Saturday, February 28, 2009

In sickness and in health

Today is our fifth anniversary. I intended to have some sort of lovey-dovey post, complete with wedding photos and a description of Mike's sweet gift.

However, our week has not gone as planned.

On Tuesday Mike and I started getting sick, and on Wednesday I stayed home from work. It was a run-of-the-mill cold, complete with clogged sinuses, a stuffy/runny nose, and body aches. I felt better on Thursday and went to work, but then yesterday I realized something funky was going on with my eye.

So, I took the afternoon off, went to the doctor, and confirmed that I have pink eye. Wonderful.

In the meantime, Mike and Kaitlyn both had varying levels of sinus congestion, but nothing that we were overly concerned about.

Until last night, around 9:45, when Kaitlyn woke up with a horrific cough. It was a barking, rasping cough that immediately sent me to the "What to Expect in the Toddler Years" book to look up the symptoms. According to the book, it was croup, and the recommendation was to call the doctor if this was our first encounter with it.

Since the only thing I associate with croup is the scene from "Anne of Green Gables" where Anne saves Diana's little sister from dying from croup by giving her ipecac, which immediately puts Anne back in Diana's mother's good graces and redeems her from the time she got Diana drunk on raspberry cordial, I thought that, yes, we did qualify for the "first encounter" recommendation of calling the doctor.

Ironically, the doctor on call was the same doctor who had seen me earlier in the day for my pink eye.

He gave me some general instructions and said the croup might last for one or two or three nights, but it wasn't anything to be super concerned about. "Oh, but, if she starts running a fever then you'll want to take her somewhere and have her looked at right away." Um, ok.

In an effort to cut the story short, I'll just say that from 10pm until 2am Mike and I caught a catnap or two in between trying to keep Kaitlyn comfortable and asleep. At 2am she woke up - she was WIDE awake - and we took her temp. 100.7*. Heeding the doctor's advice, we loaded up and went to the emergency room.

Because nothing says, "Happy Anniversary!" like a 2am trip to the ER. (A phrase soon to appear on a Hallmark card, I'm sure.)

My poor baby had to have her temp taken rectally, and she had a shot, and she had an eight-minute-long breathing treatment that was not favorably received and ended with us wrapping her in an impromptu straight-jacket made from a blanket.

In the midst of all this activity, the police walked by our room with someone in handcuffs and put him in the room next to us. So our lovely experience was mixed with sounds of shouting as the police and hospital staff tried to get basic medical history from a drunk guy. Celebrating your anniversary is all about the ambiance, right?

We arrived home at 3:45am, thinking Kaitlyn was so worn out that she would go right to sleep.

However, it hasn't really worked out that way. As I type, it is 10:45am and she has yet to go to sleep. She's as wide awake and as opinionated as ever. About 15 minutes ago she was running around without any pants, syrup stains on her shirt, a hair tie trying to hang on to the last remnant of a pony tail, she had one black, sparkly shoe on the wrong foot, and was on a serious mission to find the other sparkly shoe.

Then she wandered off down the hallway and turned on the lights in all the bedrooms.

Then she reenacted a scene from today's episode of "Handy Manny," in which she dropped things off the side of the couch, then hung over the edge to pick them up.

Now she has her play food out and is feeding her baby lunch. Baby is having a banana, a tangerine, spaghetti, tuna, ketchup, soup, green beans, and a croissant.

Needless to say, our plans for going out to dinner tonight to celebrate our anniversary have been postponed. I wish that our day had not included pink eye and a trip to the ER; I wish it HAD included sleep.

However, as Mike and I dealt with a sick little girl last night, I couldn't help but think that this is what marriage is all about. A strong marriage isn't built in the fluff moments when everything is going perfectly - it's built in the trenches, in middle-of-the-night crisis moments where your capacity for patience and kindness is put to the test. It's built in the moments when you snap at your husband out of fear and frustration, and he loves you anyway.

Five years ago I was incredibly excited to spend a week at Disney World with my new husband.

Today I'll be incredibly excited if I get to spend quality time with my bed.

And I wouldn't change a thing.

Happy anniversary, honey!


Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh no! That is so crazy. And the drunk guy nexto door just topped it all off.

I love your post title...that is so, so true.

Happy Belated Anniversary!

Willow Tree said...

I Loved this post! You're so right; it's about the Real life, in the trench and coming out on top, together. I wish you many more years of happiness and many more nights of sound sleep.

Blessings, Carolynn

Willow Tree said...

PS - I hope you all feel better soon! LOL :o)

Smith Family Blog said...

Happy Anniversary. :)

At least it does sound like she is feeling better. :)

Alaina said...

Happy Anniversary! Hope you are all better soon and can enjoy celebrating next week!

By the way, the breathing treatment have made her not sleep - sometimes they make kids a little hyper or unable to sleep; an unfortunate side effect.

Lizzie said...

I love it! :) You're so right. And croup is NO FUN. Rowan is just getting over it, too. This, however, is my 3rd round with the croup between the two of them... Next time, think about bundling her up and taking her outside to breathe cool will help her breathe better. Love you!


Our Little Family said...

Well-said. That is what marriage is all about.

Aunt Andi said...

Sis, I didn't want to laugh at your anniversary misfortune, but I couldn't help but laugh. =) Your description from Anne was priceless... that's exactly what I thought of when you said Kaitlyn had croup. In addition, I could just picture the scene in the ER and then again at home with Kaitlyn being WIDE AWAKE and running around with no pants. I hope you get to celebrate your anniversary in the near future and that it is free of pink eye, croup, WIDE AWAKE girls and the ER.

Love ya!