What happened? How was Thanksgiving? How did my terrific organic vegetarian-, pescatarian-, and GAPS-friendly plan turn out? Did I rock the holiday table?
Here’s what happened Thanksgiving week.
Sunday afternoon, and again on Monday, my mother and I went shopping. Dried cranberries sweetened only with apple juice. Bunches of kale. Hazelnuts. Farm eggs. A bag of almost-ripe avocados. Fresh rosemary, and sage. Everything the menu required, we had. Except for the fish. The fish we were to purchase Wednesday.
Monday evening, three days before Thanksgiving, my brother Rudy and his friend arrived from California. Adrian and I stayed home while my parents retrieved the new guests at JFK. I fed and bathed Martin, got him to bed, missed the last step coming downstairs, and stubbed my big toe, hard. (That will become relevant. Really.) With Martin asleep, we adults sat down to a nice dinner.
By the time dinner ended, my toe had swollen and bruised, and I could hardly move it, so I took some ibuprofen. Other than the toe, I felt fine when I went to bed at 10:30 pm.
Around 1:00 am I woke, perceiving that something was terribly wrong but unsure what. My toe throbbed, a pain that radiated to my knee, and I felt as if my body were empty, without muscle or energy. I hobbled from bed to the bathroom and lay on the tile floor, bewildered. I didn’t need the bathroom. It just seemed like I belonged there. I don’t know whether I fell asleep, or whether minutes passed, or more. The next time I came to my senses, I was shaking. I crawled several feet and collapsed onto the shower mat, thinking it would keep me warm. When the shaking turned to convulsing, I realized I needed help.
This is a blog about Martin’s health, not mine, so I’m going to fast-forward past the dreadful rest of Monday night and Tuesday morning, and the circumstances that had me sent from a doctor’s office to the hospital Tuesday afternoon, and leave it suffice to say: Thank God my mother was visiting. Without her, Martin might’ve gone unkempt and unfed, and who knows what would’ve become of me? Some virus took hold and wrung me good: fevers, dehydration, dangerously low potassium. Doctors and nurses prodded and monitored me all night Tuesday, then released me from the hospital early Wednesday, after I had stabilized.
By Wednesday evening, the night before Thanksgiving, I was able to get out of bed. But I wasn’t going to be doing any cooking.
The elaborate menu of three breads, two entrées, four side dishes, and three desserts fell entirely upon the shoulders of my long-suffering mother, ably assisted by my stepfather. And what do you know? Despite doing her simultaneous best to take care of me, to feed my husband and stepfather and brother and friend, and to amuse Martin, she managed to prepare everything other than the pumpkin poppers and raw kale salad. To be sure, there were minor snafus. Instead of fresh fish, she prepared Vital Choice salmon from my basement freezer. The zucchini bread turned into zucchini muffins. The cauliflower, when mashed, produced about one-half the expected volume. Still! Hey! Thanksgiving dinner for everyone! (Everyone except me. I still wasn’t up to eating.) Martin particularly loved the zucchini muffins. He’s been eating them for breakfast ever since.
I am going to say that I felt pretty darn thankful. Thankful that if I had to get sick, at least I had my mother in the house. Thankful that everyone arrived safely. Thankful for a meal we all could eat together. Thankful that Martin conversed fluidly with the guests, that he’s doing so well.
Thankful that, along with the CAT scan and ultrasound, the hospital took the time to x-ray my big toe. It was bruised but not broken.
Bruised but never broken. That’s us.