Monday, December 28, 2009

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Remember this post?

I think it might have been the beginning of my demise.

The month of December conspired against me.

It won.

And I think I brought it all upon myself.

I couldn't find the holiday spirit, let alone get into it.

The holidays are always stressful, and they don't discriminate--everyone feels the pressure. I decided to hang on until the boys were done with school for most of our festivities. I thought it would be a wonderful idea to use the tons of time when school was out to fulfill many of the traditions--we would bake cookies and build a gingerbread house, we would tour the neighborhoods of decorated houses near us and I even found some great Christmas books at the library.

And then I got sick.

Last Tuesday, I woke up with a little bit of a sore throat.

By Tuesday night, the pain was bad.

By Wednesday morning, it was excruciating. I knew I must have been sick when Rey took one look at my sleeping self and woke me to ask if I needed him to stay home from work. I did. And it's a good thing too because I didn't wake up until noon. It's frowned upon leaving your children unsupervised that long.

My doctor is closed on Wednesdays, otherwise I might have gone in, provided I could have mustered the energy to drag myself there.

Thursday Rey went to work. He had to, he's a busy man. Mason woke me up that morning, crying because his eye had crusted and he hurt it trying to open it. It was immediately evident to me that he had pink eye. I thought we were out of the clear since Lila was all better for a full week and had been finished with her course of drops for five days. But I guess not.

He wanted to wear a pirate patch to cover his eye. (Don't worry, I have since thrown it away.)

I tried to hold out as long as I could, but by 10:30am the children were in full mutiny mode I had to text Rey and see if he was coming home early. It was Christmas Eve, after all. Thankfully he did, but there was still much Christmas work to be done.

The night before we got out my personally custom painted Cookie Plate.

And loaded it with cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. (When you are deathly ill, Santa gets Keebler cookies. Knowing what other kind of fancy cookies are being presented for him out there in the world, I was a little embarrassed.)

Upon explaining that these cookies and milk were for Santa, Mason said, "Is he going to leave our glass when he's done?"

When we said yes, Mason said, "What about the plate? Will he leave the plate?"

I love that boy.

At this point I couldn't speak. All I could do was cry. We never got to do all those fun things, the cookies and the gingerbread and the stories. I hadn't even wrapped any gifts. Nothing was ready. It was an awful feeling.

I woke up at 2am Christmas morning. Swallowing made my whole body jerk in agonizing pain. I was so thirsty so I tried to drink some juice and I just couldn't get it down. I decided I needed medical care. I called 6 or 7 urgent care places in town to see if any would be open on Christmas. Four of them had messages that they would be closed Christmas day, and the others had their standard messages. I assumed they'd be closed too. I figured the ER was my only option, and I figured 3am was as good of a time as any.

It turned out I was right.

They made me wear a mask because of the strep suspicion. It made me hot and it fogged my glasses. But they were no busy and very efficient that night. I had a male triage nurse and then my nurse was male, which I found so interesting. Not that there are male nurses, but that I encountered two of them. In a row.

After my strep test the doc came in. Said it was negative but said he was sending it out to be cultured because I have no cold symptoms which makes it really look like strep. And since I have a heart murmur he said I needed to go on antibiotics either way.

While I was waiting to be discharged they brought in six people who were involved in an assault. I listened to the nurses try to work with them, but the people didn't speak English. There were EMTs and police officers everywhere and I was surprised not more people in this place spoke Spanish. I imagine the language barrier was a frequent one.
It was also so sad because there were several little kids in there. If I was able to speak I might have told them to go become patients of Dr. W--he leaves his cell phone number on his office voicemail and tells you to never go to the ER. It's comforting to know I won't likely spend a night sitting with one of my suffering kids in the ER... but I digress.

90 minutes later, I was walking out of the ER. That's gotta be some kind of a record.

I went to the closest 24 hour CVS and I kid you not I was the only customer in there at 4:30am. The pharmacist was this super nice young guy and I wished I was able to speak to thank him properly for the sympathy he gave me. Oh well.

I got home, took my first dose, had some Motrin for pain, and slept like the dead. For two whole hours.

The kids woke up and were super stoked that Santa had come. They fished all the presents out from under the tree and sorted them into piles, which I admit was very helpful.

We hauled Lila from her crib, gave her a donut, and started opening the presents.

The boys were so excited that they got what they asked for. Mason got his Toy Story video game and his Star Wars tent, and Cole got his Toy Story toys--a Buzz, a Woody, and a Slinky the Dog.

Every Christmas, Rey's grandmother Aya has a brunch. It's is hands down my most anticipated meal of the year. Even though we were sick, they still welcomed us over. You know people love you when they are willing to catch your germs.

Lila certainly enjoyed herself.
Aya has a houseful of the most beautiful Christmas decorations. It must take her a full week to haul them all out. And every year she swears she leaves a lot of them boxed up.
I love her village...

And her nativity scene is one of the most beautiful ever...

Including Baby Jesus, who was notably missing when I went to plug in the star. But we restored to his place for this picture. With all of the Christmas excitement, Aya forgot to put him there on Christmas Eve.

I tried to eat my delicious french toast and bacon, but every swallow hurt worse than childbirth. It was awful to WANT to eat something so badly but to be physically incapable.

We stayed there all of an hour, and retreated home so I could go back to my misery.

In summary, my Christmas was terrible. I really wish I had something else to say, some way to sugar coat my misery, some way to see the positives despite the overwhelming negatives. I feel like I missed out on so much with my children and that they missed out on so much Christmas magic because I wasn't there to facilitate it.

And I can't help but blame it all on myself because from the get-go I was Debbie Downer about Christmas.

So next year, when and if I bitch and moan again, refer me back to this post. Because Christmas passed me by this year, and I'm sad.

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