About two weeks before Thanksgiving, we were getting ready to go to Ohio for the holiday and our family gatherings there. Five days before we were going to leave we got a call that Jim's grandmother (she was 96) had a brain aneurysm, was in hospice and we should come quickly to say our goodbyes. We packed for three days, and shortly after Jim got home we all headed out for Ohio (Stephen was still with us). We knew we wouldn't be able to miss all of the work days between then and Thanksgiving so that's why we packed light. Plus we wanted to pack quickly.
Well, the kids, Stephen and I ended up staying for nine days! Jim's Grammie was strong and held on for much longer than expected. We had plenty of time to say goodbye before she passed away the day before Thanksgiving. Since she wanted to be cremated, there was no hurry for for a funeral or anything so we had our Thanksgiving activities and then went home. It did allow for some fun time with cousins and getting/giving presents:
It was a loooooong time away from home for me, especially since Jim had to leave after the first couple of days. I decided to stay and help if I could and be around for all the stuff we had originally planned to be there for. But I was a single mom for about a week in someone else's very full house. I left quite exhausted.
Almost as soon as we got home, K, S and I got colds. We usually get sick right after our visits or while we are there. That makes it hard because we want to spend time with Jim's family but the sickness makes us a bit wary to go! So, the colds were a bother and caused me to miss some more work and other activities to take care if the kids (baby-sitters can't take care of sick kids and sick kids can't be out and about), but it wasn't debilitating.
The memorial service for Jim's Grammie was December 16th and we planned to go back for it and just spend one night at my in-laws'. K had been sick with a high fever and congestion for the week before, which had come right on the heels of the cold. High spiking fevers (the highest was 104.2!), lethargy, coughing, etc. I was always able to get the fevers down with medicine, lukewarm baths, and cool cloths. I was checking all the websites about when to see a doctor and doing what I could for him all week but it seemed he was still within the ranges of being able to take care of it at home. I'm always wary about going to the doctor. It was exhausting, of course, and I am not a very good nurse. It is not one of my strong points.
I was starting to feel some symptoms by the end of the week, too, but I usually power through and we didn't want to miss the memorial, so we headed out. The 15th we piled into the car with my mom, who wanted to support everyone and attend the service too. S was cranky on the car ride so I was pretty sure he was starting the same symptoms that K and I were going through. In hind sight, I should have stayed home with the kids because S was like this for most of the 3 1/2 hour trip.
But, I made the wrong choice in going. I spent the whole night we were there feeling sicker and sicker. High fever, choking cough and congestion, body aches. S and K woke up many many times that night too because they were feverish and congested too. I never did sleep because I felt so awful.
Jim took care of the kids in the morning and my mom helped take care of them too. I had to stay at the house and sleep/rest while I fought a raging fever with chills. I was dizzy and miserable but finally got a little sleep. The kids went to the service with my mom and Jim but didn't feel well either. They probably shouldn't have been in public, but they couldn't stay home with me and no one else wanted to miss it. We went home that afternoon and I think it was the longest trip home we've ever had because we all just wanted to be in our own beds!
To be continued...