Thursday, September 04, 2008

How I spent my "honeymoon".

Well, as previously reported, my nearly 89 year-old MIL was absent from the wedding. She fell ill Sunday morning just before the wedding and after a night of increasing headaches and a very heavy-headed sensation, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, she called about an hour before the wedding to say she couldn't be there.

We thought perhaps she was over-excited about the wedding or she ate something off, but not so. Monday morning she called an ambulance to go to the Emergency room. My brother-in-law met her there and kept us informed by phone throughout the day (because adding our bodies to the crowds already at the Emerg was not a good idea), where after a wait of several hours, they did some tests and then sent her home with some prescriptions, as there was no point admitting her.

She was diagnosed with Ménière's disease, a middle ear syndrome where there is excess endolymphatic fluid and it crystallizes and when the fluid and crystals shift it sends mixed signals to the balance receptors. It presents with all those symptoms (above), as well as vision problems and hearing loss (in the affected ear), both of which she has had for some time.

They also did a CAT scan and discovered a foreign mass in her brain, but apparently it’s thought to be a benign tumour (there’s no heat signature which would indicate growth or malignancy) and as it seems to have been there for a long time and it’s not growing (in fact it’s probably calcified and just sitting there being different), they say it's safer to leave it in than to subject an 89-year-old little woman to brain surgery.

She is recovering slowly, some meds seem to be having effect on the symptoms (there’s no cure, treatment is symptom-focussed), but clearly she could not be left alone in her apartment. My sister-in-law stayed with her Monday night, then we went over mid-day on Tuesday and stayed overnight and through yesterday, when we had to leave for a meeting in the evening. We went back later that night to help her with her laundry and then came home to our place to try and get a good night’s rest, as it seemed she could manage for the night. She's very self-sufficient, fiercely independent and likes her privacy. We (or smebody) will probably go back later today and we'll all make further plans one day at a time as we monitor her recovery.

Meanwhile, I am trying to get psyched up for the WEBC. I need to take some time today to check the weather forecasts and find (figure out) what I will wear, and probably do some laundry. I also need put together in a knapsack or large fanny pack various things that I will need while walking: sunscreen, lipbalm, a hat and a bandana, sunglasses, extra socks, a portable rain poncho, bodyglide, vaseline, adhesive moleskin, cornstarch/baby powder, deodorant, moist toilettes, blister pads, bandaids, flip flops for when we reach "camp" at the end of day one, advil, purel, a couple of small bottles to refill frequently as I'm on the route (one for gatorade and one for water), my cell phone, my ID, some money, some super-plus tampons, extra underwear...

Oh, yeah, that's a thrill! Assuming my calculations are correct, and they usually are, I'll be extremely hormonally challenged on those two days. I just hope that the spirit around me is as infectious as I recall from last year and my determination will help me forget that those are the two rather heavy days I usually want to spend horizontally with some good chocolate, a heating pad, my knitting and the remote control.

Honestly, though, I can't focus on all the prep much. I am totally exhausted already and I haven't even begun to walk.

Don't get me wrong, I am not feeling sorry for myself. I've had a wonderful (and horrible) week, between the whirlwind of prep for the wedding, the day itself, and then taking care of my MIL, whose company I quite enjoy (which, parenthetically, makes for some tension with my mother, whose company I do not).

It's just that I haven't had a really decent night's sleep in about a week, I'm sure I have PMS (I have one nerve left and people are taking turns stepping on it, though my snappy mood could just as easily be due to fatigue). I am too worried about my MIL and my husband, as well as my father (who sees his cardiologist today, and we won't even get into all that here, okay?), and my mother, who feels emotionally neglected and left out, to really be thinking of me.

On top of that, it's been 4 days since I lost the wedding band and though I know it's probably only playing hide and seek somewhere here, I haven't even had a single chance to look for it yet. Nor have I picked up my lovely flowers. We left them at the restaurant with plans to return for them the very next day... (I'm hoping they're still alive). It’s a gold ring that Richard has owned for 36 years and which we used for the ceremony, as the ring he gives to me has to belong solely to him – a requirement of the ceremonial tradition - and I've worn my others with the small diamonds for several years, so there's no arguing that they are mine. After the wedding, I was going to have it resized for him to wear as his wedding band.

It's a long story, but I was so tired (and bemusedly elated) that I have no idea when it left my hand. I noticed it missing from my hand shortly after 5 pm when I got changed right after the wedding. We had just gotten home from the wedding, happy but exhausted, and the last half hour or so was a total blur. It's possible I gave it to him; I know I tried to. I asked him to take it twice as the afternoon wore on, because I was tired and afraid it would fall off, but he claims to have turned me down both times. Honestly, we were both so tired by the end that we can't remember. In the pictures I have seen, It's still on my hand just at the end before we started packing up. So it might be somewhere at the restaurant (I called the same day 6:00 pm, they’ll keep looking). And it might be in my bedroom in the great pile of clothes where I went digging for something more comfortable to wear.

I actually prayed a little about it that night (in my own undefined quasi-pagan Buddhist-Jewish way). I got up the next morning at 6:30 AM after only 3 hours of sleep and had a tremendous urge to go out and look on the street between our place and the restaurant (about three city blocks). I spent the next 45 minutes walking carefully up and down thesidewalk, hoping to catch a glint of gold as the sun was rising... but no luck.

And then it all was put into perspective by our concern for our loved ones. So really, what does a gold ring matter in the scheme of things?

2 comments:

affectioknit said...

You're right of course - but I still hope you find it...

Carol said...

What a challenging week! I hope everything gets better. Meniere's, lost rings and I hope the hormones hold off or come early so they are out of the way. That is pretty miserable.