Yesterday was quite a day.
It began with Ben waking up to discover he was quite ill. Apparently, my bi-daily energy problem sprang not from miscarriage recovery, as I'd thought, but from a virus I got much more mildly than Ben. So mildly that I had finally concluded I wasn't sick, just still getting better. Ben got the real 24-hour deal, complete with fever, chills, nausea, and other unpleasant consequences. This wouldn't be so great on most days, but yesterday was a very important day in the Very Big Work Project world. Ben was planning to spend the whole day preparing for a big presentation being made today, and waking up feverish and unable to keep his eyes open was not part of the plan.
We made a list of what he needed to get done on the project and then I bundled him up in bed and went to the grocery store in search of remedies. The good news is that I woke up bright-eyed and finally feeling really good for the first time in a while. As the day ended up going, that was VERY good news.
I came home with a pretty good arsenal of supplies and began dosing Ben right away. It seemed to take effect pretty quickly - he was at least able to get out of bed and keep his eyes open, for starters.
Then I went to bandage Grandma's foot.
Grandma has been having some problems with sores on her right foot. This is a very long-term ongoing problem that Ben and I actually spent a lot of time helping her with last summer. Because her foot was set at an odd angle when she broke her ankle many years ago, she has a little spur of bone that sticks out the arch of her foot instead of being tucked in as it would normally be. So checking for sores and getting them cleared up is a routine occurrence for her right foot. But yesterday, I happened to check on her left foot as well and was very surprised to see that her toes were all swollen to about twice their normal size and were very red, as was the area of her foot right behind her toes. That foot usually doesn't have any trouble at all. I checked and her ankle and leg had a little swelling here and there too, but only on that leg.
Uh-oh. I don't know that much about swelling in the feet and ankles and what could cause it, but what little I do know says normally you get swelling in both feet if it's something fairly simple and normal. Not just one foot. I didn't want to worry Grandma, though, so I suggested perhaps she might want to make sure she kept her feet up nice and high for the day. I knew the physical therapist would be coming by at noon and he knows a lot more than I do about such things, so I decided to talk to him first.
Meanwhile, I was still keeping an eye on Ben and beginning a major housecleaning, because if Ben and I had a virus, I definitely didn't want it spreading to Grandma.
By noon some of the remedies were beginning to take effect. By the way, I've found a valuable new resource for stomach upset/diarrhea, etc: Pepto-Bismal. I know, it's really simple. On every grocery shelf. And so are Gatorade and aspirin, but just because they're simple and everyone knows about them doesn't mean I'm not really pleased when the correct combination produces salubrious results. If I understand what I researched properly, bismuth - the natural active ingredient in that nasty-looking pink stuff - works by helping your intestines filter and regulate fluids properly, among other pleasant effects. Ben says it tastes like moth balls. But it worked well and quickly, so I'll be glad to add it to the medicine cabinet supplies.
The physical therapist came by and said the swelling in Grandma's foot could be "very bad" and suggested I call the home care nurse to have a look. I did right away and continued cleaning bathrooms and washing laundry (I washed every towel we own yesterday, I think).
At around 1, Ben got up, put on two sweaters and a fuzzy blanket, sat in his computer chair, and logged in remotely to work. Success on one front! He really needed to be able to work and there he was, up and about albeit pretty groggily. A major part of the website that was being demonstrated was having an issue and since there wasn't really time to troubleshoot, Ben began rebuilding it from scratch. With a fever. He is quite a man.
The nurse came by a few hours later and was also concerned, so she suggested we should probably take Grandma right away to get her leg checked out to make sure she didn't have a blood clot. Yikes. Okay, I knew it was probably not great, but what little I know of blood clots usually involves hospitalization and heightened concern. Ben was in no shape to go to the ER - the only place, we discovered, who does the kind of imaging necessary to check for blood clots - so Mom and Dad gathered Grandma up and took her off to the hospital. Where it was discovered several hours later that she has something nasty-sounding called "cellulitis", which is admittedly better than a blood clot but still not so great. The good news is that it's fairly easily cured with antibiotics, which have already had an effect after only two doses.
Ben successfully got the website pages rebuilt and running properly around 7:00. He was doing a lot better at that point, but it had still been quite a feat for him to stay awake and concentrating all afternoon. He took a short nap and finished working around 9:30, just before Grandma and Mom and Dad got back.
Then we all went peacefully off to bed. Grandma watched the season finale of "The Bachelor" while eating an english muffin snack so she could take her antibiotics; and Ben and I enjoyed watching a very nice thunderstorm - the first one of the year! - while lying there quietly saying, "Wow. What a day, eh?"
Isn't life often like this? It's like I said when Joshua was born: it's amazing that all the things we wouldn't want to have happen if we were planning our life can happen...and a few hours later later we can be peacefully and happily watching a beautiful thunderstorm as if there had never been any trouble at all.
And the website presentation today went perfectly, with Ben up and about and back in attendance pretty much like nothing happened to him yesterday at all. Other than he was a little reluctant to eat pizza for lunch on the off-chance it might cause unpleasant consequences in the middle of the big meeting. Now I'm just waiting for him to get home so we can have dinner and go for the walk we skipped this morning so he could get in early enough to do more meeting-preparation work. It's an absolutely beautiful day outside, sunny and about 62 degrees. I found budding daffodils next to the patio this morning.
It's too bad there won't be another thunderstorm later tonight...
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
Please don't be shy! If you're reading the blog updates, we'd like to hear what you think. Click on the "comments" link to send us a note.