Monday, October 29, 2007

When A Single Mom Gets Sick

Hey, I am back. Not all better yet but getting there. What happened? Well, two Thursdays ago (Oct 18th) I woke up, made myself ready for work and Snow White ready for school. Just like any other week day.

When I arrived at my office I felt sluggish but quickly brushed it off as "You are just tired." An hour later the room seemed to move when I thought I was sitting perfectly still. I had an important meeting with my boss at 11 am and I was determined to make that meeting. Breathing started to become difficult but I thought "Don't worry, you just have a really bad cold. Worst case scenario you have the flu....but it is too early in the year for the flu!"

I kept telling myself to just make it through the morning until that meeting was over. After all, I work close to home and could run home to take a nap during my lunch hour. It might have been two hours after I arrived at work that my co-workers started making comments such as "You look horrible", "Are you ok?", "Maybe you should go home" or just plain running the other way when they saw me coming. I shook it off until my meeting when my boss, who really does not like me to take a sick day, took a few steps back and said "I think you need to go home. We don't want you to get everyone else sick."

After our meeting I literally saluted his Administrative Assistant and declared for all in ear shot to hear, "I am Going Home." I might have said it in a sing song fashion but I do not really remember. I don't even remember GOING home.

The next thing I remember was ManSon coming in my room to ask me what time I was going to pick up Snow White from Daycare. I woke up, put on my shoes and picked her up. Knowing I was feeling ill I decided not to cook, instead I did the McDonalds Drive Thru. I hate McDonalds food but my children think of it as a real treat and it was easy dinner for me. After all, I was sick and was not feeling up to eating anything. There is nothing wrong with McDonalds food. It is just not my preference. Anyway, it works out as a substitute when Mommy is not feeling well.

As soon as we were home I went straight back to bed. I woke up often coughing or in need of the bathroom when my body decided to violently extract something from one end or the other. ManSon took care of Snow White and made sure she went to bed when it was time. Around 7:30 am, during one of my bathroom calls, I called my boss to let him know I was still ill and would not make it in to work. I crawled back in to bed and went to sleep for a little while.

Thinking about how ill I was I sort of knew it would not be wise to drive any further than necessary. I decided it would be better to sleep for another hour and drive Snow White to school which was only two small blocks from our house rather than stay awake and drive all the way to the daycare center 7 minutes away. Seven minutes away may not seem like a great distance but the way I was feeling it was cross country traveling.

After dropping her off at school I return home, call the Dr to make a sick call appointment. They inform me I will be seen at 3pm so I slide back in to bed after setting my alarm clock for 2:30 pm.

At 2:15 pm ManSon comes in to check on me and I realize I went back to bed in my work clothes from YESTERDAY and I still have my shoes on. Oh well, at least I am ready for my appointment. I get up, brush my teeth and pull out a coat from the front closet. Um, it wasn't cold enough for a coat, it has been exceptionally warm for this time of year.... and it wasn't even MY OWN coat.

I arrive at the Drs office in yesterdays clothes, my teenage daughter's dress coat which she herself out grew a few years ago and a full box of Puffs Plus in my purse. Hey, you have to give me credit for actually bringing my purse.

When the Dr. saw me he mentioned the box of Puffs "It's never a good sign when a patient arrives with a whole box of tissues." They tested me for strep but it came back negative. The Dr. mentioned my lungs were clear which caught me totally off guard. How could they be clear when I was having so much trouble breathing? Apparently my tonsils were enlarged for no apparent reason and my entire throat was swollen!!

I was not processing this information I was just hearing it. When the nurse came in and said "Here are your prescriptions" all I thought of was "Here is your relief. You can sleep without the bathroom calling either end of your body. You will get better. You will live through this."

Then, I rushed to the grocery store across the street to fill my prescriptions. After looking over my credit card receipt from the Drs. office (apparently unable to count out the cash in my purse) and the receipt from the ATM at the grocery store it took me 30 minutes to make it across that street. While waiting on my prescriptions, I wondered around the grocery store picking up more Puffs and $50 worth of Progresso and Campbell’s soup (not an exaggeration). At one point I thought a man was checking me out. Later I realized he must have been staring at me wondering what type of hospital lab was minus this experiment.

I pick up my prescriptions, Snow White, more McDonalds then back to bed. The medication worked really well, just like the nurse said.

Saturday morning around 7 am Snow White was complaining of a sore throat. Oh No! Not that! How could I take care of a sick child while I was so very ill myself. So, what did I do? I called the Drs. office and made a sick call appointment for that morning. It is wonderful to have a Drs. office open on Saturdays! The nurse says she thinks it is strep. How much more wonderful could this weekend get? Their lab would be open on Monday so they would call us when they had the results.

Snow White started crying about a birthday party she was suppose to attend. She has been ready for this party for a week! We even had the presents wrapped and in the car for a few days in preparation. She had her pirate's costume in the car, which she checked daily to make sure she had everything she needed to be the pirate she wanted to dress up as for the party.

The out of state birthday party we both so wanted to go to...started like hours ago! I panic! How can we get there? Taxi? No it is out of state. Can I drive? I think I can drive. No. I cannot even stand up straight without the room shaking my feet and making me wobble all over the place. Franticly I dump everything out of my purse remembering I had put the invitation in there. I cannot find the freaking invitation! I know the Mom giving the party gave me her cell phone number so I must have written it on that invitation. I give up looking for the invitation and go to my computer. Maybe I have an email with the Mom's cell phone number.

I do not remember if it was an email or my computer address book which had her cell phone number but I did find it. I called her and she thought maybe I was lost somewhere in the state looking for the party. Sadly I had to explain we were sick and could not make it. I wished it was just as simple as we were lost and looking for directions. This Mom, her daughter and their entire family are people you just really, really want to be around. They are such a joy to be around it would have surely cured me by being there for just a few minutes. That is how wonderful they truly are. I am not sure what exactly I said during our phone conversation other than we are not lost and gifts will be mailed out.

Sunday, I spent all day in bed with my children checking in on me from time to time. I did eat some soup and I think I managed to take my prescriptions a few times during the day. Monday morning I went to work but still not feeling any better. Snow White went to school since she did not have a fever and we would not have the results back from the Drs. office. After lunch the Drs. office called to say she does not have strep. The sore throat and cough must have been the caused of post nasal drip. All that was required was cough syrup.

This is getting long so I will go for now. There are good things coming.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sick Leave

Sorry everyone. I have not been up to blogging over the past few days due to illness. Hopefully I will be back to normal tomorrow or Wednesday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shopping Marathon

Friday. Well, I cannot remember much from Friday other than we rushed here there and everywhere. It started at the crack of dawn rushing around the house to get ready for work and school. All day at work I rushed to get things done then waited for this and that to come back with important information.

During my lunch hour ManSon said "My wallet was stolen." Oh My Gosh! When? Where? What happened? "Well, it was at so and so's house." But that kid lives in another state. You haven't seen him since..."Yes. I know. Since May." Why are you...What do you mean..Are you pulling...Your Social Security Card? License? WHAT?! {deep breath} How is it that you waited this long to say something?

I make phone calls to the State License agency and Social Security Office. Apparently you need a utility bill in your name if you are over the age of 18. What the heck? What about college students? Surely there must be some college students at the local University who live with their parents so the parents can save some money. You also need a birth certificate and your Social Security Card. No surprise there. The list of items needed to identify you for your Social Security card is just one...a Doctors Note.. A birth certificate doesn't do a thing for you. Thank goodness a dentist note will do. ManSon has not been to a doctor in the last three years since he has not been injured or seriously ill (thank God).

After work I rush home, make dinner and a lot of rushing about to get things done around the house, homework and such. I was dead on feet by 10:30 pm but did not get to bed until much later.

Saturday morning we had a basic breakfast then it was off to the Post Office to pick up a certified package addressed to ManSon. We think it was the Cobra paper work from my employer. Unfortunately it was addressed to him so we could not pick it up due to ManSon having no ID.

After the Post Office we decided to go on a shopping spree for ManSon. He was in need of a whole new wardrobe. Really, this boy has specific taste. He becomes really attached to the clothes he buys and wont let them go until they are about to fall apart. Unfortunately, he has very good taste so it takes a very long, long time for them to wear out.

Another problem with purchasing clothing for ManSon is his size. He is 6 feet tall, has a 29 inch waist and likes about 2 inches of his pant cuffs to rest on the top of his shoes. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a pair of Man's dress slacks with a 29 inch waist? It is like finding a needle in a hay stack and I really truely mean that.

We went to the big mall which is nearly located in another state. We split up into groups to scour the stores for 29 inch dress pants. After three hours of blinding ourselves looking at every size of ever pair of pants in the two story mall we met up at the food court for a break. When I sat down I swear my muscels let out a huge sigh of relief. I had mannaged to find 3 pairs of imported dress slacks with a 30 inch waist. Hey, that beats out the rest who only found 34 inch waists. ManSon even tried on JEANS! He has never worn jeans in his intire life. I had to laugh at the thought of him wearing jeans. It would be like putting ice cream on pizza and not being pregnant. Well, I said to ManSon "You in jeans is like watching Escaflowne without subtitles." It is like nails scraping on a chalk board to hear Escaflowne in English. Weird.

Ok so we are all worn out. We take a 15 minute break and rush off to the one store which actually has pants ManSon size. He tries them on since they are imports and hip hurray they fit! ManSon looks over the jackets and swears one of them would be the coolest item he owns. Lucky for him the matching jackets are half price if you buy the pants. He was beside himself when I said we would take both of the jackets he liked. The pants were on sale for $75 each then bonus buy (purchase jacket) made them $45 each add on $64 for each jacket.

Oh my gosh Pup is whining at the moment. Snow White has her bedroom door shut so she can change her clothes. Pup is outside her door whimpering, howling and barking. He thinks she is going to bed without him.

Ok back to the shopping spree from this weekend. ManSon's girlfriend "Corkie" was part of our shopping possy. She dyes her hair different colors but seems to be down to earth with a strict mother. Really nice girl trying to figure out where she belongs with a mom who can reel her in. I could not be happier for the moment. She was very helpful with the shopping, quick to get tasks accomplished and a joy to be around.

While ManSon was trying on the pants she helped me look through the many, many long sleeved sweater shirts. ManSon wanted long sleeves with a collar but not dress shirts and goodness knows how he dislikes logos. We found one shirt in the whole store and it was a Men's Medium. In this particular brand the medium was a tad bit long but he really liked it so that was added to our purchase at that store. We still needed 4 more pairs of pants and a dozen shirts. By this time the stores were closing so we gave up for the did our legs.

Sunday afternoon we decided to tackle another mall and check out their stock. The same store that had his size pants but in a different mall. They had clothes ManSon really liked but way too big. "No one carries that size. It's just not done. " ManSon's response "In a world of obesity concerns no one stocks small sizes. Maybe I need to start eating those 'can my butt look any bigger' meals. We all laugh and walk away leaving the sales lady looking perplexed.

Snow Whtie was telling me about two cartoon theme songs she thought were the greatest. She really doesn't watch too much tv. I told her to ask her brother if he still has his Pokemon sound track from when he was in 2nd grade (remember ManSon is 19). He knew exactly where it was and handed it right over to her. He knew how excited she would be! I can hear Pokemon Master blasting in the background.

We finally went to Macy's and they HAVE mens' shirts in size Small!! We bought up a full lot of shirts but may have to go back when they replenish their stock. From now on we will shop at Bonton for pants and Macy's for all of ManSon's clothing.

So, after 9 hours of running (litterally) here and there for ManSon's wardrobe we made a dent in what he really needs to replace. Shoes...well he wants Vans but the shoe stores here do not sell Vans! Well, they sell the slip on multi color/deco Vans at the skater shops but not the Vans he has become acustome to. I see an out of state shopping expedition in a big city in our near future.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Few Updates ...

My car is finally all legal and mine! I have the registration and real honest to goodness tags to prove it. That all happened Friday around lunch time. Andrea from the dealership called to say Mr. Fix-it from the shop will be right over to deliver your registration and sticker. When Mr. Fix-it arrived at my work he said “I never get out of there for anything. Thanks for having them make me come out here. I really needed the break.” I respond ever so cheerfully “I am glad you are getting a break but it was the King of Stupid at the dealership who suggested my registration and sticker be delivered. I don’t think he wanted me back in his show room.”

Snow White is doing well with the Brownies. I had one minor incident where I almost smacked the Assistant Leader for saying something not so very nice in front of little Snow White. After a few days I got over it and the next meeting the Assistant Leader was all cheer and pep. Maybe the Troop Leader saw that I was about to attack and had a little chat with her. Anyway, we had a great time sewing, painting, and we watched synchronized swimming! I had no idea there were teams of synchronized swimmers out here in the country. From ages 6 to 60 some-things they really put on a great show.

Remember when I said how happy I was knowing I would never see Bunny again. Don’t you just hate it when your words come back to bite you in the tuckus? My little brother helps EVERYONE. He busts his butt to make sure everyone else has things easy. If there is the slight chance you might need help with something, anything, he is right there taking charge and making it easy on you. He never seems to need help with anything himself. Well, he called me and he needed a favor. Oh my goodness! He needed a favor. Whatever it was I knew right away I would do it!

I broke a house rule that I made. Nothing else that poops will be brought into our house. Snow White exclaims “Yeah, we have a Bunny rabbit!” She is honestly thrilled. This outburst creates a very opposite reaction in my nieces (11 & 13 yrs old). They not only cried, they sobbed and moaned loudly. I assured them we were not keeping their Bunny forever. It will most certainly be returned to them as soon as their new house is built. They even call to check up on him. My brother and sister-in-law assure me the girls lost interest in the Bunny a few years ago. Pretty much it is my sister-in-law’s Bunny as she takes care of it every day. I chop veggies for it in the morning and ManSon cleans out the cage 2-3 times a week. The cats take turns sitting next to the cage just watching it. Pup barks incisively while the cage is open during feeding time.

Gas went down to $2.65 for awhile. During that time I noticed some numbers on my grocery receipt. The cashier explained for every $50 I spend they will give me $0.10 off per gallon of gas at their gas station. Since I had no idea about the gas discount and I have teenagers my savings were substantial….$.090 off per gallon! How long ago was gas $1.75 per gallon?! I saved $16.00 on gas that day. It pays to have all those membership cards. I have a card for every hotel chain, grocery store, airline, airport parking facility, book store, music store, etc. So glad I can save so much on gas.

Monday, October 08, 2007

School Picture Day

Tomorrow is picture day at Snow White's school. For years and years I have worked 2 hours or more away from where we live. For years and years I have sent my children to school in what I deem their best possible outfits (sometimes to their great protest) with their hair neatly groomed and a clean face. A month or so later a package comes home with nearly 100 photos that do not look like the children I sent to school on picture day.

I swear they wait until after recess, gym with their hair all sorts of here and there. Better yet after lunch with blue pudding etched around their lips or spaghetti with matching stains on shirt. There must be a prize that out shines any lottery awarded to the photographer who captures the most awful photo of a child.

Anyway, I have had to deal with the pain of being a single mother who cannot take a full day off work to help my children realize the person taking the school photo only says "You look fantastic" is not actually looking at you but has 300 more children to photograph today and only wants you to take up the 2.5 seconds allowed per photo. They no longer give the children time to check themselves in the bathroom, class room window or even give them a comb any more.

You may think you are saved by not purchasing the school picture photo package but you would be sadly mistaken. That photo is the only way to preview the photo which will appear in the school year book. Yes, from pre-K to High School senior the photo taken on picture day is the one that will be distributed to every person in that school. It will also be kept as a record at the school for many years to come. That photo will never go away.

Last year after receiving yet another set of 'Ooops!' photos I opted to take a half day off for retakes. I had put up with "Ooops!" photos from time to time since ManSon was in kindergarten through 11th grade! I was there when she was in line. I was also brushing the hair of other students who had just been out at recess. I made sure her hair was brushed down (super curly needs some attention) and that year there was a really nice photo we did not have to explain away Blue super berry yogurt, recess of who can hang upside down the longest or why my hair has brambles and thistles that match the outline of the playground.

It is my goal tomorrow to be at her new school and supervise. I just looked at the weather forecast and it will be humid and rainy. Her extra curly hair will need extra attention. With all the stay at home moms here I am sure not to be standing there in the photographers line alone.

Impromptu Vacation

Saturday was like being on vacation but better.

I did not have to pack up the suit cases, fret over what could be the one item I forgot to pack. I did not have to sit through many renditions of the Sponge Bob Songs or hear “he’s touching my side of the seat” or “She’s looking at me again.”

No, all of this was avoided on my impromptu vacation day.

My normal Saturday goes like this…up at the crack of dawn. Feed all the animals so they do not trodden me to death in my bed. Prod children out of bed. Make a big breakfast. Fit in household cleaning chores in between all the rushing about here and there for my children. It has been this way for years and years.

This Saturday morning…I actually slept in! How was this possible? All of the children woke up at their normal time and made their own individual breakfasts. No pets came to jolt me out of bed. Apparently my children fed all the animals.

I lazily laid in bed awake but still enjoying the warm comfort of the heavy blanket in the coolness of the room. Then a telemarketer interrupted my bliss. I let them go with their spiel then said “Hey, thanks for the wake up call. Have a nice day.” It was then I noticed that my bedroom door was shut. It is always open so I do not have to get up 20 times in the middle of the night to let a crying cat or a fuzzy Pup in or out of my room.

I went to check on everyone. Snow White was battling in Majora’s Mask in the family room right outside my bedroom door. She turned the sound off so she would not disturb me. That really impressed me since it seems the sound is really important for playing a video game. ManSon was in his room looking through his books and Oldest Daughter was visiting friends.

All the animals were laying about like they didn’t have a care in the world. A few minutes later Snow White proclaimed she was bored with the video game. I reminded her about the book sets she has not yet read through. She went off to her room and I didn’t see her again until a few hours later.

I decided to dive into the Half Blood Prince which Oldest Daughter kindly lent to me. I had the whole day to lounge around and read. Which I did. The whole day long. I lingered over the book while I ate breakfast peacefully in the dinning room. Later on I lounged on the family room couch in complete comfort, just reading. I eventually ended up in the living room sitting in my favorite chair reading while one of the cats laid at my feet. During the day I would make a few stops in the kitchen for something to snack on or drink. Each time I saw one of my children reading a book and like me rotating from room to room. I like that we can spread out in the house and each have some time to ourselves.

When lunch time came we were each so engrossed in our own books we did not want to leave them. Lunch turned in to “When I’m hungry I will make a sandwich.” Dinner was the same way. No one was hungry at the same time and each insisted they would make their own dinner eventually. This was a really nice break for me!

We let our normal Saturday household chores go for the day since the house seemed pretty well clean already.

Saturday was perfect. I was feeling the great need to get away from it all and head out for a vacation some where. Turns out home is a pretty good place for a vacation.

Monday, October 01, 2007

What Color is a Death Bed?

This weekend, in between travels and house cleaning chores I sat down to watch 10 - 15 minutes of TV. I caught a few minutes of Forest Gump, Medium and a few other shows I cannot recall.

At one point Snow White came to sit next to me on the couch. In the show I was watching a young man just had a small accident and was in the hospital. He was fully awake but had a little boo boo on his head.

For some unknown reason Snow White asked “Is that a death bed?” I explained that the accident was very small but the hospital wanted to check him out just to be safe.

Later on while watching a show on Life Time (cannot remember the name) a little girl coming out of a coma was laying in a hospital bed. Snow White was suppose to be getting ready for bed but she popped down to snuggle up next to me on the couch. “Is THAT a death bed?”

“Honey, what is with this fixation you have about death beds?”
The puppy dog eyes and super-sad-about-to-let-out-river-of-tears frown came. With her voice quiverying she said “Mommy. I just want to know what it looks like. I don’t want to accidentally sleep in one.”

I hug her and I burst into laughter. Not just a little giggle but a full hearty laugh. “Honey, those are hospital beds. People go to hospitals to get better. A death bed is when someone is very ill and they know they are dying.”

“Why do they call it a death bed? Why do they have to be laying down in a bed?”

“Well, I rarely see old people who know they are about to die out doing jumping jacks and cartwheels. {she laughs thinking about this} “They are too tired for all of that. They are laying down because it is almost time to go to heaven and their bodies are tired.”

This seemed to satisfy her.