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Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Trip to Birmingham

As Maria would say, "Let's staht at the very beginning. A very good place to staht." I would say our vacation saga really started on the Thursday before we left on Friday. My big toe had been HURTING for a few days and Honey kept saying, "Are you going to have someone look at it?" and I kept saying, "What's there to see?" Finally I did go to see our doctor and he announced that I had Gout.

He said he was sure I had immediate images of an old many drinking Bourbon and I assured him that I did not. My real thought was of a missionary needing amputation or a sick person from the 18th century dying because their stomach was eating itself. Needless to say, I did not know what Gout was.

Wikipedia says, "Gout is characterized by excruciating, sudden, unexpected, burning pain, as well as swelling, redness, warmth, and stiffness in the affected joint. This occurs most commonly in men's toes but can appear in other parts of the body and affect women as well. Low-grade fever may also be present. The patient usually suffers from two sources of pain. The crystals inside the joint cause intense pain whenever the affected area is moved. The inflammation of the tissues around the joint also causes the skin to be swollen, tender and sore if it is even slightly touched. For example, a blanket or even the lightest sheet draped over the affected area can cause extreme pain."

Don't you feel bad for me?

He told me that I had two options for treatment. #1 was this drug that would make me real sick but would get rid of the gout and it would "all be over in time for your trip tomorrow". The #2 option was a steroid that would take a week to work, "a week of pain". I quote. I chose option #1, got the prescription filled and began taking one (what I now call) "pill of death" every hour on the hour and continued to do so for 13 hours. I never felt real sick until 1:30 AM (coincidentally, the same time I took my LAST pill). How odd.

We hit the road at 5:15AM and I'll just say that a trip that usually takes 10 hours with kids took 13 hours because of stops for me to be sick. AND my toe still hurt.


Our kids were AWESOME! My Honey was SUPER. I had bags of goodies for everyone and I am so very glad. Here's some of what we took along (in case you are traveling soon and would like some ideas):

Everyone got their own bag with clothes for the day and a magnetic set to "start the day off".  Since we left so early, the kids were in their pjs until breakfast (a couple hours in) and they weren't allowed to play with anything until after an hour on the road.  They didn't sleep like we hoped but they were in a real fog because of the early hour and interrupted sleep.

One thing about having "special" children is that what entertains them is also "special".  These are containers of small things to pour into the empty containers.  Or count.  Or say the letters.  Whatever.
Everyone got sunglasses and added bling to their hearts content.  This was a bigger hit than I could have imagined!
Of course there were the normal items:
But here's a winner I read about somewhere:
Yarn and sandpaper.  It sticks.  We made letters and shapes.  Good times.
The Lord was gracious and we made it.  Being sick STUNK but the trip was actually easy in that no one cried and screamed and all that.  The DVD player is a God send and I am thrilled that the kids loved Jungle Book.  I say it wasn't bad, but it was WONDERFUL to arrive to this:
And the toe? Turns out, my sister's father-in-law has gout and gave me the name of a health store and supplement (no side effects).  That with some Black Cherry juice has worked wonders. 

4 comments:

kara's parties said...

thanks for your nice comment!
i found the photo op at hobby lobby in the party section. and the boddy boppers on orientaltrading.com!

www.karaspartyideas.com

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Gideon Guy Cheely, your great-grandfather had gout? Daddy tells me of about him alot said he would beat you with his cane if you knocked his toe. Curious about your pill of death. Daddy has pseudo-gout takes a prescription once a day (no sickness though)...no more problems.
Emily in Laurens, SC

Shannon said...

I am going to have to remember that sandpaper and yarn trick. I recently read on a blog somewhere that giving each kid a cookie sheet is a great tip too. They can use it to bear down when coloring or give them magnets and they can use the cookie sheet like the refrigerator door.

Marcie said...

So sorry about your gout. That sounds horrible. And, what a mess for you to be sick on the trip. The Lord was indeed gracious to you in your little ones' patience. Glad you had a great time with the Cheely fam.