All Is Well that ends well…

I made it right up until the last two weeks of class, and then craziness ensued. Great Grandpa passed, not unexpectedly, after having a serious stroke and being mostly unconscious for around two weeks. Work demand was increasing at the same time, due mostly to excruciating last minute setbacks, but also in general because the end of my project was set for the end of May, which was approaching quickly. Work and family obligations put a damper on my studying for the midterm in one class and putting my twenty or so project files, project report and presentation into a coherent assignment submission for the other class. I should also mention that with the coming of warmer temperatures even as far back as March, so too came the ants (in full force this year) and intermittent sewer smells that my apartment generated annually in the warmer months. The sewer smells had been evaluated repeatedly with no successful resolution and the ants just were never a big concern for my landlord. Concerned with the living conditions my kids and husband were subjected to everyday, I informed the landlord that we just couldn’t deal with these things anymore, despite how much we liked to live there otherwise. To my dismay, he seemed happy to have us leave, even offered to let us out a month early if we were interested. Feeling as if there was no other option for us, I agreed to be out June 1st and added finding a new apartment to the complexity of our then current family-work-school status. (For anyone keeping track regularly, the end of April also marked 8 months of pregnancy with our third little one.)

During the same week of the funeral services, we had a little extra time to start cleaning and sorting in anticipation of moving a few weeks later. It was Friday evening, May 29th, when my hubby called out for help from the somewhere in the back of the apartment. He’d been carrying old equipment out to the alley for the neighborhood pickers to pick through and my first thought was ‘why the hell is he calling for me to help with anything he’s doing when I shouldn’t be doing any lifting!’ So nearsighted of me, because, of course, he wouldn’t. When I got to the back stairs, he was on the landing between the first half of stairs and the second half, which together led from the backyard to the kitchen. He was doubled over and looked in pain, but I couldn’t see anything wrong with him from the outside. I didn’t know what to think, but the adrenaline started to rush. With some difficulty he managed to tell me he fell in the yard, something to do with the opening to the catch basin. He straightened up a bit in an attempt to walk up the second half of the stairs to come in the house, and that’s when I noticed the blood on his pants. We got into the bathroom where I could check him out without the worried and wide-eyed little ones being able to see what was going on. With mixed relief and added concern, I saw that his privates were swelled at least 3-4x normal size and blood was dripping from his peter. I was relieved that it seemed the injuries were concentrated in an area that was not immediately vital to his health. Before that I had been sweating and my head swirling not knowing what exactly was internal area was hurt and causing the trouble. But blood coming out where blood should never have access was a sure sign of deep trouble, so I grabbed a towel for him to put over the area and grabbed my phone.

Lucky for us, my girlfriend who’s mostly the sister I never had, was home and was on her way over within minutes. Somehow, during those tense minutes waiting for her to arrive, my hubby had the clarity of mind to ask me to get the camera and go take pictures of what the catch basin opening looked like. He had said he took a step and just fell in (half way), but it was impossible to imagine. I’d walked out the back door and across the big metal lid a thousand times. My kids had walked across it a thousand times. We’d had multiple parties out in the backyard in with friends and family. Everyone I knew had walked across that lid. Yet when I stepped out the back door with the camera, sure enough the lid was partially covering the hole and very obviously ajar. Next to the hole were the old painting lights that my hubby had been taking out to the garbage. I quickly snapped some pictures and ran back in the house. After making sure kids and hubby were still ok in the house, I ran down the front steps and knocked on the neighbors door. When he answered, I quickly explained to him what happened and asked him to please stay out of the yard, as the catch basin lid was still open. I was afraid to touch anything and just left it all as it was. He looked at me like I was an alien. I guess a panicked 8 month pregnant woman didn’t come knocking on his door too often. But I remember being really annoyed that I was getting ready to speed off to the emergency room and he obviously didn’t get the gravity of the situation. Well, I gave him fair warning anyway. Within a minute or two of getting back upstairs, my girlfriend and her boyfriend arrived and we were out the door ourselves.

I could make this a really long story, but basically what happened was this: hubby was in the hospital a total of three days, I missed more work taking care of kids even after he got home because he was immobile for a week, I packed up the house and we had movers put most everything in storage, we stayed at my parents for two weeks (9 days longer than the first uncomfortable conversation), moved into our new apartment, I took my final exam for IOOP (and got an A!!!!), I turned in my final reports for XML class (no final grade yet), successfully completed my work project, and have finally settled in three weeks and one finally fixed storage closet that had been used as a litter box later to our new apartment. Lastly, a week past the due date and no baby. I thought all this stress would make him come early, but maybe it’s had the opposite effect – my body has no interest going into labor.

In any case, everything is more or less settled and we’ll be very happy and comfortable when I’m not so large and grumpy anymore. I’ve been home from work a week now and am completely stir crazy even though we’ve gone to the park a bunch of times, Millennium Park (and played in the tv water fountains – fun!), the nature museum, the zoo, and the Wells/Old Town art festival. My b-day was yesterday and I waited all day for the little peanut, but nothing! He’s the last bit to us getting back on a normal schedule, or whatever passes for a normal schedule for a family of five living in the city!

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