Sunday, July 27, 2008

Brief summer vacation for mom

Gary took the boys to see his dad up in Washington, at least 4 hour's drive away. They left Friday, so I've had a bit of a break. The boys will be getting a surfeit of grandparents. Thursday I drove them down to Salem, about an hour's drive. My parents were up from California, to see a friend's granddaughter get married. (It's always a treat for the boys to stay at a hotel, watch cable cartoons, and use the pool. They were happy to see their grandparents, too.) Wednesday Gary's mom comes over to watch them for a few hours.

So we had only been back in Portland a couple hours Friday before their dad came home from work to take them to Washington.

My version of walking miles to school barefoot through snow is lo-o-o-ong cross-country driving trips. Since my dad was in the Air Force we didn't live close to grandparents. So summer vacations usually meant driving hundreds of miles and several days to see them. We didn't have dvd players and Gameboys! We rode in the car for 8-10 hours, without complaining.

My boys have no tolerance for car rides. They can barely go an hour without moaning. I would not have wanted to be in the van with them driving up to Washington after an hour's travel under their belts already.

Next month we're driving to Breckenridge, Colorado, for a family reunion. Trouble brewing.

I'll probably relent and let my laptop become a movieola. Prop Its Preciousness up between the two armrests of the front seat so they can view from the back, and pray that it's not flung to the floor (a good deal of my soul is in here. Backed up, yes, but I'm not convinced the magic will work should I need it.)

I haven't actually used my version of walking miles through snow to shame them into silence (it wouldn't work anyway.). I haven't used it because they could rightfully point out to me that we didn't have to wear seatbelts in my day. It's true. My parents had a huge Chevy station wagon and we mainly rolled around with the dog in the cavernous back. Being confined by a seatbelt and in Scott's case, a booster seat definitely ratchets up the discomfort level.

Note to self: bring earplugs and curse van manufacturers for not making standard a silence window between the front seats and the back.

My dear friend from my home-health days came over Thursday to assist me in the dressing change for Connor's wounds. While relieved to have been able to leave them alone for several days, I was always aware that a Day of Reckoning when they'd have to be removed was coming. I called her to ask for her advice and any pointers (she's a Wound Queen). Fresh back from her vacation she offered to come over. I was so relieved to hand this off and get training from a Trained Professional.

I realized I'd mis-characterized Connor's wounds to myself when his friend's mother brought him home that Friday evening. I was approaching them from the frame of reference of a skinned knee. Even though intellectually I knew that road rash like this is the equivalent of a second degree burn, I still was thinking that overnight it would feel better. In some ways I think it served Connor well that I misjudged it. I think going to an emergency room would have meant (besides being transported again) several hour's wait, most likely un-medicated, and then an aggressive cleaning. I had figured that we could accomplish the cleaning over a wider stretch of time, which meant gentler, at home.

In other ways it didn't serve him well because I was too slow to recognize the nature of the pain he was going to feel so that I could be pro-active in medicating him.

I approached his injuries from the experience level of wounds 101, and by the time I got the Tegaderm on him I realized I was operating quite a bit over my head.

So it was a relief when Kate offered to come.

And I made sure he was medicated.

The verdict: he's healing beautifully. There's no infection. He tolerated the dressings removal very well. She showed me how to replace them, what to look for, and the best way of removing them. He was so relieved it didn't hurt he was just giddy.

It was good to re-establish contact with her, too. We used to work very closely together and I always admired her compassion, her amazing competence. Although I'm still just in the thinking-about-thinking-about returning to the job field phase, she's working in a place I've had some interest in, and I'd love to be her co-worker again.


Lori said...

I remember that Chevy. And free-wheeling in the back. And not daring to complain.

Love your note to self.

I'll have a Gin & Tonic ready for you when you pull up. A double.

excavator said...

I remember your old wagon too. I think it was bigger than ours. Did you have a name for it? Yellow with brown panels, right?

Gin & tonic! With my cuz! In Breckenridge!

That may be just the reason-to-live that gets me through the drive. You can't arrange to be in Portland waiting for us (me) on the trip back, can you?

I'm still mad you got to meet Tanis. Did you get to meet the Backpacking Dad?

It is fascinating reading the Blogher story, refracted through so many lenses.