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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Best Laid Plans

You have to laugh. Otherwise, what else have you got but half your body covered in a vomit mixed concoction of chewed carrots, baloney and milk?

Francine and I had plans to sit back, put our feet up and relax this past new year's eve by watching a couple of movies. (The Simpsons movie, which she bought me for Christmas -- and Live Free or Die Hard, which we rented using a coupon from the Blockbuster gift pack which Santa left in the stocking I'd carefully hung by the fireplace).

It had been a hectic ten days of constant company and multiple travels (driving 6 hours up to Levack to pick up my Mom and Baba and bring them to Hamilton before Christmas, then the following weekend returning them safely home) and when Francine got home from work on the 31st our plan was simple. Get Alexander to bed at a decent time (unlike most of the late bedtimes during the Christmas holidays), sit back, have a fun snack, some fun drinks and watch a couple of movies before ringing in the New Year with Dick Clark on the telly.

Of course, those plans fell through when Alexander started projectile vomiting all over me at about 7:45 PM while I was holding him in the kitchen just prior to putting him to bed. The poor little guy emptied his stomach contents in three very nasty large volume gushes of the putrid, acidic chunky fluid. I stood there, rubbing his back with my one clean hand and telling him it was okay, while Francine ran to the other room to get us some clean towels and wash cloths. We proceeded to strip naked in the kitchen and headed straight into the bathtub to clean up.

Of course, this scenario (location, situation and stomach content volume slightly modified) occurred one more time. After another dual bath and change of jammies, the next few boughts of nausea came with a bit more warning, so I was able to retrieve a small bucket and Alexander was able to aim in the correct direction in time. But it was still a long, difficult evening; we sat up with Alexander, all snuggled together on the couch, him fading in and out of sleep, waking to puke a bit more up, us trying to keep him comfortable, calling Telehealth Ontario (fantastic service, providing free 24 hour access to a registered nurse that can easily help someone decide the next step in treatment - ie, what to do if staying home, whether you should book a doctor's appointment the next day or if you should get to a clinic or emergency room - if more people used this service, we'd have less emergency rooms crammed with idiots and their hang-nails or a mild cough) and talking quietly.

As we watched the New Year rung in (accompanied by CHCH's annual live broadcast of the concert at Niagara Falls - oh man, has Mike Reno, the lead singer of Loverboy ever gone to pot. Looks like someone "turned him loose" at an all you can eat buffet) Francine and I smiled at each other and chatted about how several times in the past few years we've made simple plans that haven't quite fallen through the way we expected.

Like that time, just a few years ago where we spent New Year's Eve with Francine looking on while a woman I'd just met was sticking her finger up my ass. (To make a long story short, we were in the emergency room on the advice of the good folks from Telehealth Ontario - after spending the previous day pushing cars out of snow, and experiencing increasingly intense abdominal pain, there was a fear that I had a hernia. The woman I'd just met was a cute young medical resident who was checking for internal bleeding. At least I'd been wearing my spooky eyes underwear and that helped break the ice. Fortunately, there wasn't internal bleeding and I'd just sprained a groin muscle and inadvertently helped a young resident experience her first rectal probe)

In all seriousness, as 2008 was arriving and Francine and I were sitting up with Alexander, knowing that we were in for yet another long sleepless night of worry and concern for our little Mr. Man, I thought to myself how, despite the fact that our plans fell through and we didn't get to spend the evening relaxing in the manner we'd planned, that I was still spending my New Year's Eve in the company of the two most important people in my life. Sure, the circumstances weren't the greatest. They can't always be. But we were together. And that made all the difference to me.

Happy New Year. May this year find you peace, joy, prosperity and good health. And in those moments where any of those might be lacking, may you find comfort in the proximity and memories of your friends and loved ones.

4 comments:

Terry said...

Mark,

I hope your little one is doing well, I know how much fun that can be. I agree that Telehealth is a great service we have used it several times. The comment that grabbed my attention, however, is the one about spending time with your family. This is something that is either ignored or goes unsaid too often. It doesn't matter what's going on if you have the most important people to you by your side.

I wish you a good new year.

lime said...

poor alexander, not a fun thing at all. glad you can have the perspective you have about the whole situation though. hope he's feeling much better and that 2008 is puke and rectal probe free from here on out.

tricia said...

Similar New Year's right next door, only it was me with the virus (Gavin had it earlier in the week). Best wishes for a great 2008!

Rainypete said...

I too am a huge fan of Telehealth. It sure beats the crap out of rushing down to emergency only to spend four ours amongst the ultra ill to find out it's a virus and there's nothing to do but let it pass.

I gave up after Dennis DeYoung and made the mistake of tuning into the coverage of New York. Poor Dick Clark is all I've got to say of that! Look at the bright side, at least things are sure to get better after setting the bar that low right?