Thursday, October 29, 2009

Still sick

It's Thursday night and I'm starting to see a glimmer of hope for getting better. I last wrote on Sunday when I said that I was starting to feel a little better. About mid day on Monday it was getting difficult to breathe. I had rapid shallow breaths and couldn't get enough air. After multiple calls to my doctors office, and not getting a person any time (including waiting on hold for 40 minutes at one point), I called my sister. I figure if you have 3 kids, that qualifies you to give medical advice, right :)? We tried an emergency care place near our house, and they didn't take my insurance, then finally got ahold of my doctors office. What do you know, even though they actually were still open at 5:30pm, they didn't have any appointments available to someone who was initially getting over the flu but then got worse and was having trouble breathing--and walking. So we headed to Holy Cross to wait in the packed emergency room. PACKED.
We waited, and waited, and waited, and waited and waited some more. I finally got called back and had a bed in the hall since all the rooms were filled. My fear was I'd spend all that time waiting and they'd tell me to rest and drink plenty of water and there was nothing to do for me. So when the doctor told me I needed fluids, my heart sank because I thought she was telling me to drink more water. But she said I needed an IV and they were going to put antibiotics in it to treat for bronchitis, since I have a history of that nasty illness and there was a good chance my cough from the flu would turn into bronchitis. As the IV was dripping in my arm, I slowly started to breathe better, thank goodness. It turned out to be worth it, I think, even though the wait was miserable.
Ron's mom came to the hospital around 9 I think, and she took Evi home with her so she could finally go to bed. The emergency room (especially in the thick of flu season) is not really the best place for a curious 2 year old. Since we didn't get out of the hospital until after midnight, Janet said we could leave Evi there overnight and get her in the morning. Since Ron wasn't feeling great in the morning either, she kept Evi until after her nap and brought her back in the afternoon. It was so nice and so appreciated to just be able to rest and not try to take care of Ev too.
Now it's Thursday and I'm finally feeling better. I had a doctor's appoitment today so I had to leave the house, but I think it was too much too soon. But, there's still a great glimmer of hope and I am so glad. I have one more day of antibiotics for the coughing (although I'm thinking more would have been nice) and I actually have an appetite to eat again! Woohoo, I'm on the road to recovery.

Now a funny Evi story: She didn't want to eat her dinner tonight and as she was squirming to get out of her chair, I asked her why she didn't want to eat it. Her answer, "somebody sneezed on it." Ron and I both told her that it was fine and no one sneezed on it, so what does she do? "AAAA-CHOOO", right on her food. It was a fake sneeze, but where did she come up with that?? Ron had to turn his head away from her so she didn't see him laughing at her ingenuity. Just thought I'd share :).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Joy of Motherhood

If you read my last post, you know that I had a rough Wednesday night. Tuesday or Wednesday I started getting a runny nose. Then after my Wednesday night, it took forever to fall asleep because my mind was just racing, and when I woke up on Thursday, after restless sleep, I felt awful! This is where "the joy of motherhood" comes in...all I wanted to do was sleep, but Ron had to go into campus and Evi was raring to go.

Since the weather was nice, I took her out for a walk, and she pushed her baby stroller. But every time Ev wanted to stop walking and "stretch" or do anything else, I felt like I was going to fall over. Our walk ended early and we went to the park--she played while I sat on the bench feeling awful-weak, runny nose, burning in my throat and chest while I coughed. She was having fun and all of the sudden as we were going home, she came to me and clung to my legs. I carried her inside and set her down to get her lunch. She made herself comfortable on the couch, wouldn't eat her sandwich, and then fell asleep on the couch. Well, maybe for most kids, this is no big deal. My child has never fallen asleep anywhere but her room. She won't even fall asleep in my bed. I was starting to think she was feeling kind of awful too (she had a runny nose and a bit of a cough too). I put her in bed, ate my own lunch, and hoped to sleep.

During my possible nap time, I get a call from the car insurance people. I've been going back and forth with them for over a month on the amount they're offering me for my car. The short version is: the accident was on August 28. I have not been satisfied with the amount they were offering for my totaled car and finally got to speak with a supervisor and did my own research. I sent them what I found, and finally the amount went up. I've learned it's always important to do your own research!! So I didn't get to fall asleep, but at least I got good news from the insurance people, FINALLY.

Then, all of the sudden, Evi was awake! She barely slept an hour. By then I was finished trying to have energy, and plopped her on my bed watching a movie while I was in and out of sleep, almost counting the minutes until Ron would come home. I don't think he realized how ill I felt, because he had so much to do and stayed a little later to try to get everything done that he could. I was thinking about "the joy of motherhood" during this time. I have to be there for my child, no matter how I feel. Ron is a wonderful dad and would do anything for us, but there are some times that he really can't just drop his day to stay home. It's not like I could have called anyone to take Evi, because she had some illness too, and I didn't want her to spread it. So the two of us were stuck together, on my bed :). I called Ron about an hour after his class ended and basically begged him to come home as soon as he could. Like I said, he would do anything he could, because he came home shortly after that, even though he had a lot to do.

I love being a mom and staying home with Evi. This has been the first time I've been really sick with her and it isn't the most fun part of stay at home motherhood! Mom's take care of the sick kids, and spouses too. But what happens when the mom is sick and no one can stay home to take care of her? That's all part of the job, I guess. It was a rough Thursday, but we made it through. I don't think I emerged much from my room once Ron was home though :).

I made a doctor's appointment for Friday morning since I felt so awful, and it turned out that Ron was starting to feel pretty awful too. Terrible for him, but at least somewhat beneficial for me, cause we could take turns with Evi! I got to go to the doctor alone, and I felt like I'd fall asleep at the wheel after another sleepless night. Turns out, I have the bug, FLU. I got to wear a lovely mask at the doctor's office, and the doctor wore one too. I asked if it was swine flu, and the doctor said they didn't know because the test was simply if you have influenza, not what type, I guess (it's a bit of a blur to me now). Since I had it for more than 24 hours, there's nothing I can really take for it except for tylenol. Wonderful. At least I know what it is.

Now it's Sunday night (well, technically I guess it's Monday morning since it's past midnight) and I've had 4 down days. I don't feel as awful as I did Thursday and Friday, but I'm still not well and have no energy. I'm finally sleeping better at night. A few nights ago, I tried to sleep, but gave up the effort at 4am. There isn't much on TV worth watching at that hour, in case you're interested. Ron has it and has been here with me since Friday. We've been sort of tag teaming with Evi, one of us sleeps and one of us is with her. She's had more TV time in the last 4 days than she's ever had all at once. I hope she can adjust to when we're well again! Evi has something, but not as bad as us. She had a flu shot, but she still has a congested cough and runny nose. My sister pointed out that her flu vaccine wouldn't stop H1N1, so it's something we've been paying attention too. I called her doctor on Thursday and they said they don't need to see her unless her temperature reaches 102. Well, I might just give them a call tomorrow, just to be safe.

I'm hoping to send this bug on it's way out of our house as soon as possible. My sore throat is slowly fading, but I still have a nasty cough. I have no energy and I feel shortness of breath after small movement. This is coming from the girl who just went running last week for 50 minutes before all this sickness came around. What a nice way to enjoy the beautiful weather----sick in bed inside all day!!!!!! I must say Evi is just amazing because she's been dealing with her sickie parents like a trooper. Now if we can all be better, that'd be the next great step!

Oh, and to make this story even better: I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago for a well visit and intended to get a flu shot, but they were out. Nice. Hope everyone else feels better :)!

P.S. I almost forgot about all of the drama from the previous post, since my mind has been previously occupied. I guess that's the course it's set to take, I forget about it and move on.

P.P.S. Our internet has been down since Friday sometime (I think). Tonight is the first we've had it back.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Dad would be proud"...

...that's what my sister told me tonight, after telling her about my night. You see, I am not a "yes man", and neither was my dad.

A few years ago, I served in my church and loved what I did and who I got to work with. However, there was a person who would have rather had a "yes man" in my position, and would have had it that way if it weren't for someone else saying that I should stay right where I was. As things come up, if I see a problem worth saying something about, I will voice my opinion.

When we moved to Memphis, there was a huge softball tournament that women weren't allowed to play in. The first year, 2006, I didn't do anything about it because 1) it was literally the day after we arrived in Memphis for the first time, and 2) I was 4 months pregnant. In 2007, a few weeks out, I started asking questions if women would be "allowed" to participate this year, and got a "no". I wrote a letter to the powers that be, and brought up my several concerns. Not necessarily trying to change their policy, but more to bring to their attention that there ARE women who like to participate in competitive sports. Anyway, so I didn't even bother going that year since I wouldn't be allowed to play. Wouldn't you know it, in 2008 (when I was already in Maryland), they were kind enough to put together a woman's softball game. No, the women couldn't play with the men, but at least they made an effort to include them (although I don't think I would have played, because part of my point in wanting to play with the men was to have some competition, not just leisure). I sent my dad the letter that I sent to the "powers that be", and he said I was following in his footsteps, and proud of me for sticking up for myself.

Well, there are other stories from over the years, but this leads me to tonight. I am aware that some of the people who may read this blog may also know some people involved and therefore, I would really like to just keep this short; to what effects me. I am again serving in my church and recently stuck up for myself and those that I serve with. Although others share my opinion, I guess I had the loudest voice, because apparently now I'm the 'bad guy'. What I think happened is that too many people got involved with very minimal communication, and it all came back to me being the cause of the problems. I asked questions and stuck up for my organization, and I thought things were happily resolved, but I learned tonight, quite by accident, that I was wrong. As I was walking through the hall to hang up a sign, I overheard two WOMEN talking about ME. IN THE CHURCH. GOSSIP ABOUT ME. One of them I have known for years and she was saying some hurtful things about me and my unwillingness to help and making brash assumptions about me and my character. Well, I continued walking, hung up my sign, then that same woman who I've known for years thanked me for my help. I told her I heard everthing she just said about me and I didn't really appreciate it. I tried to correct her misconceptions and really tried to explain the truth of what was going on and how there was a giant miscommunication. Not sure if it made any difference, but I left there fuming mad. So angry, and really hurt. As I was talking to Ron about it, I realized that this all came about because I'm not a yes man. I saw a problem and voiced my opinion. I then said, "I need to call my dad!" He's always the first I'd call when something like this happened, because he had unconditional support for me, PLUS, of course it would make him proud to see his daughter be firm in a sticky situation (I'm pretty sure he'd support me even if I was wrong, just cause he was that awesome. He'd probably just help me see the error of my ways :)). Since I couldn't call my dad, I called my sister, who is also a lot like dad in that way. I thought that she'd either put me in my place and tell me I'm wrong, or wholeheartedly agree with me. When I relayed the whole story, she told me she's so glad I did what I did, especially confronting the women talking about me, and that I had every right to say all the things I said. Well, I'm glad to have that support, but that still doesn't change the minds of everyone who thinks I'm awful. But the funny thing my sister told me was that she's no longer notorious in only her ward, but the whole stake because she's had to take an issue to the higer level! At least mine is only in 2 wards in our stake so far :). Leave it to those Packer girls to make all those waves!

Since this has been weighing so heavily on my mind tonight, I thought I'd write it out. We'll see how this plays out. I know I have a lot of room to grow, and I still haven't quite learned when it's ok to just keep my mouth shut in situations, but at least this time, I feel like it was right to stick up for myself. It just hurts, plain and simple.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Drive Home--Stopping in Nauvoo

Hopefully this is the last chapter of the report on the Utah trip! So we left Utah in the late afternoon on Wednesday, July 29. Our main plan was to stop in Nauvoo, Illinios for a day or afternoon, and to see what else we had time for. You see, I had to teach a lesson in church on the upcoming Sunday, and Ron and to start teaching a class on Monday, so didn't have a whole lot of time.

We arrived in Nauvoo around 2am Friday morning with the hopes of finding a hotel. I had the AAA books so we could find a hotel, and we discussed stopping before we got to Nauvoo, and staying at a cheap motel somewhere and then just driving into town in the morning. It was my bright idea that with all the people in for the Pageant, there would be lots of hotels to choose from, so we continued on. When we arrived, we saw 3 hotels, only one of which was OPEN that late! Their rates were $100 per night, even with the AAA discount, and that didn't even include a breakfast or anything (I'm all about the continental breakfast). Ron was ready to sleep in the car, but we just made our reservation. When the clerk was checking us in, he told me that he had to put us in for the following day (Friday to Saturday rather than Thursday to Friday), since it was already past midnight, but we would still check out at 11am. But it turns out that he basically booked us for the next night and gave us a night for free. Because I went to check out at 11am, and the woman told us we're not due to check out until Saturday. I explained everything that happened with the guy checking us in at 2am and that we were supposed to check out at 11, and she just said, "as far as we're concerned, you don't need to check out until tomorrow". That ended up being exactly what we needed and then we could enjoy the whole day in Nauvoo, and see the pageant. As it was before, we wouldn't have been able to stay for the pageant.

While in Nauvoo, we took a horse pulled wagon historical tour through the town and saw a lot of the homes and buildings of some of the LDS pioneers of the time. The Nauvoo Temple is beautiful and just shines at the top of a grassy hill. The LDS Saints were driven out of Missouri and settled in Nauvoo in 1839 and overcame amazing obstacles to make it a beautiful city (a big change from the swamp land they started with). Although at the time, it seemed that all they had were obstacles. To be in the city and to phyically see the fruits of their labor was a moving experience for me. I know the set up of the city now can not be exactly what it was like then, but I still felt impressed by what we saw as we learned about the challenges and spirit of the settlers of the land. We didn't go in a ton of the buildings and houses, but we learned how the bricks and guns were made, about the mail system (which wasn't stellar) and lots of other physical things about people of the 1830's. Tough times for sure, even tougher for people who were just trying to find a place they could follow their own faith! After doing some of the tours, we drove a bit out of the town and went to the old saints cemetary. We were the only people there and that was possibly one of the best parts for me. It's wonderful to see the homes and buildings and learn about the history, but those are recreated. The cemetary had tombstones from that time. As I read the names and dates on tombstones, I imagined what the circumstances were and how the family was, etc. My mom told me about the cemetary and I'm so glad she did, because we may have overlooked it, as many of the other tourists seemed to do.

Since we got to keep our hotel room, we went back to try to give Evi a nap (without much luck) and after dinner we headed to watch the pageant, "A Tribute to Joseph Smith". Since Evi didn't sleep, she wasn't the most still 2 year old during the show, but then Ron figured out that if she was right infront of the stage, she was content. So he had her up in front for awhile, and amazingly, she fell asleep on him and we both got to enjoy the rest of the pageant. I couldn't help but think of friends I had that have been in the show over the years. I was just imagining what it would have been like to see the McGraws up there singing and dancing! The show basically followed the settlement of the town and the building of the temple. At the end the actual temple up on the hill was illuminated and was just a perfect ending and so amazing. I was so moved as I sat there watching and impressed by how much those people sacrificed (and would continue to sacrifice). Ok, I could keep going and going, but I'll sum it up to say I'm very glad we could stay the whole day and finish our visit up with the Pageant.

As we headed out, we stopped in Carthage, Illinois, the home of the jail where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were held and killed by a mob of men. I'd say that completed the trip. Before the tour, we watched a video. We were then taken into the house. If I remember the details right, the jailer lived in the home with his family and the jail was upstairs. We went in all the rooms and ended in the room that the mob broke into to shoot Joseph Smith. The missionary leading the tour asked all the children to fold their arms and reverently sit on a rug while the adults sat around the room. When Evi saw all the bigger kids doing that, she folded her little arms and sat right with them. It was pretty cute. The home had a few owners before the church bought it, but the door to that room still has two bullet holes. Hyrum Smith was shot in the face, likely as he was trying to hold the door shut with the other men. Seeing the holes in the door made it pretty easy to visualize it happening. Joseph was shot and fell through the window. Being in that room really completed the whole trip--the touring from the day before, the pageant, and finally the jail.

If you want to learn more about Nauvoo, check out this site. I left there feeling so glad we made the stop and I feel like I learned a lot, and grew spiritually.

Since I had to teach on Sunday, we drove non-stop that day and got home at about 4am. I slept for a few hours, then went to church to teach my lesson. I was actually really excited to teach it too, after listening to a talk by John Bytheway in the car, I was able to use some of his points. Although tired, it went very well and I was glad to have that opportunity.

It was a great trip with a great ending and I'm so glad to have had the chance to go. Being in Utah without my dad had some challenges, and Evi kept asking where Papa was, but we needed it. It was great to be with my sisters and my mom. It was equally great to have the time with Ron and Evi. Family is the best!

Since I had lots of pictures, here's a slideshow of the stop in Nauvoo.