Thursday, February 26, 2009


So, so sorry about the delay in finishing my story.

Because when it rains it pours.....I broke one of my teeth this week.  I didn't even know until I was eating something hot... trying to enjoy a nice dinner out with Paul. When all of a sudden this searing pain around my tooth made me want to run through a brick wall.  Therefore, I found it necessary to let the dentist torture me this afternoon for a couple of hours while he put a temporary crown on. Temporary?  Are you kidding me!!  I don't know what he was doing to my tooth today but I am pretty sure I would have enjoyed a barbed-wire enema more.

Then, to further complicate matters, my van doesn't want to run.  So, I have been stranded a couple of times this week.  The van went to the doctor this afternoon.

Does anyone want my address so you can send cash donations?  Just let me know if you do.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Audrey Part III

     If you've been following along, then you'll noticed I changed the title.  It was way too much about Audrey and not enough of things I am afraid of.  I'll get back to that when I am done with this LONG story.  And, if you have missed the last two, you are going to be lost unless you scroll down to read them.  The story starts on Sunday, February 22.

      It wasn't long after Harold's funeral, that Paul and I moved a good 45 minutes away from Audrey.  My mom, however, lived only about 10 minutes away from her.  She met Audrey when Harold was still alive.  When our little family, Paul, Shelby and myself, had gone to Florida for Spring Break, I had asked my mom to check in on them while we were gone.  Thus began Audrey's relationship with my mom.

     2 months after we moved, I got a call that Audrey was in the hospital and that things didn't look good.  She had congestive heart failure

     I went to visit her in the hospital one day.  She looked terrible.  Audrey was a little woman.  She may have weighed about 90 pounds soaking wet.  She had a big hump on her back and walked  a bit tipped over.  I was used to her always looking impeccable though.  She had beautiful, thick, white hair that was cut in a bob.  Many were envious of her thick mane.  It was always styled perfectly.  And, her clothes.... for a 90 year old woman, she dressed very fashionably.  So, seeing her so rough looking in the hospital, really broke my heart.

     I sat down by her bedside to talk to her.  And, as so many times before, our conversation turned to her niece Barbara.  Audrey only had one sister and she had died many years before I met Audrey.  Audrey's sister had one child, Barbara.  I had heard many stories about Barbara.  I had also read many letters that Barbara had written to Audrey and Harold.  They were mean letters with very explicit language.  Letters asking for money and letters accusing Audrey and Harold of one thing or another.  Audrey told me she had a history of drug abuse and judging by those letters, she had a history of a lot of other things that made me very uncomfortable to read.  Barbara was never far from Audrey's thoughts though, it didn't matter that she had not heard from her in years.  And, despite all the horrible things I had heard about Barbara, there was an undeniable love for her on Audrey's behalf.  Having been given a grim prognosis on her health, Audrey was all the more desperate to find her.  Audrey was also asking me to find her a new attorney to get her affairs in order.  Her old attorney was a crook and was also in a coma. Pretty good reasons to need a new attorney, huh?  I found myself in way over my head.  After all, I  lived 45 minutes away with an 18 month old and a husband who worked full-time and who was also in graduate school.  Besides, some where in that conversation, Audrey asked if I thought my mom would be her power of attorney.

     Red flags immediately went up when this request.   See, Audrey did have a friend.  Her friend was Betty.  Betty had done for years the things that I had just started doing.  Betty, though, was not much younger than Audrey.... maybe 10 years.  And, I had not heard of nor had I seen Betty until many months after meeting Audrey.  Upon my meeting Betty, I could tell Betty was suspicious.  It was written all over her face.  Who wouldn't be?  

     The problem with the relationship between Audrey and Betty was that Audrey didn't respect Betty... for who knows what reason.  Actually, I thought Audrey was mean to Betty.  Audrey was not able to push my mom around the same way she did Betty.  And, maybe that is reason for the lack of respect.  Audrey was quirky and if you didn't call her out on the carpet, she was manipulative and contrary.  I felt bad that Betty didn't trust our intentions, but I also knew in time, we would prove our integrity. 

    I didn't even try to defend myself or my mom to Betty.  There were no accusations on Betty's behalf anyway. I just felt the chill in the air when we happened to run into one another.  Betty was never mean.  She just wasn't warm either.  In my heart, I knew my own intentions.  Even if I had cheated or stole from Audrey, I had to answer to God.  That thought was way more scary than answering to some 80 year old woman named Betty.  Audrey though, for whatever reason, really trusted me, she had given me countless blank checks for groceries or other things I had purchased for her.  I always tried to show her the receipts and the totals, but she would have none of that.  She wouldn't even look. I could have taken her for all she was worth with those blank checks.  

     Anyway, we moved on with my mom as the POA.  Audrey recovered from that spell that landed her in the hospital.  Now, she wanted to get her affairs in order and find Barbara.

     (Time passed.  Shelby was 3 and I had already had Gracie during this time.)

     My mom and I both spent a lot of time looking for Barbara.  We used the internet and some other search tools and followed any bit of information Audrey had on her.  For some reason, she seemed to have several names and she didn't stay in one place for very long.  Our leads always ended at dead end roads.

     While those searches continued on and off, Audrey had other loose ends she wanted to tie up.   I thought those loose ends meant cleaning up some paper work and clearing her apartment of some clutter and some of Harold's things.  What I didn't know, was that while Audrey lived in a tiny apartment, just 2 minutes down the road was a rather old, large house that she owned but hadn't lived in for many years.

     Audrey wanted to rid the house of the possessions and then sell the house itself.   I wasn't doing much for Audrey at this point.  My mom, however, she was overwhelmed with this situation I accidently got her into.  I didn't even get to see the inside of the house.  

     I was pregnant.  I had no intentions of having child #3 so quickly after child #2, but God, the author of life, had other plans.  It must have been those rats, snails and puppy dog tails that boys are made of that made me sick to my stomach for about 22 weeks of that pregnancy.  That horrible naseous feeling combined with my mom's description of the deplorable conditions of that house, kept me far away.  It seems that Audrey and Harold were more than quirky.

     Sorry, you are going to have to come back again.  I had no idea I had so much to say about Audrey.  It is fascinating.  I don't think you are going to want to miss the rest.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Audrey Part II

     If you missed the post from last night, you will want to read that first.  Scroll down and read the post from 2/22/09.

     Audrey, in her shaky voice, said, "Just read some verses on faith."

     Paul pulled out his Bible, showed her some verses, and together they settled on what he would read the following day at the graveside service.

     I remember driving to the cemetery and saying to Paul, "Are you sure you're ready?  I haven't see you prepare much for this?

     He said, "I don't really have much to say.  I never met the man.  I am just going to read his obituary and then read the verses she wanted me to read."

     When we arrived at the cemetery, we were greeted by a handful of their friends and their lawyer.  We made small talk and then worked our way up to the tent.

     Much to our surprise, there was not a casket with Harold's body in it.  Instead, there was a table with a urn setting on top.  And, under the table, there was another urn.

     Not being one to mince words, I looked at Audrey and screamed (yes, screamed.  Remember, she can't hear.), "WHO'S THAT UNDER THE TABLE?" 

     She looked at me as if I were the odd one and said, "That's my sister!"

     Her sister!!!  What in the world?????!!  What is this two for the price of one?

     I decided not to bother with any more questions.

     Once we were sure our audience was complete, Paul started in on the service.  There were only about 15 people there including my mom, myself, Paul, Shelby, Audrey and her lawyer.

     Paul began by reading the obituary.  He then read the requested verses and then... something possessed him to say more than what was rehearsed.  Having little to say about a man he had never even seen, he realized he needed more material than the 3 minutes it took to read the obituary and the few verses Audrey had chosen.

    He continued with the service said, "Harold is in Heaven...... hopefully."

     My eyes grew as big as saucers and then about popped out of my head.  He said HOPEFULLY.  He said Harold is in heaven... hopefully.

     He caught a glimpse of my bulging eyes.  And, then, he stammered around for some more words.

     "And, Audrey will soon be joining him.... like in 5, 10, 20 years."

     If it were possible, my eyes grew even larger.  He just said Audrey will soon be joining him.  The pastor, my husband,  just gave Audrey her death sentence.  Are you kidding me?

     Everything went blurry for a moment until Audrey's voice snapped me back to remind me  where I was.  I was under a tent where my husband suddenly got a conscience and decided since he had never spoken the first word with Harold  he couldn't speak with certainty on the eternal destination of her DEAD husband.  So, HOPEFULLY, Harold is in heaven!

     Audrey seemed to yell at Paul and say, "You're gonna have to speak up.  I can't hear a word you are saying!!"

      It seems Audrey may have been spared the news that Harold may or may not be in Heaven and that she would soon be joining him... in 5, 10 or 20 years.  

     The rest of us, well, we have a great story to tell.

     All of that to say, it would stand to reason why I get a little afraid when Paul speaks and I am there to listen.  Now, don't get me wrong.  He has redeemed himself over and over and over again.  He has perfected his funeral service.  His wedding ceremonies... the best I have heard. He has emceed many events.  He has spoken to hundred of college students at a time.  He is a very confident, very good speaker.

     However, I always find I am the one with the nervous stomach any time he has to do stand up in front of a large group of people and teach.  So, for 10 days or so leading up to February 22, I found myself shivering every time I remembered that he was asked to fill in for the pastor of a very large church (+-3000 people) in the area.

     Friday night, I even did such a girl thing.  I remembered he had mentioned a vest he wanted so I went and bought it.  Come on girls!  You know getting new clothes for ANY event makes us feel better.  And, don't we always perform better when think we look good??

     I came home all excited to give him the vest he had talked about.  

     He didn't get it.  He just could not get over the fact that I spent $44 for a vest.  I told him it was my tutoring money and to get over it.

     And, so yesterday with his gray and white argyle vest, he delivered one of the best if not THE BEST, sermon I have ever heard him give.... 3 times even!!

    But, can you see understand why I would have been afraid?

     Stayed tuned... this week for part III of Things I am Afraid Of and the rest of the story of Audrey.  I know you can't wait!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Audrey Part I

       When Shelby was about 9 months old, Paul and I were out on a date on a Saturday night.  We both needed something at a large grocery store in our area, so once inside the store, we split up.  He went to one corner of the store, I went to the other.  We agreed to meet up front after we had grabbed our respective items.

     Of course, I returned first.:-)  As I stood at the front of the store waiting, I saw this little old white haired woman wander over to the greeter and ask for a bus schedule.  She was having trouble reading it so she walked over to a better light.  After watching her struggle for a bit, I decided to go over and asked if I could help her.

     I found out where she lived, located the bus she should take and told her the next bus that direction would be at 8:30.  I looked at the clock.  It was 8:20.  I told her she had plenty of time. 

      She informed me otherwise.

     "Oh honey!  I could never make that bus.  I still have to check out and then walk to the stop."

     "Well, the next bus doesn't come until 10:30 pm!!  You can't wait around here that long!  Besides, there's a snow storm outside!

     "Honey, when you get old, you do what you have to!"

     After about 10 minutes of arguing with her, I persuaded her to let us to take her home.

     On the way home, I found out that her husband was at home sick.  He usually did all the grocery shopping but since he'd been sick, she'd been going to the grocery everyday.  Basically, she couldn't carry much, so she was just getting what they would eat for the day.

     I also found out that they had never had children and they didn't have any family.

     A few days later, I picked up some things at the grocery store and took them to their apartment.   The snow had hung around and I was afraid she had not been able to get out to the store.

     When she came to the door, she cupped her hands over her mouth.  Then she said, "I never thought I'd see you again!  Hold out your arms!"

     Hold out my arms?  I thought she was going to frisk me.

     Instead, she said, "I am looking for your wings.  I know you are an angel."

     This was the beginning of my relationship with Audrey and her husband, Harold.

     After that day, I ran errands for them occasionally, took them to doctors appointments, picked up their dry cleaning etc...

     Several months after meeting them, Harold's health declined rapidly.  He died about 4 months after our initial meeting.

     Paul had never laid the first eyeball on Harold, but because they didn't have many relationships, she asked Paul to officiate his funeral services.

     Oh, to have the day before the funeral and the day of the funeral on video!

     Since Paul had never even seen Harold, he decided he should probably meet with Audrey to see what she would like him to say.  Please keep in mind that he had not even seen Audrey since that snowy winter night.

    So, Paul, Shelby and myself went over to her apartment.  

   Paul said, "Audrey, do you have some things you'd like me to say."

   She stared at him blankly.

   He repeated the question, "Audrey, do you have anything specific you'd like me to say tomorrow or do you have a special passage you'd like me to read?"

     Again, nothing.

     I said, "Uh, that's not going to work.  You have to talk to her like this."

     I practically put my mouth over her ear and yelled, "AUDREY, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE PAUL TO SAY?  DO YOU HAVE ANY VERSES YOU'D LIKE HIM TO READ?"

     Paul was mortified that I would yell in someone's ear like that.  He fully expected her to fall over or at least wince her face and plug her ears with her fingers to drown out my yelling.  

    Instead, Audrey shook her head, listened and then said, "Just read a few verses on faith."

    You don't want to miss the rest of this story.  So, you're gonna have to come back tomorrow.  I have to go to bed.  I know this is going to surprise you, but I am sick AGAIN!  If you are keeping track, this is the 5th time I have been sick since we got Emme in September.  If you call me, you may think Barry White is answering the phone, but it's just me... so don't hang up!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

What do Kitchen Aid mixers and American Idol have in common??

     What does American Idol and Kitchen Aid mixers have in common???

     I love them both, they make me happy, and they both sing.

      Kitchen Aid Mixer don't sing you say?  Well, when Paul came walking in the door with a big box last Sunday afternoon and I pulled a Kitchen Aid mixer out of that box, I am positive I heard the Hallelujah Chorus.... loud and clear.

     Do you know how many years I have salivated over that machine??  Do you know how many times I have walked next door and lugged my neighbors Kitchen Aid mixer over here?

    Do you know that I used to make dinner for 25 college students every Friday night for a YEAR without a Kitchen Aid mixer?  How did I survive??

     In all seriousness, I can not even begin to tell you how excited I am about that beautiful black beauty.

     Speaking of Black Beauty, when Gracie was about 4, we went to the library and got some movies.  Later that night, when we asked the kids which one they wanted to watch, Gracie yelled out, "Black Bootie, Black Bootie!!"

    Do you know how much fun we have had with that?  We are sick!  Sick, sick, sick!!

    ANYWAY, all that to say, I am SOOO excited about my black bootie... I mean.... black beauty.  My beautiful black kitchen aid mixer

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Good Day

Today is a good day!  

Shelby's wounds look 100% better than last week!  It does not look like skin grafts will be necessary.

Nina is home and will probably heal before Shelby!

I scored 1260 on Crackwords... I mean Pathwords.  And, I am never playing again.

The Biggest Loser is on tonight!  Why do I love Bob Harp*er?  Do you think it's wrong that I want to marry him in the event something would happen to Paul??  And, do you think he would ever marry a woman?  Everyone is so mean and they always say he plays for the other team.

And, 2 hours of American Idol??  Are you kidding!  This night is a reality tv addicts dream!  And, why do I love, love, love Norman Gentle??  There may be a theme going on here.  And, Tatiana.... does anyone else want to smack her?  Why does she have to be so annoying?  And, why can she sing??  This is a question for God.   I mean where's the justice??  If I sing, dogs start howling.  I think I am much less annoying than Tatiana!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A long two weeks

     Here's Shelby at one of her outpatient visits.  We finally got a chance to clean her up after being in the hospital for a week.  Clean hair and matching shirt, socks and hair bow has to make any girl feel better!

     I'd be lying if I said the last 2 weeks had been easy.  As a matter of fact, they have been very trying.

     I was fine at the hospital, but now I know I was just running on shear adrenaline.  When I got home, I was exhausted; physically and emotionally.

    We came home from the hospital on Thursday 2/5.  On Friday, 2/6, our insurance graciously paid for a home health care nurse to come for ONE day.  That was big of them, huh?  And, when the nurse came, she didn't do anything.  Instead, we decided, since I would have to be the one changing Shelby's dressings, I should just do it that day as well.  So, she watched and instructed.

     Since then, I have changed her dressings daily.  While it many not seem stressful, it is.  It is a constant reminder that, while an accident, those horrible, open flesh wounds were caused by me.  Furthermore, I have to wipe them with a cleanser.  That is not pleasant any way you look at it, but it was made worse last week when I was sent a different cleanser that practically set the wounds on fire.  I had to peel poor Shelby off the ceiling.  The process is further complicated by the wounds being open to the air.  If the air hits them for long, they begin to really hurt.  So, by the time the bandaging is complete, I am worn out.

     And, not that Shelby is acting like a baby... in any way... but I feel like I am caring for two infants that need constant care and attention.  I need to make her eat, help her in the bathroom help her in and out of bed and in and out of the car, dress her, etc, etc, etc...  I have an all new appreciation for people who have handicapped children and an all new appreciation for my healthy children.

     Last week at an outpatient visit to the hospital, I was given instructions to take the bandaging off her chest.  It was able to be peeled off in layers once it began healing.  While we were there,they took off all the layers but the last.  They told me that I would be able to get the last layer off the next day.  So, last Tuesday 2/10, when I took it off, it was all brown and crusty.  I then spent about 45 minutes getting all that dead skin off.  My stomach was nausesous by the time it was over.  But, her chest is all healed and part of her stomach is all healed and it looks wonderful!

     She had another appointment on Friday 2/13.  Once the bandaging was off, the doctors spent a good five minutes looking at the burns between her legs.  They are not healing as well as the other burns.  When the doctors said, "We are about 10 days away from talking about skin grafts", Shelby could no longer control her emotions.  She is obviously tired of the pain and everything that comes with it.

     Since Friday, she has been, per their requests, soaking in the tub everyday.  I am not sure how this is supposed to help.  I know it's taking some of the dead skin off, but other than that.... We are just following orders.  Our next appointment is tomorrow 2/17.   Please pray that skin grafting is not necessary.  She has been through enough.

     And, in a strange twist of events, we have been able to apply 2 Corinthians 1:4 today.

     who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
     This morning, the girls were supposed to have piano lessons.  But, about 30 minutes before we were to leave, the lesson was rescheduled because of illness at the teacher's house.  Had the lesson went on as scheduled, we would not have been home when my neighbor frantically ran over to my house with a screaming 14 month old baby girl, Nina.

     It seems she worked her way over to the fireplace, which is level with the floor, and pressed her hands and forearms against the glass doors.  Her little, chubby hands and arms were a huge white blister.  The dad, just like me exactly two weeks ago, had no idea what to do.  I advised him to take her to the Children's hospital while I took three of their other children.  Then, I spent the next hour pacing the floor waiting for the mom to get home.  I had to break the news to her... she hadn't taken her cell phone with her when she ran to the grocery.

     Hopefully, our experience has comforted them as their little one has now been admitted to the hospital to be taken care of by the same doctor who took care (or is taking care of) Shelby. I am sure he is wondering what the heck is going on on our street!

     Please pray for little Nina and her family.

     Meanwhile, I am going to call the rest of the neighbors and tell them to stay away from ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is hot!!  

Friday, February 6, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

     We're home!  And, this is going to be a quick post because I am so tired from the week.  Plus, we have had lots of visitors today and if we didn't have visitors, the phone was ringing.  But, you know what, I wouldn't have it any other way.  The alternative is that no one cares.  I can not begin to tell you how thankful I am for our friends and family.  We have had so many messages of people praying for us and believe me, I can tell.  Shelby has been showered with gifts and our family has been blessed with meals.  We feel so loved!  Thank you!

     Shelby has come a long way in a day.  She's walking better.  She can get in and out of bed on her own.  She is eating better, although, it's not much,  but it's better.  Her spirits seem a bit better.

     Bless her heart, yesterday, through tears, she said, "I think I know why this happened to me.  I think I needed to be a better sister.  Sometimes I am mean to Gracie."  While I wouldn't wish this on anyone, she could stand to be a bit nicer to Gracie.  Gracie worships the ground she walks on.  Sometimes, we all have to learn lessons the hard way.  I am just thankful she is willing to learn the lessons.

     One last thing, today, when a friend was over  I was mentioning that all I had been doing today was wiping butts. (The pain medication slows down bowel function.  So, I think it's been quite awhile since Shelby had a BM.  Today, she was making up for lost time. And, Emme's pipes are always working overtime.)  And, as Gracie was coloring and seemingly not paying attention, she went right on about her work but under her breath as she so often does, she had a side comment.  "I don't know why she can't wipe her own butt.  Her hand's not broken!" 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hospital Day #3

Day #3 in the hospital... is hopefully our last full day in the hospital.

Shelby had a pretty good day today.  Although, when I arrived at the hospital this afternoon (yes, afternoon... story in a moment), she told me Day 3 was called The Wall.  She said it was her worst day yet.  Where does she come up with things like... Day 3 is The Wall??

She said it was her worst day, but she sure seemed to perk up when I got there.  She just needed her mama:-)

I think she looks better today.  I was not about to leave my house without the makeup remover to remove her "football" makeup.  So, I got her all cleaned up.   And, then, 20 minutes later, she looked like a Smurf.  Well, that may be a slight exaggeration.  She did have very blue lips and a blue mustache.  This hospital floor has a slushie machine.  Is that like a dream come true or what?  Well, maybe if you didn't have 2nd degree burns all over your body.  

Anyway, she drank lots of the blue slushie so she could get her IV out.  Yea, the IV is out!

The staff here recommended we stay one more night.  She will get some of her bandages changed tomorrow morning, some won't be changed for another week.  Then we will come back, probably Saturday, to have them changed again .

She needs to eat more.  They want her eating 3000 calories a day.  I wish someone would tell me to eat 3000 calories a day.  I think she's been eating like 500 calories and I have been eating the other 2500 for her.  I guess her body is working overtime so the extra calories are for healing.  

So, aside from still being really sore, she is doing well.  I think she is a little sad.  We are going to have to cancel a trip we had planned next week to an indoor waterpark.  We have been counting down for a least a month now.  We were going with another family.  They don't want to go without us, so now we have 6 disappointed kids.  She also said, "What am I going to do all the time at home?"  Me, wanting to lift her spirits and give her something to get excited about said, "Schoolwork?!"  Much to my surprise, she said, "That's fine with me.  I actually won't mind it.  I kinda miss it."  Poor thing!  I think she is bored and sick of laying and watching TV.

So, onto why I didn't arrive at the hospital until this afternoon.  Well, little Miss Emme decided Shelby was getting way too much medical attention, so she decided to get some more strep bumps on her legs and hand.  I'm not a rocket scientist or a medical doctor, (in case you were wondering), but I am thinking that strep on one child's skin and giant open burn wounds on another child's body is... remedy for disaster.  So, keeping in tune with our apparent unchosen theme for 2009- LET'S SEE HOW MUCH MONEY WE CAN RACK UP IN MEDICAL BILLS- we headed to the doctor for Emme.  The good new is, she gained 3 ounces in 5 days.  I really think that at the last appointment, she would have gained more if she hadn't pooped her guts out from the antibiotic that was fighting the strep.  The doctor was excited, I could tell about the weight gain, so she chose a topical antibiotic so we could avoid the poop machine.  The sores/bumps were also not near as severe as last time.

Now, onto some pictures.  Sorry, there will be no pics of Shelby with her blue lips and mustache.  She's been through enough.  Instead, Emme will be our focus.

     This is how Emme had to eat lunch one day last week.  I think she thinks I am a messy feeder or something.  See the food all over the side of her mouth?  She doesn't want it in her eyes.  Who could blame her?

     Here is Emme at the lab waiting to be called so they could poke her 5 times and blow a vein trying to fill a tube full of her blood.  She was much happier on this horse... I can tell you that!
    Then, she moved on to the boat.  Apparently, she didn't want to sit on the seat.  Instead, she sat on the floor, where her feet should have gone.  Hey, whatever floats her boat!  Haha!  Get it!  I wasn't even trying to do that!:-)

     Signing off from, hopefully the last night in the hospital....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Not the BEST day #2

If you missed the post from yesterday, you may want to scroll down and read it.

Here is a picture of my little trooper.  She still has her game face on... she played in the Superbowl:-) Or, at least she was pretending... or something!   She dances to her own music.  I didn't give her  two black eyes along with the second degree burns.

And, because I can never write seriously for two posts in a row....

Shelby's friend, Rachel, came to visit her at the hospital last night.  As she was sitting and looking at the room, she read a sign on the paper towel dispenser.  This is how she read it:

Please do not put paper towels or wash CLOTHES in the toilet.

She screamed, "Wash your clothes.... IN THE TOILET!!  Ewww!!  Who would do that??  You know someone has done that or they wouldn't put a sign like that up!"

We were all cracking up!

Later that night, I was so disappointed, upon closer inspection, to read that it did not say CLOTHES, it said cloths.  
Shelby has had an OK day.  She threw up pretty soon after waking up.  I am not really sure why. She went a long time without pain meds, probably too long.  She had them at 10 pm last night and then not again until about 8am this morning.  

About 10 am, she went back to the treatment room to have the mass injury washed, new blisters popped by the washing, pictures taken, and new bandages put on.  Again, she was a trooper, but I know it hurt so bad.

She was squeezing tears out the sides of her eyes and saying, "I wish I could be stronger."  

Bless her heart.  She was trying so hard not to cry.  I told her to cry.

And, just one more testimony of how great Shelby is... the nurses were fighting over who was going to take care of her today.  As a rule of thumb, the nursing staff is rotated daily.  I am sure this is to take the stress off caring for a difficult patient.  However, they are also allowed to sign up for patients that they particularly like.  Shelby's 2nd nurse, went to sign up for her and her first nurse had already beat her to the punch.  So, nurse #2 just came in to visit a few times today.

One more thing, if you are praying for Shelby, please pray for the middle child too.  I guess she is no longer middle.  What do you call them when there are 4 of them??  Anyway, Gracie, is a nervous little hen.  She is a mirror image of me.  And, I hate watching it.  I was always nervous growing up.  Worried about everything etc...  She is the same way.  Neither of us had very stressful homes, so it must just be our personalities.  She was so upset about Shelby yesterday that she had a stomachache all day.  She called me 100 times until I came home to get her.  She walked around talking about how much she loved Shelby and how she wished Shelby were home to boss her around.

Then, this morning, she was nervous and had a stomachache.  So, she didn't eat, but drank a lot of water.  She threw up on the way to the hospital this morning with Paul.

Wow!  When it rains, it pours.

I haven't even posted about Emme needing to see an endocrinologist because of some blood work that came back suspect.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Not the BEST day

     I am writing this from a hospital room at 1:45 IN THE MORNING.  I can't sleep and for some reason my legs are killing me.  I sure the pain is minimal compared to what my little Shelby went through this morning.

This morning she woke up and came downstairs.  She had a really croupy cough and she was complaining that it really hurt to cough.  I was getting ready to exercise, the video was ready to go.  But, I stopped and went up to the kitchen.

I always remember my mom saying when we were little and we had a cough like that, the doctor's advise was put us in the bathroom and make it steamy.  The theory behind that being the warm, moist air would loosen the cough.

So, I put some water and sea salt in a mug and put it in the microwave for 3 minutes.  I took it down to her.  She was sitting on the couch where I was going to exercise and she was waiting for me to come back.  

I gave her the mug and told her to put her blanket over her head and breath in the warm air.  I was already exercising when she said it wasn't working.

I stopped and went to get the mug from her.  She was holding part of the mug with her blanket, so when I pulled the blanket off her head, the hot water went down her chest, over her stomach, down to the unmentionable area and onto the top of her legs.

Instantly, as she was ripping her clothes off, her skin was coming off too.

We rushed her to the ER.  She was given morphine for the pain and then admitted.  

They had to scrub her to get the dead skin off.  They then applied some salve and bandages  to all the areas possible.  She has 2nd degree burns on, I think they said 11%, of her body.

She is resting comfortable now thanks to the pain medication.  She did throw up a few times because of the medication.  But, as the night wore on, she ate and overall felt really good.

I feel like a big jerk.  I know it was an accident but it's really hard not to think about what I should have done differently.

 I set my alarm this morning and got up to spend some time reading my Bible and praying.  I haven't been able to do this much since we returned from China because I am up so many times during the night, that in the morning, I sleep until the kids wake up.   Emme is sleeping better now, so I need to get back in the habit of doing this.  I don't do it out of obligation.  I do it because I love it.  I love reading God's word and praying.  I love that he speaks to me from his Word.  I love that the Word of God is like an onion and the layers keep peeling and the learning and the amazement of His word never stops, but it becomes deeper.

I thought it ironic that on all the days for this to happen. My days are usually much better after spending time with Him.  I am sure the Lord knew ahead of time that I would need it.  And, as I was sitting in the ER in a state of panic, I felt the Lord speak to me and tell me, "I use these things to shape character."

And, while it doesn't seem quite fair that it wasn't me instead of her, I have to trust the Lord.  He sees the big picture.  And, while anything painful is never pleasant, beautiful things often result.  A pearl is a painful grain of sand to a clam before it is a pearl.  An exquisite diamond is a lump of coal before it becomes an expensive gem.  And, how many stories have you heard of successful people having to triumph over all types of hardship and struggle before they are the people we read about?

I will be the first to admit that I would avoid pain and suffering at all costs.  Unfortunately, it is and will always be part of this life.  But, fortunately, when you have a relationship with the creator of the universe and his son Jesus, you have the promise of living without all this one day.  And, even while we are here, we can cling to other promises.

Jeremiah 29:11 
 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God

One final thought... this isn't in the Bible, but maybe it should be.  KIDDING!  KIDDING!

People are like tubes of toothpaste, when the pressure is on, what's inside is going to come out.

I have always, always known that Shelby was/is a special little girl.  There's something uniquely wonderful about her.  And, to see who she really is today was a little gift in the middle of a rough situation.  

She refused to let me cry.  She said, "I am not going to let you beat yourself up over this mom.  It was an accident."  She has been kind and polite to everyone.  She has been gushing with thankfulness to her visitors and in response to all the emails and messages of people praying for her.  She has told me she loves me 1,000 times.  

She is a beautiful little girl and I have always thought it a privilege to call her mine... even more so today.