Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

It looked like a great day for swimming. I had just finished writing the previous blog at 7:30 a.m. when the girls came to wake us, so I was able to head them off and let Saul sleep a little later this morning. At breakfast, Izzy said that Mom had been coughing a lot and we should check on her. I decided to knock and go in and found Mom at her desk going through some papers. She said she had awakened early and had already had orange juice and water and had taken her pills, but had not yet made her oatmeal. I was encouraged because she seemed really good and strong this morning. I offered to make her oatmeal and she took me up on it and said she would join us in the kitchen in a few minutes. She ate all the oatmeal along with fresh blueberries this morning and seemed to be fine. After about a half hour with the girls, she went back to her room. I was feeling very happy. I planned to make a trip to Trader Joe's in Valley Forge to put in a supply of prepared soups that Mom had requested because they are in cartons that are easy to open, pour, and can be easily microwaved in a bowl. They also don't require any chewing and come in many flavors. When we are gone for a few days, she mostly eats oatmeal with fruit, yoghurt, and soup supplemented by snack foods such as peanut butter filled pretzels and whole grain crackers.

I called Roxy early this morning thinking perhaps we could meet after I shopped at Trader Joe's and we could have lunch at King of Prussia Mall with the girls before going off to the swim club. She declined, but as we were talking, the whole plan fell apart anyway. Mom began to urgently call me from her bedroom. I immediately hung up and went in. She was sitting in her easy chair as white as a sheet. She said a strange feeling had come over her and she felt very, very afraid. She seemed very frightened and miserably uncomfortable but was not able to articulate what was wrong. I brought her some orange juice and insisted over her objections that she sip some. She seemed very lucid and was physically moving as normal. I held her hand, patted her knee and we talked for a while. I told her I didn't know what to do for her and she had no suggestions. I asked if she wanted me to arrange for her to go to the hospital again to have her levels checked and she was vehement in insisting she did not want to go. My brother happened to call and she spoke to him a bit. Again, I decided not to send her to the hospital because she is having an EKG done at 10 a.m. tomorrow. After about 10 minutes of discomfort, she was feeling better. It is very uncharacteristic of her to feel frightened and that alone was very disturbing. I told her that I could and would cancel my plans to go to Baltimore if she was not well. I let Jess and Ari know that there might be a change of plans depending on how she feels. She was fine for the rest of the day.

With all this going on, we did not leave the house until 11:30 a.m. when I was fairly sure she would be okay. We programmed her cell phone with speed dial to each of us and put a sticker on the back with who each number represented. Sami decided she would like to have lunch at Bahama Breeze when I gave her a few alternatives. She still has memories of the fun we had at Bahama Breeze in Orlando when we were visiting Disney World a few years ago. When we left the restaurant, Izzy was carrying her leftover pizza in a circular box on which the waitress had drawn a palm tree. Izzy loves palm trees ever since our trip to Hawaii. Before we left, she had colored in the palm tree with the crayons provided. As we headed for the door, a manager spotted her and asked her if she would like a shopping bag in which to carry her box. She was charmed and thrilled by the serious attention she was paid. As we were going out the door, she sighed and said, "I really love this place!" We could have been the best commercial ever for Bahama Breeze. The food was great, too!

At Trader Joe's, a little way down the road, there was a "find the puppy" contest for kids. While Sami was explaining to me that they were supposed to find a puppy somewhere in the store to win a prize, my eye fell on a little stuffed black and white puppy hanging over one of the signs. That entitled each of them to a "delicious" lollipop. We bought the soup and some other items and headed back home. By 2:00 p.m., we were all exhausted and Sami seemed under the weather. She sounded a little hoarse and said she wanted to go home and get in bed. Izzy was beginning to change into the little monster she becomes when she is tired or hungry. When we arrived home, Mom was sleeping peacefully and had eaten the lunch I readied for her. We all took a long nap. We had a choice of three different concerts in three different parks this evening. We chose the Elvis impersonator over a blues swing band and a name with no further explanation. I had the brainstorm to make "Toad in the Hole" for dinner using a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the hole out of the whole grain bread. The kids and Mom were all charmed and ate every bite. Saul wound up actually executing the meal as I was on the phone with Ari through most of it.

After dinner, Sami was acting lethargic, which could have been that she wanted to lay around and watch t.v., but she also felt a bit warm to us. We stopped at the nearby Rite Aid to purchase a thermometer and took her temperature in the car, planning to return home if necessary. Luckily, her temperature was 98.2 so we continued on to the concert. The girls really got into it participating in an "America the Beautiful" number and receiving ribbons draped around their necks. Towards the end, "Elvis" stopped singing for a moment to pose especially for Sami to snap his picture.

All our plans are up in the air for now as we see from minute to minute how everyone is feeling. Luckily, we have been able to squeeze all the good minutes out of the day that we possibly can.

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