This is what it looks like to have four children, all of whom are girls...
My husband Kenny and I spent this weekend in rural North Dakota visiting family we hadn't seen since 2005. It was a whirlwind trip that was priceless and well worth the physical toll it took on me.
We flew up to North Dakota for the purpose of visiting Kenny's brother, his wife, and their four children. What made the trip even more special is the fact that Kenny's parents and Kenny's brother's wife's sister (did you follow that one?) flew up to North Dakota as well. We all squeezed in the house as one, big family. (If you haven't been keeping track, eleven of us were under one roof!) We were able to take a rare family photo.
The most important part of the trip for me was spending time with our four nieces, the oldest of which is just starting fifth grade. The youngest is less than a year old; it was wonderful meeting her for the first time. The girls are our only nieces or nephews, so we feel a special attachment to them. We love them so much! I think the attachment is especially strong because we're not sure if I'll be able to have children...ever (see Childhood Dreams).
Amazingly, I felt pretty good during the actual trip. I forced myself to take it easy and spend most of the time inside (even when everyone else was outside). I slept for at least ten or eleven hours on Friday night, and I took two naps on Saturday. On Sunday I slept on all three flights back to Texas (there are no direct flights between North Dakota and Texas). When we finally made it back home, I thought I had successfully survived a trip without any physical repercussions -- a rare feat!
Unfortunately, I was wrong. I'm now paying for our weekend excursion. I'm running a fever and the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck are hurting. My throat hurts. I'm feeling achy all over and have been slightly dizzy and nauseated on and off today. Simply put, I'm experiencing a flare up that is likely to lead to a crash.
I am trying very hard not to have a full-blown crash. I went to bed early last night, and I tried to limit my physical activity today at work (yes, work). I can't stay home from work because I have very little sick/vacation leave left, and I need to save it for a real emergency or important trip (like my possible trip to DC to be part of a research study).
Despite the physical discomfort, I have no regrets that we took this trip. To me, family is important. We're even hoping to go back next year for an even longer stay.
Today's Activities: work. Today's Most Annoying Symptoms: exhaustion, headache, dizziness and nausea, low fever, painful lymph nodes on right side of neck, sore throat, achy body.
Mood (10 is best): 6
Energy (10 is best): 4
Physical Discomfort (10 is worst): 7