Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Distressing Morning

Saturday morning, we had to sign papers for the refinancing of the house. The notary was at our house at 8:30AM so we could sign the dozens of documents to make the horrible loan process end. We have been working on this for over three months. Even though we have excellent credit and a ton of equity in our house, it seemed as though this loan was not going to close. I found the process to be quite onerous – much more so than in past times and we had to jump through a million hoops to get it done. Other missteps by the lender almost caused me to pull the plug on the whole deal just a few days before closing, but the thought of starting again, or going through all that for nothing forced me forward.

Of course, when the notary arrived with the papers there were questions.  The documents had mistakes and were unclear. The notary kept pushing us to sign anyway saying we could rescind within three days, but that is not how we roll (and that is bizarre advice for a notary to give). She was clearly irritated with us, but neither Steve nor I cared. The financing for the house is a little too important to worry about the feelings of the person whose only role in the whole thing was to witness our signatures.  We were on the phone with the lender clearing up the confusion. Their work was sloppy and trying to unravel it on the phone was difficult.  They were asking me to compare these documents to ones forwarded to me in an email several months ago to explain the confusion. This did not please me but I went over to my computer to do the search.

That’s when Maggie had an episode of respiratory distress. 

I hate those things; they are scary as hell. They are scary for Maggie and for anyone who happens to witness it.   After the second one in September, we took her to the ER. They wanted to admit Maggie then, but they did not know what they were looking for. I cajoled and promised to follow up with the pulmonologist and we avoided admission and allowed to go home. She had an exam under anesthesia a few days later and the doctor could give me no reason for these episodes. But they seemed to stop, so I did not worry.

Now they are back. There were a couple of episodes over Christmas break, two last Thursday and one on Saturday.   That is five in about three weeks. Not good. I do not see any pattern to them and I cannot figure out what triggers them. Something happens that starts a chain of events and in about 10 seconds, Maggie is not breathing and turning blue. She seems to be holding her breath and because she is panicked, she cannot “remember” how to stop herself from doing so. Her arms are extended and fisted and it is very frightening. They can last several moments and even when she starts breathing again, she is completely freaked out and needs a large amount of oxygen to calm down and get back to normal. Needless to say, everything stops when that happens. 

On Saturday, it hit as I was on the phone with the lender and the notary’s irritation was growing. I saw it start and said “Steve, she needs oxygen.” Steve was already in action before I even said anything. I told the lender we had a medical emergency and she needed to figure things out and call me back. I look at the notary who had gone from irritation to shock. I actually felt a little sorry for her. If she could have flattened herself against the wall, I am sure she would have. I tried to sound calm and said, "don’t worry, this happens sometimes, we know what to do" -- all while I hoping we really did.

Maggie recovered. The lender called back acknowledging mistakes resulting in an error in our favor (of $32) and said keep it. The notary whipped through the paperwork and could not get out of here fast enough.  

 After she left and we all relaxed, Steve and I could not help but laugh at how completely ridiculous our life can be. 

At least we made $32.


  1. Lord. Sounds like my house. I wish we could re-fi, but not in the cards for us. Glad you managed it and buy yourself a treat with the $32!

    Hugs. Even though I don't know you.

  2. Congratulations on navigating all of this simultaneously and being able to laugh afterwards---it was exceedingly generous of you to feel sorry for the impatient notary!

  3. Me, too. Glad that you were able to laugh at the hell that life can sometimes be. I am wondering -- just wondering -- if those weird episodes could perhaps be a type seizure?

  4. No, it's not a seizure. She is totally "with it" and panicked throughout. It's some sort of spasm or momentary closure of her airway which is then exacerbated by her panic. They are no fun, that's for sure, but all we can do is what we are already doing.


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