Monday, October 6, 2014

A Litany of Feelings

There's a tremendous amount of information vying for top billing in this post.  This past week has been one during which I've deeply felt all the feelings.  I think I'll go feeling by feeling.

First, anticipation.  I have not yet seen Gone Girl, which opened over the weekend (to stellar reviews, I might add).  You may recall I read the book back in the spring, an experience you can read about here. I'm eager to see the movie & may make it to the theater this week, but, as you'll soon learn, last week was so full of crazy I decided to save Gillian Flynn's psychotic characters for another day.

Next, we explore perplexed.  Last Monday I posted this blog, & the week before that I posted a blog, & the week before that . . . you get the idea.  To give you fair warning if you've yet to read last week's post, it's about a book I read & there are few pictures, so it may not be your thing (*waves to my sister-in-law*).

Recently a handful of people have asked me if I ever post anything on the blog anymore.  Yes, yes I do.  It's come to my attention that some folks feel they've been left out of the blog loop, wanting to read but always missing the few notifications that would alert them to new posts.  I assure you there's no conspiracy, & I am going to (attempt to) address this soon.  Not today, but soon.  I don't want those who've asked to think their inquiries are being ignored, although it's likely if you're one of those who has inquired, you aren't reading this post either.  It's just like when I give my lecture on excessive absences, & the students who need to hear it are, well, absent.  

I'll now discuss joy.  A little over a week ago, my sister-in-law got engaged to Dow, a good-natured Louisiana Tech graduate who humors her allegiance to her alma mater, Auburn.  In fact, he proposed to her at Auburn the day before they played (& defeated) Louisiana Tech.  Despite Auburn's recent shellacking of LSU, we're all thrilled for Deni & Dow, who plan to marry during one of the many long months between football seasons.

Now, pride.  Last Wednesday, Trey argued before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.  I don't want to brag, but this is kind of a big deal, a fluffy feather in his lawyer cap, because the next stop after the Tenth Circuit is the Supremes (the court, not the Motown group).  I'd love to tell you more about the case, but you know, confidentiality & all.  By confidentiality, I mean that while he once told me the specifics of the case, at the moment I cannot recall any of them.

Next, I'd like to discuss frustration, panic, anger, & fear, with a wee bit of jealousy for good measure.  That's right, we're finally getting to the good stuff.  Do you know where the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is located?  I'll tell you.  The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals calls Denver, Colorado home.  Last Monday morning, Trey boarded a plane headed for Dallas, Texas, where he boarded another plane that took him to Denver, where he stayed for four nights & five days.

Here are some pictures of his trip:

 Monday night Reagan went to sleep in her own bed.  That lasted until about two o'clock Tuesday morning, & for the remainder of Trey's trip I shared the bed with both kids & Sophie, our small dog who got little sleep as she dodged flailing arms & legs.

Four nights & five days alone with your kids (isn't that an interesting phrase, alone with your kids?) can do funny things to your mind.  I was tired, & I was swimming in a sea of emotions, adrift in a perfect storm of weariness & worry.  Because I am a slave to breaking news, on Monday I knew that a man in the Dallas area was being tested for possible Ebola.  I did not panic.  After all, this wasn't the first Ebola scare in America, & every other Ebola scare had been just that, a scare.  Tuesday afternoon, two days into Trey's Rocky Mountain adventure, I came home from teaching my classes & sat down in front of my laptop.  Reagan had eaten her lunch & was engrossed in her chalk & chalkboard, Henry was asleep, & there was a cup of coffee awaiting me, the steam beckoning.  I was going to relax for a few minutes.

I don't think I've ever told you this, but as Tuesday, September 11, 2001, unfolded, I specifically remember thinking, I am so thankful Al Gore is not president right now.  Last Tuesday, when I read that an Ebola diagnosis had been made on American soil, my first thought was, I wish Mitt Romney was president.

I feel certain a President Romney would see the logic in placing restrictions on commercial flights from nations where Ebola is running rampant.  I understand that doctors & aid workers are needed in West Africa, & bless the hearts of those who're volunteering to do that work.  When humanitarian workers fly home, quarantine them until they are without a doubt Ebola-free.  To me, this policy would better reflect the idea of containment than having Dallas authorities chase down a homeless man who may've had contact with an infectious Ebola carrier.  Containment means the beast is contained, not loose in Dallas.

It is absurd that our government continues to allow anyone to leave a West African nation, fly into an American airport, touch things, hug people, sneeze, &, eventually, vomit profusely in a densely populated apartment complex (& in an ambulance that was kept in use for awhile after Mr. Ebola's transport!).

If you ever needed a clear picture of the government's failure to protect its people, this is it.   As I type, there are emergency responders & hospital personnel who're waiting, hoping they have not contracted Ebola on American soil, a threat their president dismissed weeks ago.  Working Americans (an endangered species!) are in an unimaginable position right now, hoping their health holds during this waiting period, & it all could have been avoided if the feds would allow only aid workers (this means no news reporters, no camera crews, & no men wanting to hang out at their girlfriend's apartment) to travel to & from West Africa.  I wish I was surprised at the Obama Administration's mishandling of this, but they've made their feelings about the sanctity of American borders quite clear.

I am not going to lie to you; I had a little bit of a meltdown Tuesday afternoon . . . & clearly, it may not be over yet.  Intellectually, I realize that the chances of me or anyone I know contracting Ebola are slim.  Unfortunately, I didn't spend much time in touch with my intellect last week.  When you're tired, your emotions usually edge out logic & reason.  When you're tired & outnumbered by two young kids & a dog, & a man is diagnosed with a deadly disease mere hundreds of miles from where your children sleep at night, & your government is run by incompetent fools who value political correctness above all else, your emotions soar victoriously to triumphant heights, while calming logic slumps to the corner, fatigued & defeated.

After the anvil dropped Tuesday, my consumption of news (& chips) was at an all-time high.  I could not stop checking Drudge.  I figured I had every reason to be worried as even Chris Matthews was critical of Obama, which I think, along with the spread of pestilence & disease, is a sign of the end times.  Trey, if you remember, had been in germ central the Dallas airport on Monday, & was set to return to DFW Friday on his way home.  My panic was brought on not just by a fear of Ebola, but largely by the realization that if we avoid a significant outbreak of Ebola in this nation, it will only be because we are lucky, or blessed, or both, because those in charge are fools.  I was well aware of their incompetence prior to last Tuesday, but knowing of their foolish ways had never before struck fear in my heart like it did last week when I realized just how costly their backwards, leftist thinking might be.

Last week's Ebola news was a lucky break for Trey.  My irritation at his extended stay in Denver was all but forgotten as my frustration shifted to a host of more deserving targets, including Obama & his lackeys at the CDC & the Liberian man who, in my opinion, knew he may've been carrying Ebola & raced to the United States, warning no one he encountered of the deadly infectious disease to which he'd been exposed days before boarding his flight to Dallas.

You see, Trey had to be in Denver for his big Tenth Circuit Appeals Court debut, so a short absence from his neurotic wife loving family was unavoidable.  However, not quite as work-related as the appeals court appearance were the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers concert (!) he attended & the tour of Rocky Mountain National Park he took . . . & the four nights he slept peacefully & alone in a bed . . . & the numerous meals he ate alone, seated at a quiet table, with no one hanging on his leg or throwing food at him or whining about the way their apple was cut.  Last week's theme song, if it hasn't come to mind already, is Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels."

You don't know how it feels, 
you don't know how it feels, 
no you don't know how it feeeeels 
to be meeeeeeeee.

Before we leave anger & frustration, I regrettably report that I still don't know the results of Henry's blood work, the blood work that was drawn on August 4 of this year, the results of which we were told would take four to six weeks.  Today, if you're not aware, is October 6.  At some point last week, I stepped out of my Ebola haze & called Pediatric Research in Jackson.  I was again told it would be soon.  If you're behind on your blog reading (or have a bad memory), this explains more about Henry's blood work.

I'll leave you with hope.  Last Thursday evening, I was spent.  I'd had too little sleep all week.  I'd read too many news articles regarding Ebola.  I was ready to storm the CDC in Atlanta, convinced they were lying about the way Ebola spreads.  They harp on bodily fluids, & to a woman with a child in diapers & another whose fingers are pricked repeatedly, all day long, bodily fluids are simply everywhere.  My life is awash in bodily fluids.

I was all set to spend the evening at home with the kids, because, really, anything else would've required far too much effort on my part.  At the last moment, I decided it would do me good (by which I mean possibly prevent a meltdown) to go to my parents' house, leave the kids with them for about an hour, & walk.  The chips I'd eaten while pouring over Twitter & The Drudge Report all week were also a factor in my decision to get a little exercise.

The weather was tempestuous Thursday evening, & so I dropped off the kids & hurried outside, hoping to get an hour in before the rain began.  I stopped & snapped this on my walk.  I think it was the Lord's way of saying, I am in control, not the buffoons who run your government & their lying friends at the CDC.  I'm paraphrasing, of course.

Trey came home Friday night, having little idea about the week I'd spent on the edge of sanity.  Once we were reunited, I asked him if he'd washed his hands, & then doused him with bleach gave him a hug.  We all went to bed because we had big plans Saturday morning which required us to be up & dressed & out the door by eight(ish).

So, after my harrowing week, you might wonder what in the world would tear me away from a morning in bed with coffee & College Gameday?  We were all invited to come to Ruston to walk in the JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes (that's Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).  After the week I'd had, I knew I'd shed a few tears Saturday morning, & I did.

A blurry one of Miss Reagan on the ride over:  

Pictured below are my mom, Reagan, & a young man named Connor. 

 Connor was diagnosed with type 1 in the fourth grade.  He's now a sophomore in high school.  He plays football & does all manner of other things, pumping as he goes.  He was surrounded by a gaggle of friends there to walk with him Saturday morning (cue the tears).  I remember high school.  I remember the absolute joy of sleeping late on Saturday morning.  That teenagers, some of whom had played a football game Friday night, would get up early on a Saturday morning in a show of solidarity with their friend who is hopeful for a cure for his diabetes was a thrilling thing to witness.

Connor with a friend many of you may recognize:


Mutual friends put me in touch with Connor's mom soon after Reagan's diagnosis, & for the first few weeks after Reagan was discharged from the hospital she answered a string of endless, panicky questions I had.  Recently, she invited us to come join Saturday morning's walk.  Before the walk, we all met Connor & his family for the first time.  He showed Reagan his pump (which is nice enough but not hot pink like Reagan's), & then I weepily gave him a hug, which I am sure was not at all weird for him the highlight of his weekend.

Reagan & Henry opted to ride rather than walk.

Tutus for a cure!

After the walk, all of the type 1s were given a pin & then they took a group photo.

In his show of solidarity, Henry stole Reagan's glasses while she was distracted by the group photo.

It was a good morning, a great experience.  I met & talked with other type 1 mothers who do know how it feels to be me.  We hugged, we laughed, we told carb-counting jokes.  It was refreshing. 

Like I said, it was an early morning for all of us.

I had to wake him up when we got to Cracker Barrel, which we made a beeline for after the walk.

I realize that in this tempest of emotions, I've yet to mention what was a riveting week of college football.  It's a little early in the season, but I have already shifted to sabotage mode, which is always a fun place to be.  LSU is clearly working through something horrible, so they're out.  Maybe they beat Florida, maybe they beat Arkansas, but at this point, I kind of doubt it.  LSU is going to lose a lot of football games this season, & it's likely they'll thoroughly embarrass themselves again (& again) as they did Saturday night.  The Les Miles is a Moron crowd will have considerably more material with which to work (me, I don't think Miles is a genius, but I also have no idea where you look for a coach if you get rid of Miles, whose overall record up to this point is great . . . plus, his interviews are too much fun).  I have accepted all this & made peace with it.  I well remember the 1990s; I know the boys from Baton Rouge don't always walk in high cotton.  I've seen LSU win two national titles, & that's something many, many college football fans cannot say about the team for whom they root.    

Since my football glee will not be derived from anything spectaclar the Tigers do this season, I now focus on what is perhaps the true thrill of college football, Kirk Herbstreit watching the big boys fall, & oh, how the mighty did fall over the weekend.  Oregon.  Thud.  Texas A&M.  Thud!  Oklahoma.  Thud.  ALABAMA . . . thud, thud, thud.  I guess we've come full circle now & are back to JOY!


No comments:

Post a Comment