And now, for something…
On friday we got the call, my husband’s Oma (dutch for grandma) was quickly declining in health. She had stopped eating and drinking and it was expected to be only a matter of time. Family was encouraged to come right away if they could. We got the Rocket Scientist a flight out Sunday afternoon and as much as we would have liked to have all gone together, it would have been very costly and Doodle has been suffering from a bad cold and I imagine a nine hour flight would have been very hard on him (and everyone else).
As we were getting ready to leave for the airport, we got the next call. Oma had passed away early that morning. My heart aches for my dear husband and his parents who were still on the road, trying to get there to say one last goodbye. I took the call as he was getting Doodle dressed. That is news I never wanted to give. He was crushed, angry at himself for not taking an earlier flight. We had looked at a flight on Saturday, but the plan would have been to stay with my dad in Calgary that night anyway and ride to Stettler with his parents the next day. He still wouldn’t have made it. But it’s easier to do anything than feel the sharp pain of loss. As for me, I did everything I could to focus on taking care of him and Doodle so that I wouldn’t have to look at my own pain at this loss.
Oma was quite the fiesty lady. Her favourite word was ‘bullshit’. And it perfectly described how she approached life. Not much was worth fussing over, most of it was just bullshit. She loved to make sure you didn’t take yourself too seriously with a gentle ribbing and a wink as she laughed at you. She was the first of my husband’s family that I met. Her apartment was warm and full of mementos of Holland (where she was born) and pictures of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She always offered you a drink and something sweet. And by drink, I mean drink, no matter what the time of day. She loved advocat or a rye and seven. Advocat, for those who may not know (I know I didn’t), is a banana liqueur and wow is it strong. My first experience with it was a shot she insisted I take. I think the next time she was more gentle with me and just insisted on some chocolates with advocat in them ;).
*edit: my husband informed me that advocat is an egg liqueur. woops. well, it was yellow and the chocolates with advocat were shaped like bananas. maybe that time it really was banana liqueur. hmmm. all I know is that it was midday, very strong, and Oma was kind enough to simply chuckle at my watering eyes.
I like to think she liked me. Maybe because I didn’t treat her with trepidation, I was very close to my Grannie and never felt that generation gap. Maybe because I laughed along with her ribbing. Maybe because I laughed when she used her ‘favourite word’ and cluck disapprovingly (I hear that happened often). Maybe just because I loved her grandson who she had recently become so close to.
I remember one trip, we wanted to take her out for lunch. So we asked her if there was a place she liked especially and we would take her there for lunch the next day. She told us and off we went. I couldn’t remember why it sounded familiar until we got there. It was a chain in a mall food court. At first, we felt bad because we had wanted to take her to a real reastaurant, but it was where she wanted to go and I think maybe she did it on purpose. The food court was a place she went regularly and knew several people on our way and walking through the mall. I think maybe she wanted to be seen out with her grandson.
As much as I wish I could be there to say goodbye and be there for my husband during this time, I am very grateful that he is able to be there. Oma will be greatly missed.
A couple months ago (was it that long? I could look it up, but…nah) I had the opportunity to guest post for cbethblog. I was truly honored as hers was one of the first blogs I started following almost a year ago when all this began (again, wow, has it been that long?). So, as I try to get back on the horse, I’m starting slow and using a guest post from the lovely C. Beth:
The Failure of Dr. Google
Recently Zoodle, my 17-month-old son, got a diaper rash. I think it started as a reaction to his diaper brand. It then turned into hives, and then settled into a slightly itchy, red rash that just wouldn’t go away. Then he got red bumps on his tummy, face, and legs.
So I did what any mom would do–I used Google to find descriptions and photos of rashes. Okay, maybe that’s not what any mom would do. A lot of moms would go to the doctor. But I really wanted to figure it out. We live in the U.S. and have a high deductible health insurance policy, and I just didn’t love the idea of spending $80 to get a rash checked out.
My conclusion from looking at the rash photos was that the red bumps were due to a heat rash. I hoped Dr. Google’s diagnosis had been correct, as I looked for treatment information. I read that one thing Ishouldn’t do was put any oily lotions on him, since that can make heat rash worse. Instead, I should use baby powder and give him plenty of naked time.
I followed Dr. Google’s instructions. The rash persisted.
Finally, I gave in and called my doctor’s office. They got him in that day, and I found out that Zoodle did not have heat rash; he had eczema.
Here’s the thing–eczema treatment is pretty much the opposite of heat rash treatment. No need for powder, since that can dry the skin more. I was told to use oily petroleum jelly to lubricate the skin. And I got a prescription some fantastic steroid cream to help clear it up too. Soon after implementing our doctor’s recommendations, Zoodle’s rash was well on its way to clearing up.
That’s when I realized–Google can lead me to a lot of answers, but Dr. Google doesn’t take the place of our family doctor. Nothing online can replace an experienced doctor looking at my child, hearing his history, and making a diagnosis. It was an important lesson to learn.
Now, I’ll still use the Internet when I have medical questions. Sometimes I find great, easy answers to our problems just by doing a quick search. But next time I have an issue that stumps me, hopefully it won’t take me quite as long to call the person who actually went to medical school–no offense to Dr. Google.
With any luck, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program shortly.
You know when you mean to call someone, but you put it off and put it off and it gets later and later and you think of all the reasons you can give as to why it took you so long to call but the longer you leave it the more pathetic those excuses seem and you don’t really want to face it so you put it off some more…yeah, it’s kinda like that.
I seem to only be able to blog when things are pretty much going okay. When I get overwhelmed by stuff or long buried crap comes up I seem to just kind of shut down and don’t want to really talk to anyone. Apparently including all my bloggy friends. And there a few of you out there that I do consider friends, or at least friends in the making. I wish I could say life’s just been busy but I it hasn’t. I can’t even say that I haven’t had much to say lately but there’s been a ton of crap running around inside my head, but none of it wants to come out. It just all sounds pathetic and self-serving to me.
Even this I didn’t want to write, but either I am going to keep up with this blogging thing or I’m not and I have missed it. I do have a lot of non-crappy things that I could have blogged about but I seem to not be able to do fluff when life isn’t feeling fluffy.
Most of you, I’ve kept up with, I just haven’t had much to say in the way of comments either. I’ll be back soon, I’m sure. Just a little note to say I’m not dead.
Okay, so I should really start blogging about upcoming things before they happen that way you know that when I disappear for a week at a time it’s because my Dad has suddenly arrived in town and besides the whole stress of not really knowing what to expect on a visit because we very rarely spend time together, Doodle is in our room and is very loud at night, and Dad is (unbeknownst to me) totally into the whole touristy thing and I’ve been run a bit ragged since Saturday and haven’t even had the energy to keep my eyes open long enough to read blogs let alone write one of my own. It has been going surprisingly well, though, Doodle absolutely adores his Grandpa (mind you, he never gets so much attention from his parents) but I am exhausted. Dad leaves tomorrow morning and then I’m coming home to nap. I’ll catch up and post comments soon and be back with you all by the weekend.
In the meantime, Happy Humpday.