The House

Last week, I think I finally hit the proverbial wall after these many months of life in flux. I just felt completely done, physically and mentally. Just yesterday I started to feel some semblance of a normal energy level returning after feeling totally fatigued for over a week. I simply could not sleep enough, and my night-time sleeps weren’t very successful. I ended up napping, or trying to, every day with Gavin and sometimes sleeping a two hour stretch with him. I was on caffeine overload, but had little option but to drink yet more coffee, cause little Bean needs me awake.  Bubby was kept very busy with the Gavinator as mama kept having siestas all day. Although I spent the last three nights at hospital, I actually managed to get some sleep there and had more solid rest knowing that Bean was safe by my side.

Living in the hospital can be very challenging, but I think Craig and I had a pretty successful routine down for awhile there. One of us always stays the night with Gavin, usually Craig does 4 nights of the week and I do 3. The person who stays at the condo brings over breakfast early, and then I stay all day at hospital until about 6 or 7, and my mum joins me during the weekdays, basically every day. (Poor Bubby is on play duty, Bean keeps her hopping with a relentless play schedule.) As the recent mornings have been so dark, I’m finding it almost impossible to get out of bed. And so have not been able to get to the hospital very early at all, which means that Craig is much later returning in the evenings.

Last week, some work needed to be done on the condo and we couldn’t stay there, so I ended up commuting from our house.  I was looking forward, actually, to spending some time at home and thought that I might be able to get a few things done in the evenings. Unfortunately, I always arrived home too exhausted to even think about it and just lolled around contemplating the laundry mountain. Sleeping there is very lonely without Craig and Gavin. How many times have I thought how much I would like to just be alone in the house but the reality is not very enjoyable. I have an over-active imagination and so our old and creaky Victorian gives me the creeps at night. Especially when weird things happen like the printer firing up for no good reason at three in the morning, or my bed-side light just suddenly turning itself off. I sent extremely powerful messages to any spirits poltergeisting around to just go away please.

I’m more relaxed at the condo than I am at home, because it’s sad being at the house without my family. I hate seeing all of Gavin’s toys and things sitting there, unplayed with. At the condo, I’m a 5-minute walk and 2-minute sprint to the hospital, and there are no chores looming over my head the way there are at home. Although I thought it would be nice to spend a few nights there, it wasn’t really, especially because I spent most of it just trying to get laundry done and packing up Gavin’s things for the isolation room.

Unfortunately, our washer and dryer are located in the basement of our house. Doubly unfortunately, our basement is the main reason I find our place creepy at night. It’s a typical Toronto unfinished Victorian basement, moonlights as set of horror movie in its spare time. There are spiders and weird nooks and crannies. The thing I detest the most though, are house centipedes. They are absolutely revolting and lurk in the basement, ready to pounce on an unsuspecting leg. After Gavin was born I went through a phobic stage, and if I saw one would run away screaming and crying. (I think it was hormones because I’ve got it slightly more under control now.) Of course, the other night, when I absolutely had to do laundry, I encountered one on the basement stairs. Stomping around had little effect and it’s beyond my powers to kill them. I don’t like killing things as a rule, but  could not ever bring myself to smush one of those things. My only option was to trap it and take it far, far away from the house. I donned a pair of rubber gloves, grabbed a weapon (broom) and my bug vacuum. (An inspired gift from my brother) I somehow managed to suck it into the vacuum and then only had to walk it a block away to release it unharmed, to move into someone else’s basement. I feel crawly just writing about it.

Our house is showing signs of neglect, too. The roof is leaking, the toilet is leaking, the tap is leaking. Light-bulbs are burnt out and the office hasn’t been tidied since… a long time. I am so looking forward to the time that we can all be home together and resume a normal(ish) life.

Last night I went by the house on my way home from my cousin’s baby shower. My sister had driven me home and we’d had an exasperating drive so I was already feeling tense and guilty for being away so long. As I went up the dark walk, I noticed a bag sitting on the front porch. Huh, someone must have left us a package, I thought. On closer inspection it was clearly not a package but a black backpack of someone’s, with a toothbrush in an outer pocket. The question was, who did this bag belong to and what was it doing on my porch? The more I looked at it, the more ominous it seemed. It belongs to a homicidal maniac and he’s waiting up the back to attack me when I go out to the car, was my next thought. I quickly ducked inside and checked messages, called Craig and called my sister to drive back and inspect the bag with me.  I looked at it again and thought about having a look at the contents, but my next thought was, It’s a bomb! (I guess my stint in London has stuck with me.) Don’t be ridiculous, it’s not a bomb, I told myself. But it could be… human remains! Ran back inside and peeped at the bag until Lauren came.

As soon as she got there, I felt less alarmed and decided to have a look inside. “Don’t open it!” said Lauren, all squeaky.  “What if there’s a … head or something in there!” CLEARLY we have both seen too many horror movies and cop dramas if that’s the first conclusion we reach upon finding a strange bag.  At any rate, I decided I didn’t really want to solve the mystery of the black backpack and got my things to head back to hospital. When I swung by today, it was still there, and when I peeked inside I saw only clothes and shoes, phew. To the owner of the black bag I ask, “What were you doing on my porch?” You can pick up your bag on the sidewalk.

I spent a couple of hours at home today trying to erase the bad memories of insect attacks and mystery bags, and also get a head-start on cleaning in case Gavin is allowed to come home when his counts recover. Today is Day +3, so we have a good way to go yet – another 8 days minimum? Bean continues to do pretty well, we’ve managed to control his nausea well so far and he’s getting a good amount of calories from formula. We haven’t started TPN yet, and may not have to if things continue to go okay. He ordered breakfast today but decided after one bite that he didn’t want it. I’m not sure if he is developing mouth sores but he said today that it hurts to drink juice.

As always he remains sunny. We’ve had some good laughs and a lot of fun over the last few days. He is very into colouring and drawing and we’re running out of wall. He loves hearing stories now before bedtime, particularly Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and other stories that I make up to entertain him. There is no doubt that he looks much more sickly than before, but he shines on.

p.s. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but my house is actually rather nice!

4 Responses to “The House”

  1. Monica says:

    Your house is stunning and will proudly perk right back up once you are all in it!

  2. Aunt Karen says:

    You are tired and that makes you jumpy!! Take lots of vitamin B. Gavin is such a super little guy…

    Maybe you should write a crime novel? Or a science fiction one with giant centipedes? LOL. BTW, we used to have those things at Wicklow and I HATED them They are easy to smush…very soft bodies. If you don’t mind the wiggling legs left over. The upside is that they eat spiders.

    I’m sure your house is lovely, but the spirit of it is absent right now. Just wait…it’ll all be good. Love you…

  3. Cherie says:

    I agree with Aunt Karen. You more than likely need to take some vitamin B. It will after about a week of taking it daily help with your energy levels. Try taking a B50. It helps your body metabolize certain foods better and turn it into energy during stressful times.

    Thank black bag mystery is crazy. That would really freak me out…so strange.

    Thinking of you all and sending good thoughts.

  4. Jennifer says:

    If it is any consolation, the week after we moved in we found an old dude sleeping on the front lawn. I poked him just to ask that he was okay. He gurgled something to suggest he was alive, and in the end was really quite harmless. Well on a better note, we are always out walking the dog before bed, and take a good look towards your place to make sure everything looks as it should.

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