The Plot Thickens

There's no good place to start this story, so I'll just give you the end.

This morning David had his gallbladder removed.  Good riddance.

You can fill in the rest...pain, anguish, emergency rooms, ultrasounds, CT scans, and hospital television.  A repeat performance of the dance we did nearly two years ago, only worse.

And so, in the middle of the night in the middle of last week, I sat, cold and tired, in an emergency room waiting for the doctor.  It was nearly morning by the time he came back with word.

Gallstones.  A lot of them.  Fluorescing bright as day all over the screen.  His gallbladder would have to go.

I started to cry.  Hard.

The doctor looked alarmed.  He assured me that this was very routine, an easy surgery, my husband was going to be fine.

I told him that I just have a lot going on in my life right now.

And I do.  Enough things to fast and pray for to keep me on my knees permanently.  

Luckily, I have other people helping me with that part.  (I love you all.)

As for me, I spent yesterday morning in the dentist's chair before I went with David to see the surgeon and visit the lab.  Lots of drilling.  A temporary crown.  More pain and anguish.  The dentist said it might need a root canal because I'd left it so long.  "Fifty-fifty," he said.  I am ready for things to fall my way.

I am trodding as cheerfully as I can.  But you might be surprised just how long and just how dark the night can actually be.  When the only light at the end of the tunnel is your husband's glowing gallstones on the CT screen.

Refine.  Humble.  Teach.  Something is happening here.  One day last week, in the fourth watch of the night, when I was sure I could not go one step further on this journey, I had the distinct feeling that heaven cares less about the destination, and more about what happens to me on the way.

I can only hope it won't take me forty years.

But let's be honest.  Given my brass brow and neck of iron sinew, I'd say it's probably fifty-fifty.

Fishing for Compliments

This morning I threw my leg over David's and asked for a compliment.

He smiled.

And then had to think hard for a while.

He finally said, "Well.  You know you're amazing."

"Is that the best you've got?"

He shrugged, still grinning, "It's true."

I thought about it.  I still wasn't satisfied.  "Anything else?" I asked hopefully.

Then he said, "I had a dream last night that you were in a contest for the most perfect breasts.  You won."

Now that's more like it.

On Sunday night, we had waffles and cake at my parents' house.  We got talking about facebook and twitter and how blogs are "so passe" and how narcissistic people have to be to believe that other people really want to know what is going on in their lives.  I am just narcissistic enough, apparently.  In that spirit, here is my life by the numbers.  I know you're dying to know.

After (at least) 307 hours I finally finished the top of my quilt and passed it on to my fabulous and talented Aunt Tori who will spend another

126 hours quilting it. (Bless her.)

For the last 3 days, Savannah has been running a

102 degree fever, and is home with me again today.

We have watched The Princess Bride and Pride and Prejudice and Blue Planet 14 times each and have plans to watch

6 hours of Anne of Green Gables today.  (As you wish.)

We only have 17 more days of school which makes me downright giddy and wish that time could fly,

but only 10 days until the hospital Spring Tea benefit which makes me wish time could stop and is giving me violent panic attacks at random moments

like when I'm buying 22 yards of yellow organza and realizing that I'm going to need to hem it all,

and more importantly, that I only have 9 days to get the perfect party dress and shoes.  (Time to call in reinforcements.  David, this means you, love.)

Tonight we have 3 places to be at once,

1 of which is Caleb's wax museum rendition of Cesar Chavez.

I am off now to find 2 XL scout shirts and khaki's for David, who has a new calling with a new wardrobe to match, a bottle of temporary black hair dye for Cesar, and lunch and liquids for my feverish girl.

You can leave your compliments below.

The Scientific Method

By Saturday, David's diet was reduced to bananas, rice, apples, and toast.  Without butter.  (He'd want me to point that out.)  By Sunday, even this seemed gluttonous, as he was limited to this:

in preparation for a couple of scopes his doctor is doing this morning.  We are looking (literally) everywhere for answers, and this is part of the process of eliminating one "cause" at a time.  I have my own hypothesis about his gallbladder, but we'll see.       

Caleb spent his weekend finishing his science fair project.  I spent mine playing assistant and editor.

He would like you to know that your hand sanitizer is completely ineffective.  I told him I'd tell you.  He thinks more people read this blog than actually do, and he would like to warn the world "before something bad happens."  Knowledge can be a burden.

Solving Your Depression with Gum Disease

David is on his way to see the GI doctor.  He had another painful attack last night after dinner and then I spent an hour or so asking him symptom questions from WebMd.  I'd say things like:

"Is it stabbing or throbbing?"

"Is it severe or moderate?"

And he'd say things like, "I don't know.  It just hurts, okay?" all the while sweating profusely.

"On a scale from one to ten, what is your pain level?"

He was pacing the house by now and yelled from the living room, "I don't know."

WebMd didn't know what it was, and only recommended we head to the hospital immediately.  (Thanks a lot.)

David said, "We already did that."

And just as I was about to pack him into the car regardless, it stopped.

And then David asked me about a hundred times, "What do you think it is?"  And I reminded him that while I am usually always right, I am not a doctor.  (Of course in the back of my mind, I was just the teensiest bit worried about that E. Coli colony Caleb and I have been growing.  I decided not to mention it.)  

While I was on WebMd, I saw an article about "little things that make a big difference."  And they said that brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand can help with depression, and can actually alter your brain chemistry.  What in the world?  (About that time I started questioning whether or not we should really be getting our medical advice from the internet.)  But this morning I tried it, because while I'm not depressed, who doesn't want to be happier?  Even just a little.  The downside is that I do not think I got my teeth quite as clean.  And so while I'm happier, I may have just increased my chances of gingivitis and tooth decay.  Which is ironic, since now I'm doing so much more smiling.


Grammy-Award Winning Wheezing

My mind has been on Reuben Land this morning.

My boys and my husband are spending most of their energy just breathing in and out.

David is down to having enough breath for one-word answers: "Yes."  "No."  "Bad."

The only good part of that is that he doesn't have enough breath to pick out a tie, so he's home for the day.  When I muttered something about it being about time, he just winked at me and said, "We can play."  But this proved to be too many words at once and he started into a fantastic coughing, wheezing fit.  Careful there, cowboy.  In his condition, even Scrabble might be too taxing.

This morning at scripture study, Caleb had to stop and catch his breath every four words or so.  It was so pathetic I made him stop after a couple of verses.  I told him to put his backpack away.  He wasn't going anywhere.  Luckily, he didn't have enough breath to put up any kind of resistance.  He just closed his eyes and said, "Thank you."

In other news, Coldplay won the Grammy last night for "Song of the Year" for Viva la Vida.  Which was obvious.  Gosh, I love that song.  Reminds me of the magical days I spent with my children in the upper peninsula this summer.  And Adele won the Grammy for "Best New Artist."  David clapped.  Which was easier than using his lungs to say, "Hey, I like Adele too."  He's a fan.  Chasing Pavements accompanies his shower and shave most mornings.  What is it about musicians from across the pond?

And before I go pick up Caleb's four prescriptions and do another round of nursing, here's a little proof from David's blackberry that my Arizona boys can Klondike with the best of them.

When they got home, David took to his bed for the rest of the day and I took Caleb to a youth orchestra audition.  He got word Saturday night that he made it.

Then I took Caleb and Olivia and Ethan to the Chinese Cultural Center to celebrate the Chinese New Year for a school assignment.  My favorite part was sharing a dozen potstickers while we sat on the lawn and enjoyed a perfect February gloaming.

We had the most gorgeous thunderstorm Sunday morning.  The kids were out picking oranges for our brunch when it started pouring.  They came in soaked and giggling as the lightning started cracking.  It was cloudy again this morning, prompting Olivia to close her eyes and fervently wish for rain again today.  And even though we ran the heater (mostly out of sentiment) on the way to the pediatrician this morning, there is just no stopping that Arizona sunshine.  It is already shining again.  I understand how she feels though...there is something quite romantic about an overcast sky.

And speaking of romance, the other day I overheard Olivia wistfully talking to her friend,

"We used to have a chicken named Lily.  I hope she's happy."

Long sigh.

"I hope she met a rooster to make out with so she can have lots of baby chicks."

What in the world? 

I laid on the grass and laughed my head off.