Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Whirlwind & A Hurricane

Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook are no doubt aware of my absence from the shop this weekend. I am sorry I was unable to write a blog post as well. On Friday afternoon I was working as always: listing on eBay, shipping orders, talking to clients. I was feeling optimistic because I set up a meeting with a new essential oils customer. I had plans to clean the house and harvest some herbs and vegetables before Hurricane Irma's expected arrival. Then I got a text message from my son telling me he was going to the doctor on his college campus due to a long list of symptoms he was experiencing. After that our whole lives were sucked into a whirlwind. 

Almost immediately my son sent another text to tell me the campus doctor told him to go to the ER. He drove himself, against my wishes. I got in touch with my sister in Asheville, about an hour away from my son but still two and a half hours closer than here. Then I called the pet sitter and found out she was out of town. I got in touch with a friend who agreed to watch our animals. She came by to see where the pet food is kept and find out the routine. My husband arrived home and tried to book a hotel room. My husband and kids threw clothes into suitcases while I rushed to package and ship orders. I threw my clothes into a suitcase. Later I would find I forgot to pack my shoes, my allergy oils, and my Thyromin.

We heated some leftovers for the kids, grabbed a couple sandwiches and jumped in the car, leaving a whole sink full of dirty dishes, which was almost painful to me. My sister sent me a text at that point explaining she was with our son and that he was being moved to the Intensive Care Unit. I was in such a state then I doubt I could have recited the alphabet, so it's a good thing my husband was driving. We dropped the younger kids off with my brother-in-law and finally made it to the hospital. Our son was awake and stable, so we were relieved, but shattered to find out he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Finally, close to midnight, we left the hospital. The hotels were full of hurricane evacuees so we were only able to stay one night near my son and had to crash at my sister's the next night.  Our son was discharged from the hospital Saturday morning when they had his blood sugar under control.

Because all this happened over the weekend, we were released from the hospital with very little information. The Walmart pharmacist in Sylva was incredible and gave us a demonstration of all my son's new equipment. We spent Saturday in Walmart and a series of pharmacies and diabetic food aisles, our lot cast with the hurricane refugees loading up on air mattresses and ibuprofen and bottled water.  I felt a kinship with them, all of us cast like flotsam into the unknown, victims of one kind of storm or another.

 My sister's family took us in Saturday night and fed us, despite a rather terrifying grill fire. Time for me, since Friday, has just been a blur of sugar counts and carbohydrate counts and doctors and insurance claims and a constant aching worry that my son's insulin levels will spike in his sleep, and make him fall into a coma, that we won't be able to find the money to pay all the hospital bills which have yet to arrive. We arrived home to a kitchen reeking from the unwashed dishes and the unemptied trash can, the stench of life interrupted. Hurricane Irma arrived here just after us, luckily downgraded to a tropical storm, although our neighborhood pool is now closed after a tree fell on it and I spent a sleepless night listening to the wind howl around our walls.

I am just going to go ahead and apologize in advance, because I am going to miss some things, I know it. I will be late to reply to messages or ship packages or "like" your Instagram pictures and Facebook posts or share your Poshmark listings. We will be spending most weekends for the foreseeable future in Asheville to be nearer our son. I was already struggling to keep up with our youngest son's medical schedule and now I have another chronic condition to deal with, this one three and a half hours away. Please be patient with me while I navigate my storm-torn life and learn to transform this terrifying unknown world into my new normal.

I want to thank all of you who reached out to us on social media, in texts and messages and phone calls. It was overwhelming and means more than I can say. My son is touched to find so many people all over the world, many of whom we've never even met, praying for him and wishing him well. We send all that love back to you a thousand fold. We wish you well, with all our hearts.

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