Saturday, January 18, 2014

New York 1, Jova 0

Sometimes, you defeat the holidays. Other times, the holidays defeat you.

Two weeks ago, it had seemed obvious that I defeated the holidays. My girls, Tova and I traveled to Cleveland for Christmas, and watching Christmas from the eyes of an 8-year-old and 6-year-old is simply fun and full of love.

It was the first time Sophie and Chloe were in Cleveland for Christmas together, although Sophie was there once on Christmas before Chloe was born. Spending time with Grandma was excellent for all, and the girls especially liked their time with Jack (7) and Ellie (5).

Highlights abounded from our Cleveland trip. Some of mine were watching the girls play in the snow, devouring my mom's holiday feasts, having a schvitz and, of course, Christmas morning. The scene was so gleeful on Christmas morning that I created my own holiday tradition prancing.

When we traveled back to California, I got to see my good friend from Portland, Matt, and go to a kids birthday party in San Diego in a whirlwind of less than 48 hours. Then, bam, Jova (Joe plus Tova) was off to New York City.

I lived in the city from 1995-1998. But I hadn't been back since 2002. I repeatedly pointed out changes in the city, and my favorite conversation annoyingly began with, "Back in 1998..."
Tova's sister lives in Brooklyn and has two children, 2 and under. We spent some quality time with them and also had time to attack the city. We did a handful of things I used to love when I lived there and saw firsthand that Max Fish's bar and the Tic-Tac-Toe chicken in Chinatown were gone.

A couple of the highlights, of many, included seeing "Stomp" and "Wicked" and being pelted by snow. A blizzard came during our stay, and, apparently, New York City hit its lowest temperature in three years. Overall, I assumed we defeated New York, although the snow made it a close call.

Less than 24 hours after arriving home, Tova was blasted. Apparently, she ate something with menacing bacteria that has knocked her out of life as we know it. Since Jan. 4, she has been on a liquid diet with pedialyte as the focus. Only in the past few days has she been able to eat Ramen noodles. She can't keep anything else down.

Yesterday, her doctor assured us that all of this is caused by food poisoning, and yesterday was the day that I officially questioned her doctor's effectiveness. He took a stool sample from her on Thursday Jan. 9, only to tell us yesterday (Jan. 17) that the particular sample could not be used. Tova also went to the emergency room two days after seeing her doctor on Jan. 9 and was prescribed four other medicines.

I am frustrated that Tova remains sick and that we have no confirmation from her stool sample that she indeed had, or has, bacteria. She has missed two straight weeks of work, and I am just hoping she can progress today. With Tova still on the mend 14 days after New York, I must admit: New York, you kicked our butt!