Wow. I just bored myself. Anyways.
Wednesday, Aug. 2nd - Its not a tumor!: After work, I got the rare opportunity to get to ye olde breadshop (STL Breadco) to get some writing done. For me, there are too many distractions at home for me to write with any kind of consistency or concentration. I'm always wanting to fix this, or look at that or clean this or wash that. And Cammy makes that twice as difficult as she'll want to play with me or Raquita will be tired so I'll want to get her fed or change her or something. There's always something. But if I'm at a neutral location, the worst I have to deal with is the insane guy at the next table, frothing at the mouth and ranting about beehives and Bisquick. Breadco on South Grand also has free wi-fi so I can check the barren wasteland that is my email inbox, and keep track on the Cardinals growing list of on-the-field failures.
Anyways, I'm writing, doing quite well, nose-to-the-grindstone kind of work, when I look up and notice that its 9:15 and my phone is ringing/vibrating. I see its a call from home and assume it's my loving wife wanting to offer me her undying support for the novel I'm writing but haven’t let her read because I tell her I want her to experience the whole thing at once but secretly I’m afraid that its just gutter trash.
After I stop off at the drugstore for the requested Benadryl, Calamine lotion, and beef jerky (What? I was hungry and it looked tasty!) I get home to find my poor, sweet princess laid-up with a 103 fever and hives from head to foot. Her lips are swollen and her eyes look like she'd been smacking herself in the face with cayenne pepper. Even her hands and feet are swollen. Being ones not to panic, we put her on a steady regimen of drugs to bring the blistering fever down (which sort of worked) and tried to keep her comfortable (which didn’t work at all). Cammy was itching all over and couldn't get any sleep, which meant that nobody got any sleep. We resolved to call the doctor in the morning and Raquita would stay at home since she can get paid time off (I don’t cause I'm a lowly
Ronin contract employee).
The next day, we notice, as we blearily wake from our 4th 30min nap, that Cammy still has a fever, the welts are shifting and moving across her body, some disappearing, others appearing, and her hands and feet are STILL Swollen. I go to work late, though I truthfully didnt want to go at all, and Raquita goes to take Cammy to her pediatrician. At this point we're convinced that she has the Neo-Bubonic Plague that the government has cooked up to wreak havoc on the populace to convince them that the Martians finally Have landed.
The Doctor refuses to let her come. She tells Raquita that it is most certainly an allergic reaction and that they would just tell her to do the same things she's already doing. This infuriates me to no end because a) What allergic reaction comes with fever? and b) she didn’t have or ingest anything that she hasn't had since she was 6 months old. Nothing new, nothing strange, nothing iffy did my child ingest. But the doctor had spoken, we didn’t want to take her to the emergency room, and during the day, she seemed to be getting a bit better.
Later that night, she went back to the high-fever and hives bit, with some vomiting and the lack of desire for the eating of food. The next day, Cammy went to the doctor. Before I tell you what was wrong with her, I have to do a quick sidebar.
NEVER ASK CO-WORKERS ABOUT WHAT YOUR CHILD MIGHT BE SICK WITH! I swear, I got more paranoid talking to them that sitting there with my daughter as she tossed and turned in her fever dreams. One lady went on and on about Impetigo, another lady suggested Foot and Mouth disease. A third co-worker calmly offered up kidney failure and blood disease. A good friend suggested measles, mumps, poison, and Scabbies. I think Scarlet Fever and Ebola were in there too.
What did she have? Here's a rough transcription of the conversation I had via cell-phone with the doctor while Raquita and Cammy were in the office.
DOCTOR: Hello, Mr. Henderson.
ME: Hey doc. So whats wrong?
DOCTOR: She has a bad STOMACH VIRUS with and ALLERGIC REACTION. The stomach virus may have made the allergic reaction worse but she'll be fine.
ME: So she doesn't have kidney Disease?
Doctor (chuckling): No, she-
ME: Crones? Scabbies? Blood Disease, Mumps, Measles, Impetigo?
DOCTOR (slightly annoyed): No, no, no, no, no, and no.
ME: Oh. So...she'll be okay then?
DOCTOR (clearly annoyed): Yes. Yes she will be fine. Just give her some Claratin once a day to help with the reaction. If it doesnt improve over the weekend, we can give her something stronger.
ME: Right. Okay. Well, thanks Doctor...
DOCTOR (chuckling again): It's okay. It can be a scary thing when a child...
ME: It's not measles? I think she was vaccinated but I heard it was coming back and-
DOCTOR: No. No mumps. No measles. None of that. She'll be fine by Monday.
ME (sheepish): Heheh. Okay Doc. Thanks.
It's Monday and she was right. Her fever is gone, she's eating like she normally does (which is to say eat half the meal, play with the other half, mushing some into her hair) and he rash has MOSTLY disappeared. Plus she is much more comfortable now though she’s not so keen on letting mommy out of her sight. Daddy? Daddy = Chopped liver, for all she cares now. Its okay. She's a mommy's girl when she gets sick. Daddy is for fun and play, mommy is for ouchies and owwies. I get that. Daddy is pretty handy with a Band-Aid too though, do get it twisted. But Mommy is mommy and there is none greater. But whilst this was going on, another crisis reared its ugly head...
Friday, August 4th -Come Home Snoopy, Come Home!: So you may know by now, we are the proud (and constantly slobbered-on) owners of a Italian Mastiff named Anubis. There are pictures all over my wife's blog. I might put one on here though. Anyways, our gate in the back yard has been broken for a minute but we keep Anubis on a leash when he's outside so that he doesn’t run the neighborhood scaring folks and drenching kids with his sticky, ever-present slobber. Well, Friday, while my loving wife was tending for our sickly child, she went to let the dog in whom I had let outside to stretch his legs and use the facilities (unfortunately the facilities right now consist of what’s left of our herb garden…Bad Dog!) That’s when she noticed *cue sinister music* THE DOG WAS GONE! On the deck, lying in the fading afternoon sunlight was his leash, broken at the small metal clip. Raquita drove the neighborhood calling for our dog in vain. Then she called me to tell me that Anubis was gone and that she was going to the human society. Luckily, THAT’S where he was. You’d think this was the end of the story, dear readers, but you’d be wrong. This is where things turn INFURIATING!
So, Anubis is chilling at the local Humane Society. Raquita goes up there, sees our dog (who has enjoyed his semi-vacation but wants to come home) and naturally asks for our dog back. The Humane Society tells her that she can have the dog back AFTER they neuter him.
Yeah. They have to neuter him before they give him back as it’s a city ordinance that all dogs must be spayed or neutered if they come through the City Animal Control and since the human society is an extension of the Animal Control, they aren’t allowed to break city ordinances.
They tell us to call Animal Control, who is closed at the time (this goes down at around 5pm) but they cant do anything unless animal control says something. The next day, Animal control says (and sneakily at that…keep reading) that all we have to do is get the Humane Society to transfer Anubis to them and all will be okay. Well, Raquita, being the super-smart cookie that she is, does some investigations. She finds out that a) If you have a breeders license or a dog show coming up, they cant really force you to snip your dog, b) you cant get a breeders license unless the dog has been in a show AND is over a year old. Anubis is neither. And c) The Humane Society has the leeway to let a dog out of the Animal Control/City Ordinance rules, if they find there is merit there. Im sure some of the people over at the Humane Society knew this and many didn’t. But if Anubis HAD gone to the City Pound as was first suggested, they would HAVE to fix him, no ifs ands or buts about it. Hows THAT for trying to be sneaky. So, we’re going to try to break Anubis out of Jail tonight. But it will have to be fast work. We’ve got our papers and our ‘papers’ so hopefully we’ll be able to get him home tonight. But we’ve got even bigger fish to fry because of what I found out LAST night, the most important of the nights in question. But real quick…
Saturday August 5th – The wedding march: One of Raquita’s old friends got married on Saturday and I was in attendance. We actually got there late, but their processional was so long that we still didn’t miss anything. It was a nice wedding and the bride was Gorgeous. As Raquita said, they both looked happy, truly happy, and a little relieved to have the actual event behind him. Did it make me a little sad that We didn’t have a traditional wedding? A little bit. But I loved the way I got married. I absolutely loved it. The fact that the only family I had there was Tambora and Gikinmaro is something I’ll have to get over. Cammy wont EVER have to worry about that. Also, FRAP (a bougie-ghetto concoction of ginger-ale, fruit punch, and sherbert) is my new favorite. I got looked at real funny when I professed to never having imbibed the blessed elixir, but frock em, right?
Apparently young, enthusiastic, bright-eyed teachers of our youth don’t appreciate old negros like me referring to children (not all, just some) as assholes. Whatever…I still say, some kids ARE assholes, despite their parents. She was so incensed but I bet she aint got no kids! Anywho, the evening was all in all very nice but that leads us to Sunday, the true reason for this post.
Sunday, August 6th – A mothers kiss is worth more: I talked a little bit (read, not much at all) about my mother in this space a few weeks ago. It’s still kind of hard for me to talk about. Not that Im shy or anything. It’s just that it’s a part of my life that for so very long, I’ve had NO emotion but regret. Now theres all kinds of other crap in there, sorrow, hope, fear, longing, a desire to HAVE a mother. I’m a man, and despite whatever kind of game your current beau might be spitting at you, the male spectrum of emotion isn’t nearly as complex as a woman’s emotional cortex. There are some things we just have trouble sorting out quickly.
Well, we get a call from Sunday from my Aunt Yvonne. Apparently my mother hasn’t eaten since we saw her last (two weeks ago, just about) and that she’s gotten worse, and they want to call an ambulance to come and take her to the emergency room. Why an Ambulance? Well, they don’t want her to sit in the hospital for eight hours before she’s seen by somebody and she REFUSES to go to her normal doctor, who sounds like a heartless wench anyway. So we went over there and brought her some food and talked with her. She told me that it isn’t that she doesn’t eat. Its that when she doesn’t eat what is brought to her, nothing else is brought either. Its really deeper than that. Its about having family WANT to spend time with her whereas her sister Yvonne right now is OBLIGATED to be there and take care of her. That shows in the way Yvonne tries to take care of her by placating her and basically keeping her quiet. I don’t blame Yvonne. I blame myself, mostly. Last couple times we went to see my mother she seemed to genuinely be doing better. Just being there with her and talking with her and coaxing her to eat made her more focused, more determined to eat and be normal, wanting to be better and do the things that will make her better. Raquita and I were able to get her to eat and she asked us to come over and visit with her this week and if she’s not better by the end of the week, she’d go willingly to the hospital. She might be moving in with us later on, after she gets checked out with the hospital but she’ll have to be able to walk and what not sense both of us will be at work during the day. But during the evenings and at night we wont shut her away in her bed infront of a TV for her to wither away.
Those are the facts. We’re going over tonight with some Lobster Ravioli and Cammy to try and get her to eat more and basically keep her spirits up. The more she eats, the better she feels. There’s more to it than that but I ‘m not going to get into it. That’s not so much important as her getting better. But what I wanted to get off my chest was this:
When we got to my mothers house last night, Raquita grabbed my hand and asked me if I wanted to pray. It was a simple question and the answer seemed pretty obvious, but I had to force out a yes and I asked her to pray for both of us. Why? Anger. I was angry. Not righteously so, not angry for any good cause. I was angry like a child whose been told something he doesn’t want to hear and throws a tantrum. I felt like a small, stupid child and I was angry. If I was a little puppy I would have bitten someone. I didn’t want to pray. And That scared me more than anything. So I prayed for forgiveness, for an ease to my anger and my stubbornness, and the courage to do Gods will, which is to take care of my mother. If you have a good relationship with your mother, as I’m sure many of you do, this is a ‘No Duh!’ moment for you but for me, it was a revelation. When I held my mothers hand in mine and she ate with me and talked with me, I wasn’t angry anymore. Just worried. Keep her and us in your prayers.
That was my last 5 days. I hate to end on such a downer. I truly believe that she will get better and with time, and patience, we’ll get her looking like the Miss Kitty of old, full of fire and vinegar and sass and beauty. THAT is my mother. I remember clearly. I just have to help her to remember too.