Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Late-Night Scare

We had a bit of a scare the night I arrived home from Germany. We drove from the airport to church (our church meets on Saturday evenings) and then went to a friend's house for dinner. Since both Al and Josiah our allergic to our friend's cats, they both took some allergy medicine on the way there. Both made through the evening without any allergic reactions and we had a really nice time.

We got home later than usual and since I had been up since the equivalent of 11:00 p.m. the day before, Al put the kids to bed while I got ready for bed myself. I quickly fell asleep. At around 2:00 a.m. I woke up to the sound of Josiah coughing. It sounded like he was getting ready to throw up. So I threw myself out of bed and stumbled (literally) to his room.

"Josiah, are you okay? Are you going to throw up?" I whispered.

"No" Josiah croaked.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't know" he managed between hacking coughs.

As I listened to him I realized he was wheezing when he breathed. When he sat up in bed I saw that he was still in the shirts and pants he had worn all day. When we get home late, we sometimes put Josiah to bed without putting his pajamas on, which usually isn't a big deal. The problem was that his clothes were full of cat hair and Josiah was clearly having a serious allergic reaction.

Josiah refused to take his allergy medicine because he doesn't like the taste. I woke Al up, partly so he could help and partly so someone else could worry with me. Josiah was still coughing and wheezing a lot and I was beginning to worry about him. Okay, I woke up worrying about him, but now I was seriously considering taking him to the E.R. What if he was having an asthma attack? He hasn't been diagnosed with asthma, but Elijah had issues with "wheezing" last year and Josiah's coughs sounded similar to when Elijah had difficulty catching his breath.

We changed Josiah into clean pajamas and took the sheets off his bed. Al threw everything into the washing machine while I sat listening to Josiah's breathing. He didn't sound any better so I decided to take him to the emergency room. I quickly changed into jeans and a sweatshirt and told Josiah that he needed to see a doctor. He Josiah fought me all the way downstairs sobbing, "I don't want to go to a doctor in the middle of the night!"

He finally agreed to take some allergy medicine and I agreed to wait and see if his breathing improved. A half hour later he seemed to be okay. We trudged back upstairs and settled Josiah down in a sleeping bag in our bedroom. I put my pajamas back on and slipped into bed. I listened intently to Josiah's breathing, which was beginning to sound normal. When I was satisfied that he was okay I closed my eyes and got some much needed sleep.

Friday, October 12, 2007

More Adventures in Germany

The train workers are on strike today, but it seems that some of the trains are running. We took a taxi to the Book Fair again today, but hope to be able to take a train back to the hotel tonight.

I am extremely tired and find that the clarity of my thoughts and of my speech is declining. I often struggle to remember ordinary words while describing books to publishers. Everyone is tired though and we all extend grace to one another. Yesterday I kept looking to my colleague for help when my words were not working. He was just as tired as I was though and often had as much difficulty as I did.

I am looking forward to being home again tomorrow. I've kept in touch with Al and our kids through phone calls and Facebook messages, but I am eagerly anticipating finding them waiting for me outside the international terminal at the airport and receiving excited hugs and sloppy kisses.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Adventures in Germany

I am in Germany attending the Frankfurt Book Fair. I attend the Book Fair every year or two for business. I will spend from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in back-to-back 30 minute meetings with a half hour break for lunch. Today I spent over half of my lunch break in line for the restroom and then wolfed down a small sandwich and a Coke Zero in the remaining ten minutes.

The real fun began when we rushed to catch the train back to our hotel. When we got to the platform we deciphered a German sign informing us that all of the trains were running 50 minutes late. This resulted in a loud crush of people mulling about the train platform, making me feel fairly claustrophobic. After 40 minutes of waiting we caught the S4 train to the next stop, hoping to transfer to the S6 train which would take us to our usual stop. The S6 was not running in the direction we needed (or at least it was very late) so we consulted the train schedule and rushed to another track where a different train would get us the right city, but the wrong stop.

We got off the train in Bad Vilbel, one station past where we needed to be. We debated whether to walk, catch a cab or try a bus. We did not see any cabs and were not certain which bus to take. Since we knew the general direction we needed to take we decided to walk. Before we could get very far a kind German stopped us. He noticed that we were foreigners and that we were a bit uncertain how to get back to the area of the city we needed, so he called a cab company on his cell phone and instructed them to pick two gentlemen and a lady at the north train station. 20 minutes later or so the taxi pulled up and brought us safely back to our hotel. Phew!

And here is the best part – it is rumored that the train workers will go on strike tomorrow or possibly Friday, so things could get much, much worse. We’ve reserved a cab to drive us to the Book Fair tomorrow morning, but are not certain how we will get back to the hotel. There will probably be a very large crowd of folks trying to catch cabs at the end of the day and traffic will likely be congested with the influx of people forced to hire cabs or drive themselves. I am planning to wear a much more comfortable outfit tomorrow and will pack a few extra bags of peanut M & Ms, just in case!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Writing on the Wall

This morning I heard Al walk into the hallway and yell, "Elijah, No!" Elijah had a crayon in hand was preparing the decorate our hallway wall. We sighed, relieved that we had caught him before he was able to begin coloring.

A few minutes later Al came into the bathroom where I was applying my make-up and said, "He already wrote on the wall in the dining room." I walked into the dining room, noted the marks (relatively few) and went to get the Magic Eraser (I love this thing! If you have a toddler, you need a Magic Eraser). I handed the eraser to Elijah and instructed him to get to work cleaning the wall. I needed to finish getting ready for work, so I left Al and Elijah to their cleaning.

As I was walking away Al called me back. "Elijah pointed to the wall and said, 'A' and 'E'!" Apparently he was practicing his writing skills. I suppose this means we should give him more opportunities to draw. He still eats crayons (or writes on inappropriate surfaces), so we're usually hesitant to give them to him. Well, I can read the writing on the wall and it says, "Let this child color (on paper) more often!"