a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Friday, October 16, 2009

Settling In and A Parental Rite of Passage

I'm sure as the years go by I'll get a little better at this moving thing. Right now the process is not very streamlined.

We have received both of our shipments now--the first being the unaccompanied baggage shipment, the stuff we'd hung onto the longest in Germany. It included things like a few pots and pans, Evie's crib and swing, toys, sheets, curtains, tools, and clothes. It also, unfortunately was pretty severely damaged in transit. Many of the boxes had gotten really wet and/or were crushed. Evie's crib was molded, as were a bunch of Justin's army gear, papers, and more than a few other things. Thankfully, some of the things survived, and in the end it's just stuff anyway. We'll have to file a claim for damages...joy.

The other shipment arrived a day earlier than we'd expected, on Columbus Day rather than the 13th. The moving crew was eager to be GONE, and didn't do the best job unpacking. As I better learn the way this sort of thing works I'm sure I'll be more assertive in making sure they do things the way they're supposed to. This time was definitely another learning experience.

As we've unpacked, we've noticed a few things appear to be missing. Firstly, our silverware. I chose Gorham's Golden Ribbon Edge for our pattern and we've loved it. I don't know if we have a missing box, if it's hidden somewhere among Christmas decorations or books in a mislabeled box, or if it was, as they say, ganked. I'm bummed about that though. There's a handful of other things that we haven't found yet, including the power cord for the TV. The TV arrived no problem, but it's sort of hard to use if you can't turn it on...I contacted Panasonic, but they don't seem to have replacement parts for our model. Ha. Ha.

This Wednesday we were excited to welcome a house guest into the midst of our cardboard jungle, Justin's friend Eric. They've been alternating shifts in Iraq for the last four/five years. Erc's on leave during his third tour and Justin's done two. We haven't gotten to see him since 2004, so it was a long overdue and anticipated visit. He arrived Wednesday night right before we put Evie to bed and we settled down to visit after she was snuggly asleep.

About an hour and a half after she went down, everyone froze as we thought we heard her stir. Justin went in to lull her back to sleep, as is the routine, but after a moment he called to me, and I knew something was up. As I went down the hall I heard her cough, and it didn't sound good. She'd been completely normal during the day; not so much as a runny nose, so this was completely out of the blue. She was raspy and had a terrible gutteral cough that sounded kind of like a goose. She both wanted to be held, but struggled against me as if in pain. She didn't feel feverish, but it was clear something was wrong.

I called my mother to see if she knew what was up, but she couldn't be sure over the phone what was up and advised us to go with our gut about whether or not she needed to be seen. On other nights (when she's fallen, for instance), we've opted against taking her in, but that night we thought we'd better go on into the ER, just in case. As we readied her to go, she threw up and which was a first for her too.

We arrived about 12:30 am and got checked in and immediately were seen to have her vitals taken and figure out what the symptoms were. After that we were told to have a seat in the waitinig area, where there were at least a half dozen people ahead of us waiting to be seen. Around the room there were signs posted stating that for non-urgent cases, you could expect to wait perhaps 3-4 hours to be seen, and in some cases up to 8 hours. I overheard someone across the room grumble about having been there since 10:30 pm and I began to get nervous. The night air and car ride had soothed Evie, and she was feeling curious about her new surroundings. Still, she was exhausted and not feeling her best, and I knew it was a matter of time before we hit serious Disintegration Mode.

As the time passed and little progress was made to see those in line before us, I began to feel a little desperate. She needed to be seen, even though it didn't appear that she was critically ill, but I worried we were doing more harm that good to have her out of bed for hours on end in the middle of the night. With no end in sight, it was a very horrible and helpless feeling to rock the little ball of hurt and know there just wasn't anything to be done but wait.

It felt like forwever, but we were seen after waiting for an hour and a half. The doctor examined her--by this time, whether due to a second wind or the excitement of a new place, she was all smiles and joy. We totally felt like idiots, like when you bring your car into the mechanic because it's been sounding like it's about to explode only suddenly, upon examination, it purrs like a kitten. He checked her over thoroughly though and pronounced that she has a case of croup. (I'd like to advise whoever is in charge of naming things to come up with a different name for this infection, because "CROUP" sounds AWFUL.) From what we've observed, her case is fairly mild, thank goodness, although the doc said it can last up to 2 weeks. Thankfully, Justin's class hasn't yet begun, so if we're in for a lot of sleepless nights, at least we can cover eachother for naps during the day.

It was a relief to have a diagnosis and course of action that night for sure. It's also a blessing to have good friends like Eric, who don't so much as blink when you rush to the emergency room three hours after welcoming them into the house, leaving them alone with a crazy Hugarian as company.

Last night Evie slept just fine, although she has been definitely feeling under the weather.

Chokydar is still getting used to Eric.


Brad said...

Hope Evie feels better! ER visits are never fun! When you guys get more settled send me your address so we can send her long overdue gift hehe

Kyla said...

I'm so impressed that you were seen in an hour and a half. With the way flu season is going, the lobby at Texas Children's is ALWAYS packed and the wait can really be hours on end.

I hope she's feeling better! When we have had croup, cool air helps (if it happens to be one of the 5 cold days Houston gets a year) or turning the shower on hot and hanging out in the bathroom like a steam room can help, too. Ibuprofen helps, too, since it is an anti-inflammatory.

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