Monday, July 6, 2009

Evyn, Japan & Swine Flu - Exciting?

Evyn,Japan & Swine Flu; The Best “What I did this Summer Essay” EVER!

After all the excitement and anxiety of Nicky’s graduation, Evyn’s departure to Japan and Nicky’s pneumonia it seemed like life at the Jones’ was calming down. I recovered from the initial shock of no Evyn in the house and accepted that time with only one kid was a good thing. I was ready to enjoy the quite nights, even if it meant just sitting outside alone, visiting with friends or going to bed early.

Destiny, however had another plan. I was destined to stay in active "Mommy Mode" even with Evyn half way around the world. Monday morning the phone rang, it was Evyn calling from Japan. I was so excited to hear from her, I began to talk and she stopped me and said “Mom listen. I have to talk fast because this calling card only has 1 minute left. Maureen (our personal friend and the group leader) is in the hospital, she has Swine Flu! They took our fevers and anyone who had a temperature was taken to the hospital. I had a fever but I think I am just naturally warm. But they took me to the hospital and now I am confined in my hotel room” then click...the line went dead. OMG!!! Within minutes I was able to track her down and hear about how the health officials came to their hotel in masks, gloves and misc. protection gear, took everyone’s temperature and loaded the potentially infected kids into taxi’s and took them 30 minutes away to a hospital where there were isolated. This followed by further testing, resulted in some kids being returned to their hotel rooms with the following instructions: Do not leave your room. Food and water will be placed outside your door. It was true, they did give them food and water, but they did not knock when they dropped it off. Wild huh?

This began a three day saga of checking on the sick and healthy kids and trying to oversee what was happening from ½ way around the world. I was back, full blast in mommy zone! From international customs, insurance coverage for the hospital visits, to understanding the public health rules in the various provinces’ of Japan, to making sure the children would be able to travel home. Given the time difference (they were 14 hours ahead of us) gone were the peaceful nights.

A few days later, Evyn’s trip resumed and she was back to site seeing. I still slept with an ear open in case the phone rang with more news from Japan. In the end, all but two of the infected travelers returned home from Japan as scheduled safe and sound on July 5th.

With Evyn home and Nicky feeling better, life is back to normal and all is well in the world. Evyn got an added a zing to her trip and I was reminded that both my kids have “special needs” whether they are home or not, typical or not.

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