My heart woke me up last Monday extra early.

Ok, not my heart, but some serious pressure all around it.

It was weird.

I had had my annual allergies going on, but they were clearing up.  Every year I think they’re as bad as they’ll ever, ever get.

And then they get worse the next year.  (Next-year-self, I am not joking, get going on shots next year before they get that bad again!!)

This year I pulled Elle out of school (who suffered from them for the first time this year…all through tennis tryouts and we had finally had enough) and we marched right into Urgent Care (no allergist apts. available for months) to see what in the world was going on.  They gave me a steroid shot and armed us with medicine and sent us on our way.  This was almost a week later when my breathing had improved and I could finally sleep again.  So it was weird I’d have that deep pain inside.

The pain wore off a little, but the pressure was still annoying me so I followed my normal doctor’s instructions and checked myself into the ER (they don’t have the machines to check heart abnormalities at the doctor office).  Seven hours later I was shriveled up, my teeth-chattering and I was burning up with a fever and found out from a ct scan that I had a mass in my lung indicating pretty serious case of pneumonia.

I am writing all this down because I was sick in bed, honestly could hardly lift my head, could not keep my fever under 101 no matter how much medicine I took.  Dave had to pull out the lemonade-encrusted-from-so-many-lemonade-stands card table next to my bed to hold all my medicine.  I lay there for SIX DAYS.  And one day after I could finally start walking around like I was in the land of the living again it has already started to feel like a dream.

And I want to remember the gift Sunday morning was, when I could finally stand up and go in my girls’ bathroom (after a whole week) to do their hair.  I know, simple right?  I mean, I have four girls.  I could do hair in my sleep by now, for crying out loud.  And because I do it so much sometimes it seems like such a mundane task.

But not this Sunday.

I treasured taking those hair requests and talking to those girls as my fingers twirled around their long fragrant-fresh-from-the-tub locks.  They were telling me all sorts of things I had missed while I lay in bed for so many days.  Claire was trying to memorize the 13th Article of Faith since she somehow got the mistaken notion that she has to have them all memorized by the time she turns twelve (and I’m not correcting that…:).  I marveled at how beautiful those girls of mine are.  I re-memorized their smiles, where their dimples are set in their cheeks, the way they spoke to each other was like velvet.

Just like enjoying doing that hair, I even enjoyed being able to do a load of laundry yesterday.  I hate laundry.  It’s my most abhorred household task.  But man, when you go for a week without having the ability to do it, you find yourself mesmerized by the fact that you have a washing machine to help you out.

This whole deal reminded me that I am so lucky I can do all those ordinary daily things I do that are sometimes so annoying.  Sure they get old.  But I hope I can remember, at least for a little while, when I get extra huffy about them how awful it was not to be able to do them (ok, not at first…but I was too delirious to really enjoy that).  I can stand up.  I can walk, I can talk, I can hear.  I’m completely able-bodied and boy do I ever take that for granted sometimes!

I also take these girls for granted who I heard whispering in the hallway one evening with some shuffling outside my bedroom door and then they came in with this home-made meal:

Complete with this name tag…because meals must have name tags don’t you think?

My Mother-in-law came by and rubbed my gross feet TWICE.

And brought me chicken soup too.

She is a gem I tell you, and I’m SO grateful for her.

I missed all kinds of things.  My saddest was that it was Dr. Seuss week at school.  I was supposed to bring green eggs and ham to Lucy’s class and go read in Claire’s class.  I love Dr. Seuss week, dang it!  I did get to catch what Lucy wore for “Wacky Wednesday” though from my spot on the kitchen floor I found after my sweet friend brought over dinner one night:

Nailed it.

I also missed a really important eye appointment that had been scheduled for a couple months.

Luckily Dave’s mom saved the day and brought her there.  Which is easier said than done because it takes some cajoling to get Lu to stay in that above position for 45 minutes I’ll tell you.

And do you know what?  She thanked us for giving her an opportunity to serve.

I love her.

And all the while Dave held down the fort like nobody’s business.  He even took Elle back into Urgent Care half way through the week since her fever wouldn’t go down and found out that low-and-behold, that girl of ours had pneumonia too.

Oh boy.

We got to have some quality “bed time” me and her as we recovered.  We are so grateful to both finally be feeling so much better!

It was a rough week, but I’m grateful for the reminder of how much I take for granted…that ordinary days, where you can do normal, sometimes mundane tasks to serve those you love, are pretty darn great after all.  I hope I learned whatever I was supposed to learn and that we never have to have a week like that again!

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  1. Oh no! You poor things…so glad to read that you're all starting to feel better now. It's amazing how much we all take our health for granted sometimes, so you're not alone there!

  2. So glad to hear you're feeling better! Being sick is no fun. Thanks for the reminder of what a wonderful gift it is to do the mundane, everyday stuff! Keep getting better!

  3. Ugh that is horrible, I'm so sorry you guys were sick and glad you are feeling better. I think our health is one of the things we all take for granted. (P.S. Laundry is one of my favorite "chores" to do…but I won't iron) πŸ™‚

  4. Oh, that sounds awful! I'm so sorry! Being sick is the worst!

    I have to tell you, at first the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I was reading your symptoms. I don't want to scare you, but my husband (age 37) recently died of a Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot in his lung). He went to a few different doctors over the course of a year because of persistent lung/heart pain, and always getting sick. They found inflammation in his lungs, and said it was just pneumonia, or something like it. He died suddenly when the clotting in his lungs stopped his heart.

    It sounds like what you have is traveling through your family — truly pneumonia — which would make it seem like sickness, rather than something worse. (Thank goodness!)

    But anytime I hear "inflammation in the lung" and "pressure around the heart," I get super worried and have to at least say something. Please make sure that as you feel better, that the inflammation in your lung is checked, and goes away, just to make sure! My husband was an active healthy man, so his death was completely unexpected. The doctors did not recognize the inflammation/clotting for what it was.

    I wasn't going to comment, or say anything, but I decided I better do it… I really do not want to scare you! I am sure you are fine, and will heal, and be completely whole again. Make sure and take it easy, take care of yourself. You are amazing!

    I hope you can all feel better soon, so you can enjoy all the precious moments of life. I know just how precious the sweet and simple things really are. Sweet moments with family are the best.

    1. Hi Mari,
      I'm really sorry about your husband. Losing a loved one is very hard, even with the gospel.

      My Mum also died from a blood clot on the lung, which was very sudden. The shock was terrible. Even tho it was 15 years in December I still miss her very much, especially on Mother's Day, which is this Sunday in the UK.

  5. So happy you are feeling better! I was wondering when another post would be up an now I know why! Hopefully allergy season will end soon enough!
    xo ~ Katie

  6. Shawni, I never comment, but have been following (and enjoying) your blog for years. I love your parenting advice the very most and have learned much from you. So thank you!

    I want to share something with you that help your allergy situation. I am involved with a business called Plexus, they are natural health supplements that have helped people with weightloss, blood sugar/pressures, gut health and a whole slew of other things, Allergies being one of them. People are truly funding relief from suffering for years with allergys. This comes from a place of caring/sharing and I hope it doesn't sound like a business pitch. Feel free to look at my website or email me with any questions or if you want to know which products might work. Id love to help you find relief! Or even send you some testimonials of people I persknally know who are finding relief from their allergys. There you go. 😊

  7. Allergies can really take a toll. I am so glad you are back to feeling well again. You have a great appreciation for good health. I know just what you mean about feeling so grateful after being so sick.
    I was so touched by your mother in law's love. (You can't possibly have gross feet, they look cute) but when I saw that picture of her smiling with your feet and also with Lucy I got a lump in my throat. I thought, that is exactly the kind of mother-in-law I want to be! I don't have any married children yet but this is what I will aim for. She has a heart of gold. I could feel her deep love right here through my computer screen. Thank you for sharing what inspired me today. πŸ™‚

  8. Oh man, do I agree. Our February was fraught with a broken bone, 3 cases of strep, a nasty cold, pneumonia, and a double ear infection. Nothing is better than getting back to normal.

  9. Gosh! This made me tear up! I don't know what it is, but most of the time your posts always make me shed a little tear. And I'm only 18! Haha!

  10. Ok, I don't think my first comment went through, so here it is again, if you see 2 of them, just delete one…
    First of all, I'm happy you are feeling better and I hope Elle feels better soon too. Amazing how we get to read/hear/see the things we need the most at that very moment… This evening we had a great dinner at home, talked, laughed a lot (we usually do), then my daughter (the only one) didn't want to go and have a shower. She kept whining and I can't stand whinny children, it drives me crazy. I ignored at first, then all of a sudden I just exploded. I shouted at her, then hit the door, it was nuts and I am now (after apologizing) laying in bed, embarrassed of my behavior and I get to read your wonderful post that besides making me even more embarrassed of my behavior, makes me realize what a wonderful family I have. I'm so grateful for them, and for my husband for talking to me and basically (in a very nice way) saying how out of order I was. Anyways… thank you, once again…

  11. i cannot even FATHOM my mother in law coming NEAR my feet.
    i love this post, and i hope you feel better and… thanks for sharing. life really is a gift… and motherhood… man, nothing like it πŸ™‚ thank God for healthy days.

  12. What a sweet mother-in-law! And I feel ya for thinking kitchen floors are great spots to rest on when you're sick. Sometimes, when you need to rest, you need to do it right away!

    All your girls are so beautiful! I will admit to being especially envious of Grace, though. She rocks that brown-brown combo. No matter what kind of climate she ends up living in, she'll always look sun-kissed. And now, I'm going to start chanting, "be happy with what you have" over and over to myself πŸ™‚

  13. I'm so glad you & Elle are feeling better.x It must've been awful for both of you.

    That was really kind of your Mum-in-law to rub your feet & when Grace, Claire & Lucy cooked your tea. (Dinner)

    Take care both of you.X

  14. I have a friend who was told to eat a little local-made honey every day to help with allergies. She found some at a farmer's market and ate a teaspoon or so every day during the fall/winter, and said she couldn't believe how much better her allergies were the following spring. Maybe worth a try. Glad you're all feeling better!

  15. Shawni I never comment but I had to this time! I tell anyone who will sit still… that allergy shots saved my life. I ended up getting pneumonia 2 times before I could get a doctor to give me a referral and then it still took months to get the appointment. I took 4 shots a week for 2 years and it is one of the 3 best things I have ever done for myself. it takes quite a bit of time to notice a difference and it is time consuming to go get shots twice a week, but it gave me my life back. Please make an appointment!

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