Dixie Peach: October 2004

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Hänsel und Gretel

You'd think being grown up people would make them a little more careful, wouldn't you?

Saturday morning my mother-in-law got up early, dropped the family dog at my apartment and went off mushroom hunting with her brother. Four or five hours is the norm for her on these little jaunts so I was expecting her back around 1pm. She didn't arrive. 2pm. 3pm. She still didn't show up to pick up the dog. Not that me keeping the dog was a big deal but my MIL is seldom late for anything.

Finally the 3:30pm football match was about to begin when the phone rang. It was B's aunt reporting that the brother and sister mushroom hunting team had wandered so far into the wood that they had become lost. Just clueless as to where they were. Luckily at one point they'd run into a fellow mushroom hunter who informed them that they were well away from where they'd parked the car and gave them a general direction in which to walk to find a little town.

After a lot more walking they found the little village and tried to call another neighboring village that has a taxi. Evidently that taxi service is some dude with an Audi and an answering machine because the machine is all they reached. Happily though when inquiring at a house on the square about the possibility of another taxi service the gentleman they were questioning offered to drive them back to where Uncle Gerald's car was parked. By the time 5:30pm rolled around my MIL was safely back home. Exhausted and dying for a cigarette, to be sure, but no signs of being tortured by a witch living in a gingerbread house. All in all they'd wandered about 25 kilometers from where they'd parked, most of the time carrying a large box of mushrooms.

She even laughed when she came in my apartment and I looked up at her and said "So Gretel...finally made it back home, did you? Next time take white stones with you instead of the bread crumbs.".

I must remember to ask her if the mushroom hunter they ran into was being accompanied by seven short men in pointy caps.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I'm Not a Doctor but I Play One at Home

I'm really trying not to do those and-this-is-how-my-week-went sort of blogs but I can't seem to get away from that. I wanted to be a little more regular but the events of the week have prevent it.

I'm normally a night-owl sort of person. I seldom crawl into bed before 4 or 4.30 AM. I've tried mending my ways but so far nothing has taken yet. You'd think I'd be used to little sleep and staying awake until all hours of the night. Not so this week. B's been sick for a few days and it's had me completely out of whack.

It started Tuesday with his stomach being all cramped and we figured it would go away. Early Wednesday morning he woke me up saying his stomach was very painful and for a quadriplegic to report pain isn't good. B feels pain in a way but he's hard pressed to say exactly where which of course makes for shakey diagnosis. All we knew was that he felt terrible pain, he was sweating like mad (typical symptom of pain for him since his neuro wiring is rather screwed up) and he wanted to cancel his Wednesday appointment with his physiotherapist. He never cancels these appointments.

So there I was, sleepy and worried and I was nearly convinced that he had an appendix going bad. After and hour and a half of sleep, that was my diagnosis. All I could see in my head was the ambulance picking him up and whisking him off to a surgery and a nearly guaranteed pressure sore because I hardly trust anyone to take care of him properly. There I was crying and praying and muttering "I don't care what it costs! I'm getting you a private room and I'll take care of you myself if I have to!".

I got him turned and settled and when wakefulness and more clear headed thinking took over I figured that B's appendix wasn't the problem. His appetite had been fine, there had been no vomiting, he didn't have a fever and his belly wasn't hard and he didn't scream in pain when I pressed on it. All we could figure was that he must have trapped gas. Spinal cord injury people can be sort of like babies in that way - getting colic and all. Their muscles don't work the way they used to and they can't process gas bubbles through their system with the same efficiency as the rest of us. So I just kept my eye on him and gave him lots of fennel tea to drink (very good for gas - helps your body process it properly) and hoped for the best.

Today he's much better. He's able to sit upright for the first time since Monday and for that I'm terribly grateful.

And now I can get some decent sleep without worrying about camping out at the hospital and arguing with the nurses about how often he needs to be turned.