02 February 2011

my saga (long)

So I didn't mean to disappear for this long. I have had a couple of weeks from hell. If I were to write a book about everything that has happened, the editor would send it back with notes about how it was unbelievable, too much exaggeration, too much going on.. but its REAL!!

St Paul, 2011
 Started off 2 weeks ago, shortly after my last post here, I took off to San Francisco to attend the Winter Fancy Food Show. I got word shortly after getting there that my FIL was in ICU in MN with pneumonia. Upon further conferring with my husband we decided to wait and see what was happening before anyone flew back. I decided to head home on the train Monday (Martin Luther King Day) but was unaware that they had run some "freedom trains" up to the city for the celebration. The place was packed but I got a seat. By the time I got to Gilroy where my car was, the train was 40 minutes late. It took over 3 hours to get home when it would have taken about 80 minutes had I driven.

Once I got off the train I saw that my car was blocked in by police cars with lights flashing and a helicopter was circling above with a search light. Very exciting! lol

On Tuesday, I dropped Hannah off at school and went to work as usual. It was quiet as the rest of the gang were still at the Fancy Food Show. I worked for a couple hours but didn't feel well. I had stomach pain but figured it was due to all the weird stuff/ combinations I had eaten at the show over the past 2 days, lack of sleep and topped off with stress from not knowing what to do about my FIL. I decided to go home and rest. Greg brought Hannah home and we decided to get back out to the stable to ride as we had just gotten our new saddle pads and the weather was really nice. I thought getting some fresh air and exercise would make me feel better. We did our lesson and came home and ate and then just vegged. All the while, my stomach was hurting, but not upset per se. It just felt off. I went to bed and woke when Greg was leaving at 4:30 complaining how it really hurt and I thought I had better go to Kaiser (clinic) as it was really sore on the right abdominal area.

I managed to get an appointment right after school drop off so I headed over and saw the doctor. After ruling out any pregnancy or female issues, she suspected my appendix and told me to go up to the hospital in San Jose to have a CT scan. Fortunately my Mom was dropping her car off at the dealership close by so I picked her up and told her she had to drive me to the hospital.

Long story short, I spent the day in the hospital undergoing tests to find out I had appendicitis and needed immediate surgery. I had to quickly arrange for someone to pick up H from school and someone to come take care of me and Hannah when I was sprung as we had decided Greg needed to fly back and see his Dad.

Lots of insanity ensued,  Greg stopped by to see me and headed home to pick up the little from my Dad, pack to leave the next morning and take care of the pets, my SIL found out I was in pre-op and headed down from ICU to make sure I had the good surgeon and anesthesiologist ( I did!) and I was wheeled into surgery before Greg got back. Next thing I knew I was in post-op and my Mom was there. Fortunately they let Hannah in to see me before my Mom had to take her home. It had been a long, scary day for her. I wished Greg a good trip and he took off to crash at his brother's before hopping a plane early the next morning.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. My aunt had picked me up at hospital and brought me home. We found my Mom here with Hannah and as sick as a dog. We sent her home and she ended up flat out sick for 5+ days. I hated that I couldn't go see her but the doc had told me to stay away until I was better recovered. Early Saturday morning, the phone rang. Its never good news when the phone rings and its still dark outside. I immediately knew what was coming and answered to my poor husband in tears telling me his Dad had passed. Thankfully he was there with him and his sister was able to get there before they had the staff cease CPR. Although my FIL was older and not in the greatest health, everything happened so fast, for which we are all thankful but were unprepared.

Sunday Greg flew home to catch up on a few work things and help me and Hannah fly back to MN. I managed to secure good compassion flights through Delta (they rocked!) and my surgeon released me to fly on Monday as long as I "didn't do anything stupid". Wednesday we were all on a plane with his brother's family heading to MN. I should mention here, that as soon as we all got to the airport and checked our bags there was a fire and the terminal was evacuated. We had to wait outside for 30 minutes or so until they let us back in. Fortunately they added extra TSA people and we got through security and aboard the plane on time.
Tia & I on the ice throne

The time we spent in MN was actually nice. A sad occasion but sometimes it is those things that bring you together in new ways. All four siblings and 4 out of 5 cousins were together and we spend time looking through old photos, sharing memories, working on funeral arrangements and seeing old friends. The kids had a lot of fun in the snow and I got a kick out of watching them through the windows. We lucked out on timing as it was the week of the annual St Paul Winter Carnival so my SIL & I were able to take the girls to see the ice and snow sculptures that were part of the carnival. One day my nephews took us all to the zoo and my SIL pushed me around in a wheelchair. It was pretty neat to see tigers in the snow and we had a lot of laughs in the primate house.

Mylie & Hannah "storm the castle"
Friday and Saturday were filled with funeral arrangements. Tia & I got a crash course in Catholic and we spent much time at the funeral home and church. It was a really nice ceremony with a good turn out of Gene's friends and many boy scouts as he has been an active member in scouting for 40 years! At the cemetery he was given Naval Honors with soldiers meeting the coffin, escorting it and a flag folding and presentation. It was very moving (and cold). The best part was seeing all the family and friends who came to support the family. We got to see old friends and friends from far away. It was great having them around and spending time catching up and visiting. I look forward to heading back in August.

As if all this stuff wasn't enough Hannah has an asthma attack in the wee hours of Saturday morning. We had to take her out into the cold air and get her a breathing treatment. (Have I mentioned how handy it is to have so many nurses in the family?) She finally got better but we didn't get much sleep.

Monday morning we got up at the crack of dawn to my BIL and nephew blowing snow off the drives. It has snowed several inches overnight and was still coming down. Gorgeous, but we had a plane to catch. It ended up leaving 2 hours late but we made it out before the big storm hit.. phew...

We are now home.. I have had a bit of a relapse and poor Hannah has an ear infection and upper respiratory infection. We are laying low and  trying to get better. I can't believe how much harder this is to get recovered from than my C section.. I guess I just need to take it one day at a time. I hope that I will feel perkier and more motivated to do something productive in the next few days. My list is long.

I sure hope that we have gotten all this crap out of the way. Its been too much too fast. February has got to be more peaceful, doesn't it??


  1. Oh Heather, what a nightmare. I am so sorry to hear about Greg's dad, hope you guys are doing ok. And your appendicitis? oh dear! that is so serious! Hope you get some R & R time. And I hope Hannah gets well, and was it your Mom who was sick too? I'm trying to remember, there was so much happening, you're right - it would be too much for a script! Well, surely, that's your quota for the year. Only good things from now on

  2. oh my goodness girl, i am just catching up. i am so sorry to hear about greg's dad. sending so much love your way in this moment. i so hope that february has been a gentler month.