Jan 31, 2014

What We've Been Up To...

Now that the calendar pages of January have flipped by, I thought I would pause to reflect back on the way we started our 2014.   The answer is with the flu.  We were so excited to spend New Year's Eve with a couple of families from our neighborhood, popping fireworks of questionable legality and enjoying yummy snacks and great conversation.  Damon was late to the gathering because of some errands and Mawmaw helped me with the kiddos until Damon arrived.  When he arrived, he looked pretty bad.  I could tell by looking at him that fever had set in and he felt generally crummy.  Watts got sleepy before the party was over so Damon volunteered to take him home and get him to bed.  Apparently, Watts was not into the "getting in bed" part, and when I got home Damon was still rocking Watts in his room.  New Year's Day Damon suffered through our family gathering by sitting under a blanket and shivering.  When he visited the urgent care the next day it was Influenza Type A. We quarantined him at Mawmaw and Pawpaw's and I kept checking the kids for symptoms.  Unfortunately, all those New Year's Eve cuddles must have included more germs than poor Watts could handle, because by Sunday he had the flu as well.  He won a free trip to Erwinville to stay with Daddy and Mawmaw, who had also received the gift that keeps on giving: the flu.

When Damon finished his Tamiflu, it was quite obvious that he was still not back to 100%.  The doctor had told him that he probably had some kind of secondary infection, like bronchitis or pneumonia, that they were not going to treat during the flu.  The logic was that by the time the flu was gone, the other problem might disappear as well.  This was terrible logic, because at the end of the flu, Damon was still hacking up a lung on a regular basis.  After several trips to the doctor and multiple rounds of pills, we finally just threw in the towel and went back to our doctor in LaPlace who was smart enough to actually x-ray Damon's chest and discover that, low and behold, he had pneumonia!  This led to shots and multiple other medications, but finally some relief.

So that brings us to the portion of the month in which Damon and I switched places.  See, for the first part of the month I had been taking care of the kids while he hid out at his parents' house and tried to get well.  Now it was my turn to get an Erwinville vacation, because a few months back when I went to the dermatologist, they removed a mole from my thigh for some further testing, and lucky me, it was abnormal enough that the entire area needed to be "excised."  Doesn't that sound like fun?  It was not.  They basically cut a quarter size chunk of flesh out of my thigh, then cauterized the wound with some type of electrical rod.  I could literally smell my flesh burning.  It was disgusting.  Damon stayed in the room and photographed the whole thing but I will not post those photos because they are gross.  After burning the inside of the wound, they stitched me up and instructed me to stay off my leg as long as possible and avoid strenuous activities for 2 weeks.  So, Damon went to pick the kids up from school, and I went to Mawmaw and Pawpaw's house to sit on the couch for 4 days and watch movies.

It would seem that this was enough drama for one month, but oh no, it wasn't.  Now that I was back on my feet and Damon was only coughing every once in a while, it was time for the Polar Vortex to wreak a little havoc on So-La.  Friday the 24th temperatures in our southern paradise plummeted, precipitation fell, and roads turned into ice skating rinks.  School was obviously cancelled, and since Baton Rouge was basically cut off from the rest of the world because of ice, going into the office wasn't really an option for Damon.  No big deal, right?  By the end of the day, Damon's cabin fever was out of control.  We had tickets to Bring It On the Musical that night at the River Center, and it appeared that the show would go on in spite of the icy roads, so Damon and the girls ventured out to the theater carefully avoiding bridges and overpasses, and Watts and I snuggled in front of the fire in our jammies.  Let it never be said that we aren't really committed to the two most glorious words in the English language: musical theater.  Damon basically took the girls to the show in spite of meteorologists pleading with motorists to stay off the roads.  Luckily, they made it safely and were able to avoid most of the ice by staying off the interstate.

That brings us to the last week in January.  What else could possibly happen, huh?  How about another ice storm?  That's right, more freezing temps, precipitation, closed roads, and closed schools Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  And if I have to hear one more Yankee talk about how Southerners "just don't know how to drive in cold weather conditions," I might scream.  News alert: NO ONE can drive on ICE.  It is impossible.  Unless you have special ice skates made for your tires that they don't sell down here, just keep your trap shut because you don't know how to drive on ice either!  Anyway, that rant aside, being inside together for 3 days straight was definitely a bonding experience.  We were able to bond with our neighbors and their kids because we were all going stir crazy, so we chose a different house each day and had playdates to pass the time.  It made a tough situation actually turn out fun.

So, a month into the year, we have battled the flu, pneumonia, skin surgery, ice, and boredom.  What else ya got, 2014?  We say BRING IT ON!  (Hopefully 2014 replies, "It's already been brought-en!")

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