Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fleas and gratitude

We have been infested with fleas at our apartment in Nashville. :( At first I thought they were fruit flies when I saw just one or two every other day or so. But they never flew and they didn't look exactly like fruit flies but I'm constantly surprised by the bugs in the South.... maybe Nashville has some tiny, fast and jumpy fruit flies. 

But two days ago I saw too many and looked some stuff up on the internet and figured we had a flea problem. I called the guy who set us up in the apartment the morning of Chris's stem cell infusion and described the problem. He said he'd have pest control over by the next afternoon. So last night we were still at the apartment and the fleas were EVERYWHERE. It was a horrible night. I couldn't sleep... I kept thinking I felt bugs all over me. We thought we should sleep with pants and socks on but the apartment's thermostat was off and I woke up at 2:00 am just itching and sweating. I got up to turn down the heat and then went to the bathroom where I could see at least 10 fleas on each foot!! I saw a few on my pj pants and basically freaked out, took off all my clothes and showered for as long as the water was warm. Needless to say I slept horrible and so did Chris. He hasn't freaked out the way I have, mainly because he just hasn't had the energy too. His levels today were so low he's officially neutopenic. Poor guy. Also the fleas don't seem to like him the way they like me. I think it's because of his smell. The preservative in the frozen stem cell slush apparently has a VERY potent smell I can only describe as a fresh opened can of creamed corn. No joke. It's strong and it's supposed to last for days. I'm glad I'm not in my first trimester. 

Anyway. Neither of us can afford another night like last night so we told the nurses about the fleas and they got our social worker involved and she was very helpful and so has the apartment guy. They worked it out to fumigate the apartment but neither Chris nor I ('cuz of the baby) can be in the apartment for 48 hours. So this morning after settling in Chris in at the hospital/clinic I had to run over and pack an overnight bag and get the apartment ready to be gassed. The hospital is paying for our hotel room and the social worker set it up for us. So after Chris finished at the clinic and got a chest X-ray to make sure no infections are forming we went to the grocery store to stock up another temporary kitchen with foods Chris may hopefully be in mood for later. 

The hotel is not horrible but it's pretty cheap, it actually makes me excited to go back to the other apartment... assuming the fleas are gone.  I wonder if I'll ever stop itching and ever, EVER FEEL COMFORTBALE ENOUGH TO WALK AROUND BARE FOOT IN MY OWN HOUSE!!  After the fleas here and the cockroaches in our Starkville place... I may be scarred for life.

I'm feeling fairly ungrateful right now and I don't like the feeling. I actually have been composing the rest of this blog post for the past few days. But it seems appropriate to publish it now. Maybe remembering all that Chris and I were sincerely grateful for two days ago will help me change my attitude around. 

Ways God has blessed us -

- The nurses. All the nurses have been really nice, helpful, informative, kind, understanding and friendly. One in particular seems to mesh really well with our personalitities. Gwen is not very loud or overly talkative but still open, friendly and kind.  She's cautious and systematic and very proficient at what she does. We feel comfortable in her capable hands.

- The doctors.  Dr. Kassim is so encouraging, positive and even playful at times. Dr. Goodman seems so solid and well grounded with her recommendations.

- This apartment. Its clean and has a nice atmosphere. The location is peaceful, home-like and near a beautiful park. It feels very different from a downtown hospital setting. It has the space we need when other people come, but also seems just right when its just the two of us.

- The city. Nashville is beautiful. We love to drive around and enjoy any new part of Nashville we come across. The hills, and huge trees, the sunsets, and perfect fall weather / temperature, the natural solid rock foundation under the grass and trees. The weather has been very fun. A few quite cold days (like below freezing) but mostly some perfectly warmish days. Some exciting rain and thunder storms and high winds, but mostly sunny skies with maybe a slight cool breeze.

- The support of many family and friends. With emails, txts, messages, letters, packages, deliveries, phone calls, we hear of so many people thinking about us and praying for us. We feel loved and armed with resources. Many of the messages have come straight from the deepest places of people's hearts, and we can feel that! Phrases, concepts and quotes have really stuck with me and helped me stabilize my spiritual and emotional well-being.  We are so incredibly blessed to know some really amazing people. And not just know them casually but know some really amazing people, really well.

- Monetary support. For the many generous monetary donations from friends and family we've been surprised and touched.  I'm constantly surprised at what this is costing us and based on past disappointments with insurance companies, I'm skeptical with how much coverage we'll actually get with them. Were it not for the thousands of dollars we've been blessed to receive from our family and friends, this whole experience would be a very REAL financial burden...one that would make me sick to my stomach and very seriously depressed.  This financial blessing was something that Heavenly Father blessed us with before we even knew we'd need it.  So when the bills actually arrived and invoices were due, we had money in our account to cover them all. Amazing.

- Our children. The blessing is two fold. God has blessed us with wonderful children AND he has blessed us with people to help take care of our children. Charlie, Alec and Gwen bring joy and meaning to our lives.  They are quick learners and resilient...they seem to understand, at least at some level, why we have to be apart right now, and they seem happy and excited for whatever adventure lies ahead of them. It would be so much harder to watch them drive away if they were screaming and crying.  Probably most of their happiness is a product of the capable hands in which they've been placed.  We have been blessed with Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who we trust implicitly and who have been so kind to send us pictures and updates of the kids.

- Our parents. I once said in a testimony meeting when I was a teenager how sorry I felt for everyone else there because they weren't lucky enough to have my parents, for parents. I know Chris feels the same way about his parents, and we both feel the same way about each others' parents!  Just last night after a long phone call with my parents, Chris commented on how wonderful my parents are. He said he knew he was lucky that somehow he got me to marry him, but he didn't realize how much more lucky he was to get my family too.  Both our parents have told us and shown us that they are ready to do anything we want them to do. They are a nice balance of helpful but not overbearing at all.  They lead and guide us without making us feel that they are in charge of us still.

- The scriptures. Particularly the recent conference addresses, for me, and late Alma (maybe 58...stripling warriors and other stories), for Chris.  When the Nephite armies containing the 2,000 young Ammonite sons, prayed for added strength to their army and deliverance from the onslaught of Lamanite fights the Lord answered their prayers not with more soliders, but with more peace...not with a miraculous disappearance of the Lamanites but with more faith. "Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our adeliverance in him. " (Alma 58:11) This particular verse has meant a lot to Chris recently.

- An unanticipated free weekend. Saturday morning two weekends ago we said goodbye to Brittany and Jane as they headed home to Texas and goodbye to Chris' parents and our kids as they started the drive to Utah, so by 9:00am, we found ourselves alone and feeling relatively normal. We hadn't planned for this but used the rest of the day, the next day and the next day to enjoy spending time together without really having to get anything done.  Chris used his normal amounts of energy to dote on me and I used my newly freed time and attention to connect with Chris and catch up on sleep.  We're so grateful for that unasked for blessing.  Again the Lord blessed us with something we needed before we even knew we needed it.


amanda said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us; I hope those fleas are gone forever bc they are the WORST! haha and okay, I definitely remember that testimony! Your parents are so wonderful. And I love Dixie, too. Don't know about Chris' father, but I believe it.

Finally, these words resonated with me today:

"Where there is an abundance of love, there are miracles." -Edith Wharton

Soooo...sending love your way tonight in hope of more miracles!

merilee said...

Yikes! I'm with you on not wanting to bunk with fleas :(
You are amazing Brittney and I gain strength from you! Thanks for so openly sharing your life and thoughts.
I don't know Chris' parents, but I'm sure they are wonderful. As for your parents...well, I adore them too!! You are all in our prayers and I know the Lord is watching over you.

April said...


Thank you for your comments. You have an amazing testimony and I am continually impressed. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and happy thoughts!

April and family

Radene said...

Hugs and more hugs! Prayers and more prayers. Love you!