So, Sunday the 30th of November, Angell ,her boyfriend Seth, and her mom Laurel, (who is Tony’s sister) and Tony’s other sister Wendy arrive at our house. Angell has to have surgery on a tumor that is in her ear, neck, and brain. Everyone gets here late in the evening, and they stay up really late, watching TV and making frozen pizzas. Angell and Seth are sleeping on the pullout couch in the living room, and Wendy is on the couch in the basement. Laurel is in the guest bedroom on the single futon. I go to bed as early as possible, leaving them all awake. Angell has two surgeries, one on Monday morning at 6 and one on Wednesday morning at 6.
My alarm goes off at 4:45 on Monday morning, and so I get up after about 4 hours of sleep. I turn on some lights and get ready at the sink, hoping that since I can hear an alarm blaring from the living room, and another from the basement, they’ll be up soon. At 5:00 on I decide that they aren’t getting up, so I stick my head in the living room and tell Angell and Seth what time it is – and then go and shake both Wendy and Laurel to get them up, as Angell has to check in for her surgery at 5:45. My husband has come down with food poisoning in the night, so as he sleeps, moaning, I get dressed in the dark, shake Angell, Seth, Laurel, and Wendy one more time, and wait in the kitchen for them to be ready to leave. Angell and Seth leave for the hospital, and I put Wendy and Waurel in my car. We’re all there by six and Angell goes into pre-op.
We spend the next 12 hours at the hospital, waiting for Angell’s first surgery to be done. I sleep for an hour or so on a very small couch, and try to do as much work as I can with the hospital’s touch-and-go WI-FI. Tony shows up at about noon, feeling a little better. We get the word at 6 pm that Angell is out of surgery, and so we go to see her quick, before heading home as she’s going to be sedated and won’t really know we’re there. When we get back to my house, we organize sleeping for that night and Seth, Laurel and Wendy make some frozen pizza. Seth sleeps on the fold out couch, Laurel is in my office, and Wendy is in the basement.
Tuesday,December 2nd, we go to the hospital early again to check on Angell and Seth and Laurel spend the day there. Tony and I come back to the house to re-arrange sleeping quaters for the guests that will be arriving shortly. I try to get as much work done as a I can, so that we can pay bills. In the afternoon, Tony’s mom Darla arrives, with Wendy’s daughter Allysin, and Allysin’s boyfriend James, who is in a wheelchair. We’ve moved all the furniture around in the house to accommodate the wheelchair, and we tell everyone where they are sleeping. There’s a Junebug show that night, so Tony leaves at 8 to set up, and I leave around 11, with Wendy and Laurel, to watch the show. We get back late, and they make some more frozen pizzas.About 2, we all go to bed. This time, Darla is in our bedroom, cos you can’t make your mother in law sleep in the floor, Allysin and James are on the pull out bed in the living room, where we have moved around all of the furniture to accommodate his wheelchair around the pull out bed, Laurel is on the couch in the basement, and Wendy is on an air mattress in the basement as well. Seth is on another air mattress on the dining room floor. Tony and I and the dogs are sleeping in the office – on the single-sized futon couch.
On Wednesday, December 3rd, after three hours of sleep, I get up, and realize I am the only one awake in the house.Its 5, and we’re supposed to go see Angell at 6 before her surgery. I wake up Tony, and make him wake up his mom, and then we wake up Seth, Allysin and James, and Wendy and Laurel. We all carpool to the hospital and get there at six. We are in the waiting room of the hospital from 6 AM until 4 AM Thursday morning, when the surgery is finally over and we have seen Angell. During this time frame, I try to sleep a little, and I also do about a day’s worth of work. Towards late afternoon, we run into another snag. My husband comes down with severe testicle pain. We agonize about our options, knowing that we don’t have insurance, but also knowing that we want to start a family someday and the testicles are very important to this. We decide to take him to the emergency room at about 6 o’clock PM. He’s got a Junebug show at 11, but we figure we’ll get the ball-situation under control first. By 10:30, Tony’s been diagnosed with Twisted Testicle (no joke), a condition in which his ball gets all twisted sometimes and needs to un-twist itself. We’re advised to get insurance and eventually take him for a ball-operation to fix the condition, but told that it isn’t serious at the moment and isn’t going to have a negative effect on anything. Very easy, says the doctor. So, he heads to the show and I head back up to the waiting room and proceed to tell jokes about my husbands balls for the next few hours. Tony comes back around 1 AM, and we’re told at 4 AM that Angell is done and has gone to the ICU. We all go home, and sleep for a few hours.
Thursday, December 4th, after sleeping till about noon and then going to see Angell, Darla leaves, taking with her Allysin and James, as well as Wendy. I spend the day getting some work done, and cleaning the house – moving Tony and I back to our room, putting away the bedding upstairs, and making two very nice, comfortable and warm beds down in the basement for Seth and Laurel, who will be staying until Angell is better. They assume they are staying at least until a week has passed,as Angell was told 7 days in the hospital, so I want them to be comfortable and feel out of the way, so I put them in the basement. We go to visit Angell once on Thursday, and Seth and Laurel stay really late at the hospital, coming home at around midnight and making frozen food for dinner. Tony and I run some errands and try to start decorating for Christmas.
On Friday December 5th, I get up early and try to do a few day’s worth of work, which actually goes well. Seth and Laurel sleep until about noon, and get up to go see Angell. We go see Angell once, and Seth and Laurel stay all day again. Tony and I go Christmas shopping to get some of that out of the way. That night we notice that the oven is smoking a bit, becuase of all of the frozen food. I think about cleaning it out. We also go to pick up a second guinea pig to be a companion for our first one.
Saturday, December 6th, I get up early and do another day’s worth of work, trying to make up for the past week. Seth and Laurel sleep until noon and then get up to go to the hospital. We decide to go see Angell early and then go to the store to buy some things. We come back home and start a fire in the fireplace, and begin to decorate for Christmas. Angell gets moved to her own room and we start thinking about when she’ll go home….
Then, at midnight on Saturday night, Laurel calls us from the hospital. They are moving Angell back to ICU, and are afraid she is having a blood-clot situation. Tony and I, who have been putting up Christmas decorations, dump a bowl of water on our fireplace and get in the car. We get to the ICU and find out she doesn’t have a blood clot, but she’s been aspirating the food from her feeding tube into her lungs and now has pneumonia. They want to keep her in the ICU for several days, and are going to keep her intubated for that entire time, not to mention sedated. Tony and I get back at 4 AM on Sunday morning,December 7th, and everyone makes pizzas for dinner. The smoke is now so bad that all of the doors to the kitchen need to be closed when something is cooked. I remind myself again to clean out the oven. We all eat and then sleep about 5 hours, and then get up.
It is the morning of Sunday, December 7th. Laurel and Seth get up at about 1 PM and ask if we can run them a load of laundry, so we do, and Laurel and Seth leave for the hospital. Tony and I finish putting up our Christmas decorations and are relaxing. We watch the Vikings win and then make tacos to relax even more. That’s when Tony’s other sister Wendy calls. She, Darla, and Darla’s 12 year old daughter Kelsey are about an hour away from the cities, they’ve decided to come back because Angell is in the ICU and they are worried about her. Obviously, we offer our house again. I decide to put Darla and Kelsey on the pull out bed in the living room – I just can’t give up my bedroom again, I can’t I can’t I can’t, and we’re going to put Wendy in my office for the duration of the stay. But Seth calls from the hospital to ask where everyone is sleeping – because he doesn’t like sleeping in the basement anymore. So he wants to move his air-bed and all of his stuff upstairs.
Sunday night, December 7th, I spend putting blankets on the hide a bed for Darla and Kelsey and on the guest bed for whomever is going to be sleeping there. I forget to clean out the oven. I get tired at about 12:20 and go to bed, but everyone gets here at 1 AM so I get up again. It’s decided that Seth will move up to the guest bedroom and Wendy and Laurel will stay downstairs in the basement. The oven gets turned on to cook pizzas and the house fills with smoke. I decide its a good time to go to bed and say goodnight to everyone.
Monday, December 8th, I wake up at 3 AM to pee and find all of the lights on in the house, so I turn them off. Around 6 I hear definate sounds of up-chucking coming from the bathroom, so I pull the blankets over my head and pray that it all goes away. I get up at my usual time to find the entire house still asleep, except for Tony’s mom, who was doing the throwing up all night long in the bathroom. She and Kelsey spend the day on the pull out couch, trying to avoid throwing up, and trying to get some sleep. They sleep on the couch all day. Seth , Laurel and Wendy are still asleep when Tony and I leave to go run some errands. We go to see Angell. at about 2 pm and stay for a few minutes. Then, we go to Target and go Christmas shopping. Laurel and Wendy call us at 4, wondering if they should go to the hospital or not. Seth goes to the hospital at about that time. We get back to our house at around 6. Darla and Kelsey are still hanging out in the living room, and Wendy and Laurel are just getting back from shopping. They haven’t gone to the hospital yet. I proceed to run the oven automatic cleaner. The kitchen heats up to about a hundred degrees and the room fills with smoke. Nick, Anthony, and Dustin arrive for Junebug practice. Laurel and Wendy decide to go to the hospital at about 9.I finished the auto cleaner and wipe out all of the ashes from the bottom of the oven. Everyone gets home from the hospital at midnight, and proceeds to cook pizzas in the clean oven. Everyone heads to bed around 1 AM.
Tuesday, December 9th, Seth gets up at about 8 and is gone to the hospital because Angell is supposed to have a procedure done. We get up and wait for everyone to use the shower. Everyone is gone for the hospital by 12:45. We proceed to use an entire can of lysol and spray all of the counters, doors, knobs, and surfaces. I lysol the suitcases and the bedding, and scrub the bathroom. We sweep all of the floors, change the cat box and the guinea pig cages, and clean up all of the messes around the house. At about 3:30, we go see Angell and stop at Walmart to pick up some supplies. We get home at 6, just in time for Junebug to arrive for practice. Tony heads down to practice, and I make a big pot of stew, which I make too full and so it is very close to boiling over. During practice, Anthony comes upstairs and the dogs attack him. Luckily he is wearing thick jeans. Junebug leaves, and Seth, Laurel, Wendy, Darla and Kelsey return. They all spend time eating stew and talking before bed. Tony and I go to bed, and then stay up very late talking.
Wednesday, December 10th, everyone is up around 11 or so to head to the hospital. Everyone goes today, so Tony and I have a little bit of time to be in our house. However, we only get a few things done around the house from about 1:30, when they all leave for the hospital, and about 4, when we need to to see Angell. I get my first shower since Saturday, and hve a chance to do some light work and organizing. We see Angell for a few mintues around 4:30, and then battle traffice to get home so I can leave to meet Cortney at the mall.I am late for Cortney ,but we spend about an hour or so wandering around and I get a chance to vent a little. I head home around 7:30, expecting to be able to spend the night relaxing with Tony at home. However, I get home to an already full house. Seth, Laurel, Darla, Wendy, and Kelsey had all gotten home from the hospital around 6. They are eating stew, and cooking pizzas. There has been another oil spill in the oven so it is back to smoking again each time it is used. Darla gets sick again and is throwing up in the bathroom. I go to bed early.
Thursday, December 11th. I wake up at 10 to find Seth still asleep, Darla and Kelsey in the dining room. They are starting to pack up and are thinking about leaving. They have to wait until they can get Laurel and Wendy up and awake and ready to go. Around 2 pm, Laurel and Wendy are up and ready to go, and Seth has taken a shower. Seth leaves for the hospital. Darla, Kelsey, and Wendy leave as well, taking Laurel to drop off at the hospital. As soon as they are all gone, we break into a cleaning frenzy. Beds have to be taken down again ,floors are swept, and we dust, too. I am trying to get wrapping done for Christmas, as well as juggle a lot of things for work and grad schools. We finish cleaning at about 4:30, and Seth arrives. He’s been with Angell all day so he wants to take a shower and get some stuff taken care of. Tony and I leave to go to the hospital and see Angell. We are done with that around 5:30 and decide that we want to head back home again because Tony has practice at 6:30. We get home just in time to feed the dogs and put them back away again, as Junebug has arrived for practice. I work while they practice. When they are finished, around 9, Tony and I sit down to watch our Thursday night TV, and try to catch up on a few other things we’ve missed as well. We watch TV until midnight, and then try to hurry to bed before everyone else gets home. WE’re in bed for about twenty minutes when Seth and Laurel get back, so we stay there.
Friday, December 12th, I get up early to work. I’m working in the dining room at 11:30 when Laurel gets up. She hangs around for a bit and then wakes up Seth. They decide to head to the hospital and are gone around 1:30. I work and do random tasks and at 4:45 we head off to see Angell at the hospital. As we are leaving, Seth calls. They are making changes to Angell’s hospitalization, and so he is going to need to head back to Jamestown today to work for a couple of days so that he can come back and get her when she is discharged. We visit Angell for a few minutes and then run to Target. I shop while Tony sits in the car on his radio interview for Junebug. I load the car and drive back home while Tony talks on the phone. When we get home we put away the things we’ve purcahsed, and are just about to settle in for some TV when Seth and Laurel arrive. Seth was going to leave for Jamestown but then Laurel’s car broke down. He followed her back to our house because he didn’t want her to get stranded. He leaves for Jamestown at about 8, and Laurel watches TV with us while I do laundry, wrap presents, and try to pack for Fargo on Saturday morning. Laurel calls her mom about her car, and Darla decides that they will come back here for the weekend since Laurel will be here without a car and since we’ll be in Fargo. We wrap presents, try to catch up on TV, and do about 4 loads of laundry. I make it to bed around 2 AM.
We wake up to a blizzard warning for Fargo Saturday night and all day Sunday. Plans change quickly. Junebug isn’t going to Fargo for the show. There’s frustration with the band as well as sad fans that Tony has to deal with. He takes Laurel to the hospital to be with Angell. I pick up the house and do a day and a half worth of work. When we have a little spare time, we go to Target to pick up some Christmas presents, and then come back to our house, where I work some more. At about 8 pm we decide that we are going to go see Angell and find out if Laurel wants to come home. We get there at around 9 and stay about an hour and a half. We all get home, and we make dinner, and then watch TV while I do laundry and try to finish my work for the day. i have some more articles to finish, so I don’t get to bed until at least 2:30.
Sunday, December 14th, in the morning, we all wake up. Seth has gone back to Jamestown so that he can work for a couple of days. So, Laurel sleeps until about noon and then she takes the van to go to the hospital. This is because they are going to discharge Angell on Sunday afternoon. She has an appointment on Thursday afternoon, so she can’t go home yet. Sunday at around 4 or 5, Angell comes back to our house with Laurel. We have spent the afternoon cleaning out the living room, pulling out the couch and making it into a recovering area for her. We set up a lamp and a clock and a bedside table. Laurel and Tony spend the afternoon unpacking Angell’s stuff and putting it all in order for her to stay at our house. Tony and I watch our Sunday night television in our bedroom.
Monday, December 15th, I work in the bedroom all day, while Angell rests in the living room, and Laurel watches TV with her on the couch. Tuesday, December 16th, I also work in the bedroom with the dogs, while Angell recovers and Laurel watches television. On Wednesday night, December 17th, Seth returns from Jamestown. That night, he sleeps in the living room with Angell and Laurel moves back down to the basement. Laurel’s car is still broken, and sitting in front of the house.
On Thursday, December 18th, everyone gets up about 10 AM. Laurel calls to have her car towed in so it can be fixed. Seth and Angell and Laurel go to the hospital at noon for Angell’s appointment. They return around 3, saying that the doctors don’t need to see her until the 8th of January. So they wait around until 6 pm, waiting for Laurel’s car to get fixed. When they finally figure out that it isn’t going to get fixed that day, they decide that Laurel will ride home with SEth, and that she and her husband will return for the car sometime in the future. Everyone leaves around 6:30 pm, on December 18th, and we have our house back to ourselves.