Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summertime Blues

by Beth

My son had big plans for this summer. Having recently graduated high school, he planned on making the most of the last three months spent at home before going to college over 600 miles away. He had a full-time job and even worked more than enough over-time (a great opportunity to sock away money for college *g*) He and his girlfriend planned to head up to Lake Erie a few times and he had plenty to do with his friends - baskeball, street hockey, video games, graduation parties. Throw in a few family outings, picnics, trips to the drive-in and him wanting to spend time recording songs and his summer schedule was packed.

And then he came down with Strep throat. I mean, the worst case of Strep I've ever seen. His throat was so bad, even the physician's assistant grimaced she saw it. And it wouldn't get better. On his second trip to the doctor, a blood test revealed the reason why: Not only did the boy have Strep but, joy of all joys, he had Mono, too!

There went his summer :-)

Okay, not his entire summer, but a sizable chunk. Luckily, after spending a few weeks on the couch, he's feeling better and is back to work.

This reminded us of one of our favorite children's book: The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation. The Bear Family set off on their vacation with all sorts of plans: They're going to fish and swim in the lake, eat delicious berries as they hike the trails and relax in a lovely, quiet cabin. Except...things don't go quite as planned. The cabin is a dump with a leaky roof, the lake is a muddy mess and there's nothing to eat *g*

I have to admit, I know how both my son and those bears felt. My own plans for a sunny, romantic honeymoon didn't quite work out. Yes, it was sunny. Too bad I got too much sun and ended up with sun poisoning. And then I got a rash from being stung by some sort of sea creatures. By the time we left, I had a cold, too.

Oh, and did I mention I got motion sick on the plane ride and my husband had to hold the airsickness bag for me? I still feel bad for the guy on the other side of me who tried very hard to lean away from the sick woman :-)

Have you ever had your summer, a vaction or any other plans derailed in a major way? How did you make the most of it?


barb said...

I can't get over this first again LOL must have nothing to do but check here

Christine Wells said...

Hi Beth! Your poor boy. I feel terrible for him. Must have been awful to be that sick plus knowing you're missing all that fun.

Glad he's better now!

Oh, and the honeymoon sounded awful! Isn't that always the way, though? When one thing goes wrong it seems like everything does! We had a holiday booked on an island and our flight was canceled/rescheduled 4 times due to cyclonic weather. We canceled that and went on a different holiday, which turned out to be horrible, too. We should have taken the first failure as an omen and stayed home!

Congrats Barb!!

barb said...

It was a good job your son was still at home when he was sick and not 600 miles away as you would really worry then..... I don't think I have had to cancel any holidays through sickness..... although I have been seasick on a boat trip to an island but was OK once I got off the boat

Helen said...

Well done Barbara put the kettle on and we can have a cuppa with him and I will bring the Tim Tams LOL.


Your poor son I am glad he is feeling better now and still has some time to enjoy before college. We have been pretty lucky I guess we did go away once and my sone was car sick the whole trip I lost count on how many times we had to pull over to the side of the road LOL and then there was 1 summer we were down the coast and poor hubby really was ill the whole 2 weeks we were there, but we have never had to cancel a holiday thank goodness we don't get to go on many.

So sorry the honeymoon turned out like that as well nothing worse than being sick at home let alone while away with none of you own comforts.

Have Fun

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Bless his heart! Don't you just hate it when something like that happens? For the most part, I just don't make plans and that way they don't get messed up.

I did have a honeymoon experience close to yours, I was boiled like a lobster. Learned my lesson, that was the first time I had ever been to a beach and it was the last. I just don't do sun.

PJ said...

Beth, I'm glad to hear your son is starting to feel better. Poor guy.

I've been blessed when it comes to summers and vacations but there have been a couple near misses. One occurred when I was in college. I was flying from Michigan to Florida (on December 23) to spend five days over Christmas with my family. I arrived at the local airport to discover (after we had boarded) that our flight had been over-booked and nobody was willing to give up their seat. They kept us on the tarmac for over 45 minutes while trying to figure out who they were going to kick off the plane. Of course, that delay made us late and the majority of the people on the plane (including me) missed our connecting flights in Chicago. Add to that a huge snowstorm moving in from the east (Cleveland and Detroit airports had already closed) and the fact that everyone in the universe was flying and chances of spending Christmas in O'Hare were looking more likely by the minute. After spending the next two hours running from gate to gate and terminal to terminal trying to get on various planes from four different airlines, I finally managed to snag a seat on a flight to Miami (My family was waiting for me in Tampa). Eventually, I made it to Tampa but, unfortunately, my luggage didn't. Thankfully, this was back in my skinny days and I spent four days wearing my 13 year old brother's tee shirts and cut-offs. My luggage arrived the night before my flight back to Michigan.

It could have been worse though. O'Hare closed two hours after my flight took off and wasn't able to reopen until after Christmas.

SusanMallery said...

Poor guy! What a horrible way to spend the summer. I'm glad he's feeling better now.

Vacations can be fun but stressful. The break in the routine, living out of a suitcase. Although there is something to be said about room service!

I'm sorry to hear about your honeymoon woes. Did you ever go on a second honeymoon? A do-over? ;)

Deb said...

Ooh, strep--been there, had it several times. Once you have a really bad case, you are susceptible to it and pharyngitis, so says my dr. My sister had mono one summer, too, and the couch was her spot for 2 months. The dr. encouraged her to lay out in the sun for awhile each day to replenish the vitamin D in her body.

The last 3 Junes have not been our typical Iowa Junes. We have had a lot of rain (Do you remember hearing about the epic 500-year flood in Cedar Rapids?). Last summer, my stepson brought a pup tent over for Shary and we set it up in the living room for well over a week. Of course, the opening flap was turned towards the t.v., but we also played games and slept in it.

I don't worry too much about summer blues, but my biggest fear is getting sick on either Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, or Easter. What a bummer!

Pissenlit said...

Once in high school, I managed to catch a case of pneumonia at the very beginning of the holidays and got over it in time for the first day back. I barely remember anything of what happened during that time so I guess I didn't make anything of it! I do recall one moment of lucidity, though...I had to take a bathroom break and eventually got there with some help. Heh heh! So, unless I totally had a blast during my delirium and just forgot all about it, that was one unfun holiday! :D

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Beth. I'm sorry your son was sick ... but I'm sure my children can commiserate with him. We've been in Florida since June 5 to visit with my Dad (who has Alzheimers). We tried a quick trip to Disney - too hot and crowded. We planned to camp over July 4th weekend - it poured. But now they are visiting my inlaws and attending Rocket Camp at the Air Force Museum in Ohio.

I'm still in Florida, hanging with Dad in between RomCon and RWA. Thereafter, its the mad dash back to Hawaii as school starts August 3 - how fast the time has flown!

Beth said...

Hey, Barb! What big plans do you and the GR have today? :-)

Beth said...

Thanks, Christine. The first week he was too sick to care that he was missing out but last week he started getting a bit...eager...to get back to normal *g*

So sorry you had a bad experience on your holiday!

We can laugh about our honeymoon now but at the time I was pretty upset - mostly about spending so much money just to have a rotten time - LOL!

Beth said...

You're so right, Barb. We said the one good thing about him getting Mono/Strep when he did was that he was still at home. I'm really glad, especially since it took two trips to the dr's office and two to the to ER before he started getting better :-)

Beth said...

Thanks, Helen! I get motion sick so I feel for what your family (especially your son) endured during that car trip. I still can only ride in the front seat or drive. Put me in the back and I'm going to get sick *g*

Beth said...

For the most part, I just don't make plans and that way they don't get messed up.

LOL! That's a great philosophy, Dianna! I'll have to share it with my older daughter. She HAS to have everything planned out. Drives me and my Let's See What Happens attitude crazy :-)

Ouch on the sunburn! That can totally ruin a vacation or even just your weekend. Burns of any sort are so very painful.

Beth said...

Thanks, PJ! He's back to work and a lot happier now that he can be around his girlfriend, friends and out of the house :-)

What a rotten experience you had! I'm so glad you were able to get home for the holidays and not be stuck in a strange city (or a strange city's airport).

I'm afraid my son may have a few similar experiences since he'll be flying into Buffalo at the holidays. That Lake Effect snow can be brutal.

Beth said...

Thanks, Susan!

I agree about vacations being stressful. We planned on taking a mini-vacation when we take him to college except now we can't figure out how to get the five of us, plus all of my son's stuff (inclulding a drum set - oy!) into the SUV. My husband is already stressing about it. Could be an interesting time *g*

I would love to go on a second honey moon! We haven't yet but maybe in a few years when all three kids are shipped off to college we'll sneak off somewhere romantic :-)

Beth said...

Deb, Strep is a nasty illness, isn't it? And when I hear stories of how long other kids were out with Mono, I'm really grateful my son seems to have had a mild case.

The kids and I have all been sick at one time or the other during Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year's. You feel even worse knowing you're missing out on family get-togethers :-(

Beth said...

Aww, Pissenlit, I'm sorry to hear you were so sick over the holidays! I guess the only good part about being so out of it was that you didn't realize what you were missing. Until it was over, of course. At least you didn't have all that make-up school work.

Nancy said...

Barb, you're on a streak!

Beth, I'm so sorry about your son's illness. How awful for him, and for you. Glad he's better now.

But what a honeymoon!

The first time the dh and I visited London together, for just four days so he could interview a British author, we booked a package deal. This was a year after our wedding, and we were calling it a second honeymoon.

Hah! Not so much.

The hotel catered to coaching parties, and it was a dump. Two blocks from the British Museum but a freaking dump. With twin beds instead of the double we had specified in our reservation. So we hit the streets looking for something--anything--decent, which we eventually found. We demanded our voucher back and they reluctantly yielded it, which enabled us to get some of our money back because of the bed discrepancy.

Then I got sick. Caught some kind of bug, complete with high fever and aching bones, probably on the plane. Saw a British doctor who was, in my view, entirely too cheerful about the whole thing but who did give me meds that helped.

I spent the second two days of our trip huddled in front of the heater in the hotel. The dh, who is not generally good with mass transit, had to go sightseeing by himself. At least I felt better in time for the flight home.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats, Barb!

You and the chook are getting to be quite an item. Don't let Limecello in on the secret! ;-)

Beth, sooo sorry to hear about your son's illness. Mono is nothing to mess with, so I hope he makes a complete recovery.

I got the mother of all sunburns on my honeymoon too! Mostly on my back. We went to Lake Tahoe and I didn't realize how much faster I burned at high altitudes. ACK! However, you and Christine definitely win the prizes for WORST HONEYMOONS EVAH! :-)


Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Beth! I bet the dh didn't realize he'd have to honor that "in sickness and in health" vow quite so soon!

Hugs to the boy. He will survive. Good that the mono hit him before he left for school than at school. I managed to get mono the last month of my freshman year away at college (i.e. exams week). I think I lost 20 lbs because it hurt so much to swallow. I was on a self-imposed liquid diet, and not a lot of liquids at that.
Haha - of course, that was the summer I met my current husband. Poor guy thought I was a thin shapely thing. Little did he know it was only temporary.

MaryC said...

Beth, the same thing happened to my sister. She's a teacher and strep was running rampant in her class. She got it but the meds did nothing and her blood tests also showed mono. I wonder if it was a particular strain going around.

Kirsten said...

Hi Beth,

We've had some real traveling nightmares, especially with the kids, but my worst vacation memory was a lot like your son's. I came home from freshman year after college with high expectations, and then turned up a week later with mono. I was told I couldn't work in the food service for something like four weeks, so there went my job waiting tables at a decent restaurant, and I ended up spending the last few weeks of summer making Whoppers at Burger King.

But the good thing was that I met a really cute boy at BK and had a little summer romance. There's good and bad to everything, it seems. Um, except throwing up in the plane on your honeymoon. There's nothing good about that. :-p

TerriOsburn said...

For some weird reason, I can't see the blog. I mean, I can see the pics and the header, but everything else is black. So I highlighted to read the words. LOL! I'm guessing this is just me since no one else has mentioned it.

So sorry to hear about your son getting sick like that. My throat hurts just reading about it. I've had big plans and then something just seems to go wrong. Thankfully, I'm a pretty laid back person, so I can usually roll with it.

I did take my dad on a vacation once to a NASCAR race, something he'd wanted to see for years. The bad thing was he'd had a heart attack not long before the trip and was the crankiest person you could ever meet the whole time.

He complained about everything from having to ride in a Ford (Chevy man all the way) to me looking over my shoulder to change lanes. I have never been so happy as I was to put him back on that plane to home.

Joan said...

Glad to hear your son is on the mend Beth!

Once, my BFF, her daughter (my goddaughter) and I were going to Disneyworld for a MUCH needed vacation. We were scheduled to leave at 1pm.

Plane part wouldn't work.

New plane, had issue too.

New part flown in from Atlanta by Delta...didn't fit.

Last flight crew in for the night had enough hours they agreed to take us back to Orlando.

We left at 11 pm. The flight attendants made and annoucement "We should be in our hotel rooms asleep" To a person, everyone on the plane shouted "Us too!"

The flight attendant brought through Cokes/peanuts. My BFF had fallen asleep. She TOSSED a bag onto her!!!

Got to Disney at 2 am. I had paid for a waterview (Riverside had a river). Nice young guy took us to our room in a golf cart. Up the 2nd floor. I'm craning my neck looking for the river. All I saw was the pool.

Yup, you guessed it. They charged water view rates for a POOL!!!!!

Beth said...

Kim, sorry to hear your kids' plans haven't gone...well...according to plan *g* Hope they're having a blast at Rocket Camp (no pun intended!)

Wow, I can't believe they start school in only a few weeks. We still have 6 weeks of summer vacation here but it is flying by!

Beth said...

Nancy, what a horrible trip you had! I'm so sorry you were sick while away from home! I can't imagine being ill and not being able to sleep in my own bed. Or on my couch *g*

But I'm glad you got a new hotel room and that you felt better before that long trip home!

Beth said...

Thanks, AC. He is feeling tons better for which we're all grateful as he was getting to be a bit of a grump from being stuck at home *g*

Ouch on the sunburn! But I bet Lake Tahoe was a lovely place to honeymoon :-)

Beth said...

LOL Beth! I bet the dh didn't realize he'd have to honor that "in sickness and in health" vow quite so soon!

LOL, Donna! You're right. He wondered if I came with a warranty ;-)

There's never a good time to get sick, is there? We're so glad he wasn't away at school and yes, he did survive *g*

Funny thing is, he kept right on eating. It wasn't easy but it's hard to knock out a teenage boy's appetite *g*

Beth said...

MaryC, hugs to your sister! Hope she's feeling better.

I often wonder how teachers don't get sick more often. I'm sure if I was around all those kids, I'd constantly be sniffling and sneezing.

Beth said...

Um, except throwing up in the plane on your honeymoon. There's nothing good about that. :-p

ROFL! Kirsten, you are so right! But it's better than my sister-in-law who had to keep leaving her own wedding ceremony because she had a terrible stomach bug and kept throwing up *g*

Sorry you lost your job because of Mono! Sounds as if the summer romance may have made up for it though :-)

Beth said...

Terri, I didn't have any problems today but there are times when I open our blog that it's messed up. Anyone else having problems?

Sorry you had to deal with a cranky dad! Was it a long drive? Because there's nothing worse than being stuck in the car with someone who's not happy to be there!

Beth said...

Oh, Joan, how frustrating! I hope your goddaughter was old enough to deal well with the delay. Then again, I know how impatient my teens can be and sitting in the airport with them for that long would be torture.

And I would've been tempted to toss those peanuts right back at the flight attendant. Or at least, give her my Mean Face. It's very intimidating. Ask Tawny.

Gillian Layne said...

My daughter had big plans for working this summer and promptly broke her foot two days into the vacation. She's only just now getting around without the "boot".

We plan smaller things in the summer, not much time for a longer vacation.

Kate Carlisle said...

Your poor guy!! What a complete drag for him. And at his age, it probably feels like his whole life is ruined. It's not, of course, but who can convince him of that? Anyway, I really hope he's feeling better soon!

And good grief, your honeymoon sounds like a bit of a disaster! But it's obviously made for a strong, happy marriage. :-)

I got strep throat while I was at summer camp when I was about 10 years old. I remember it was the most horrendously painful thing I'd ever experienced. I couldn't swallow, couldn't talk, and I thought I might die. Then my dad showed up to take me home and I was soooo happy.

Kirsten said...

Oh Beth, you remind me that I had to leave my wedding because I had a migraine! I blame the champagne. Luckily, I took my meds and was back after a few hours. But I did miss most of the reception...

Beth said...

Oh, no, Gillian! I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's foot. Glad to hear she's doing better.

It is hard to plan a long vacation, especially now that the kids are older. Son is working, both daughters have sports, older daughter has volleyball camps and is looking for a part time job and of course, husband has to work *g*

They're all too busy!

Beth said...

And good grief, your honeymoon sounds like a bit of a disaster! But it's obviously made for a strong, happy marriage. :-)

LOL! Well, it was interesting, that's for sure ;-) And yes, it made for a good marriage so I guess it was worth it.

The guy sitting on the other side of me while I was getting sick might not think so though *g*

What an awful time to get strep throat (as if there's ever a good time!) but to be that age and away from home? Horrible! I'm sure you were thrilled to get back home :-)

Beth said...

Kirsten, I'm sorry you had to miss part of your own reception! Glad the meds kicked in and you were able to return to it though. But to get a migraine on your wedding day? Just not fair!

Louisa Cornell said...

Barb, people are starting to talk!

Beth, your poor child! And when they are sick they are children. I am glad that he is feeling better, but what an awful way to start the summer!

Bad vacations? Let me see, how about trading your ticket on one flight for one a week earlier so you can get home for Christmas break from Germany a week earlier because you have two recitals and a wedding to do in the three weeks before you fly back. Not so bad? Well how about hearing a week after you get home that your original flight was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland? So that was almost a disastrous vacation. My grandmother didn't know about the flight change and she called my parents hysterical. Wouldn't calm down until she spoke to me.

At the end of an operatic tour of Eastern Europe we took a little side trip to spend a week in Romania - Transylvania to be exact. It was a great trip overall, but we FROZE TO DEATH. Did I mention it was March? And that hot water in many hotels and especially in many rustic bed and breakfasts is non-existent? Oh and the heaters in most forms of transportation? They don't work either! Of course when six people and their luggage travel in a car the size of a mini cooper things can be quite cozy. Until the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and you start hearing the theme music from some B horror movie in your head. We laughed a lot! And bought rosaries and garlic at the next village.

Beth said...

Louisa, your post gave me the chills. So glad you weren't on that plane.

And I'm glad you all found some humor in your travels in Romania