A lot of you have sent some sweet emails and left some nice messages about the big events that occurred over the last weekend. I was hoping this week was going to kick-start “normal life” into gear…and maybe even be a little relaxing 🙂 N.O.P.E. The reason I haven’t been returning emails is because Satan–that slithering serpent–has attacked us this week…in the form of the stomach virus.I’m not one to blame Satan for every malady that comes our way, but this time I feel pretty sure it’s plain and simple spiritual warfare (I wonder if this deep conviction stems at all from the fact that Jeremiah and I have been listening to C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters before going to bed at night :)). You see, Jeremiah is trying to start an orthopedic residents/resident’s wives Bible Study. We’ve talked about it for a while, and I felt strongly that it was a great idea. I know that every field has its individual challenges, but at this point in Jeremiah’s training, I think it’s important that we band together–remind each other that we’re fighting a bigger battle than long hours and demanding attendings–encourage each other to fight the good fight and fight it well…and have a good free meal, babysitting and fellowship, how bout it :)?

So, we were having our second meeting at our house this Wednesday (as in last night). I could have just picked up dinner…but I really did want to cook. I could have left the piles of crap all over my house…but I wanted it to feel nice and clean. With an estimated 20 people coming for dinner (and an undetermined amount of children), I knew that the first part of my week was going to be busy, but I was happy with that, because I felt like I was doing something I enjoyed, AND it was serving a greater purpose. HIGH ideals on Monday morning, until my eyes fluttered open to see Mary Aplin standing beside my bed with vomit caked in her hair and a raw spot on her cheek from where she’d slept in the mess all night long. AGGGHHHH!!! (The child never made a peep all night. Who is that tough?!!)

Should I cancel? But we’ve been planning this for so long, and I’m already in gear. I thought to myself, “These stomach viruses are normally fast and furious. She’ll be over it in 24 hours, and I’ll just keep Pace far away from her. I’m not letting Satan slither in here and foil these plans. That’s precisely what he’d want.” And with that thought I fired ahead! I grocery shopped, and cleaned vomit, and disinfected, and held a sickly weak baby, and dealt with piles, and stripped full beds of bedding, and cooked for 20 people, and kept Pace away from Dapples, and scrubbed my hands in between each of these steps SO MANY TIMES that my hands are raw and my fingertips are sore while I’m typing. Basically, I worked like a madwoman who was fighting a demon.

And yesterday afternoon, it looked as if the good guys had won! Dapples was the toughest little sickling I’ve ever seen, (I’m not kidding y’all, she would vomit and then laugh apologetically and say, “Sorry Mommy” in a way that nearly broke my heart. She was so sweet.) and it seemed like we were through it all…all the food was waiting in the refrigerator, the house was clean, and I was really excited about the fellowship and discussion that was on the imminent horizon…and then…the serpent struck Pace.

One hour before everybody was about to show up (you know that last hour when there are a million little details to be finalized), and Pace walks into the kitchen…and vomits right. there. on my clean floor. I rush forward to try and sweep her away to the bathroom AND SLIP AND FALL IN THE MESS. As I mopped and dumped disinfect all over the floor, and showered as I simultaneously held Pace’s hair back (one of the rare times a girl is thankful for a tiny bathroom), I thought “Maybe this wasn’t Satan trying to stop us, maybe it was God trying to tell us it was a bad idea?!”

It all came together somehow. Between giving a million jobs to my unsuspecting babysitters who happened to arrive a little early and shipping off two sick children with my poor SAINT of a sister-in-law:
(Seriously, how many friends would come over and lovingly scoop away a child who is actively vomiting and another who is barely well at best?)

And then…God showed up. I felt like He did at least. We had a house packed full of men and women who were fighting to get through residency with their marriages–that still honor the God who institutes them–intact. People were honest and frank and even a little vulnerable (which is pretty rare in a room full of highly motivated surgeons, I’d think).
Pace continued to vomit every 10 minutes (I am not exaggerating) until 3:30 am when I (scared to death) carried her to Jeremiah and told him I thought she needed to go to Children’s ER. He never agrees to going to the ER. Ever. But he took one look at her and started making phone calls. He whisked her away, and I got a couple hours of much needed sleep.
When I started writing this blog, this is how I left both of my little patients:

Hydrated (intravenously in Pace’s case), scrubbed clean, swathed in Baby Lotion, and watching PBS while sipping Gatorade.

As I end, this is how I found Mary Aplin…covered in my mascara (and now crying from a spanking). Do you think it was the slithering serpent that made her do it? 🙂
Seriously though, please pray that Jeremiah and I don’t get this virus. If I got it half as bad as Pace, there is no way I could function enough to take care of these two. So far so good!

9 Responses to “The Slithering Serpent”

  1. Mott @ The Courtyard Gate says:

    Bless.your.heart! I will be praying for all of you to be well and stay well.

  2. Robin says:

    Abby, The last picture is priceless ! I would say that is serious rehearsal dinner material. Sorry you have had a bad few days. We loved getting to see you in Dothan.

  3. No Longer Newlyweds. says:

    This post was amazing. Way to stay strong (and focused) on the positive…and taking care of this little girls. You're an amazing mother and wife!

  4. Mandy says:

    Oh, Abby! You are amazing! I was just about to email you a couple of questions and decided to see what was going on with you first. I love that you didn't cancel your bible study and I pray that you two stay well!

  5. Darby says:

    Oh Abby… Jeremiah failed to mention he was at the ER with Pace… I thought he was there for a rotation or something. I am so very very sorry that she was so bad off. I mean that's a lot of vomiting bless her heart. I pray the worse is behind her now and that you and Jeremiah are protected from it!! We'll miss y'all this weekend!!!

  6. Hillary @ The Other Mama says:

    What a crazy time of it! So glad God showed up at the end. He always manages to! And I love the mascara- I think that's a fine example that she's feeling MUCH better!

  7. kendall Boggs says:

    OH my Abs, I feel your pain. I so remember those days. I am so proud of you for how you handled it all though. And…..that friend of yours should be cherished forever!!! Good luck!

  8. Kellie says:

    Oh My!!!! I was reading th is all serious and contemplative and then BAM! That last picture of Mary Aplin has me ROLLING in laughter.OUT LOUD.AT.WORK!!!! I hope you and Jeremiah are spared – keep up the good work!!!!

  9. Gail says:

    Yup…Love, love, love that C.S. Lewis…I loved the Screw Tapes…I went and got me a book that said…CS LEWIS for Idots…I read it along and understood most of what I was reading! I am having to agree withb you on this one. Sounds like Wormwood was about! Glad things worked out so well at the end for you. You sure have a lot on your plate…and I have to say…You are so full of Gods Grace. You are something. That Ashley, I recall…was such a cute, cute little kid. I am so happy she is helping you out. What a great S-I-L,,,and friend! Happy Easter….and I pray you stay well!

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