Charlie is completely incapacitated. The last time his back went out this badly, he didn't realize that just the smallest movement could trigger a muscle spasm that would fully disable him. Because neither of us want to risk him winding back up in the hospital on a morphine drip ... I have been adamant that he not move. Unfortunately, he had to move this morning, when he experienced horrible side effects from the Vicodin he'd been taking yesterday.
In 2001, Charlie was out of work for one full month to allow a complete recovery of his back. For thirty days, he was unable to lift anything weighing more than 5 pounds, he was also forbidden to bend, twist, run ... or clean the house. The minor difference between now and then, is that we didn't have three 2-year olds running free.
Yet again, I am extremely thankful that we have flexible careers that allow us to work from home. Today, I was fielding phone calls for an emergency situation at the office - while supervising the children running around the yard. While I was trying to carry on a conversation, I was also attempting to thwart our kids from flinging the better part of their toy collection over the backyard fence. It was about that time, I realized that they were standing on top of an ant hill and were being swarmed by little black ants.
Keeping my compusure in check for the important call I was on, I started swatting at the children's clothing. Just then, Carolyn came walking up to me with something green and slimy all over her finger. As I was wondering what it could be ... I noticed that William had picked up a snail from the ground.
A partially smeared out snail.
My beautiful daughter is standing next to me with part of the snail on her finger ... my beautiful son then proceeds to scoop out the remainder of the snail. My children are smiling at me with smeared out snail all over their hands ... and start to raise their little fingers up to their mouths.
The compusure I had maintained up until that point was lost.
Two of my children are covered in snail guts, all three of them are being swarmed with ants, my husband is laying on the floor completely unable to move, I am dealing with an emergency situation at work, we have contractors at our house finishing some work in our kitchen, a large number of our toys are in the neighbors yard ... and their sprinklers come on.
If there is a silver lining to any of this ... it's that my mother read my blog from yesterday. In 2001, because of work commitments I had in progress, mom flew out and helped Charlie through his rehabilitation. While I took off for work every morning, mom and Charlie took off for the pool, where they floated around for three weeks straight. Mom called this morning to see how Charlie was doing. When I gave her the lowdown on his condition, she hung up and called back a few minutes later.
Twenty two hours and 3,000 miles separate us, today. But tomorrow, mom will be here. She didn't even have to ask if I needed help. Like always, mom just knew.