Thursday, April 14, 2011
A Cough and a Crash
It has been an eventful week.
To start, I can't help but to harp on the sickness thing. No sooner had Isaiah passed through his first bout of illness that he contracted the croup (spelling?) and began barking like a wheezing hound. He sounded OK during the day; scattered dry coughs coupled with spasms of hacking. By evening, however, it would come full-on: near-constant storms of coughing. Within days, Isaiah was practically hoarse, emitting feeble cries amidst the coughing attacks. He sounded pathetic, and I'm sure he felt just as bad. He wasn't getting any sleep, and we weren't either. And come daytime, we had the lovable tempest that is Nathaniel. Combine the two, and the strain on everyone was intense. For perhaps the first time, I thought I would lose it. I had to mouth to myself to be patient, to refrain from overreacting, repeating it to myself over and over, because I was afraid that if I didn't keep that thought ever present, I might snap.
It was a weird feeling to be fighting so hard to control my emotions. I think I was that exhausted by it all.
By last weekend, it looked as if Isaiah was leaving his croup behind. That, coincided with the time that my mother and her friend, Gene, rolled into town. Things were really looking up: A nice family visit and the children were more or less healthy for the first time in months. The day after they arrived was a Sunday, and after a day of church, some gardening and playing in the house, we went to dinner at a great local seafood restaurant in our town's harbor. This little place serves up local catch, and it is terribly tasty stuff, served unpretentiously in a homey, friendly atmosphere. We had a wonderful time at dinner.
You may wonder why I'm telling you all this. Families go to quaint joints all the time for a meal. What gives here? Well, I'm just trying to set this all up a little.
As dinner was ending, Nathaniel was losing his mind, as what generally happens when he doesn't take a daytime nap. So, as we left the restaurant and headed for the car, I put Nathaniel down, so he could run a little. "Keep an eye on him, mom," I said, as the little bugger darted forward.
In retrospect, I had given my mother an impossible task. Here, go chase the 2 1/2 year old. Good luck. Ever game, Mom bolted after Nathaniel, afraid that he would run into the parking lot. She evidently reached for him, missed and fell. Hard. On her face. Hard. Knee struck pavement. Face struck pavement. Then hands struck pavement. Hard, hard, hard.
We all ran over to her. My mom was face down on the pavement, as if she were snacking on the pebbles. She looked up, and her face was streaked with blood. Blood on her nose, blood on her chin, and a lot of blood coming out of her mouth. One of her front teeth was dangling from her mouth, precariously so, like a frayed piece of rope. Her upper lip was gutted open as if she were a hooked fish. She was a mess.
Off to the emergency room we went. By the time we got there, the shock of the crash was starting to wear off, and the intense pain was setting in. Mom was moaning as we ushered her into the ER and she was falling asleep as the first nurse examined her. That was the telltale sign of a concussion, we were told. So, we wheeled my somnolent mother into the main area of the ER. After about 45 minutes or so, a physician assistant came in and examined Mom. Three front teeth were damaged, and something had to be done with the dangling, fourth one, he said. He injected some local anesthesia into the gumline and unceremoniously shoved the front tooth back in.
It was after midnight before we got the go-ahead to leave. After a stop for a cocktail of pain medications, I took Mom and Gene to the hotel and drove home. Poor Mom. What had promised to be a fun visit now became a trial of imprisonment in a hotel. I was so tired the next day I could scarcely function.
Fast forward a few days, and the 'ol Mom is on the mend. She still looks like hell, but at least she's no longer a sabertooth, and her nose is now rose colored, instead of a deep purple. Her lip is black with scar tissue. Yet her spirits were up, and we all went out to dinner. We even walked through the parking lot without incident.
This time, I held Nathaniel's hand.
A quick postscript: This is my 100th post. I guess I could call it a milestone, but considering two very long hiatuses that I took, my excitement is greatly tempered. I hope I get to 200 a lot quicker. There are so many stories to tell!
Posted by Richard Lewis at 8:32 PM