If I had judged what my "four days" in IL were going to be like based on the first 30 minutes I was in the state, I would have at least been prepared.
The kids did great on the plane and I was so incredibly proud of them. The flight attendants were not very friendly to us. Granted, when we first sat down, Maxwell and Darian both had a field day pressing all the buttons on their armrests. But like I said in my last blog, they shouldn't have put the attendant button on there! My kids are for sure not the first toddlers to fly on that plane! Yet after the newness of the buttons wore off, they were fantastic, so I was pretty displeased with how rude the attendants were the rest of the flight.
I waited for everyone else to get off the plane before I ventured out with the kiddos, and NOT ONE attendant offered to help me a bit. One mom, two kids, three carry-ons. Gee, thanks. Damn, and I had packed my supermom cape...
Anyway, I was already an emotional wreck after the goings-on of the last few days. And I was exhausted. Maxwell wanted to walk like a big boy, but I just wanted to get out of the airport. It was frustrating, but how could I be mad when this is what I was walking behind???
It took us ages to get to the bathroom to change diapers, and even longer to get to baggage claim. But the worst part was actually getting to baggage claim. Not only are the AA flight attendants not helpful, the guys that sit around and pretend to be security are even worse. Since I couldn't get the stroller, Maxwell with his bag and myself with my bags down the escalator, I had to go down the elevator in order to get to baggage claim, (where while all this other dawdling had been going on, Dad already managed to get all five of our bags). Yet in order to get to the elevator, we had to go through a revolving door. Um, yeah right. I looked around at about 6 guys sitting on their asses doing nothing, and then finally the guy sitting at the desk on the other side took notice of me. I asked through the glass, "Is there a normal door we can go through?"
He pointed to a sign that read, "Push button to slow doors down."
I pressed it, and it just wasn't going to be slow enough for me to handle this on my own. But we tried. Unfortunately, I had my hands so full, and the next thing that happened was like it was in slow motion. I explained to Maxwell what I needed him to do, and he walked in just fine. But then when the door started moving and closing in on him, he froze and sat down and started crying. I couldn't get to him fast enough, and the door started closing on his leg. Now, like I said, I was already an emotional wreck. I did not react to this emergency situation how I would have liked. I was screaming and crying and pulling on the door to stop it. Alarms started buzzing, Maxwell was hysterical, Darian started screaming from the stroller. Finally I got him out and picked him up and hugged him. It was terrifying. I was afraid he was going to lose his leg. You know how you read about kids getting their feet stuck in escalators and stuff? Oh, man. My heart was racing! I checked him out and he said he was okay. A little red mark, but nothing more. I think he was just so freaked out because of how I handled it. Finally, those workers sauntered over and asked if I needed help.
I was so pissed!
We made it down to Dad and the bags, tears and all. At this point I was mostly upset at myself and how I handled the situation. But we had to get moving. We got to the car and I got to work getting the carseats in. Have I ever mentioned that I hate my carseats? LOL. After moving them so many times in the last two days, I was ready to throw them out onto the expressway and be done with them.
The best medicine for a cranky Mama? GRANDMA RUTH FOOD! I had totally forgotten that we had arrived on Easter Sunday by this point, and when we got to town we went straight to Grandma and Grandpa Bodda's house for dinner. It was fantastic...just what the doctor ordered!
The next day the kids and I spent the day with Grandma Dort and Grandpa Paul. Maxwell somehow remember that he watched Cars at their house (LAST JUNE!) and of course asked to do that after we had only been there about 20 minutes. Luckily, it was naptime anyway!
Later that night Brian and Diane came over with Christina and Elaina for dinner. It was great to talk to them and kind of pick their brains about their move to France. Finally someone who knew what I had been going through!
Tuesday was a Grandma and Grandpa Bodda day. It started out fine, even with a surprise run-in with Markie (Williams) Aguinaga at the bank! But by the time we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house, I was in pain. I have had this back pain on and off since Darian was born. It slices right into me, and I feel like I can't breathe. Normally it comes at night after a long day, I take a couple pain pills and go to sleep. When I wake up in the morning, I am fine. But this was the first time I had ever had it happen in the morning. Tuesday was a LONG day. I basically laid around at Grandma's house with the heating pad, and the pain pills were not working. We left early to get the kids in the tub and bed. I took two more pills and finally fell into a fitful sleep.
Wednesday morning I felt better when I woke up, and luckily Renee' was coming to visit! We went over to the Wheeler's to play for a few hours in the morning and to say our goodbyes...we were supposed to be leaving for PA in the morning. At this point, the pain was back, and now I felt like it was all in my stomach. When I hugged my grandpa goodbye, he joked that he shouldn't squeeze too hard, to which I replied, "Maybe you should...squeeze whatever the heck is wrong with me right out!"
Renee'and I were going to go to Eduardo's, but I didn't think my tummy could handle it. We went to VCB to get some goodies first, and then to Jimmy John's to eat. But I was messed up. We went back to Dad's so that I could lie down, but it didn't get any better. I was so lucky to have Renee' there. She agreed that it sounded like something was really wrong, and she convinced me to go to a doctor. And she offered to stay with the kids so that Dad could take me!
Dad and I went to the Convenient Care in DeKalb. Convenient, my ass. I was in so much pain, I was practically in tears. I couldn't get comfortable and I had to wait for ages. When I finally saw a doctor, he said he thought it was my gall bladder, but that they couldn't do anything there and I would have to go to the ER. Luckily, I did get in there pretty quickly. They had me dressed down and hooked up to an IV (with pain meds!) in no time. Then more waiting. Finally I went for an ultrasound (it's way more fun to see a baby on that screen), and after a while the doctor came back to tell me that I had pancreatitis and gall stones. I was going to have to have my gall bladder out!
So much for leaving for PA in the morning....
Dad stayed with me in the hospital until almost 11 that night. Grandma and Grandpa Bodda took dinner over to the kids and Renee', who got them in bed and all tucked in before she headed over to the hospital, too. I am so lucky to have such amazing friends and family!!!
On Thursday, David was on his way to DeKalb as I was getting wheeled into surgery to get an endoscopy. My surgeon, Dr. Monfils, explained that he couldn't remove my gall bladder until they got the pancreas functioning properly. He told me that when they did my blood work that morning, that the enzyme they test for was at 41,000. It is supposed to be around 200. Yeah, it was pretty bad. Most likely one of the stones had escaped and was blocking the ducts.
Luckily, the endoscopy was normal. Nothing trapped or stuck. The next day my blood work was much better, so Dr. Monfils took away my gall bladder. I had been so stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and plain old worn out that I really needed a break. I just wasn't expecting it to come with the gown and IV. :o)
I had pretty cute visitors, though!
In all I spent four days in the hospital, we missed our trip to PA and we stayed in DeKalb for an extra week while I rested. I had to be careful, but really the recovery for this surgery was pretty nice! Much better than what I went through after pushing out two 9 pound babies!!! And the best thing that will come out of it is that I finally found out what was causing that recurring back pain.
And leave it to Erynn to remind me of another plus. This was a text exchange between the two of us the day after my surgery:
Erynn: You don't need your gall bladder anyway. If anything, you'll lose weight with it gone. What's it weigh, like half a pound?
Me: Gee, thanks. Remind me to laugh when it doesn't hurt to do so.
Erynn: Do you feel different? Did you get to keep it? I'm glad you are doing better.
I love my friends!
I have four little incision marks on my belly, but they are already fading and will soon just look like one of my ever so lovely stretch marks. Maxwell still asks me sometimes to see my owie, and when I show him he runs his finger along it and says, "Mommy, you broke yourself? You went to the hospital for surderdy?" :o) I love these kids! They make even sucky stuff amusing!