Monday, April 27, 2009

Because it wouldn't be a real vacation if I didn't have something to complain about.

Well, my faithful readers, we have returned from The Trip of Medical Maladies And Other Disasters. Let's recap, shall we?

Way back in mid-March, we left our lovely home and friends to go spend five weeks with my loving and totally normal mother-in-law, in Upper Nazareth, Israel. Yay! For those of you unfamiliar with Israel's geography, Upper Nazareth is about as far away from the action as you can be. It's just above Nazareth, as in birthplace of Jesus, as in not a very Jewish place to hang out. Which is fine, except that for us, the point of going to Israel is to hang out with some Jews. Well, that's the point for me. For Mr. WG, it's All About His Mama.

So, we boarded the plane, and two of our children immediately engaged in a really fun contest: Who Can Throw Up More?

By the time we changed planes, the strategy of the game had advanced, and bonus points were awarded for those who managed to throw up on other people, their seats, their belongings, and flight attendants. Our trip had barely started, and already it was a success!

Because Passover was several weeks away, my mother-in-law immediately announced that all eating was to be done in one small corner of the house. In addition, my in-laws, not to be outdone my children's innovation in creating games and contests, developed a game of their own: Who Can Yell at WG's Children the Most? To make the game more exciting, it was interspersed with rants about my failure as a parent. Good times!

Over the course of the first week of our trip, our children took turns running ridiculously high fevers, throwing up repeatedly, and lying on the sofa moaning in pain. I wish I had video to share.

We were allowed to escape the prison of Upper Nazareth to spend a few days with friends in Elkana, a lovely settlement in the center of the country. There, our children ran free, played with friends, enjoyed themselves, smiled, laughed, and ate. Our daughters attended the local school. And so, of course, after a few days of this taste of freedom, we were forced back into bitter slavery, when Mr. WG announced that He Missed His Mama, and Dammit We Are All Going Back to Upper Nazareth.

So we did, and almost immediately, the children became sick again, and I got pinkeye in my right eye.

Two days later, I got pinkeye in my left eye and was reduced to squinting in pain whenever anyone turned on a light.

My children continued to set world records for the Amount of Vomit Expelled from a Human Body.

We discovered that my daughters had lice. We were told to keep it a secret from one of my brothers-in-law and his family, because if they knew, they would not agree to join us for the holiday. So we resorted to surreptitiously combing our daughters' hair with the lice comb.

My vision returned. The lice persisted.

We decided to enjoy a brief visit to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, thanks to the Starwood AmEx card and its points, which earned us two free nights at a hotel in the Dead Sea. My husband invited my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law to join us, because YAY! That's FUN!

So, we rented a 9-passenger van for the bargain price of $400 for 3 days, and we set out to see the sights. After a fun-filled afternoon in Jerusalem where my husband knocked over a pole in a parking lot, we made our way to the hotel. For some unfathomable reason, my husband had checked us in as 1 adult and 2 children in each of our two rooms. He told me, "It's fine. Our room has a king-size bed, and the other room has two twins."

"That won't work," I told him. "You need two queens in the other room."

"That's what I meant," he said, but he was lying. And he continued to insist it was not a problem, even when J. and D. had to sleep in our bed with us because the two twin beds could not hold six people.

But no worries. We managed. And then, the next morning, we woke up and my MIL and SIL were scheduled to take J. and D. to swim in the pool while Mr. WG and I took our girls to Masada. But you know how it is, when people SAY they're going to take kids to the pool but then the DON'T LEAVE and they just HANG AROUND?

So, J. decided to amuse himself in the hotel room. He found a coffee table with an iron base and a marble top. And he gave it a shove...and discovered that the marble slab wasn't actually attached to the iron base, and the iron slab HIT HIM IN THE FACE and sliced it open, right next to his eye.

As the blood gushed and he screamed, we called for help, which was eventually sent in the form of the hotel "doctor." Without gloves, this man prodded my son's injury and deemed it superficial. He put a butterfly strip on it and told us not to get it wet. This put something of a damper on the day's plans: morning at the pool, afternoon at the Dead Sea.

But not to worry!! Mr. WG and S and Z and D AND my MIL and SIL were all still able to go and have fun. Only WG stayed behind with J to be bored in the hotel room. It was fantastic!

The next day, it was time to leave the Dead Sea and head back towards Jerusalem, and eventually, mercifully, the airport. We packed up the car and began driving. After 40 minutes, Mr. WG remembered that his passport was still in the hotel room, so we turned around and drove back.

We retrieved the passport. "Where can I get gas?" asked Mr. WG.

"Drive five minutes in the opposite direction, or go the way you're going and in 20 minutes, you'll hit a gas station," he was told.

Ever the risk-taker, Mr. WG opted for the 20-minute drive. As we pulled into the station on fumes, I said, "Now what are you going to do if they don't have gas?" Can you guess where this is going?

FOUR HOURS LATER, we were allowed to purchase some gas from the nearby kibbutz at the BARGAIN PRICE of about $10/gallon (10 NIS/liter). AND as a special bonus, there was no time for me to hit the shops in Jerusalem as planned. Instead, we got to drive my MIL and SIL to the train station while they sobbed and railed at the world for taking Mr. WG and my children back to America.

Many hours later, we boarded an airplane. No one threw up. However, when we eventually exited the aircraft, I looked down and discovered I no longer had ankles. Also, flexng the Spot Formerly Known As My Ankle caused intense pain. But ever the trooper, I sucked it up and made it home.

At home, we called a doctor friend to look at J's cut. It is, of course, infected, it may need to be resliced and stitched, and he is now on antibiotics.

My midwife examined my legs, and the swelling continues to diminish. At the same visit, I took my glucose tolerance test -- after a full 12-hour fast. And FAILED it. With a score of 160. Which means I now have to take the 3-hour torture test, and if I fail that -- well, what do you think happens when you take chocolate away from a pregnant lady? Nothing very good, I'll tell you that.

Anyway, here we are, and that is that. I will return to the regularly scheduled crying about my son presently.


Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a horrible vacation!

Anonymous said...

OMG, this sounds BAD.
But gladly, it's OVER.

Take care :)

Teej said...

WOW. I am so sorry. How is it that, when we talked on the phone, you mentioned maybe 2 percent of this nightmare?

WriterGrrl said...

Because, Teej, that call was supposed to be about YOU. And YOUR crazy news. :-P

lisa said...

That is insane! And to be pregnant on top of everything else...well, it's a wonder your husband is still alive.

Shosh said...

OMG. This sounds horrific. Although it is sort of making me feel good that other people also hate their in-laws....

moplans said...

you know the way you write it, it seems like fun.
fingers crossed no one tries to take your chocolate away.

kirsten said...

You deserve a medal. Or your own private vacation. I don't think I would have survived. But you did get some fantastic writing material! Bookworthy stuff..

ella said...

Holy cow. Um...whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? So you could probably compete for Ms. Universe! Hope the lice is gone and the cut gets healed. And tell Mr WG you deserve a gift certificate for a professional massage...once a week from now til the baby comes.

Meredith said...

Ok, you very clearly win the most horrible vacation award. You did make me laugh though - and I am also glad I don't have your in-laws. Also, are you still talking to Mr. WG or is he relgated to the dog house?