I am sitting in a corner of the tennis section of the health club. The boys are swimming. The club is having some sort of “Let’s Get as Many New Members as We Can This Week While the Updated Fitness Center Still Looks Fresh” Fair. Thus, the lobby is rearranged and all the chairs that do not hurt my back are missing. There is a man doing warm ups about two feet from me. The tennis observation deck (is that what it is called?) is large and empty. Can’t he do them on the other side or perhaps in the newly remodeled fitness center? Ooops. I just heard him talking about a funeral home. I should stop being so catty.
How are you surviving the winter? How many snow days have you had? Is your school on the same snow day requirement as the girls? I secretly hope for you that sometimes you get a break from your French teacher duties while Miranda and Iris have to go to school. Is a professional day on the calendar soon?
OMG, all of a sudden there are so many tennis people. Large, awkward teenagers. Maybe I should not have sat so close to the boxes of pizza…
Emlen is finally holding steady health wise. It has been rough a couple of weeks and I am ready to come up for air. I was pretty sure that we were not going to make it through the winter without a hospital stay. But I think we are OK. I have everything crossed that can be crossed. And I am going to knock on wood, too.
About half way through the super strong staph antibiotic Emlen started feeling better. We relaxed a little bit. Then he picked up another virus. We were literally out and about for one day that week - school and an evening of swim team. The rest of the week was filled with vacation days and snow days. Seriously – just one day and a new bug. How many times can I ask him to wash his hands? By the weekend, he had lost his voice and started coughing. By mid-week he was worse. At swim team (we keep him exercising to help clear his lungs as long as he is able) he was upset that he was always behind by twenty-five yards. He looked a little green. At the time, I considered that it was the club’s new LEED certified fluorescent lighting. There are signs all over explaining the new lighting choices. I guess they have to mention it, because I do not think anyone would actually notice.
Christian just informed me that the club's new lighting is much brighter. He exercises at five forty-five in the morning. I suppose the difference is more extreme when it is dark outside.
Teenage tennis boys are swinging their racquets right in front of my face. They just do not realize how big they are. I think I might have to move.
Back to Emlen: We upped all his meds and therapies and cancelled all of his extracurricular activities. His cough got worse. By the end of the week he was coughing all night. While he managed to sleep through the hacking, I did not. I could hear him through my ear plugs. Yes, I wear ear plugs. They are blue and do not match my PJ’s or anything else in the house for that matter, but they help quiet the sounds of Christian’s snoring – which is so much better after his sinus surgery last year. My Aunt recommended the ear plugs years ago as a way to survive the lighter sleeping patterns of older ladies. I am there – the older lady bit, at least with sleeping. Oh, the other day friends were asking about what to wear to a restaurant we are all going to in a few weeks. I explained that the people our age are usually in dresses or jeans and nice tops, button down shirts, maybe a sports coat, but it is definitely a wear what makes you, you, kind of place. Then I said the older, 50 plus, crowd is fancier – cocktail dresses, khakis and jackets, sometimes suits. While I was speaking I realized that in a few weeks I am going to be a member of the 50 plus crowd. Ha! Need to go buy a super dressy dress, so I can join my new people. Or, I should rethink at what age the “older” crowd starts.
Back to Emlen again: I should not have been surprised I heard him - through the earplugs. Over the years I have programmed myself to wake up at the sounds of coughing. Even the ear plugs could not muffle this one. It was bad.
I called the pediatrician. I was dreading going into the long MLK weekend with Emlen in that condition. I used the CF card. I am getting better at it. I should use it more often. I find that it can get me out of lots of stuff that I do not want to do. At the doctor’s office, CF and a cough equals earliest available appointment. Emlen was happy about this because he wanted to go to school. He had a field trip to the elementary school's new STEAM set up. I just hoped that the pediatrician available was on board with the whole idea of prophylactic antibiotics. Emlen’s pulmonologist always hands them out when he is coughing. Some pediatricians, not really knowing what they are dealing with listen to Emlen’s lungs, comment that he does not have a fever and send us home – with nothing.
Fortunately, this pediatrician was proactive and followed the pulmonologist’s lead. Yahoo! We left with a script for a ten-day course of adult strength antibiotics. By Sunday Emlen was much better. He even had the energy to ski half a day with Christian and Henry.
For the moment, he seems to be the best he has been in ages.
Now I am watching the cutest little boy pick his nose and drag his booger covered fingers all over the chairs and banisters surrounding the tennis observation deck. I am so not touching anything. I will have to use my core to stand up. My Pilates teacher will be pleased. I wonder if there is a Purell dispenser close by?
I have to say, I am a little worn out from all the Emlen stuff. It is good that Henry seems to be on autopilot. He has a good group of smart diligent friends. This weekend he is auditioning for a tenor sax part in the Junior District Concert Band. His band teachers say it is for the experience and if he can get through it without throwing up we should consider it a victory. And he made it to the Final Round of the Middle School Geography Bee. If he wins he gets to take another test.
It is good that it is warmer this week and the days are getting longer, even if only a little bit warmer and a little bit longer. I saw the lavender peeping out from under the snow and ice. Has the snow started to recede in Maine? Maybe spring will come early…
Did you see this week's New Yorker cover? It is just how I feel about January.
The pizza is gone and so are all the tennis teenagers. It is quiet now.
Hi to Tim, Miranda and Iris.
PS. Loved the selfie of you on your solo walk in the woods wearing the LLR hat. Thanks. May I forward it to my bother for posting on the LLR Facebook page?