Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ringing Out the Old

My last post related my outbreak of hives.  Unfortunately, that episode lasted much longer than any human should have to put up with.  As previously written, my first hives began during the Hobbit, and they continued to appear over the 24 hours, to the point where I had 5 - 6 inch diameter red, burning welts over my entire body.  We tried lots of Benedryl and various other anti-histimines and steroids both at home and in the clinic (including an epi-pin), but when my wrists and feet were red and swollen, and my throat started to swell closed Monday morning, I went to the hospital and was admitted.  Two days and many, many steroids and anti-histimines later, I came back home again, still itchy and with hives to a lesser degree, and completely wiped out. The verdict was severe allergic reaction to an unknown substance.

Our Christmas present to each other and the family was a ski trip to introduce the kids to the sport, have some family time and be in Michigan together.  Instead, my hubby took the hyper, disease-laden rug rats to the slopes, and I spent lots of alone time in the house, recuperating and resting.  There are lots of nasty viruses in our community, and with all the meds I was on, my immunity has been lowered.  Considering the time of year, this could have been a sad and stressful time for me, but I can honestly say with Joseph in the Old Testament, "What [you] meant for evil, God has meant for good."

I had a very centered time of quiet and thanksgiving, and God brought the right people to me in the right time.  It was a joy to see His provision for me, including an invitation by a friend for people with no family in the area for her first holiday open house. Another friend had me over to her house (with no diseased people in it) for a quiet evening and a Chinese dinner.  She didn't know how long eating Chinese at Christmas has been a part of our family traditions! My in-laws brought me two lunches, and a friend contacted me on Christmas Eve day and arranged for another friend to bring me a meal that night, as I was all alone.

Not for long, though.  The kids and my husband cut their vacation short, drove all day and surprised me at the quietest Christmas Eve service I could find!  The kids had fallen asleep two hours previous, and the boys were completely zonked in the pew, going between shoving each other and trying to use each other for pillows. It was cute.  My daughter was more awake and involved, even helping my husband unpack the truck after we all arrived home.

Christmas was wonderful.  Despite the swollen, stiff joints, I managed to finish my husband's vest, The British School Slipover in the Folk Vests book. I thought the Rowan wool cotton was perfect for him:  soft, and not too warm.

I also finished the first pair of my filet crocheted breakfast nook curtains.  They disgustingly took about a month, MUCH LONGER than I had anticipated.  That, and my illness, took a huge chunk out of any other knitted gifts.  Seriously -- I didn't knit for almost a week with my hives and recovery.  After Christmas, though, I got the mittens knitted for my friend Molly in Ireland and another for my cousin in Annapolis.  I got those mailed the last few days.

So, in conclusion, I am overjoyed to be home, in much better shape and have the family home as well.  A belated holiday wish to all you, my friends!  May God bless you in the coming year!

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