03 September 2009

Life with HFM, Day 5ish

Yesterday was a nightmare. Today, not so much.

Actually, yesterday started off pretty well. The girls woke up early, and we were exhausted, but after coffee and some breakfast for all, it seemed as though things weren't so bad. Ainsley ate two whole pieces of banana bread, with some wincing, and Alanna showed no ill effects of anything at all. Beloved went off to her office for a few hours and I, after grabbing a quick shower and shave, took the girls to campus for a walk. We parked at the Center, walked through the Union Bookstore to take some pictures of toddler-sized ISU cheerleader outfits for a friend, then headed over to the Free Speech Zone where the campus Atheists & Agnostics had a booth. After meeting the AA president and agreeing to do some interfaith dialogue (I know, it sounds weird, but it's going to be cool - keep watching), we walked back to the van and headed home for lunch. Beloved came home at about the same time, and after feeding I headed off to a Religious Leaders' Association meeting while Beloved put the girls down for their naps.

I got home at about 3:00 and we decided that after naps we'd go grocery shopping and run some ministry errands together. However, by the time we were done with the grocery shopping, it was pretty apparent that Ainsley was in a bad way. Constant crying and whimpering, with no consolation whatsoever. We put our heads together and figured out that Ainsley hadn't drank anything since lunch, hadn't had a potty or wet diaper all day, and realized she was probably pretty dehydrated. By the time we got home, she was still crying but without tears, and First Nurse advised us to take her to the ER for an IV. Beloved headed off while I fed Alanna and let the dog out for some exercise.

I took some supper over to the ER for Beloved about 30 minutes after they left, and thankfully I was there to help them insert the IV needle. That's an experience I'll not repeat any time soon if it's up to me. The nurse was wonderful, but the first stick hit a valve in her hand, so we had to go for the vein in her elbow. Try explaining that to a toddler who's already miserable because she has sores all over her mouth, a fever, and a dehydration headache to boot. To make matters worse, the elbow vein was a GOOD one - so much so that I wound up with a fairly good spurt of blood on my knee and leg before we could get everything set up. It's one thing to let them stick your own arm - I have no trouble with that. But holding your wailing child and watching her blood land on your leg was a bit much for me. I can't imagine what it must be like for parents whose children bleed due to violence; I'd be in shock, for sure.

Thankfully, the IV was exactly what Ainsley needed. She came home with good color, and it seems she slept pretty well all night. I had campus ministry stuff from 8:30 - 11:00 or so, and when I got home Beloved was in bed with Ainsley helping her sleep. She slept all alone until about 3:00, and when she started crying again I spent the rest of the night in bed with her. When she woke up at 6:30ish, I brought her back into our room so I could get some sleep in my own bed. What happened next is a sign of how much I married above my class. Ainsley and Alanna were both up and running around 8:00, I think, but Beloved took them and stayed with them so I could sleep until almost 11:00. Holy crap, what a woman I married, huh? Now everyone is napping, apparently deeply asleep. The house is beginning to feel a bit smaller than usual, but hopefully we are working our way toward getting everyone up and healthy in the very near future. Thanks again for prayers and well-wishes.

Grace & peace,

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