Gosh, it's been so long since I've written that I have been putting it off even longer because I didn't know where to start. We have had a lot going on the past couple of weeks. Well, we've had a lot going on for longer than that, but you've already been there with me.
Vince spent some time in Charleston, South Carolina teaching some classes. I am sooo jealous! I love, love, love Charleston. He spent 2 weeks there.
During that time, I was heading out to Milwaukee for my grandpa's funeral and my grandmother's burial. My MIL flew in and I flew out literally within an hour of one another. We passed each other in security. My flight to Minneapolis ended up getting delayed by an hour, which made me miss my connection to Milwaukee. I ran through the MSP airport trying to catch my plane, but still missed it. There was a flight to Madison, WI boarding at that moment, so the airline traded my ticket for that flight. Meanwhile, I was in the midst of an asthma attack in the airport while trying to call my dad to tell him not to wait for me in Milwaukee with the rental car. We were supposed to fly in close to the same time and rent a car together, but we all know what happens to the best laid plans, right? I figured once I got on the plane to Madison, I would order up some hot tea or hot water to settle my breathing, but there was no beverage service since it was such a short flight. Great! I tried to settle in the best I could, but I could not stop coughing and wheezing and the lady next to me was CRAZY! Something about an abscessed jaw and OMG, what pain! And someone from the airline stole her narcotic pain medication and she hoped they died of an overdose of her meds and she REALLY needed a cigarette, etc...Yeah. That's what I sat next to. Then she would doze off and wake up confused and ask me insane questions. "Did we just land?" "Um, nooo. We're still taxiing for takeoff." So, I finally got myself off of that plane and rented a car for $275 for one day and drove the hour to my aunt's house. (All they had was an SUV and I had to pay extra to drop it in Milwaukee instead of bringing it back to Madison.)
By then my breathing was better, but not great. I made it there, got ready for bed and could not sleep because I couldn't breathe! I would doze off and then wake up gasping for air. I haven't had issues with my asthma in years. I thought it had finally gone away. None of my friends here even know about my life-long battle with asthma. I have always had to do breathing treatments, take weekly allergy injections and carry several inhalers with me everywhere I go. But since I got pregnant the first time, these symptoms have all but disappeared. My inhalers all went out of date and into the trash long ago. Even with working out and running I had no problems until now. In the last couple of months, I have noticed more allergies, more wheezing after I run. Especially now that it has gotten cold out. I guess now that my body has fully recovered from pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc. my lungs are returning to normal. Weird, I know. So, now I have an appointment with the allergy/asthma clinic next week. I haven't been working out at all and I can tell! Even walking Audrey to school makes my lungs tight. Anyway...I made it through that night and the wheezing eventually went away completely.
The next day was my grandfather's funeral. It was COLD! And rainy. We made it through that and spent the rest of the evening at my cousin's house talking, laughing, and oh, yeah, drinking beer. My poor aunt had a flat tire on the way home, so my dad and I got up super-early the next day so that we could pick her up and take her to my grandma's burial and then to run some errands. We spent the day with her running those errands and going through old pictures and eating the goodies we picked up at the Italian deli. I flew out the next day. Of course, the cold followed me to WI and it was nice and warm here while I was gone. Then, when I got back, it got cold here again! At least my trip back was uneventful. My MIL took great care of the kids while we were gone and the kids had a spectacular time with her. I think they wore her out! I'm sure they wore her out. She left on Sunday. The kids were sad.
Then, we had to deal with Ranger. He was not doing well last week. A couple mornings he would come in and wake me up early and just sit and stare at me. I thought maybe he needed to go out, but he would just sit there. I would love on him and put him in my bed until he fell back asleep. The lump was so much bigger and he was struggling to breathe. He quit eating. Then he started getting messy. I would come home and have to clean up bloody, stinky messes from my carpet. I called Vince and told him I didn't think Ranger was going to last until he got home from SC. I tried, but I couldn't take it any more. I called the vet and made the appointment for Thursday afternoon. I told the girls that he was really sick and I was going to take him to the doctor, but Ranger might not come home because the doctor might not be able to make him better. They were extremely upset. All of us were bawling. I took him in and stayed with him until the end. It was quick and he was ready. He didn't struggle at all. They put down a towel and he laid right down and put his head in my hands. The vet noticed immediately how much bigger the tumor was and said that if he was having bloody stools and vomit and not eating, there was probably some internal stuff going on and we were doing the right thing before he was in too much pain. When I got home I explained to the girls that he was too sick and died. We were one big, teary, snotty mess that night. Katie kept saying she wanted to call the "bet" and tell them to fix Ranger and bring him home. She still wakes up crying and saying that she wants Ranger to come home. It's been strange here without him.
Vince got home on Saturday, thank you God! I was just about to crack completely. This has all been too much for me without him here for the better part of the past 2 months. Usually I do okay, but this has been harder than usual. Plus, I came down with a nasty cold on Friday. Of course. I was glad he got home so that I could rest. That's really selfish, but I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was about to crack. Now maybe things can get back to normal. So far, this week has been pretty quiet, except for this morning on the walk to school when Audrey threw a fit because I told her she couldn't ride on the stroller. I'm pretty sure that anyone who was asleep along the route was rudely awakened by her fit-throwing. She was literally screaming and wailing the entire way! Just your normal Tuesday. Let's hope for a more peaceful walk home.
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