Thursday, August 22, 2013

up and down

This past weekend our friend Kate came to town. It was fun and carefree and hilarious as expected. We hosted a tiny little get-together on Saturday night in our backyard. BLT dip and flippy cup and some Dancing Queen were all on the menu.

We spent another day recovering from the night before and the next was spent taking the kids to the park and the lake. (We really show people a good time around here. Obviously.) Then we shared quite a few laughs over margs with my sister Justy on Kate's last night in Iowa.

That brings me to some of the less exciting events of the week.. the "down" portion if you will.

On Monday night Jared developed pretty nasty hives. He had some the week before and they went away with a dose or two of Benadryl, so he didn't think too much of it. Cut to Tuesday afternoon: I am preparing to leave for a doctor's appointment. I wake Jared because Graham woke up early from his nap. He is still covered - and I mean covered - in hives. His face was swollen like I have never seen before. He had lips even Lisa Rinna herself could not compete with. He was drowsy and delirious. I don't even want to think how bad off he might have been had I let him keep sleeping. No neighbors are home, so I call my mom up to come stay with the kids so Jared can come to the doctor with me. By the time we reach the doctor's office, his hives are even worse. He gets a steroid injection and a Medrol pack to go home with, and we head out the door.

We aren't even home an hour when he starts feeling short of breath. It gets worse. We call my mom (again) and she comes back in so we can go to the ER. He gets admitted, IV steroids with Benadryl every 4 hours. His hives go away and come back again about an hour before the next dose. He continues to be short of breath. His chest feels tight. This continues off and on for a full 24 hours. By that point the steroids have gotten Jared so amped up he is verging on a full-on panic attack. Not cool.

Meanwhile, I am at home feeling like the world's worst wife for leaving him at the hospital for the day by himself. I'm torn between my needy, bottle-hating baby and my 'roid-induced anxious husband. I end up putting the kids down early and calling my mom (again!) to come hang out while they sleep. Jared is beyond anxious so they discontinue the steroids and ask him to try to survive on Ativan alone. (Spoiler alert - it didn't work.) His hives keep coming back with a vengeance, and he had only slept for a total of about one hour in two days. Some of his labs came back elevated, which led to more labs and a CT scan to rule out a PE. {FYI: none of this was helping the anxiety.)

I hung out and tried my best to entertain him. He made it quite a while without any meds, but the Ativan did zilch and he was practically begging for relief from the itching by 3am. One dose of Benadryl and Jared was snoring within 30 seconds of it hitting the IV fluid.
Meanwhile, I slept awesome on my pull-out chair - and I am not even lying. It was much better to sleep on a horrible mattress with a pillow as comfortable as cement and know what was going on than to be at home in my comfortable bed feeling clueless and worried.

Today seemed to be a better day. The hives were flat and less angry-looking, although still very itchy. I brought the kids down to visit. It was slightly bad timing since Jared was exhausted and just wanting a nap, but it worked out well for Graham.
As of right now Jared has gotten by with just two doses of Benadryl today. We are hoping he might be able to come home some time tomorrow if he does okay overnight. As much as I am looking forward to having him home again, if he doesn't feel good enough yet, he might as well stay where he is at. At least it is (somewhat) quiet there.
And because the drama of having my spouse in the hospital is not enough, we had some other excitement of sorts today.
After spending the night in the hospital with Jared, I arrived home this morning to this sight:
That is our backyard.
With a giant tree in it.
This tree belongs to our neighbors and was right along the fence line. At some point in the night, about half of the tree fell into our yard. Miraculously it missed the fence. And most importantly it missed our house.
View from our patio door to the backyard.
(The first thing out of the girls' mouths: "Cool! Look at all those nuts!")
Yeah, real cool....
The tree has been in bad shape since that May snowstorm. It's basically been a ticking time-bomb. I am just very thankful that this happened over the night and not during the day when our children could have been out there playing.
It fell on our main power line, which ripped our outside electrical box from the side of the house. It was still hanging on and we had power, but it scorched the siding and melted all the wires inside of it. Another near-miss there. The electrical company immediately cut the power once they saw it around 9am and let my mom and I know that we would need to have our electrician come before we could have power hooked back up. Seriously? I don't have an electrician! Thankfully my mom played general contractor: she made some calls, called in some favors, lined everything up, and then stayed to supervise. An electrician was there by 11 and we had power back by 2pm. It wasn't a moment too soon since the house had already reached 80+ degrees. The morning was a mess of calls back and forth with our neighbors, calls to insurance companies, and generalized dread of the mess that was our backyard.
The bright spot of the day: team spirit.
My mom and I came back with the kids at 1:30 to find half of the tree already chopped up and gone. With the help of many of our kind neighbors, the entire mess - including every single buckeye (sorry kids!) - was gone by 4pm!
How awesome is that?!
So yeah, today sucked. But regardless, I am feeling very thankful for quick repairmen, helpful neighbors, and a mom that did whatever was needed without me even asking.

Today was a mess.
This week has been super stressful with lots of don't-do-the-tired-cry-in-front-of-the-children deep-breathing.
Our kids have been misbehaving demons (God love 'em).
I have had enough! It can only go up from here, right?

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