I had so many things to write about. I could have told you about my fabulous family vacation, a week with my mom and my five siblings and their families in a big rustic house in the Poconos. I could have told you about how living for a week with my two pregnant sisters, one in the deepest throes of morning sickness, gave me an outside awareness of just how hard it is to nurture new life. I could have told you about my insight into the passage of Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well and what that has to do with the upcoming Synod. Heck, I could have just written my novel.
But no. All of that is out of my head right now, because today I'm pulling things out of other people's heads. Things like this.
That's a piece of foam that had been stuck in my four-year-old's nose. For more than a month, probably. During that month, we put a lot of time into combatting the strange head funk she'd developed. It wasn't her hair. We'd washed it and cut it and made sure she couldn't chew it. It wasn't her teeth. She'd been to the dentist and received a clean bill of health. We made her stop licking her hands and sucking her fingers. And still, the odor persisted. It seemed to come right from her forehead.
Fearing she had a sinus infection, I moved her check-up up a week, but I was still uneasy. She wasn't complaining of pain until I asked her if her nose hurt, and suddenly, yes it did, right up here, Mommy. And then, in a stellar example of why I'll never shut down my Facebook account, I put out a query, and a nurse friend suggested a foreign body in the nose, and I held the four-year-old's head up to look, and there was something huge and gray in her nose.
Let me tell you that it is a delicate operation to stick a pair of tweezers up a four-year-old's nose. It requires the right blend of reassurance and gentle words and dire threats about what the doctor will do if I have to take you into the emergency room to have them pull this out, and then they'll strap you to a board, and how about you just let Mommy get it right now HOLD YOUR HEAD STILL FOR FIVE SECONDS. And then we both stared at the gooshy wad of stinking, moldering foam at the end of the tweezers, as blood dripped gently out of her nostril. And I did not faint and I did not throw up (both of which seemed like very viable options), but I washed off the little girl and asked her blow her nose, and sent her off to play. And then I sat on a stool in the kitchen with my head in my hands, wishing it would all just go away, until a distant shrieking informed me that the big sister who was supposed to hold the sleeping baby had put him on the bed, and he'd just rolled off and fallen on his head.
One day I'd like to have deep thoughts again. One day I'd like to have some energy. One day I'd like a good night's sleep, the kind from which you wake up refreshed, without aching joints and a stiff neck. But today, I'm going to settle for defunking sinus cavities, which should really feel like a more worthwhile, fulfilling, productive activity than it does.
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