Thursday, December 2, 2010

Missing the Pomp because of the Circumstances

At a time when I should be beaming with pride, I am nervous and sad. Eddie is graduating from college on Saturday and we are going to be there to witness this with our own eyes.  I'm scurrying around getting things in place for my 48 hours away. Yes, for only the second time in her life, we are leaving Maggie for two nights. She will stay home with the nurses and Steve and I will head up to Reno for the graduation.

I am very proud of Eddie, but that pride is clouded somewhat. I wish Maggie could come with us and tried everything possible to make that work. This is an important family milestone and she has to miss it. That makes me incredibly sad.

The amount of equipment we would have to bring is daunting. Oxygen, nebulizer, suction, compressor, trach collars, 12 different meds,  feeding tubes. diaper, catheters, food, etc etc etc.  Plus we would have to bring a nurse to cover some of the time or Steve and I would be on duty 48 hours straight. We have to at least be awake enough to see Eddie in his cap and gown. I was in the midst of arranging all that when the reality of 20 degree weather stopped me, well, cold. Maggie has never been in weather that cold and she is especially fragile this time of year. Besides, if they get a snowstorm how would we flatlanders ever be able to maneuver the wheelchair. Maggie will be more comfortable at home. But it still makes me sad.

I switched gears and hired nurses to fill the extra time that I usually cover. All are her regular nurses, so they know what to do. My neighbor Debbie, who is also a nurse, agreed to be an emergency contact for simple things. Obviously anything big and they have to call 911. Right after that they have to call me. There will be multiple phone calls, but I hope they are all coming from me checking in.

 I made a flight reservation home for Saturday night in case there are any problems. If all is cool I won't use it, but I will drive home with Steve on Sunday. Flying is not really any faster when you consider the security check in time. But in the event the roads close I need to know I can get out. It takes about four hours to drive without being slowed by snow or traffic - both of which are very likely. Reno is not the problem, weather wise, it's getting TO Reno. We have to cross the Sierras and that means going over elevation exceeding 7000 feet before heading back down the other side of the mountains.

Maggie will be fine. She will be mad at me when I get back, but she will be fine. This weekend is about Eddie.


  1. Oh dear, I'm sorry that you have these conflicted feelings -- pride and excitement for your son and sadness that Maggie won't be able to participate. I left Sophie home two years ago when my husband and I took our sons to Switzerland to meet their Swiss grandmother, aunt and uncle. It was so terrible to leave Sophie -- not logistically terrible, but existentially terrible -- the knowledge that we couldn't do something, truly, as a family. I have to say, though, that once we were there, in Switzerland, I almost got down on my knees in thanks to God that she WASN'T there -- the whole thing would have been so incredibly difficult.

  2. Looking forward to seeing your brag post on Eddie.

    Ever practical as you are I know you appreciated Elizabeth reinforcing your decision.

    I pretty much live with little concept of real mountains. A pass at 7000 ft is understandable and daunting. Barbara


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