Friday, April 9, 2010

The Last Two Weeks - A Tale of Surgery, of Sick Kids, and Bronchitis

I am sure you are wondering if I got hit by a truck or if I escaped to a deserted island for a little relaxation.  The answer on both counts is no, however the second idea has merit.

I spent the last two weeks in a hectic fury.  My kids were sick, my husband was sick, I had surgery and then everyone got sicker.  So here we are, mom only slightly mobile, the kids coughing and the spouse recovering from bronchitis.  It would make an excellent sitcom...I promise.

So what did I learn from this crazy experience?  Well, the number one thing is to look into your magic ball before scheduling surgery.  If I had any idea everyone would be sick at the same time, I would have booked a flight to another country instead of having surgery. If I could see into the future I would have put everyone in a bubble to keep the germs contained. As it turned out, my family likes to share...a lot.

The other things I learned are a little more practical.

First, have a plan you have thought through. Having everyone sick means someone who feels horrible has to be in charge.  I don't know about you, but my brightest ideas do not tend to happen when I am feeling icky.  Knowing what was going to happen and on what day has taken a lot of the stress out of the last two weeks.

Second, have a backup plan for when the first plan falls apart.  The original surgery plan was that my husband was going to wait on me hand and foot while I slept off the effects of surgical medicines and then pain killers.  He was going to keep our well behaved children occupied with lovely activities and the whole family was going to get together to sing Kumbayah when I felt better.  (Okay, not really, but the plan was expected to be fairly smooth.)

In the end we had whoever was least dead at the moment helping whoever was most dead.  The kids watched a million hours of prerecorded cartoons and everyone coughed all over everyone else.  Lovely.

The third thing I learned is that your support network is key.  The bright spot in all of this is I have been reminded how many friends I have and how many people care about my family. Food started arriving, people transported my kids to school and activities and my life was carried on for me, all with minimal effort on my part.  I will have a mountain of thank you notes to write, but the problem will really be remembering to thank everyone who pitched in, and will still pitch in as I finish recovering.

So how does this relate to my overall topic of preparedness?  Well, there are many ways, and here are just a few.  I ended up needing medical records 3 times in the last week.  Good thing I knew where they were because I have been in no shape to hunt for them. I also needed to contact a large amount of people to make things happen.  Having numbers and relationships documented made that process easier. And lastly, knowing I had my financials organized meant I wasn't worried about unpaid bills or other undone activities. I promise I didn't have any brain cells left for even thinking about it.

So to wrap this up, I hope you never have a week like mine.  Not Fun.  If you do have a week like mine I hope you are able to circle your wagons, call on your support network and get through to the other side. Hopefully the other side includes a nice deserted beach and a cool drink...well, here's hoping anyway.

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