With Nana and Papa

With Nana and Papa
Family Times at Flathead Lake

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mold

It's terrifying to imagine that your house wants to hurt you. Last week in Montana my runny nose happily disappeared and I lost the need for a daily nap. William's nose and ears also cleared up and we had a healthy trick or treating week, if you ignore the quantities of sugar consumed by the children. Imagine my distress when the phlegm started production in my head immediately after I entered the door of my home on Saturday. Though I was thrilled to see my husband and to get the kids safely home, I was terrified to be in my house. The stress and the choking river down my throat kept me up all night on Sunday.

Rob stayed home yesterday to help me get to two more appointments. He was absolutely the superhero of the day, and I appreciated his presence so much when the doctor at my second appointment scanned my bloodwork and agreed with the immunologist that I have developed an allergy to some kind of mold, and it's present at my house. This new allergy (didn't show up on any of the tests done in July) probably started because I am "immuno-suppressed" and now it is keeping the system inflamed.

I cried, of course, marking the twenty-eighth time this calendar year that I have blubbered through a doctor's appointment. Fortunately, Connie was calm and assured us that she had been through this process herself, and that it can be easily fixed. Rob tested the home for mold last week on do-it-yourself agar plates but we decided to call Connie's specialist right away and not even wait for the agar plate results. Lo and behold, the specialist (whom I regard as a sort of angel, at this point) can be here on Thursday even though he lives in a small town in Oklahoma! That was a God thing, to be sure.

So now I keep windows open during the day, thankful for the warm weather, and have moved into my son's bedroom over the garage for the time being (not sharing beds, just floorspace). His room has its own heater and we feel that the air might be less contaminated in there. Until Thursday I will try to hand my worries over to a higher power and just give thanks that we might finally have all of the answers.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thoughts from Montana

To whom much is given is much required. [Luke 12:48]  

I am writing from the Last Best Place, as Montanans like to refer to their state.  The kids and I are on fall break, taking long walks and golf cart rides down toward Flathead Lake and catching glimpses of golden eagles, arctic swans, hawks and deer on our daily dalliances. This morning I went for a walk in the darkness (though it was 8 am I needed a flashlight) and I ran into a fellow walker - not a two-legged variety but a two-horned buck. 

Trick-or-treating in Polson was delightful for the children, who got dressed up at mid-day and went down to the town center to run in and out of all of the stores that had a pumpkin in the window. Almost all the local establishments were open to kiddos and their little pumpkin bags ran over by the time we had been up and down the length of Main Street. The joys of a small town! Papa and I darted into the shoe store for a few minutes while the kids were gathering candy and bought some shoes, Papa because he really needed shoes and I because I was distraught that I could not eat any type of candy.

I am still recovering from my illness and dealing with a new worldview. Being out in the mountains and by the lake help me to put things into perspective. I used to feel that because I had been given so much - great family and upbringing, best education money could buy, certain intellectual and athletic abilities - that I owed the world some great achievement. Writing a book, running a charity, running a marathon for charity - these types of activities felt required.

But being up here, where life is simpler, and reflecting on the Biblical text, seems to lead me in a different direction. I have been given so much love in my life, so much support and encouragement. I owe the world love and encouragement and support, I owe it service and not achievement. These actions start with my children and my husband and my family and hopefully spread to friends and community. Here in the Last Best Place, maybe I am starting to see how to live my best life.