Saturday, October 10, 2009

Best Laid Plans

A couple of weeks ago my best friend from high school came in town. We had been orchestrating this "girls weekend" for months and I had every minute planned perfectly. The timing for our get-together was centered around a high school reunion on the last night of our weekend. Every "i" had been dotted and every "t" was crossed. This was going to be the best "girls weekend" ever!

My friend was actually staying at my house. Usually when she comes in town she stays with her dad, but this time we were taking advantage of every minute as a girlfriend's retreat. Things started off perfectly. I met her and her dad for breakfast on Thursday, the first day of our 4-day weekend, and then she and I went shopping while my daughter was in school. The day was absolutely beautiful. We couldn't have created better weather. We shopped like only two girls that haven't seen each other for long time can, hitting every store and some stores more than once! We bought outfits, shoes, accessories and even had a wonderful Italian salad while sitting on the patio of a great little cafe style restaurant. Yes, this was a beautiful start to what was sure to be a nothing-less-than-perfect weekend.

Until, that is, the first sign of a mishap. As we finished shopping we were heading back to my house when my daughter called and asked me to pick up some cough drops for a little bit of a sore throat. Hmm. I should have probably thought more of the fact that my 11 year old daughter was asking for medicine, but I didn't. The plan was to take Hannah to her dance class that night and my mom would pick her up. Hannah was going to stay with my parents for the first night as my friend and I enjoyed a night out with some old friends. Not long after we dropped Hannah off at dance, she texted me saying she really wasn't feeling well. Hmm. Again, probably should have taken that a little more seriously. My mom picked her up early and our evening went as planned. We had a great time connecting with our first batch of old friends, but oh how much more we had in store for the days and nights to come.

At 6:30 Friday morning my mom called to tell me Hannah was definitely sick. I rushed to my parent's house and took Hannah to the morning walk-in clinic at her doctor's office. I had a bad feeling about this, and my mother's intuition turned out to be right. She had the flu! The doctor explained that she tested positive for influenza A, but most likely she had the H1N1 strain. They are only testing for H1N1 in the hospital so she could not tell me definitively which strain she had. There has been so much news about this particular strain of flu that even my daughter has heard some of the horrors. As we got on the elevator to leave the doctor's office, Hannah looked up at me and asked me if she was going to die. Wow, my heart ruptured into pieces! I explained that there was no reason to believe she wouldn't recover from this yucky bug, and most likely she would be feeling like her old self in a few days. The doctor was not alarmed and didn't even prescribe anything but fluids and ibuprofen. The flu can certainly be dangerous, but with her strong immune system she would recover just fine.

Plans interrupted in a major way! I had made arrangements for Hannah to stay with different people each night of my girls excursion and now she had the flu, the very contagious kind of flu! I felt so horribly torn. My baby was so sick and yet my friend, who only comes in town every few years, was expecting a weekend filled with friends and fun. After arriving home from the doctor's office, I tucked Hannah into my bed, as my friend was staying in her room, and got her as comfortable as possible. My friend and I talked about what we were going to do. My parent's had already been exposed to Hannah so they would be the obvious choice to care for her if I continued the original game plan with my friend, but they had a reunion of their own to attend. This was the weekend of my mom's 50th high school reunion, in fact I knew several people with high school reunions happening at this same time. Must have been nostalgia in the air or something!

Who do you call to watch a sick pre-teen? It's kind of hard to find a babysitter when you have to start the sentence with "my daughter has the flu but," not too many takers on that one! I tried to find "rent-a-nurse," but no such organization seems to exist for what I was needing. I called a friend who was a nurse and asked her if she knew anyone, who had already received the flu shot that would be interested in making a little extra money. Um, no. Wow, things were looking bleak!

We had a get-together with some high school girlfriends set for late Friday afternoon and then planned to meet up with more friends later in the evening. We canceled the first part as we still didn't have an answer to the babysitter problem. We both had been excited to see these friends as they weren't coming to the reunion on the following night, but oh well, plans had to be altered. Finally my mom came to the rescue. My dad, who could take or leave my mom's 50th high school reunion, would stay back and watch Hannah. This way my mom and I could both enjoy our festivities. THANK YOU DAD!

Although the first part of our Friday night plans had been canceled, the second part went off without a hitch. That is, until we were home and everyone was blissfully enjoying dreamland. At about 3:15 in the morning we were all awakened to the smoke alarm going off! Good grief!! What else could possibly go wrong!! There was no fire, must have been dust or something that triggered it. Can, I just say one more time GOOD GRIEF!! My friend stays with me for a once in a lifetime weekend and I expose her to the flu, disrupt months of planning and startle her from her sleep with an ear-splitting smoke alarm! I'm sure she will never stay with me again!

The final day of our weekend actually went well. Hannah was already starting to feel a little better. We stayed in most of the day doing fun girly things. We cut and colored my hair, tried on clothes and prepared for a fun night of seeing high school classmates. We made a quick trip to the mall to return some shoes and it was there my throat started hurting. Have mercy, I just couldn't be getting sick! After a quick nap, believe it or not, I was raring to sickness here! Thanks to my babysitter hero, my dad, we were off for our last night of fun. We had a great dinner with my friend's dad and then headed to the reunion. The next morning she headed back home and thank God never has gotten the flu! The best laid plans proved to be worthless, but all-in-all it is a weekend neither of us will ever forget! I have the pictures to prove it!