I'm writing, not in seeking pity (well, a little pity wouldn't hurt), but as an explaination of why you may not have gotten a response from me for the past few months, or why if you did get a response it may have been weeks or even months in coming.

It all started three months ago when Lynne started having some health problems, which became a cancer scare, which it turns out she didn't have, but still ended up in her having two surgeries. In preparation for the first surgery she had an EKG and discovered she has an irregular heartbeat. Apparently the severity of an "irregular heartbeat" falls into one of two categories: 'really bad' or 'nothing much', and that can only be determined by a stress test, which she got done, but sitting around for a couple days wondering whether we were piling a heart condition on top of potential cancer was a bit stressful. Turns out that, like me, Lynne had an irregular EKG that falls into the 'nothing much' column. Lynne had her surgeries and both were successful, but surgery is surgery and it takes a while to recover. Also, between them I had my own pre-scheduled surgery and you heard how well that went. Oh, and during all of this we we're having problems with Reilly's elementary school teacher which finally culminated in us pulling him out to be home schooled.

After all that stress it was with great anticipation that we looked forward to our cruise the first week of December, and why it was with great distress that we found ourselves in the emergency room with Austin on Thanksgiving. He had come down with Influenza and gotten dehydrated, but an IV, tylenol, montrin, and a prescription for Tamiflu and he was doing much better and we were cleared by the doctor to go on our vacation.

When we finally got on the boat four days later Austin spiked a fever which we thought was the influenza, but it turns out he had pneumonia, which we didn't find out until we got back from cruise. While we were on the boat Christopher got food poisoning so we went to the ships doctor and the doctor promptly quarantined the family to our cabin for 36 hours, as a precaution in case it was Norovirus, but it wasn't, and the symptoms didn't match, but that didn't stop them from quarantining the whole family. When we got back home we took Austin back to the doctor and found that he had pneumonia, but not before he passed it on to Lynne. That landed Lynne in the emergency room when the first antibiotic they gave her didn't work on the pneumonia. Luckily the second one did and that helped to know which one worked when Christopher came down with pneumonia a few days later. The cruise, instead of being a relaxing break the previous three months of stress, was one of the most stressful things I've ever been through.

Oh yeah, no rest after we get back from 'vacation' either, we landed back in North Carolina on Sunday afternoon and I had to get up a 3:30am for a business trip to NYC the next day.

So, about those emails, bugs, action items, and lunch plans: I am behind, I am catching up, and thank you for your patience. Here's to hoping for a less eventful, or at least healthier, new year ahead!

:-( Let me wish you all the best for this new year.

Posted by michele on 2009-01-05

Wow. Glad to hear that it was only a false alarm for Lynne, although not an easy one. Better wishes for 2009.

Posted by Steve on 2009-01-05

Way to pull everyone through Joe. You are strong and getting stronger.

Posted by Rick on 2009-01-05

Wow is right. I am happy everyone seems to be OK now, but sad that you've had such a scary, frantic time, followed by a vacation that ended up being less than restful. Being Irish, all I can say is may all of the bad in 2008 turn to the good, and more, in 2009.

Posted by shelleyp on 2009-01-05