Did you know that Newsweek embedded reporters with the McCain and Obama campaigns for a year? Both campaigns agreed to it, but the catch was that Newsweek couldn't publish anything about it until after the election was over. The resulting 7-part report was released a couple of weeks ago. You can find it here.
I'm reminded of those embedded reporters because for the last month, Jeremy has been very ill. I kept trying to write a post about it but it was just too much. I'm often able to cope with these kinds of situations by finding the humor in them, so the fact that I wasn't able to write about Jeremy being sick while it was going on should tell you how difficult it was for us all. I decided not to write anything until it was all over, just like the Newsweek reporters did. Don't worry, it will only take me one post - not seven - to tell you about it.
It started out innocuously enough when, by some freak of germ exposure, Jeremy came down with hand-foot-mouth disease. HFMD is a common enough disease among children, but is extremely rare in adults. It is also moderately contagious, which meant that Jeremy went into a quasi-quarantine in our own house and spent as little time as possible with the girls and me.
As if the sickness - fever, chills, head and body aches, and sores on his hands, feet, and mouth - wasn't bad enough, there was the fact that it was so awkward to tell anyone what Jeremy was suffering from. Why do they have to give diseases names like hand-foot-mouth? It just sounds so slovenly. It doesn't help that there is an entirely different disease called hoof-and-mouth that affects cows, sheep, and pigs.
Then, just as he was getting better from HFMD - and I mean literally, there was one day where the clouds broke for a few hours and he spent some time with us (I think it was election day) - pneumonia set in. Friends, if HFMD was bad, pneumonia was ten times worse. Meanwhile, I was still playing the single parent, taking care of the girls and Jeremy while trying not to pass germs from the latter to the former (or myself).
Things reached a peak one morning when the girls and I were trying to get out the door to playgroup and also give Jeremy a ride to the doctor for an appointment. Right when it was time to go, Jeremy started bleeding out through his nose. Aside from childbirth, I have never personally seen that much blood in my life. Without going into too much detail, let me just say that if I had walked into our bathroom later, not knowing what had really happened, I would have assumed that someone had been murdered there. It was gross. Also? This was the same morning that our garbage disposal broke. Yeah.
Fast-forward to last night, when the girls and I got home from our trip to Oregon. Jeremy is finally feeling better, but he's not 100% yet. His face actually has some color in it instead of being ash gray, and his hands don't look so leprous anymore from the HFMD sores.
Through all the emotional and physical clouds, there were a few silver linings. The major one was that if he had to be confined to a sickbed (or couch, as it were) for three weeks this year, he chose the right three weeks. The day before he got sick, he finished off a big batch of job applications. He was able to lie low for a few weeks and then get mobile again just in time to head off to Washington, DC to present at a conference and have some job interviews, though it was really, really close.
The other silver lining seems insignificant, but it meant the world to me. Remember the pony invasion? That was right smack in the middle of the worst of the whole sickness extravaganza. The beautiful thing was that Miriam played with those ponies all day, every day, and so for a while I only had to intensively take care of Magdalena and Jeremy.
I know some people don't like blogs because they often only show off the best of us. It's fun to highlight all the awesome things we do, the cutest pictures of our kids, the most fantastic and best experiences. But of course there's always other stuff going on behind the scenes - people just don't always have the energy or perspective to write about it all.
For now, I'm so glad that Jeremy is on the mend. And for all you critics who say that all we bloggers write about are sunshine and roses, now you know why. Who wants to put up with posts like this every day?