Sunday, September 14, 2008

bittersweet

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I promise. We are trying to get settled here in Germany and that's a process that always takes longer than I expect or want. I can't believe we are back. Honestly, even though I knew the date was fast approaching, it didn't hit me that we were actually leaving until I locked the door to my parent's house for the last time and drove away.

I had been making fantastic progress on organizing and cleaning all of our junk in the week before we were leaving until I got sick. It started as one of those "Oh, I must have slept with my mouth open" sore throats you get in the morning and turned into a full blown raging sinus infection from hell. It was so bad that I was completely down for the count 2 days before we had to fly. I couldn't even lift my head and every time I did, I cursed the Almond (pronounced ALL-mond, thank you. NOT Am-ond) gods for making me sick. Freaking almond harvesting season. Why does it have to come every year?!

Compounding my misery was the fact that I decided to self diagnose and self medicate my sinus infection with antibiotics that I never took last time I had a sinus infection. Note to self: Biaxin is not your friend. It will hurt you and make you want to die. Feeling like you are going to throw up everything you have eaten in the past 7 weeks while having a sinus infection is almost as pleasent as having a root canal done without Novocaine. Almost.

The day before we flew I sucked it up and called to make an appointment with my doctor. I must have sounded as miserable as I felt because I was able to get an appointment 2 hours later. When I showed up the doctor was like "Wow, you look amazing" and I was like "Shut your face and be nice to me because my insurance is going to pay you $117 for you to tell me the obvious and write 2 lines on a prescription note." $117 for 5 flipping minutes. I should have been a doctor. To be fair, he did spend about a half an hour with me, mostly because we were shooting the breeze and talking about the kids and my husband. He's known both my husband and I for almost ever and he's always interested to hear how we are doing and what my current thoughts are on the political drama going on... something you should not ask me, or even think about asking me right now because I will not give you the answer you want to hear and I will talk down to you and make you feel stupid. I can't help it. It just happens.

He only made it through the conversation alive because I knew he had the drugs and I wanted them (and because he actually agreed with me on almost everything, which is a very rare thing these days). When we were done chatting he told me he was going to see if he had any samples of the meds he wanted to give me because they were the "good" ones, so good in fact that he didn't think my insurance would cover them. That right there should have been a red flag or a warning to take them with caution but it didn't catch on and ended up spending the better part of that day and the next all kinds of jacked up on Mountain Dew and a decongestant that should have simply been labeled "Methamphetamine". Good God almighty, that was some serious stuff. I wouldn't have drank the Mountain Dew if I had know that those pills were going to do the same thing to me as if I had shot up speed.

The only pleasant side effect from the pills was that I did get a lot of packing done and made up for some of the prior day that I had spent flat on my back. I didn't get everything done though. There was so much to do. So much to clean. So many people to say goodbye to. I didn't get to do it all and I feel bad for that. I forgot to pack more than I care to mention and the house is a serious serious disaster of broken toys, out grown shoes and tulle left overs. I feel bad for my mom who has to clean it all up.

The final few hours before we left were much more emotional than I expected them to be. I was, once again, uprooting my family and this time we had a lot more invested than we ever had before. W had made some really good friends and I was taking him away from them and a school that he loved. I had actually spent more time in CA this time than I have anywhere else in the past 9 years and I was leaving some solid relationships and the place where CB grew from a baby to a toddler. We were leaving the place that she learned to crawl and walk (something I didn't think she would ever do), the place where W saw his daddy for the first time in 10 months, the families that had consistently stuck by us through all of the sickness and pain through the previous 11 months and the place where I did some serious growing.

After I shut the door and drove away, and had to go back and do it again because I forgot to put my cell phone in the diaper bag, I had a good cry. I only needed 5 minutes of being sad before I could put on my game face and remember all we had to look forward to. Then the panic attack hit. Having one while driving 85 miles an hour is never a good thing. If you know me, you know that I absolutely hate to fly. Hate isn't even a strong enough word for it. To me, flying is the ultimate in giving up control and we control freaks don't give up our power very well. I only fly because I have to but if I could take a boat, I totally would. After bargaining with God for a couple of minutes I was able to calm down and then I received the sign I needed.

On the other side of the highway there was a convoy of National Guard troops heading to or from their latest training exercise. That might not seem like a big deal, but it is too me. That is my sign that everything is going to be ok. For the past 4 or 5 times that I've had a freak out session, I have seen a convoy of military vehicles within minutes and it's not like they should be traveling around me, as I'm never near a military installation when they drive by. But for some reason, they are always there. Maybe they are my angels. I don't know, I don't care. I just know that when they are around, it's all going to be ok.

And it is all ok. We are home and we are safe, despite the sheer torture of descending from 35,000 feet with a sinus infection. If you ever want to know what it feels like to have your eyeball pulled through your nose, that will give you a good indication. And my kids are healthy, except for the teething, and thriving better than I ever imagined they could.

Walking into this house was like walking into a time capsule of one of the most challenging times in my life. We left Germany at the height of CB's medical mystery that made her scream 20 hours a day and everything was just as it was when we shut the door that last time. It's been so nice to put those reminders away for good. To pack up all of the burp rags and baby gear and to hide the baby toys is just confirmation of how far we have come and what is going to happen next and believe me, I can't wait for what is going to happen next.

3 comments:

Wilma said...

Good you made it back safely. I hope the rest of your stay in Germany will be very uneventful.

For the record, I'd love to hear/read your thoughts on the political situation :-) Feel free to talk down to me any time you feel like writing about it.

Marie said...

Glad you made it back in one piece, are feeling better and settling in.

clanelder said...

Pretty soon that time capsule will mean M is home and you're all back together again. So glad for you! Take good care of you, Jo, even as you take care of your beautiful ones.