The problem with there are two obsessed peole in the house is getting time to work on our various obsessions. SMWM's photography is doing pretty well, but editing photos takes a lot of time. I want to write. But, with only one laptop, it gets harder to find "alone" time. For me, writing needs to be maintained at a certain level or I spent a day or so trying to "remember how to write". Needless to say, it has been a very frustrating few months. Her laptop is still slowly chugging through the recovery process and she still has my laptop.
Last weekend was going to be my "alone" weekend to work on my writing projects. It didn't happen for a lot of reasons, mostly a very sick child and a death in the family.
Trading off gone wrong
We trade off parental duties fairly often. An hour here for an hour there. A little over a month ago, she needed to spend some alone time working on editing pictures. We originally planned for her to go to the hotel for two days but I would pick up EDM on Saturday and give her the entire day. That way, we both got twenty-four hours to work on our respective projects.
Since she is still on Groupon, we still have a steady stream of customers. And it does bring in money, so we had a scheduling crisis where she couldn't give me time alone. Instead, she was doing a photo shoot on Friday and another on Sunday, which gave her Saturday to edit pictures and try to keep up with the steady stream of new pictures.
Not a major problem. At the moment, her photography has a higher priority and we decided to give me an equal amount of time later. Sadly, that equal time didn't happen because of some other things, so we rescheduled it for this weekend.
On Thursday, my little one got a present
Thursday, EDM got sick. It was just sniffles but it quick turned into wheezing for breath and a lot of crying. We did the usual (steam baths and child-grade drugs), but it got worse the next day. We called the nurse's line and, after listening to him, she mentioned he probably picked up croup again (the cough/cry is somewhat distinctive). Now, croup is a virus which means there is nothing they can really do about it. And he wasn't serious enough to merit steroids, but we were advised to watch over him.
And that comes to Friday and Saturday. One of us needed to be watching him because he would be fine for an hour and then start to panic. And when he panicked or got upset, he had trouble with wheezing and that would set him off even more. And it would turn into a viscous cycle until we hauled him into the icy porch or into a steam bath. He never turned blue or any of the warning signs, but it is stressful.
And heartbreaking to watch him wake up in a panic and trying to hold him until he calmed down enough to breathe. And listening to the wheeze as he didn't get the hint he should slow down and insisted on using the battle octopus all over the house.
I am not a cheerful person and I easily get in the gloom and doom. So, as I'm stuck on a bed with him napping between my legs (my thigh apparently make a fantastic pillow), I started running through all those what-if scenarios. What if he stopped breathing? What would I do? How would I reacts? Hours of watching over him with little paranoid fantasies running through my head.
I didn't get a lot of restful sleep.
Intellectually, I know he was safe. I knew what symptoms to look for and what to listen for, but that didn't stop me from wanting to poke him every few minutes to make sure he was breathing. Or that brief panic when he held his breath for no reason whatsoever.
And then Saturday happened
So, I have all these frightful little horrors running in my head. Which came to a crux when Susan suddendly started screaming for me to come upstairs. She was watching over him at the time, but I actually got very frightened for a moment as I'm stumbling toward the stairs.
However, it wasn't EDM. It was a phone call from a police officer. SWMW's father had died in his sleep and suddendly everything was on her shoulders.
That is something I can handle. So, I had my notebook and a pencil with me already, so I answered the phone and dealt with the initial panic between the officer and later with the medical examiner. I also made the initial phone calls to JW's (her father) brothers.
I have certain blindspots when it comes to my emotional tapestry, but I'm good at coordinating in moments of (relative) crisis. I managed to make the initial calls to the funeral home (the ME needed to deliver a body "soon") and got the ball running. By then, she had calmed down enough which was good because I couldn't do much more without being a direct relative.
The rest of Saturday was dealing with JW's passing. There was some power games between the brothers to figure out who is in charge. And a whole bevy of bad news. SWMW's mother came up from Iowa City and helped with the things I don't do well (compassion). Between the three of us, we got everything settled down.
Sunday was handling the funeral arrangement. JW was a vertern, so we are hoping that we can get some assistance with the funeral because... well, neither of us have enough for a funeral. I watched over EDM who was over the peak and getting better, but still needed to be watched. I got a bit of writing in, but not much since I had to pay attention.
On Christmas Eve (Monday), I borrowed a truck from a thankfully good friend and we pretty much spent the entire day emptying out his house. And arranging the paperwork so we can start dissassembling his life (getting rid of cellphones, credit cards, etc). We did have a lovely dinner with MC and BN (SWMW's other parents) and they watched over EDM while we were packing. I accidently left my cell phone in the truck, but since I'm not a teenage girl (silly story), I won't die and I decided to pick it up later.
Today, I think we just crashed. None of us are inclined to head out of the house (except maybe for some IHOP).
I have a garage full of "stuff" that needs to be dealt with and a car to unbury before work tomorrow. Most of it is stuff we just have to deal with, but at least the blind panic over. The only thing left is a lot of phone calls.
EDM is breathing pretty strongly until he gets upset. Fortunately, he's finally getting to the point he drags us to his crib when he's ready to sleep. And we both feel okay with him sleeping alone now, which is just less thing to worry about.