"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law states that whatever can go wrong will. And it hit us pretty hard, starting on that Thursday before Christmas. I had been packing furiously and getting everything ready. We were planning to leave no later than 10 a.m. on Friday, hoping to arrive at my brother's house in time for dinner. (This is going to be a looooooong post...go to the bathroom first, maybe get you some snacks...)

Thursday evening, I was hard at work on a cake when the Man was summoned upstairs by da Boo. Her fingers hurt. Not just her finger, but fingers, plural. What he saw on her fingers raised some serious red flags. It looked like on both hands, her index and thumb tips were covered with a blister or the skin was red and puckered. Also, it was spreading to her other fingertips. For the next couple hours, we were talking to the after-hours pediatrician on the phone and contacting the various doctors in our family for their opinion. The Man even broke out my new camera to take pictures of da Boo's fingers so they could see what it looked like. The after-hours doc's diagnosis didn't fit. Our next option was the Emergency Room or wait for morning and her regular pediatrician. Since she wasn't running a temperature or in great agony, we opted to wait. I was on the phone as soon as the office opened. I described her fingers and the nurse said we should come in...was 3:30 that afternoon okay?

"Well," I tried to explain, "We're supposed to be heading out of town this morning..."
"Oh," she said, shuffled some papers and then "How soon could you get here?"'

The Man and da Boo were immediately sent to the doctor. The diagnosis? She had a strep infection. In her fingertips! I've never heard of such a thing! She came home with antibiotics and lotions. By then, it was lunchtime. We should have left two hours before. I fed the kids and we finished getting packed.

By 2:30, we were on our way! Our route took us through Wyoming. The Man had checked weather and road conditions the night before and all looked good. Things didn't look so good once we got started several hours later than we intended. It was snowing, freezing cold, with strong winds. Along this route, there are electronic billboards that tell you of any problems, like hazardous conditions or road closures. We had been on the road two hours when these billboards reported the road was closed nearly an hour away. No worries, we told each other. We'll keep driving and perhaps they can get the road re-opened. Still, we kept on eye on those billboards. We had just entered a town and I saw that the message on the billboards had changed.

Me: Road Closed at Exit 104.
The Man: Where are we?
Me: Exit 102.

Temptation to use Daddy Words ensues. At this exact moment, my brother calls us to see where we are. It is 5:30 and we had planned to be nearing his house by then. Instead, we have him get online and check the road conditions. He reports that the road is closed...in three other places.

With no choice, we find a hotel for the night. After getting our room, we grab some dinner. Then, we get the kids in their swimming suits and have a fun time in the hotel pool. That evening, the kids are on one double bed and we are on the other.

This delay was actually a good learning experience, for the most part. We did have a good time in the pool (until my swimming suit failed but that is a whole other post - which I will probably never post) and we learned that the kids could not share the same bed without both being hauled from the blankets at some point to be placed in time out for fighting. Also, we learned that when travelers are stranded for the night, the first place they go for breakfast in the morning is the Wal-Mart bakery. There were no donut holes left.

These problems resolved, we got back on the road and resumed our travels*. We had to go about 15 miles under the speed limit as the roads were icy and the wind was still blowing. After driving for a while, we stopped to have lunch made from things we'd packed from home. This was when I realized that in my flurry of packing, I forgot the peanut butter. Mmmmm...jelly sandwiches...

*I hesitate to mention the darkest moment on the trip. We were driving slowly along that highway, when the Man noticed there were no on-coming traffic. Thinking the road was closed again, we continued on carefully. Soon, we came across the reason. There was an accident. A very, very bad one. Since I am no longer on happy pills, I tend to...freak out?...shall we say. It's hard to sob hysterically but keep quiet so as not to alarm your kids, sitting behind you.


Kristie said...

Wow! I don't think that I have ever heard of a strep infection on the fingers either. That is odd! Sorry about all the delays and accident. We saw a very bad one on the way to FL where the people were still laying in the road. We just tried not to look and had a prayer. I hope that your trip was nice though!

Debi said...

I'd love to see a picture of those fingers with a strep rash. How long did it take for it to go away? You ARE a great writer. I love hearing about the adventures you had on your Christmas vacation!

KWILY said...

So . . . how do you keep it together in front of your kids? Ever since I've had V that has been my biggest fear--I just don't want her to see me the way I am in my "dark" moments. I kind of thought that as a mom I would be endowed with superpowers, but I just feel like my usual self. I'd love to read your thoughts on this on your blog, but I understand if you keep duckduckcow a bit more lighthearted! I love to read your posts.

Love, Kamille

Heather said...

I'm so glad you made it safely.

On a separate note...please post the swimming incident.

Jessica G. said...

debi - I will when I figure out how to get pictures off the thing!
Kamille - I touched on this a little in a previous post: "Name them one by one" but I do intend to go into greater depth at a later time.
Heather - :P

Amanda said...

I want to hear the rest! Did you finally get there....with no more incidents? Did you eat just jelly on bread? These questions linger on my mind!

A strep infection on the fingers....never heard of it----YUCK!

BkenneyBme said...

Oh wow. Did that all really happen? I'm glad you made it safely. Jessica, I love your blog, thanks for sharing.

vee said...

This is so wild! My daughter had the exact same thing, strep infection in the finger, at almost the exact same time. We noticed her finger on Christmas Day. I think she is going to lose her fingernail, yuck! (I have never heard of this either and I found your blog while doing a google search on strep infection in finger.)

Jessica G. said...

Vee - Wow, sorry to hear that! What really helped my daughter's fingers was to coat them in Aquaphor and Eucerin lotion, cover them with socks and let her sleep like that. Her fingers are back to normal now! Can't even tell there was a problem.

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