Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Journey Out of Crazy Town

Hey Humble Readers....  (if any of you are still out there)

I know it's been a while.  The last you heard from this intrepid hobbit, I was just getting home from the ER after a terrible bout of stomach flu. Much has happened in the interim, but suffice it to say, I feel like we are coming back to normal.  At least our brand of normal around here.  Let me give you the run down... (hope you're prepared for a long story)

The Wretched Stomach Flu

Ginny came down with the nasty bug around the 12th or 13th of December.  Vomiting, diarrhea, the works.  For her, it lasted about 24 hours... with a few little straggling pukey sessions that lingered into the second day.  We had a recovery day, and went for doctor appointments for both she an I... her well-baby check up and blood work results for me.  Both were anticlimactic, botched test results for me and a cursory check over for the wee girl. 

That night, sometime just after midnight, I woke up with a horrible pain in my stomach.  I got up and assumed that I would be spending some time in the bathroom with my usual IBS issues.  An hour or so later, I started puking.  And puking.  And puking.  It lasted for close to twelve hours.  I couldn't keep anything down, not even water.  I started to get a little freaked out, and I begged my Beloved to stay home from work because I was in no condition to look after Ginny.  It was around noon, after a particularly ugly round of vomiting that I decided to call our healtlink hotline.  I gave the nurse all my info (pregnant, diabetic, stomach flu, etc) and she was adamant that I go to the ER. 

Another 6 hours, lots of needle sticks, and two bags of IV fluids later I was on my way home, feeling like I had been run over by a Mack truck.  My MIL came the next day to help look after Ginny so that I could rest.  She made soup, gave Ginny a bath, and basically ran things for the day, while I laid on the couch like a lump.  (Sadly, she ended up catching the vile, wretched bug.  Since that point, no less than 8 members of our extended family have had it, altho none of them ended up in the hospital thankfully!)

The Continuing Plumbing Saga

The Hobbit-hole has some issues.  It's small.  It's old-ish.   The front north corner of the building is slightly lower than the rest due to a settling foundation after a major flood at the building next door.  But the pressing issue this year has been our plumbing.  You may recall, if you have a good memory, that we had to have the kitchen taps worked on last year.  Then came the hot water tap in our tub.  A temporary fix, followed by an expensive replacement.  Then the aging hot water tank started acting up.  Two days after the stomach flu/ER fiasco the pilot light went out on the tank.  We called a plumber, and he got it restarted but strongly recommended getting the tank replaced.  We knew it was due soon (the tank was pushing 20 years old), but were hoping to hold out until tax refund time.  NO SUCH LUCK!

The next day, I had no hot water for my shower.  It had now been 3 days since my last hot shower.  Hobbits don't deal well with repeated exposure to icy water.  My Beloved and I bit the bullet and called the plumber.  They got us on the schedule for the next day, and they came in and with relatively little fuss (and a big check that I had to sign) they swapped old for new, and I had the promise of hot water... UNTIL...

The Carbon Monoxide Scare

The guy who was doing the install on our hot water tank was just finishing up.  I had just written the check.  The plumber was doing one final check on the tank when he noticed something odd.  Where the furnace and hot water tank exhaust should have been venting, it was backdrafting.  As in venting back into our furnace room.  As in carbon monoxide was filling the space.  Pardon the expression, but WTF!?!?!  If I believed in karma, I would be of the opinion that I really pissed someone off in a former life.  Plumber-dude immediately shut down both the new hot water tank and the furnace... in December... on the frozen flatland. 

Two days and five furnace specialists later, the problem/mystery was solved.  It turns out that one of the downstairs units in our building had the furnace replaced, and the asshat who did it managed to hook that furnace up to our chimney (again I say, WTF!?).  He then ran an exhaust hose from that furnace, through our chimney to the roof, and then capped it, effectively blocking the path for our furnace exhaust.  Our furnace was venting into the wall between our unit and the one next door.  Sounds like a great idea, huh?  The particularly fun bit was when the owner of the unit with the furnace in question decided to drag her feet for half a day before she would come and let the furnace guys into her unit to check it out (her exact words to my Beloved were "how do you know it's coming from my unit?  What proof do you have?"). 

Travels with a Toddler

Two days after the whole furnace fiasco, we were heading out to fly to K-town to spend the holidays with my family.  Ginny has flown before, and she did well, sleeping through the whole journey.  This time, no such luck.  Plus it wasn't a direct flight... we had to fly through Vancouver, so add an extra hour to our flying time.  Less than 15 minutes into the flight, she somehow managed to wet through her diaper, onesie, jeans and my shirt (she hasn't had a major leak like that since she was in cloth diapers!).  I wasn't prepared for it, and we had no change of clothes for her in the diaper bag.  So, I got to sit on a plane with a very wet, very fussy baby soaking me. 

Then, on the descent into Vancouver, Ginny started to have some issues.  And when I say some, I mean major issues.  She became 'that' baby on the plane.  The one every traveler dreads.  The screaming, snotty, pee-soaked, red in the face baby.  Oh, and did I mention that I really had to pee?  The Halfling 2.0 decided that would be a good time to line dance on my bladder.  And we had to change planes... kind of.  We had to get off the plane in Vancouver, with all our carry ons and a very upset baby, only to get right back on it 10 minutes later.  The only upside was that I had a moment to go pee. 

The flight from Vancouver to K-town was considerably quieter (thank you Tyl.enol), but that was the last quiet time we got for a while.  Apparently, Ginny is going through a phase where change is a very bad thing.  Sleeping in a strange play pen, in a strange room, sharing said room with Mommy and Daddy... all added up to very little sleep for 10 days.  Other than that, it was a great trip, and I'm glad we went.  The flight home was much less traumatic, and significantly shorter as we had a direct flight.  Ginny didn't sleep on the plane, but we weren't even out of the airport parking lot before she was out cold.  She slept for the two hour drive from Big City to the South to our little city. 

I'm now in that post-trip recovery mode.  I'm feeling like I'm coming down with a bit of a cold.  I've unpacked two out of three suitcases, and hopefully tomorrow I will have the energy to do the third suitcase and start to take down all our Christmas decorations. 

Oh yeah, and I have a little thing called an ultrasound tomorrow afternoon!  Yippee!

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