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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Coughing Contest

What a miserable week this has been! You’ll recall that last Sunday our van was totaled on its way to church. We were fortunate to come out of it alright, except of course for Carver’s eye, and everybody woke up sore the next day. Carver’s eye slowly turned black, so that he had a nice shiner the next day for school. 

We were scrambling a bit on Monday because we didn’t have a vehicle, and Kira wanted to get the boys checked out at the doctor – not only from the accident, but with their coughing that’s been going on, she wondered if it was time for some medical attention. We finally heard from the insurance that we’d get a rental car, but not until the afternoon. Our kind neighbor was kind to offer a ride to the doctor appointments, so Kira took the boys to do all of that while I tried to get some work done at home and then cut the grass.

The fun for me really started Monday night. I could tell a little after dinner time that I was coming down with this illness that the boys had. My throat was a little sore, and I felt achy like one gets with the flu. Of course, I didn’t sleep at all Monday night and so Tuesday was a real challenge to get through my classes. Kira and Hannah came down with it at about the same time, too, though it’s hit us all a little differently. Hannah’s had the cough the worst of us all.

Wednesday was stupid because I had to go to campus again for a faculty meeting, but I hadn’t slept much the night before even with medication. I just couldn’t breath comfortably through my nose, so tossed and turned. The boys stayed home from school a couple of days this week, too, and Hannah called in sick or came home early a couple of days, too. The worst part of Wednesday, though, was that after I got home from Chicago, Kira and I had to run out and try to find a notary for a document we needed to sign for the insurance to send us money. It was 5:30, so we were really pushing it, but if we didn’t do it then, it would have to wait until Friday because I’m in the city all day Thursdays. We found a notary at a Chase bank, and got all set, and then she asked if we have accounts there. We do not, but offered to pay for her service, and she told us she couldn’t do it. There we were, all ready, with 3 boys in tow, asking for something that would take her 5 minutes, but she turned us away. I’ll never do business with Chase, now.

We went to a UPS store who said their notary had already left for the day, so we called another one in a nearby city, who told us their’s retired. By then, all the banks were closed, and we were on our own. We went home frustrated, sick, and exhausted.

Kira remembered that a friend in the ward (and Hannah’s boss) has an employee who is a notary, so we reached out to him, and he got us in touch. She offered to do it if we could meet her at 5:30 in the morning, and then agreed to 6:45, after which Kira would drop me off at the train station for another miserable day sick at work. It was so kind of her to help us out like that, and so we had the paperwork off that day, but still have not heard anything, and they’re saying they’ll stop paying for the rental on Tuesday.

I taught 3 courses on Thursday, and my voice was totally shot by the time I was done. I hadn’t slept in 3 nights, and the only thing keeping me from falling over was ibuprofen. Classes went well, considering, and of course that was also my day for a class observation from one of the other faculty members to evaluate my teaching. It still went really well, somehow, but what a stupid day.

I finally slept some on Thursday night with the work week behind me, but it was not enough. I think I’d turned the corner then, too, as I felt more able to cope with everything. Carver was too sick to attend school, or so he said, so we kept him home. Avey was thrilled beyond belief when we awoke to an email that her school was closed because of some water contamination in the building. That crashed hard later when she finally felt the illness creeping in. She rested most of the day, and that continued onto Saturday.

With Carver not there to keep track of Hakan after school on Friday, we were a little scared when Kira went to meet Hakan off the bus, but the bus drove right past our house. She ran down the street to see if he had gotten off too early, and our neighbor was just getting home, so chased down the bus to see if he might still be on it. Apparently, it was a substitute bus driver, and so she didn’t know whose stop was whose. She called out after the stop before our house “Is there anyone on the bus?” and Hakan didn’t say anything, so she just started to drive to her next destination. A little after the bus passed our house, Hakan spoke up and said that she’d missed it, so she turned around and had him back within just a few minutes.

Kira and I finally found some time to car shop on Saturday, so we took the 3 boys with us and checked a few out. So far, the top contender is almost the same model as what we had, but in better condition, with lower miles. We want to look a little more tomorrow, and we’ll probably make the final decision Wednesday, but we still have not seen the insurance check, so that’s making it difficult to plan anything.

At least it wasn’t normal church today, so the stress was not at “Sunday” levels. I am sleeping a little bit better each night, and my energy is nearly normal, though my nose is still stuffy. I felt pretty behind in stuff, and so fed up with feeling crappy that I was in a productive mood, so I made a batch of gluten free brownies with Carver, and then gluten brownies with Avey’s help, and did almost all of the laundry, dishes, and even de-thatched and aerated the yard.

We’re all hoping that this week holds some good things for us. We’ll get a car soon, and our symptoms can’t really get worse, right?


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