Friday, April 27, 2012

the page turner

Have you ever read that book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? 


We had a week like that here at the Rice Ranch. We came home from a wonderful week at conference last Saturday, and in spite of mountains of resulting laundry, I felt refreshed and renewed.

Sam, however, had started coming down with the flu Friday night, and spent all of Saturday in bed. If you know my husband, this was a bad sign of things to come. Sam functions no matter what he's feeling like, and you pretty much have to hit him with a Mack truck for him to stop moving. Which must be what happened to him between Friday and Saturday night, because he was running a fever of 101.3 after Tylenol and Advil and could not move without groaning. He literally would not stop shaking all night long from the chills- I kept waking up feeling our bed vibrating and hearing him moaning in his sleep. Thankfully a friend came to preach for us the next day, and I gathered the troops for Sunday morning service while Sam stayed home shivering in bed...


I came home from church and gave Sam some more Tylenol, and within a few moments of starting lunch I realized I was coming down with the same thing...and as luck would have it the miscarriage I knew was coming all month began. I got the children lunch and crawled into bed with my husband, and sent out several texts asking friends to pray...turns out that would be the first in a series of SOS texts over the week- if you were on the receiving end, thank you so much for enduring all of my "please pray for us!!" texts and storming Heaven on our behalf.

The next two days were a blur...Sam was still very sick with the flu, and although mine didn't last as long, my emotions and miscarriage symptoms were taking a downturn. Tuesday night things went from bad to worse, and my poor sick husband insisted on taking me to ER...and all I will say about that experience is thank GOD for morphine and excellent doctors and nurses and friends and family who prayed us through it all. I'll spare you the details, but what seemed like an endless five weeks of waiting was finally over through a painless emergency surgical procedure...I don't know what women did centuries ago, but I am so thankful to be living in 2012.

 The last thing I remembered in OR was the wonderful anesthesiologist telling me he would make sure I didn't feel or remember a thing... I woke up in the maternity wing of our small town hospital, staring at the same walls I'd stared at years ago after delivering our 9th baby, Jackson. As kind as everyone was, I just wanted to be out of that room, where tiny newborn cries could be heard from just down the hall, the room I was supposed to be in six months from now....I don't know which one of us was more grateful for our own comfortable bed when we got home, but Sam and I crawled under our sheets and cranked up the rain on our faithful sound machine and slept like babies for the rest of the day.

And I wish I could say that sleep and home were the perfect ending to those nightmarish days, but sometimes when it rains it pours, you know?

Yesterday Sam woke up coughing so bad I thought he had pneumonia...a call to our doctor resulted in an appointment- next Wednesday. He agreed to go to urgent care if things got worse over the weekend. Typical man. When he came home for lunch (which was slim pickings thanks to neither one of us being able to get to the store after conference), Caleb noticed a few "caterpillars" on the wall. We had noticed a few before conference week...I just chalked it up to spring bringing forth new blooms and...bugs. But as Sam was eating his sandwich, Abigail looked up over his head to our kitchen's vaulted ceilings and gasped, "Something's moving up there." And I hope nobody is eating lunch whilst reading this post, but what was "moving" were dozens of...for lack of a nicer word...caterpillars, directly over Sam's lunch.

Upon further observation we noticed dozens more climbing up the walls beside our pantry cabinets....and upon opening said cabinets, noticed multiplied creeping friends. We quickly emptied multiplied hundreds (or so it seemed) of food containers: cereal boxes, pancake mix, partial bags of egg noodles and macaroni and rice and beans, in search of the culprit. Sam (still dragging and coughing) took the vacuum hose to every cabinet, wall and ceiling, while the kids and I threw out dozens of suspicious looking food items...the thought of one measly caterpillar appearing in a family dinner was too much to handle despite the loss of my carefully stocked pantry supplies. The very last item to be inspected was an unopened, sealed canister of Quaker Oats. And I am quite sure Quaker will never purchase a sponsorship spot on A Perfect Lily after today, but what we saw looked like something out of a horror movie...hundreds of tiny moths swarming and eating their way through the now hole-ridden sides of the canister, and equal amounts of our little slimy friends.

Can anyone tell me how a sealed container of oats produced such a plague in our pantry? I may never eat a bowl of homemade oatmeal again...

Anyhoot, our cabinets now bare, and trash bins full, Sam returned to work despite adding nausea to his list of physical woes...I had a meltdown on the couch, and not a little self-pity was probably mixed in with my tears.

Because on top of it all, there was fresh grief about losing my baby. I had honestly thought that a D&C and knowing that everything was really truly over, would bring an end to everything and ultimately bring relief. I thought I was done crying and grieving and that I would be ready to move on, and that Tuesday night was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place- life would resume its normalcy with that final sentence written.

But I read once that grief is like a river, and although I'm sure the shore is in sight, sometime the waves try to suck me back under. I didn't expect to cry so much after this was over, I thought for sure I was past all that. And added to all the tears was guilt- so many people go through so much worse than me, and I have ten beautiful children to focus on. So why was this hurting so much? Maybe the finality of it all just took away that last little thread of hope that the doctors were wrong.. the one I didn't realize I was holding on so tightly to..

Sam called several hours later to say that his car broke down...it was pouring rain, we had no food in the house, I was in no physical condition to go to the store, and he was coughing and wheezing while telling me it would be a few hours til he got home. I texted a few friends (again!) and asked for prayer...and I may or may not have tacked on my sarcastic response to our week from hell: what's next, frogs and locusts???
Sometimes it helps me to try to keep a sense of humor through it all.

But you know what is amazing? Just when you think you can't take one more proverbial straw, because you're sure your camel's back already broke several days before, God turns the page.

And sometimes it's something as simple as a beloved sister-in-law living on the other side of the country calling Dominos and having 4 pizzas and several dozen wings sent to your doorstep...or your son and precious daughter-in-love coming over to laugh and cry with you through it all...or texts sent from loved ones stretched over several cities and states telling you they have your back, and will pray you through it all once again...or your precious chromosomally-enhanced daughter doing what she does best- bringing sunshine and joy to a home that has felt oppressed with dark clouds for what has seemed like forever.




I am so very thankful for the Page Turner. And I'm so grateful for a family who loves me and sticks with me even when I am at my lowest and will never win any Mother-of-the-Year award. And for friends who stay faithful and true even when I'm sure I've worn them out with my endless prayer requests.

I am so grateful that seasons in life are often just that- seasons.



“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1-3)


26 comments:

Marci said...

So happy that the page turned for you as well! Definitely a rough week. Thankful for a loving God to get us through our struggles!

Becky said...

What a rough week...wow. I am so glad you are able to blog now and share so we can still send love and prayers your way! yes, our God truly sees us through these times.

Leah said...

I was expecting to read typical home with kids woes, but oh, what a week. My prayers are with you, even if the page has turned. Thank you for letting us in with you.

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

hugs hugs hugs...what a week, that page sure did need turning! hope you sing your new song with joy in the days to come knowing how much you mean to so many xxxx

Justine said...

Hugs! So glad you page turned. I can hardly imagine the yuck!

lovemy3 said...

I'm so sorry your week was so horrible. So grateful that the page has turned! Love the video of Lily!

Anna Theurer said...

Oh my goodness, Patti! What a horrible, trying week. I am never eating Quaker Oats again. Yuck yuck yuck! I can only imagine how you are feeling after your D&C. I know you know that it is okay to cry. The video of Lily brought a smile to my face. Hugs and prayers.

Caitlin said...

I kind of have the general feeling that Quaker oats aren't all that wonderful (it's a texture thing) so this just gives me even more reason to avoid them!

I pray that next week is filled with joy and laughter and good memories. I adore your sweet Lily's laugh and so glad you have an amazing family to cry and laugh with. Sending hugs!

"Lily, what are you doing? We're singing a song here!!" =)

Jennifer said...

I hope things continue to improve for you and your family. And thanks for this post today - my family is trying to survive a nasty stomach flu. I know it pales in comparison to your week, but your words gave me hope today. Thank you!

Runningmama said...

What a week! I am hoping everyone is on the mend and wow, I love that picture of Lily!

cathy said...

dear, dear friend---hoping tomorrow is an even better day

xoxo
cathy

Meriah said...

Oh, that is just terrible! Ugh. One thing after another... Man... Big hugs. I'm do glad the page is turning. It's probably still a process but at least brightness lies ahead

Mrs. K said...

Oh my word Patti, I was not aware of all that had been happening besides your miscarriage and the flu bug. I am sure I would have been on the couch crying with you, that is after loosing my lunch.

Mrs. K said...

Am headed for the pantry to toss the Quaker Oats.

kirsten said...

I am so sorry you went through all that! Praying you have a calmer week this week!

nicole said...

You may not win an award but you are exactly the kind of mother I want to be. Love you friend.

Crystal said...

Oh my goodness, you win the worst week award EVER! So glad it's over for you.

Race Bannon said...

"Domino's" - no "e", c'mon Pat!

Patti said...

I almost texted you to ask that, Race, but I was tooo lazy.

Jenny said...

Aw, that video was precious! What a horrible week you have had, I can't even imagine. Love you Patti.

cara said...

Oh Patti- you know I am praying!! Love to you.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that video of Lily. A couple of my kiddos came over to watch and LOVED it too. Brings big smiles to our faces. Just want to hold her. Benji will really love that video- I will have to go get him and let him watch too. He gets SO excited when he sees Lily.

Deanna said...

Oh my word I only knew a small part of what you were going through while praying. Hugs to you my friend. I'm so sorry for your horrible, horrible week. Wow. It's amazing all of the things that God has trusted you with...but I hope that next week is so, so, so, so much better! (and I'm glad you were able to go grocery shopping today!)

EJ said...

Loved this post. And the video! What a precious girl and a precious big bro. My heart is with you from Ohio! WOW, what a week!
EJ, www.thesearemyreasons.com

teal915 said...

God is faithful. All the time. I'm so sorry for all you have been through. You were in my prayers. You are always such an encouragement to me.

Kellan's momma said...

Know I've been praying for you! Hugs!
Christina

Janine said...

You have been on my heart so much since we emailed. How my heart hurts for you. I am sending you love and prayers as I go to sleep tonight.
Much love,
Janine