11 May 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Grand Canyon

...Or we went to Arizona and I came home without an appendix.

Here's a little much longer version of the story:

As much as possible (and when they want to), we try to meet up with our international friends when they're visiting elsewhere in the US. It's fun for us to see other parts of the States, to see our friends a bit more often, and to get to know their other friends.

Last Friday, we flew to Phoenix to meet up with some friends from overseas who were visiting Phoenix on their way east. Over the weekend, we had a beautiful time catching up with our friends, meeting and getting to know the friend who they were visiting in Phoenix, and exploring a bit of the area.

Desert Botanical Garden
This is the species I most tracked during my Earthwatch research in Costa Rica.

Desert Botanical Garden

At the Desert Botanical Garden's Butterfly Pavilion

Desert Botanical Garden

Madeleine enjoyed her first Vietnamese culinary experience.


That was the happy part of the trip.

After I fed Madeleine in the wee hours of the morning on Monday, I didn't go back to sleep because I had this weird, dull but nagging pain. It was like a stomach ache and muscle pain put together...but clearly not either of them. By the time real morning arrived, I was exhausted and feeling like a fool. See, I'd been to a free yoga class the day before, and I figured that I must have pulled something while thinking that I was a lot fitter than I am in reality.


At the same time, the pain kept nagging at me and forced me to do things like leap up and scream when I bent in half to pick up something from the floor. Hmm. Doctor Google told me that pain on my right side could be my appendix, so I started to pay attention and noticed that my left side felt fine. Hmm. Then I had this voice in my head telling me that my mother listening to her body probably saved her life when she sought attention for what turned out to be a brain tumor. Hmm.

To summarize the rest of the day, the urgent care doctor had his staff register me at the local hospital, where a CT scan showed that I had appendicitis. By 5pm, my appendix was on its way out. Shortly thereafter, I spent my first night away from Madeleine. Would you know it - I got about 3 hours of sleep total. Who designs hospital rooms with a 24-hour flood light facing the bed? Who thinks that a patient can sleep through her blood pressure being monitored every half hour? I digress.

Not a bad view for a hospital room but not one I want to revisit.

Even though I only spent about 24 hours post-op in the hospital, I'd rather never have this view again.

While George wasn't busy entertaining, corralling, chasing, feeding, and generally caring for our beautiful but very busy 10-month old, he canceled the arrangements we'd had for the next two days in Sedona and Flagstaff and made arrangements for us to stay four more days in Phoenix. He's pretty much a superhero for all he's had to do this past week.

As part of those doctor-ordered recovery days in Phoenix, he and Madeleine did some swimming while I captured the moment on film. If there's a silver lining to this ordeal, it's that George and Madeleine got to build some really special memories while I was able to witness so many of them.

While George is the super hero of this story, Madeleine is super baby. She went where we took her, skipped and shorted naps where necessary, mostly slept overnight, and ate what we fed her. All the while, she brightened a lot of people's days with her contagious smile and sweet laugh and made us feel like good parents even though we were reading Brown Bear Brown Bear, Haiku Baby, and Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 8 millionth time.

We're longing to leave, too, Madeleine.

Where are we now? I am thrilled to tell you that we were able to fly home on Friday, and I'm not sure I've ever been so glad to be home. It's not just the bed and similar creature comforts, but I actually have some clothes that will fit my swollen belly (think of me, looking six months pregnant). If you could have seen Madeleine in her Jumperoo, you'd know that she's glad to be home, too.

The next month is going to be...interesting. I'm not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds for four weeks. More realistically, I'm trying to listen to my body (I'm pretty good at that) and stop when or before it tells me I've done too much (I'm not so good at that).

"Take me home, Alaska Airlines."

So, we didn't make it to the Grand Canyon or even out of Phoenix this trip. But, as I told George on our flight home, I guess this is life's way of reminding me that I can't plan everything.

1 comment:

Janie said...

What a great entry... Common sense. Medical healing. Father-daughter bonding. Thankfulness.