Helloooooooo, Blogging World!
No, contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. Woo hoo!! Although I must admit, there have been moments over the course of this flu junk where I've kind of wished I was. It has been a doozie. And no, not in a fun way. And while I wouldn't label myself "well", I am definitely much better.
So what's been going on - other than the hacking, the chills, the aches, and overall malaise that has been my pathetic life this month? Here we go (in list format, because the retelling is going to be random and scattered, I can tell):
1.) After my last post, I picked myself up off the floor long enough to call my mother and request some Grandparently Reinforcement - a.k.a You-Take-Care-Of-My-Kid-While-I-Remain-In-The-Fetal-Position. I informed Sophie that she was going to Mena (oh, joyful day!) for a "Big Girl Week". She was thrilled beyond belief and ran, skidding and popping wheelies, to drag her suitcase out of the closet. I got a little misty-eyed as I was watching her pack her favorite stuffed buddies for the trip. Then the lump-in-the-throat got bigger as I watched Russ load her into the van...without me! As she was being strapped into her carseat, Sophie leaned around Russell and yelled, "Mama, are you crying?" I brushed the tears off my cheek and said, "Of course not, honey." She said, "Well, it looks like you are...and you should stop because I'm going to have FUN on my Big Girl Week!" So I snuffed out my sniffles and did the force-myself-to-fake-smile thing (which successfully made me look psycho, I'm pretty sure, not happy) as I waved like the dickens and blew kisses goodbye.
2.) I, then, proceeded to have a super nifty four days of doctor's appointments, where every last drop of my puny blood was drawn in order to attempt to figure out what the heck I had contracted. Mono? Epstein Bar? The Plague? In the end, the diagnosis was determined to just be the flu. "Just"...ha! Who knew the flu could make you start mentally picking out coffins.
3.) To top off my I-Feel-Like-Poop list of problems, the night before Sophie went to stay with Moomsie and Fafa, she woke up in the night crying from a bad dream. She wanted me to stay with her. Not being "Family Bed" people, instead of carrying her back to our room where Russ was snoozing peacefully, I proceeded to curl up on her floor to be within sight as she fell back to sleep. It sounded simple enough, and in my mind, something relatively painless and quick. However, every time I would think she was asleep and start to sneak out, her eyes would pop open. "Mama!! Don't leave me!" It was the quivery little voice that got me, I guess, and I ended up camping out on her very hard floor for several hours. That next morning my neck was in a perma-crick position. Seriously, I could barely move anything except my eyes. NOT good.
4.) So, while Russ made a trip back to Albuquerque, I stayed in Mena to have my neck worked on. Thank goodness our family friend is a physical therapist or I don't know what in the world I would have done. Been absolutely miserable...with a neck stuck in the closed accordion position, I guess. After a week of daily physical therapy, it is still sore, but definitely tons better. And it's possible we have solved the headache mystery as well. Apparently my symptoms exactly match a condition called Greater Occipital Nerve Syndrome or occipital neuralgia, where inflammation becomes entrapped around the occipital nerve and causes pain to be referred around the back of the head to the temple and forehead region (producing severe and almost constant headaches). The "last resort" treatment sounds a tad freakadoo - steroid shots or nerve blocks at the base of the head. (Neat.) I'm hoping continued physical therapy can bring some relief and we won't have to try anything involving needles...or steroids. Regardless, I left Mena with some valuable info - and a neck that will actually turn again. Ahhh. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Steve! No wonder your rehab center is so stinking busy all the time! I was only partly kidding about moving into your soon-to-be vacated room. You are a Miracle Man and I owe you a big, fat, juicy dinner the next time you guys are up this way.
Okay, so, this post is starting to sound like the chronicles of a decrepit elderly person. Onto something not involving medical issues...
5.) I'm happy to report that Sophie is eating like...well, like a kid who loves to eat! It's amazing to watch her mow down a plate of food and often even ask for "more, please!". I seriously still sit and stare. I stare. Sometimes open-mouthed, like a person without a lot of smarts. I'm not sure when that will go away - when watching Sophie chew and swallow will become just ordinary and commonplace. It still feels like such a miracle and blessing, and I can't help but sit and behold the display with a big goofy grin on my face. It's kind of like when we first moved to Albuquerque and every time I would walk outside and see the mountains I would say, "Oooooo! Look at them!" I remember after the gazillionth time Russell asking me, "How long do you think we'll have to live here before you stop doing that?" Apparently the answer was "longer than six years" because I was still ooooo'ing and ahhhh'ing away when we moved from New Mexico. Sophie eating a plate full of food is kind of like that. After everything she's been through to get to this point, I may stare and oooooo! every time she scarfs down an orange...for a very long time.
6.) The whole family was together for Easter. Zach, Lisa, and the kids came down from Missouri and Walt and Annie were still in town (for their last weekend before they ship out to Germany on Wednesday). We all had a great time - playing with the kids, flying kites, tossing rocks in the creek near the house, hiding eggs, talking and eating scrumptious food. It was really fun - and the kids were so cute (as would be proven in pictures, had I remembered to pack my camera. Yeah. That should give you a clue concerning the state of my neck when we left the house: I forgot my camera! I did take a ton of pictures with Mom's camera. But well, I don't guess that really helps here...now.)
7.) We also had to say goodbye to Walt and Annie this past weekend. Which pretty much stunk. I've been neck-deep in denial up 'til now, always just telling them after every visit, "No, no, don't tell me bye! You can tell me next time." I had even come up with a way to not tell them goodbye this weekend, deciding I would go to the airport to send them off on Wednesday to postpone the process a few more days. But after much discussion, Annie finally convinced me not to do that (little stinking toot!). She said the airport scene would be even worse, with everyone's emotions heightened by the whole "watch us fly away" thing. So, in the end, I agreed with her - I was officially out of "next times". This trip would have to be it. (Yikes. Getting teary just rehashing it.) Sunday at church was hard. When I first walked into the sanctuary I stopped by to kid Kathy (Annie's mom) about sitting way in the back "so as to not make a scene". Whoops. Turns out she wasn't the one in danger of doing that. Walt and Annie stood up during the service and explained what they would be doing in Germany. They thanked everyone for their support and then the dads went up to stand beside them and pray for them. Ugh. I was trying my darndest to hold it together, but I really didn't do a very good job of remaining "collected". By the end of the whole thing, I could feel a donkey bray noise welling up in my throat, threatening to erupt. Heee-haw! I had to suffocate myself in Russ's side to keep from squalling. Yeah. Goodbyes have never really been my gig. (Right, Jen?) Especially when the goodbye involves my brother and sweet sister-in-law and a five year gap across the ocean. Man. Responding to God's calling really bites! And where's good 'ole "Buck Up!" Dave when you need him??
8.) And last, but not least, to wrap up this little novel, we may have another adoption possibility on the horizon. Sophie's birthmom called a week or so ago to tell us about a friend of hers who is a few months pregnant and interested in placing the baby with us. As with most (domestic) adoption scenarios, there may be a few hurdles to jump along the way. The couple is married, but rocky and contemplating divorce. And the husband is kind of oscillating back-and-forth about what he wants to do. One day he thinks it would be best to give the baby up for adoption. The next he's more on board with the idea of having his mother raise the baby. The situation is actually very, very similar to the one with Amanda and John, Sophie's biological parents. For now, we're just in prayer about things - waiting and hopeful that if this is supposed to be our baby, everything will work out and consent will be granted by both birthparents. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted as things develop.
Okay. So, phew! Hope nobody dozed off mid-way through the list of medical afflictions. And for those of you who need a Sophie fix, I promise to start snapping away again and post a slew of pictures soon. The girl has really grown. You'll be amazed!