Monday, June 12, 2006


In which I do that thing that everyone hates and try to apologize for not blogging recently

I've been a bad blogger lately. I have been busily accumulating content, but I haven't had the emotional energy to process it all into proper entries. I feel a little bit like I did at the end of college, when I graduated (but not quite, because I had a couple of incompletes to finish over the summer), went to Japan, moved to Colorado by myself for the summer to work at a lodge, and was accepted into law school, all in the span of about a month. I guess I just feel like I have a backlog of experiences to process. If you don't want to read all this, I won't be offended, but there are at least a dozen blog posts kicking around in my head that won't let any new ones out until I write them.

Chapter 1:
In which Jeremy's illness distracts me from planning a party

About two months ago, Jeremy came down with a low-grade flu. The flu seemed to think that it was duty-bound to make up for not being really serious by lasting for a really long time, so Jeremy stayed sick for six weeks or so. He would feel a little bit better for a couple of days, then he would feel icky again for a few days. It was a really frustrating time, but he only missed one day of work, and we never made it to the "this illness seems serious enough that we should go to the doctor without health insurance and swallow the bill" stage. We had talked to a couple of other people who had recently experienced a similar low-grade flu for over a month, so we didn't worry about it too much. It seemed like it was just a really mean bug.

And then, one day, Jeremy felt better. Actually good, and not just less bad. It was a happy day. And we were happy. And I began to think seriously about planning the big anniversary shindig that I had been planning on planning before he got sick, and I even went so far as to move the date on the family calendar to Sunday instead of Saturday, because I had failed to request Saturday off of work.

And then, a few days later, he was suddenly sick again, with all new symptoms. Symptoms that left him with a lot of discomfort and concerned me, the daughter of a nurse, a lot more than the never-ending flu had. So we called around and tried to figure out how poor, uninsured schmoes like ourselves could get medical care without having to sell our firstborn, and we found a clinic that was willing to take him, but they didn't have an appointment for a month, which my mother-in-law somehow managed to haggle down to a week.

Meanwhile, the day of the party arrived, and I had done zero planning for it. But I didn't want to do nothing at all, so I made some last minute calls and bought some last-minute groceries and I threw together a last-minute party. And we had a nice time, the six of us, in the backyard, while Jeremy lay down inside on the futon. Eventually, we even ate some of the cake that I had found in our wedding colours. It was a fun day, albeit nothing like the party I had originally envisioned. Someday, I will have a party where people dress up.

Chapter 2:
In which I am a terrible wife and abandon my sick husband and Dan is almost arrested at the Liberty Bell

My friend Dan is moving from Buffalo, New York to Los Angeles, California, and he's doing it in style. "In style" being a phrase that is here used to mean "with all his worldly possessions packed into his beat-up Jeep, staying with friends and relatives where they can be found, visiting the randomest roadside attractions, and sleeping in national parks." Maybe that's not in style to you, but I can't imagine a better way to move across the country.

Philadelphia isn't really on the way to California from Buffalo, but it can be if you're traveling In Style™. Dan had planned his arrival in the Philadelphia area to loosely coincide with the anniversary party I was theoretically going to be having, which is a big part of why I didn't want to just let the thing slide completely.

So on Monday, I was faced with a choice: Play nurse-maid to my sick husband, who had stayed home from work, or play tour guide to my house-guest who is moving across the country and I may never see again. Judge me all you want; I'm sure I deserve it. I went with the latter.

Rachel, Dan, and I headed into the city to see the closest thing to a roadside attraction that Philadelphia has to offer: the Mütter Museum, which is a collection of medical oddities (ranging from the bizarre, like a plaster cast of the bodies of siamese twins, to the "not for the faint of heart", like preserved slices of someone's face). We also took in a few of the "must sees" in the city, like the view from behind the Art Museum, Ben Franklin's glass armonica (which was being demonstrated for us when we were there - very cool), and the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell, which you used to be able to walk up and touch, even within my memory, is now protected by armed guards and metal detectors. Dan had a pocket knife that he didn't want confiscated, so he threw it in the trash outside, and we went back to retrieve it afterwards. It was at this point that we were informed by a security guard that there is a $500 fine for trash picking. Because people who take things out of trash cans are undoubtedly the biggest terror threat to America today. Even bigger than bears.

Chapter 3:
In which we celebrate our anniversary in a hospital and I am a terrible wife again and abandon my sick husband again so that I can meet a baby and a lion

Inevitably, whenever I probably should be staying at home, irresistible social opportunities start to crop up all over the place. Almost exactly one year ago, some friends of ours had a baby at 24 weeks gestation. Noah was less than 2 pounds when he was born, and the first year of his life has been, basically, one big miracle. I had not seen these friends in a year and a half, and had never met their son. In fact, Brian and Emily haven't been able to travel at all since Noah was born, so you can imagine my surprise when Brian called me up out of the blue to tell me they were planning on coming to the Philadelphia area this weekend, would we be able to meet up with them? Of course, I said yes.

But Jeremy's pain kept getting worse, until it became apparent that he just wouldn't be able to make it until Monday's appointment. On Friday morning, the day of our actual anniversary, Jeremy woke me up to tell me that it was time to go to the ER.

So, we spent the morning of our anniversary in the emergency room, trying to figure out what was wrong with Jeremy. And they ran some tests and sent us home with antibiotics and pain killers. Fortunately, we are poor enough that we didn't have to pay an emergency room bill, but we still have to deal with whatever bills the doctor might send us, including the bill for the CAT scan which seemed extravagant to me when he suggested it, but who can argue with a doctor when your husband is in agony and he suggests something that might possibly help him? (And naturally, the CAT scan showed nothing.)

But, because I am a terrible wife, I left my husband at home sleeping on Saturday so that I could meet up with Phil and Rachel and Jon to drive down to the Cape May Zoo, where we would be meeting Brian and Emily and Noah.

We had a great time at the zoo. It's a surprisingly good zoo, especially considering that it was free. They even have a lion, which was hiding when we walked by, but I detoured back to his cage when I heard him roaring, and got to see him right up close, roaring in my face. It was so cool. Unless you thought about how unhappy the lion must be to be roaring at us like that. Poor, cool lion.


Noah is doing really well. He is so big now (roughly ten times his birth weight, I believe), and he looks like a normal baby now, not a preemie. He's such a pleasant, cheerful kid, and he has overcome most of his major health issues. I was so glad I finally got to see him!

After the zoo, we went to Wildwood so Noah could dip his feet in the ocean (his first time!).

noah in the ocean

We played in the sand and I taught Noah how to karate chop walls of sand. It was a blast. Then we walked on the boardwalk for a while, and bought funnel cakes and soft serve ice cream (truly, you have not tasted funnel cake until you have dipped it into ice cream), then headed back to Maple Shade (where Jon lives and my car was parked) for dinner. After dinner, we shuffled back to our respective cars, and Brian and Emily said goodbye to Jon and Phil and Rachel. I didn't say goodbye, though, because I had convinced Brian and Emily that we really didn't mind them staying the night at our place, even if Noah does have a tendency to throw up entire feedings on the floor.

I was especially glad that Brian and Emily and Noah stayed with us because it meant that they got to see Jeremy, and Jeremy got to meet Noah. And we had a really nice visit, even if Noah did throw up an entire feeding on our floor. That's what towels are for.

In which I don't really draw any conclusions

Jeremy had his doctor's appointment today, and the doctor offered no further insights into his condition. She basically agreed that there was an infection, but didn't seem to be able to discern any cause. He has a follow-up appointment scheduled for after the antibiotics run out, and hopefully that will be the end of it. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for him, and I'll keep you posted if anything changes.

The End.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Reading your post felt like having a friend in the room with me...lovely.