A Day in the Life

Me waiting while Adam is taken to imaging

When I was writing the last post, I was sitting in the emergency department at our local hospital with Adam, trying not to use all my phone battery. It was Friday and the day had started off pretty typically.

At 8am my alarm went off reminding me that Eli needed to take his meds. I was probably avoiding getting up as long as possible. Adam went downstairs to his office to “go to” work. I got breakfast and made sure the younger girls ate. I almost reminded Eli that it was Nutella Friday (the only day of the week I let the kids have Nutella with their breakfast), but remembered that he can only have a low fat breakfast before taking his meds. I made a mental note to remind him later in the day to have some Nutella, but that never happened.

I corresponded with my sister Jennifer, confirming that I would be dropping Tabitha off at her house, on our way  to Eli’s radiation appointment, about 2pm to play with Hailey. The plan was for me to pick her up on the way home, after radiation, but those girls have so much fun playing together, the plan later changed to leave Tabitha there until Adam and I could pick her up after our date that night.

Since we do a short day of school work on Fridays, I did a little preschool with Lizzie, which consisted of having her watch the Letter Factory and counting to 30. While she watched Letter Factory, I finished getting ready for the day.

I remembered it was Valerie’s 20th birthday and made a post about it on Facebook. Of course I didn’t have a cake mix, so I took a page out of my sister Mayreen’s book and made a cake from scratch from the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s baking cocoa. Meanwhile, I encouraged Noah to work on math and Ella joined Peter at the high school for their electives.

About 11am, Andrew came home from his work at the high school and I finished working on Valerie’s birthday cake. While the cake was cooling, I did a little sewing and laundry. By noon it was lunch time for me and the kids.

I really don’t remember the various things I did between lunch and 1:30pm, our departure time, but I gathered Eli and Tabitha into the van about 1:30, after asking Andrew to make frosting for Valerie’s cake and asking Ella to frost it, then left for radiation.

The day before, my calendar said radiation was at 2pm, but my brain interpreted that as 2:30, so we had been late to radiation on Thursday (I was frustrated and embarrassed, especially since I had the time right on my calendar). I was determined to get there at the right time on Friday, so I had also been checking and double checking the time.

I got the timing right and dropped Tabitha off to play with Hailey, then Eli and I went on to Huntsman Cancer Institute for those cancer death rays. We continued listening to Crystal Keepers, 3rd book in the Five Kingdom series by Brandon Mull. Eli and I enjoy audiobooks while driving and during radiation treatment.

It was Friday Prize day for kids receiving radiation, so Eli got to choose a toy from the prize box. He’s always excited to do this, even though the toys are mostly appealing to young children. After choosing a poison dart frog, Eli got situated in Vault 1. Last time we were in Vault 2, which I miss, because a couple of the technicians we worked with last year are still working in Vault 2.

Before I left Vault 1, I started the audiobook for Eli and was about to leave the vault when I realized the book was over. I grabbed the speaker and phone we use to play the book for Eli during his treatment and stepped outside the vault and put the speaker down on a nearby table so I could download the next book, Death Weavers, so I could leave it with the technicians before I returned to the exam room to wait.

While downloading the book, the technicians emerged from the vault and went to their workstation next to where I stood. We spoke briefly about the download and, after one of them expressed to me that my presence was distracting, I walked across the hallway to an empty table to wait the last couple minutes for the book to download (this was about 15 feet or more from the vault workstation, where I assumed they would be working on Eli’s radiation–each vault has its own workstation and I wasn’t near any other one).

Apparently they didn’t want me there, even for a couple minutes, because they came over and told me they needed to escort me to the exam room because other patients needed privacy (there weren’t any patients around and I was in a hallway, with the only workstation being the one for my son’s vault). So, off I took myself back to the exam room, trailed by the technician, ostensibly to make sure I didn’t stray where I didn’t belong (I had walked myself back to the exam room every other day that week, so who knows why they thought I’d forget where to go). If there is some sort of rule, I just wish they would have told me.

Awhile later, Eli returned to the exam room with one of the technicians. She stuck around for a bit to get ideas from Eli about Friday Prize day things more suited to an older child/ almost teenager. I had decided by this point to pick Tabitha up after my date with Adam that evening, so Eli and I drove home.

My friend Amy stopped by with the sister missionaries from our church. They had put together meal kits for us to help out during the weeks of Eli’s radiation treatment. Other friends in our local congregation and neighborhood are also helping bring meals. This has been so helpful and much appreciated by our family. Each new meal, the kids have exclaimed eagerly over their favorite part of the meals brought over. I admit to interrogating the kids about who ate the leftovers from these meals I’d planned to eat the next day for lunch. 😂 Once they left, I went downstairs to get Adam so we could go on a date.

After checking for movies in the theater and not seeing anything interesting to watch, we decided to shop for the last gift for Valerie. She was in Provo, having been cast as an extra in a Studio C sketch, so I didn’t expect her home until later in the evening. Since Tabitha was still at my sister’s house, I only had to make sure that Elizabeth had a sitter, so I told Eli and Peter to keep an eye on her and let her watch tv. I didn’t expect to be gone very long, so figured she would be okay. I also decided not to bring my purse, since Adam had his wallet, and, well, he should pay for the date anyway.

After picking up something Valerie calls “hand frosting” at Smith’s to give to her for one of her birthday presents, we got our food and started driving home. By this point, it was about 7:45pm and Adam had been poking at his chest intermittently during our errands in discomfort. I asked him a few questions to gauge whether the pain was related to something potentially serious or not. Adam’s answers didn’t provide the reassurance I wanted, so I suggested we stop by urgent care before they closed. After a little deliberation, Adam agreed.

Urgent care

Urgent care couldn’t rule out the serious possibilities, even though Adam is at low risk of heart attack and other things like that, so they referred us to the nearby hospital’s emergency department. And that is how I ended up there with Adam, working on my last blog post.

Blood was drawn and tested. An EKG, chest xray, and angio CT were done. No heart attack and no blood clots were found, even though the labs were normal for everything except a marker for blood clots, which was high. They sent us home about 1:30am with a referral to a cardiologist.

During our time there, we threw in a video call with the kids and watched Valerie blow out all 20 candles on the cake. I also communicated with my sister Jennifer, since she still had Tabitha. Tabitha got to stay the night with Hailey, yet she still cried when she had to leave the next afternoon when picking her up.

Eli watching Valerie blow out her candles

Adam and I also amused ourselves trying to outsmart the monitor in the hospital, which kept having alarms go off for respiratory rate or heart rate.

The little yellow notice in the top right corner of the screen would flash RR too low. Adam would increase his breathing rate to stop the alarm’s beeping.
This is where Adam deliberately made his heart rate slow down to set off the alarm. The too low heart rate alarm had been going off intermittently, but I wanted to get a picture of it.

Adam continued to have some pain over the weekend, but is feeling better now. He was never doing very poorly, and something serious was highly unlikely, but since we’ve dealt with the unexpected and rare with Eli’s cancer, we just wanted to be cautious.

And that is just one day in my life.

2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life

  1. Juleen F Clift

    I’m worn out just reading about your day!!! I hope Adam is feeling well. Does he have an appointment with the cardiologist? Please give everyone hugs for me.


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