Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Countdown, and other stuff

Just two more weeks until we open store #2. This is where the incessant hand clapping starts in my head, and I try to keep up with the marching, even when the beat gets to an unsustainable pace. Turns out, it's already backfired. Peter and I left to go to a Papa Murphy's convention on Monday. I worked and worked and worked to get the house ready for the in-laws to see after 6 months. It was a mild success. I still had things that I had left to do, that didn't get done. I had to let it go. On Saturday, two days before we left, I noticed some small eczema developing on my nose. It was a few bubbles, and that happens to me occasionally when the weather changes, although the weather isn't changing, I didn't think it was too suspect.

By Monday morning, the day we left, the bubbles were bigger, and festering. I found myself desperate to hide them from people I would be mingling with at the Convention. I brought some Hydrocortizone cream with me and that night, lathered it on, in hopes to stop the rampant spreading on my face. By morning, I had a boil. I popped it, in desperation before heading off to our meetings. I was careful to not to remove the skin, but just let some of the fluid out. That would turn out to be a colossal mistake. The sore got worse, and started to show signs of infection. By the time we left convention  I was definitely concerned, and planning on seeking  medical advice. Thursday morning, my eye was swollen, which lead me to a hasty Dr.'s appointment at the dermatologist. Their conclusion? MRSA. Just what EVERYONE wants to hear when they have a break neck work schedule for the next two weeks, including an event on Friday. I started stressing about how I was going to cover this event now looking like beating victim with a large sore on the side of my nose, and a swollen eye.

The next morning, after starting a heavy round of antibiotics, my sore had worsened, and I was in full panic mode. Already panicking and stressed over a possible MRSA diagnosis, and now trying to determine why I wasn't getting any better. I returned to the Dr.'s office first thing in the morning, and begged someone to see me immediately. They did. And now, that I had yet ANOTHER bubble forming on the tip of my nose, the dermatologist determined it might be SHINGLES, or SHINGLES AND MRSA. Of course, the culture that they took the day before would not be ready for 24-48 hours, and that would be, oh, SATURDAY. Of course. So, I get to worry all weekend long if I have MRSA, SHINGLES, OR BOTH.

They put me on an antiviral medication as well. With a cream for my nose, and told me to go to the Ophthalmologist to ensure permanent nerve damage wasn't being done to my eye. Awesome. That is ALWAYS news that you want to here. AND they told me to go to the ER if things didn't get better over the weekend. (Another great tidbit of news, don't cha think?)

Luckily, things are progressing, although I still have a quarter size sore on my nose that is practically black and disgusting. I have been taking all of my medications, which leave me feeling queezy, and having a low grade headache all day long, along with aches and pains like I am recovering from the flu. The stress I am feeling is absolutely un-measurable. But I figure I better document this kind of thing, because I am sure when I look back at this time in our lives, I will wonder if it REALLY happened, because it just seems completely UN-REAL. Seriously.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gone too Soon

I really haven't had much experience with death. My grandparents passed away when I was 10-12. One of them before I was even born. I went to the funeral, I remember those things, but because my relationships with my grandparents wasn't that close, I didn't feel the emotional loss.

I really haven't had anyone else in my family pass away. Not even friends. I had a guy I knew in High School die when hit by a car. I liked him, he was nice, but again, I didn't have that connection with him. I mean, I just wasn't that close to him.

When I was moving to California, I put my facebook feelers out (I seriously love facebook for that) and asked if anyone knew anyone who lives in Temecula. I got two hits. One was a relative of someone that lived  in my current ward, and one was a friend of a very good friend of my own. I called both people, they lived in different stakes actually, and spoke at length about schools, areas, neighborhoods, etc. I felt it was the only way I could make an educated decision about where to live and where to have my kids go to school.

One of these people was Claudine Taylor. My friend Nicole, who was a neighbor of mine growing up, and also went to BYU Jersalem with me immediately told me her friend Claudine would be a great source of information. Indeed she was. She would speak with me endlessly about where to live, schools and more. She would never act irritated by my calls, or questions. When I got into town, she checked in with me to see if I was settled, her son applied for work at our store, and quickly became a favorite of mine. (Yes, I totally have favorites). I would speak with her from time to time, but we would go to lunch, and talk about life. She was easy to talk to, I could have told her anything and she would have kept it in total confidence. She was one of THOSE people. It's not like we spoke everyday, or even every week.  We would chat once a month or so, and go to lunch every couple of months. Just to check in with each other. Having such a rocky ride over the past few years, I appreciated her solid friendship, and knew, in a pinch, I could have asked her for anything.

Justin came into work at the beginning of summer, he was getting ready to attend BYU, HI and go on a mission. He said that his mom was sick, and going to a lot of Dr. appointments, and that he needed to quit a few months early because of her illness. I inquired as to what was wrong, and he said the Dr.'s really didn't know. I informed a mutual friend of Claudine's illness, and she said she didn't even know (she was in Claudine's ward) she was sick. Her husband, being in the Bishopric, quickly responded to find out what was wrong. I was told she was going into the hospital. Not being a "daily" friend, I sent her a facebook message, asking how she was doing. It didn't get a response. I asked Justin, he said she was sick, but doing okay. He thought she'd be home that week. Another week went by, she was still in the hospital, my friend in her ward said she didn't think she'd make it!?!?!?! I was stunned, but thought CERTAINLY in this day and age, people don't just die at the age of 43 from "nothing".

Justin left for school at BYU, HI, I thought for sure that was a good sign that she must be getting better, since he had pretty much been caring for his younger siblings all summer long. He got his mission call, and I thought, WOW! Claudine must be elated!!! She heard of his mission call just hours before she passed away. He didn't even get to tell her himself.

The shock and stun to me has been horrifying. I have never felt such a loss in my life. She wasn't even an "everyday" friend, but a solid as a rock friend. My heart was sick for her son, and other small children, she is only a few years older than myself, and the thought of leaving this life without seeing my children grow into adults was shattering my world. I reached out to Justin, and assured him, that we would support him without a doubt, and although he probably has plenty of people who will support him, I wanted him to know, if he ever needed a "mom" to talk to, I would drop everything to be there for him.

I watched him grow into a man in 30 days. He spoke at her funeral. I started crying when I walked into the room. I could hardly believe that I person I went to lunch with at the start of summer was laying in a casket, without a spirit in her body. The feelings were overwhelming. I learned things about Claudine that day that I never knew, I also heard again and again what an amazing person she was, and that, I had experienced first hand. I KNEW she was amazing. Think of the most amazing woman you know, that was her. . .maybe even more so. Caring, loving, friend to everyone, event the friendless. Selfless acts of service constantly. It is devastating to me that she has left this life. But then again, I realize, that such a perfect person did not need anymore time in this life, but is needed in the next. Although my heart aches for this family, and I cried for at least 3 hours yesterday, they were selfish tears. I was crying for myself, because I wouldn't be able to glean any more information or love from her. I needed more time. But now, I will think of Claudine, and her selfless acts of service every time I need to work on being better. She was an incredible example to me, and I am grateful to have known her, even if it was for just a short time.


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