasty bruise, the only visible damage is a tiny, tiny scratch near the back of his palate, which was a little red but not bleeding.

As you can imagine, the experience of watching a beloved creature who depends on us completely get hurt felt rather significant, and I immediately tried to note our reactions and extrapolate to possible future events: "No, Walter. You are not allowed to run with sticks. Trust me."  I think I stayed pretty calm.  I tried to keep the tone positive and reassure our friends that we were all OK and the evening's fun could continue (although we stopped playing "STICK!" and started playing "everyone gather around Hank and pet him."  Hank appreciated the change in activities.)  Sean's reaction ... well ... I'll let him add his own thoughts/correct mine if I'm off base, but I think that when his mouth was saying "I'm just going to take another look at your mouth, puppy," he was actually communicating this: "HOLY CRAP, MY PUPPY!  MY LITTLE DOG IS HURT! CRAAAAAAAAAAAAP! TAKE ME, GOD, SPARE THE DOG!" To be fair, shortly after the accident Hank seemed to recover almost completely and took off running to explore the woods, as he does.  Sean and I watched him go.  Sean said: "It's fine.  He'll come back."  I said, "Why don't you go after him, though" and actually communicated this: "ARE YOU CRAZY?!  GO GET OUR DOG!  HE IS HURT AND UNTRUSTWORTHY AND WE ARE GOING TO LOSE HIM FOREVER!"  Sean went and retrieved the dog, who was fine and, yes, probably would have come back on his own.  Eventually.  Maybe. 

You guys, I don't know if you're aware of this, but being a parent is terrifying.

I don't know how we'll react the first time Walter takes a tumble or puts something dangerous into his mouth.  I can't imagine how we'd deal with the news my parents got about me in October, 1985: it's cancer, final stage, terminal, your daughter is going to die in less than 6 months.  All I know is that, whatever happens, we won't be alone.

As for Hank, he started acting Hank-like again right away ...a happy, social, mischievous, curious little dog. He was (and still is today) a little more mellow and cuddly than usual.  We're keeping an eye on that, just to make sure he's not brewing up a little mouth infection.  We're giving him ice water in his water bowl, (Hank says: "Thanks! That's thoughtful of you.") and also got him a "pup cup" of softserve from Dairy Queen (Hank says: "YOU ARE THE GREATEST PEOPLE IN THE UNIVERSE!  I LOVE YOU! AND ICE CREAM!")  He's not scared.  He trusts us.  He's a little wary of sticks, but certainly not as wary as he should be ... and that's good. 

Fishing: just what the doctor ordered!
Me: Compared to Sean and Hank, my brokenness is pretty unexciting.  On Monday I had the repeated and very unpleasant experience of throwing up immediately every time I took a bite of food or slightly reclined my body from the locked and upright position.  I wasn't nauseous, it was just an instant reflex.  In fact, it was reflux.  Digusting, acidy, day-and-night-ruining reflux.  I called the nurse help line the next day and she recommended Pepcid AC; small, bland meals; no fatty, spicy or acidy foods; staying upright as much as possible (especially after meals); and no food for at least an hour before bed.  "If that doesn't work," she said, "We'll have to check your gallbladder.  And you shouldn't wait for office hours, you should go to the ER."  Never have I put more faith and hope in over-the-counter medications and simple dietary changes.  And it worked.  I have repented of my pie-eating ways.  Mostly.  As long as I don't lie down for a nap right after the pie I seem to be OK.  You know how much I love a good after-pie nap, though.  No one said this was going to be easy. 

You may be wondering, "But how is Walter?"  Walter seems to be doing just fine.  He's started doing this adorable thing where he wakes up right as I'm trying to go to bed and pummels my vital organs with his feet and fists.  Honestly, even when he's taking shots at my one, solitary, incredibly-important-for-both-of-our-lives kidney, it's reassuring to feel him up and active.  This week was hard.  Regular and vigorous Scooter movements were welcome bright spots.

But they weren't the only bright spots!  We have been absolutely surrounded by love and blessings as of late.  The Fites, a clergy couple serving a congregation nearby, gave us a stroller/car seat/baby carrier system that is the coolest thing I've ever seen, along with tons of baby boy clothes, tiny shoes, pillows and carrying devices and all sorts of wonderful baby gear.  A gorgeously illustrated book of Walt Whitman's "When I heard the learned astronomer" arrived from John and Jeannie along with a much appreciated Amazon gift card.  My cousin Rachel sent several classic storybooks ... in Spanish!  Buenas Noches, Luna!  Sean's folks sent us "Christmas in June" gifts that included some particularly adorable clothes for Walt ... Sean especially loves the orange "Rock Star" hoodie combo.  Friends from near and far have checked in on us, prayed for heath and healing, given good advice and offered help in many real and tangible ways.

The most tangible help for me this week came in the form of ... a bed.  A thing of beauty: the head and feet of the bead can be raised and lowered, giving acid reflux a run for it's soggy money.  It also had several massage functions. =)  The bed is on loan from Pastor Gretchen's mom and was delivered by the Anderson clan last night, bless their aching backs!  And I slept, oh did I sleep.  I slept through the whole night for the first time since ... week 6, maybe?

In an email, Gretchen said: "You are loved ... and God answers prayers we scarcely ask."  I can't think of a better way to sum up this week, this pregnancy, this life.

All's well. =)

Me and Hank with Emma, Cooper and Maggie.  For more pictures of our wonderful day with the Behnke Family, including pics of me looking huge and ridiculously pregnant, go to our flickr album.


Momes said...

I'll be able to read "Buenas Noches, Luna!" WOOHOO!

novelgazer said...

No, that's a pretty accurate description of my inner monologue, along with, "Can't let the puppy see me cry..."

intrpdtrvlr said...

Terrifying, it is. My sister has a new tiny long-haired chihuahua and it's enough to bring back flashbacks of anxiety! Still, I'm so excited for you guys and so sincerely wish we lived closer. Great blog.