Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Walk In the Woods

This is not a photo from our recent trip to England, but a family photo by the famous Ellen as evidence that we're slowly recovering from jet lag. We were all up at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, a little closer to 5:30 a.m. on Friday, and 6:30 a.m. today. A few more days and we'll be back in familiar territory.

The vacation had its rough spots -- nearly being hit by a bus while trying to leave the Heathrow Airport springs immediately to mind -- but altogether was a great trip. The kids were suitably impressed by Warwick Castle and the Woburn Safari Park (where monkeys scrambled over our car); Mat found the National Motorcycle Museum; and I got to see lots of English countryside and historical houses. And eat fish and chips ... lots and lots of fish and chips.

The highlight for me, though, was motoring around Manchester and Liverpool, where Mat served his mission, and attending church in Hyde, where we met several people who remembered Elder B. I channeled my inner radio show host (think Ira Glass) for the trip, and interviewed Mat ad nauseum for mission stories using a digital voice recorder (thanks Sarah!).

Almost as good was coming home to a clean house with fresh flowers and dinner. We have such great friends!

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Mat has recently developed a new habit: waking up in the middle of the night to run to the bathroom and throw up. As endearing and invigorating as this habit is, Mat thought it best to mention it to Dr. Ryan during his visit on Thursday.

Dr. Ryan suspected that tumor growth was pressing on Mat's digestive tract, creating a blockage. Knowing that we have a trip planned, and knowing that a blockage can call for surgery and interfere with those plans, he got Mat in to see a GI specialist on Friday for an endoscopy (that's en-dos-kuh-pee, so you don't have to wonder).

An endoscopy is very much like what Mat tried to do to our bathroom sink pipes a couple of weeks ago. A long tube is crammed in your throat (lucky for Mat, he was sedated, although he does remember this happening) and through the stomach and small intestine, to look for blockages.

Fortunately, the GI specialist didn't find a blockage, but did find some stomach compression from a nearby infected lymph node. Also fortunately, the GI specialist was better at his job of roto-rootering than Mat was. While Mat emerged from his procedure unscathed ... we no longer have a bathroom sink.

Altogether Mat found it a relaxing day at the hospital (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.). I did not find it relaxing. I spent the day freaking out about the possibility of surgery. Of the two of us, I am often the one designated to freak out. It's a job I do quite thoroughly.

Mat has more tests scheduled for Monday, but in the meantime, he's been instructed to eat small meals, eat slowly, and chew thoroughly. In other words, listen to your mother, already.