Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Last Week of Camp Bubbie and Saba

Friday morning, the girls watched movies that I had recorded for them on TiVo--The Rescuers and Happily N'Ever after. We used some of the quiet time to catch up with work and begin preparations for Shabbat dinner. Saul and the girls made matzoh balls. The girls were models of decorum at the doctor's office where we went for check-ups early in the afternoon. The doctor was delighted with Saul's blood work and the fact that he has lost 14 pounds. Although his knees may be shot from all the walking and biking in Ocean City, the rest of him is in good shape. The doctor gave him a prescription for a test if the tick bite gets the Lyme disease bull's eye around it and told him not to worry. My blood pressure was good and I got 10-day prescriptions for Clarinex and Celebrex. I developed some pain behind my eyes on and off during vacation and since then, and evidently there are sinuses behind the eyes that can become inflamed. Although I haven't felt anything there, he said my throat is red.

The girls look like the picture of health right now with their beautifully and gradually tanned skin and relaxed expressions (as you can see from the photos).

We stopped at Trader Joe's to buy fresh kosher chicken. Izzy was cheering for the chicken as we didn't realize she had been chicken-deprived this summer. Dinner was fresh-baked challah, chicken soup with matzoh balls, grilled marinated chicken, iceberg lettuce with Russian dressing for Larry, and Israeli salad for the rest of us, and jasmine rice. Larry brought pareve pastry cigars in various flavors and we had an assortment of summer fruit dipped in individual bowls of chocolate for dessert. We tried out our new Cars and Board Games cartridges on the Wii before going to bed early.

Saturday, we went to synagogue. Rabbi Addison was away on vacation, but about three dozen members were in attendance, more than most of the large synagogues in the area would have on an ordinary August Shabbat. The girls found several other children with whom to play. We all took a nap on Saturday afternoon after lunch and we promised the girls we would go out in the evening if they slept. It was quite late when we were ready to leave and the evening turned into a dud. Dinner was very ho-hum at the outdoor patio of the new California Pizza Kitchen in Plymouth Meeting Mall and by the time we had finished eating, the Mall was closing and the merry-go-round was inaccessible. We saved the evening for them and redeemed ourselves by letting them watch movies in our bed for a while before tucking them into their own.

Sunday morning, I put the house in order, cleaning up after our weekend and I was frustrated because by noon when I was about to spend a few hours on the computer, we were beset by sporadic thunderstorms. It seemed that every time I thought we were finished with them and restarted the computer, I would again hear distant thunder and have to shut it down. I finally gave up and took a nap. The girls spent most of the day in pajamas playing and watching movies. We spent an extra amount of time with the girls putting them to bed and reading them the storybook that Jessica had put together about our vacation in Ocean City.

Monday, I awoke at 5 a.m. to catch up with the work I had not been able to complete because of the thunderstorms. By 9:30 a.m. I had completed everything I needed to accomplish for the day. Larry dropped off Brenna, who is done with camp, so that the cousins could be together for the day. The weather was incredibly beautiful and uncharacteristically cool for August and rather than go to the swim club, we decided to take advantage of our Philadelphia Zoo membership. I made us all lunch at home. Mom was having a bad day. I had taken her breakfast to her room and she barely ate anything. At lunchtime, she requested that Saul make her a yogurt smoothie and bring it to her room because she wasn't feeling up to joining us in the kitchen. We arrived at the zoo at about 2:30 p.m. and spent an absolutely delightful two hours there. Our membership entitled us to access the Tree House and the girls had not been there on our previous visit. They loved it and we took some marvelous photos there. We stopped at King Buffet on our way home and had an early dinner. Brenna was a bit tired and cranky when we arrived there and did not want to eat. That changed when she saw Sami getting soft ice cream from the machine and making a sundae. Among other things, she ate clams (which she loves) both large and small as she does not keep kosher, and examining them and playing with the shells was a revelation for Sami and Izzy. When we arrived home, about 6:00 p.m., I made Mom a bowl of soup and took it to her room. She had only half finished her smoothie. Erica and Beth came over and we all played with the Wii for a while. Everyone went in to say hi and spend a few minutes with Grandmom, but she was still not feeling well. They all went home early and the girls went to bed without argument having exhausted themselves with the Wii.

When we got into bed for the evening I decided to return a phone call to Roxy. While we were speaking to each other, Mom tried to reach Saul on the phone intercom. I put Roxy on hold and went down the hall to see what she wanted. She was extremely ill, dizzy and unable to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. I carried the commode from her bathroom (it has been there since her last hip surgery) and put it right next to the bed. I tried to help her sit up so that she could use it but she just sank back down saying she was too dizzy and unable to sit up. She was very distressed and I held her hand which was uncharacteristically warm while we wavered about how to proceed. Then, we began a debate involving Adele also about whether to call an ambulance to take her to the hospital. In the end, she did not object to our calling an ambulance as she has in the past. As timing would have it, throughout the evening, Ken was on a conference call with his partner and a big potential client in Hawaii. Beth came over to stay with the girls and within a few minutes eight emergency personnel were in Mom's room prepping her for the ride in the ambulance. I threw on some clothes and rode in the front of the ambulance. Saul drove himself down a few minutes later and Adele met us there almost immediately after the ambulance arrived. Around midnight, we were told that she would be admitted and Saul and I left to relieve Beth. Adele called us about 1 a.m. after Mom was stable and resting in her room. The problem appeared to be dehydration.

Tuesday morning, Randi went down to the hospital and called to say that Mom was sitting up and eating breakfast. Her vital signs were good and they might be discharging her. Randi left around 12:30 p.m. Saul and I took Brenna and the girls to Beachcombers and waited to hear whether Mom would be discharged. About 3:30 p.m. I received the phone call saying she was being released. I left Saul with the girls who were in the middle of Play Doh and face painting, and drove to Abington Hospital to retrieve Mom. She was delighted to be released so quickly and seemed to be feeling better. I took her straight home and settled her into bed. Then I drove back and picked up Saul and the three girls around 5:00 p.m. While I helped them shower, Saul drove over to Costco and picked up a large pizza and a large kosher hot dog for Mom. Beth joined us and then Adele arrived. Mom ate half a hot dog at the table with us. Then we all had leftover ice cream and cake from Sami's party. After that, Mom went off to sleep while the three girls watched The Rescuers in bed with me while I dozed and Adele, Beth and Saul schmoozed for a while. Around 8:30 p.m., Adele left with Brenna.

This morning, Mom was feeling terrible. Saul woke her at 8:00 a.m. when she had been sleeping for 12 hours. She was refusing to eat, saying she was too sick. With a combination of cajoling and browbeating, we managed to get breakfast little-by-little into her in the kitchen. Sami discovered a large corrugated cardboard folder from an oversized calendar in my office and she and Izzy took it, some additional cartons, scotch tape, and their art supplies box to their playroom upstairs ostensibly to prepare a puppet stage. About an hour later, signs began to appear around the house announcing the show, "Eligah the Profet" (sic) and advising us that they would yell when the show was ready. We videoed the show and loved every precious moment. While all that was going on, a nurse arrived who helped set up Mom's heart monitor. Her vital signs were good even though she was still feeling terrible.

We made Mom finish her oatmeal at lunchtime and saw that she finished drinking the smoothie she requested as well. I taught the girls to slice mushrooms with a small knife and for lunch we had soba noodles with mushrooms sauteed in sesame oil with scallions, fresh ginger, soy sauce, mirin, and fresh thyme from the garden. The girls were very curious about the brown soba noodles and I told Sami I would try to find her a video showing the unique way they are made. Both girls loved the dish and wanted to have it again for dinner. I told them tomorrow, maybe.

Wednesday is the day for clay at the swim club and we had to be there to pick up the clay birds that the girls had painted and that had been fired for them. This will be one of our last days together at Beachcombers. The girls are going to their other grandparents on Friday for a week and then school starts for both Saul and Sami. Izzy is coming back by herself for a week at the end of the month. I made cheese omelets for dinner and Saul went off to a meeting at Melrose B'nai Israel. Mom ate only half an omelet, but ate a full bowl of butternut squash soup at the table before going off to bed. Izzy had a temper tantrum at dinner and was carried off to bed by Saul before eating very much. She fell asleep shortly after that. I let Sami watch movies in my bed and just tucked her in a little while ago. It has been such a joy to have them here for the summer even with the occasional fit of temper from Izzy. I know I will be suffering from withdrawal as soon as they are gone.


Ari said...

I'm impressed that they were able to get the signs so high up on the door there.

Also, Wii "cartridge?" What is this, 1986?

Anonymous said...

My name is Jane Eaton and i would like to show you my personal experience with Celebrex.

I have taken for 11 months. I am 39 years old. Celebrex works too well, which is why it is so dangerous. It is one of the most effective things you can take for arthritis-type issues, and for controlling inflammation/pain after knee surgery. But the side effects are very extreme: intestinal bleeding/perforation, heart problems, and liver toxicity. I am allergic to Ibuprofen and Alleve, so Clebrex was a life saver. But I am not willing to sacrifice my liver for it. The ER staff told me that they see very serious side effects in Celebrex patients.

Side effects-
I ended up in the emergency room in extreme pain and hyperventilating because of liver problems.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Jane Eaton