Why have a boring old traditional Christmas when you can have a wild, unusual, high-stress one?
So that's just what we did.
Last week, Steve and Sugar both had the stomach flu. Sugar's lasted about 48 hours. Steve's kept going on and off for the whole week. On Christmas Eve, he began to have severe pain in his upper abdomen. It was strong enough that I called his parents to see if they could watch Cupcake and Sugar while I took him to the ER. While I was on the phone, the pain subsided, so we decided to wait and see if it happened again.
It happened again.
Within 30 minutes, we were on our way to the ER. He was in such pain that I thought he might pass out during the 10 minute drive to the hospital. By the time we got there, the pain had subsided. They asked questions, ran tests, drew blood, poked him, and started an IV. He felt fine until noon, when he had another attack, which lasted 45 minutes. At that point, they drugged him up with pain killers.
He was diagnosed with mild (not currently life threatening) pancreatitis. Treatment involves hospitalization, rest, nothing to eat, and continual monitoring of vitals. He was admitted overnight. :-( He came home around 5:00 pm on Christmas Day, so he was able to enjoy small portions of Grandma's feast.
While we were in the ER, the most beautiful snow was falling. Everything was blanketed in sparkling white splendor. It was the perfect backdrop for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. My whole church family loved on me even though I had that "unshowered, uncombed, no make-up, no deodorant, straight-from-the-hospital" look and smell.
The big kids helped me with getting packages out of hiding and bedecked with bows. (Cupcake spent the night with the Grandparents.) I was in bed by 11:30, which is earlier than most Christmas Eves.
Next morning, the kids opened most of their gifts while I videotaped. We went up to the hospital to visit Daddy and show him the videos.
We saved the personal gifts to each other until Daddy got home.
It was hard on Steve to miss Christmas. He loves to watch the kids enjoy the holiday. The kids did pretty well with it. Sugar had the hardest time. She really hates medical emergencies. Cupcake held it together the whole time and saved her meltdowns until after Daddy came home. I felt like God carried me through the stress. I had extra energy and a very calm, optimistic, positive attitude, which is not like me in stressful situations.
As the new year rolls around, we look back and have much to be thankful for.