Much of this will not be news to many of you (since we did not exactly hide what was going on when it happened), but last week our youngest, Georgia, got sick.
We were on our way back from Kendra’s Birthday Extravaganza in Barcelona, Spain, when we got a call from my mom and dad, who had been babysitting the kids. She wanted us to know that little Jordi was running a fever. It wasn’t too bad, but she felt we should know. “No big deal,” we said . . . we were on hour 31 or so of a 39 hour trip home, and so our give-a-fuck about anything was pretty low. “Just keep an eye on her and if it gets BAD let us know.”
The next day, we got another call. It had gotten bad. Her fever had risen steadily to 103 despite Tylenol. We abandoned the errands we were running and went to get her. The normal pediatrician wouldn’t see her and sent us straight to the ER who diagnosed her with an ear infection in each ear and a cold to top it off. They sent us home with instructions to feed her more Motrin/Tylenol and some Augmentin and called it a day.
Georgia, however, did not much like Augmentin. The moment (and I mean the moment) we gave it to her, she vomited it back up as well as everything she had just eaten. We tried again, and the same results only everything she had ever eaten. EVER. Kendra and I rochambeau-ed over who got to clean up the floor and who got to clean the baby — I won and took her in to draw a bath. While she was splashing away, I noticed something. Her face wasn’t quite . . . right. And it was getting worse.
About that time, my Mom showed up at the house to bring a suitcase, because of course the timing couldn’t possibly be worse. You see, I was supposed to be leaving the very next morning to go on a trip to Austin, Texas to work with my team mates at one of our very few meetups. Tickets had been bought, hotels reserved. I felt I HAD to go. But as I held my baby girl in my arms, my mother looked at her and said “what is wrong with her face?”
This is what she saw:
The poor thing’s mouth was drooping and her eyes were out of sync.
Naturally I freaked the hell out, thinking that the fever had cooked her noodle and we drove back to the ER faster than was in any way safe. I was actually HOPING for a cop because then I could have a police escort (which I had no doubt I would get after he or she saw her).
To make a very long story only vaguely long, it turns out to not have been a stroke. Instead they think she has something called Seven Muscle Palsy, which is in the Bell’s Palsy family. She is already looking much better and the droop is only happening when she is tired or upset. The doctors say it should go away entirely in a few days to weeks (though there is always the possibility that it could come back).
Believe it or not, that is not the point to this post however. Like I said, many of you already know all of this.
No, instead I wanted to actually talk about work. More specifically my coworkers.
Like I mentioned, I was supposed to leave the next morning to go and hang with them in Texas. Get some work done, do some socializing. Basically get all of the stuff done that you can’t do remotely over the course of a year squeezed in to one week.
When I texted my lead, a guy by the name of Jeremey (extraneous “e” on purpose), he never hesitated. He basically uninvited me from the trip. When I let my coworkers know what was going on, there was an outpouring of support so strong, I still get a bit misty just thinking about it. Hell, one or more of them even went so far as to send Georgia get well presents!
And then today. Today I was able to get back to work (they are all still in Texas, doing their thing), but we had our usual Monday video meeting, and the very first thing they did was ask about Jordi. I found myself struggling to explain the fear that I felt for the first time in my life. I have done two things in my life as a profession: IT and Security. In my previous career; I’ve been in situations which . . . well . . . my mom reads this blog so I won’t go in to details the types of danger that I’ve been in. But suffice to say that if I was a smarter man I would have shat myself. But I was never so mortally afraid as those moments on the hard ER bed, curled up against Kendra’s back, holding her who was in turn holding Georgia. Feeling her un-naturally warm body and running scenarios in my head . . . knowing that I was completely and utterly powerless against the forces at work.
These people, these friends of mine who I have met in-person mostly only once (and in one case never) . . . they sat so patiently while I hogged a ridiculous portion of the meeting and smiled and nodded in all the right places as I babbled through it all.
It really does go to show that you can work anywhere . . . it’s the people that makes a workplace worth the effort. You can have all of the perks you want, but it’s your coworkers who make you love the company.
Thank you, Spartans. You do indeed humble me.