El Sombrero

I introduced you to my ‘career’ at Six Flags earlier this week. I started at the ‘peak’ of my career as assistant foreman but today we shall consider my humble beginnings at age 16. After I got hired there were 2 days of orientation. At the end of the second day we were asked to line up. I had no idea that these were the lines for ride assignments. And as a rather type-A firstborn that is more likely to screw up by being overly aggressive than overly passive, this was the wrong day to try a more passive and laid back approach. I was the last person in line and when it was my turn there was only one ride left – El Sombrero. For those of you who are familiar with the park, it is in Mexico and the spinning sombrero. It is far from exciting. Or adventurous. And, the team at El Sombrero (inside the park, it’s shortened name was ‘El Hat’) also worked at Casa Magnetica. Anyone else besides Pam Merryman remember this ‘ride’?! It actually wasn’t a ride but it was an ‘experience’ with a tour guide. And I was the tour guide. For an hour at a time, I took park guests through the ‘leaning house’ where balls and water ran uphill. Oh yes it did. And I could wow and dazzle the guests with these little tricks and my memorized speech. ‘Buenes Dias amigos and welcome to Casa Magnetica – the house of Don Juan…’ Are you impressed yet?! I wasn’t either. So I worked at the least preferred ride in the park and also had to do guided tours with memorized speech. Glamorous huh? The upside of Casa Magnetica was that it was shaded and air-conditioned. And at El Sombrero, at the time, there was no shade and it was sooo hot that on one of my first days I rested my arm on the rail (which was technically not allowed) and it burned my arm. So, every day for 8 hours, I alternated between Casa Magnetica and loading children on a ride that goes round and round while it goes up and down – in short, it goes nowhere. Except in circles. With lots of ups and downs. Until you get off.

And again, that serves as a great visual for our week – round and round and up and down and not sure if we are getting anywhere or not.

Yesterday, we went in to start the trial and passed all the blood work tests and the EKG. Then Scott, Mama and another 4 friends sat in a conference room with Nancy while she went line by line explaining the protocol for taking the medicine. For those of you have been with us for awhile you probably recall that pill taking isn’t my strength. So not only did Nancy emphatically review the rules (I think ‘lecture’ is a better description) she also looked around room and it was as if she was asking these ‘witnesses’ to help me ‘keep my vows.’ They nodded emphatically and enjoyed lecturing me alongside her. And then I took the pills. 

And then I threw up. It was less than :20 after I’d taken the meds and Dr. Osborne amused Nancy and I because she didn’t approve of our ‘throw up protocol.’ She wanted us to be able to tell her if the pills were thrown up or not – and I was more interested in flushing than inspecting!

Since my blood work had already shown I was dehydrated and now Id thrown up, I was given fluids and anti nausea meds along with my monthly infusion of a bone strengthener. Then I passed the EKG and was sufficiently exhausted.

We started at it again this morning. Dr O wanted me to also take anti nausea meds. So I got up around 7:15 and got my refrigerated meds and anti nausea meds. I took all and headed back to bed. Just minutes later, Scott walked over to kiss me goodbye and couldn’t get out of my way fast enough as I raced back to the bathroom. And up it came. And I don’t know exactly why or what happened but my throat was on fire so it was unpleasant on top of unpleasant. 

Again, friends rallied and took Linc to school, made his lunch, rubbed my feet so I could sleep, ran errands, folded laundry, made calls I needed to make, picked Linc up from school and brought him to see me before taking him for the night, brought anti acid meds, and checked on me. And that was just one day of all the love and care we receive. Gigi also scared me to death because I woke up mid morning to race to bathroom again and there she was – totally unexpected. In summary, my friends are absolutely amazing and a little creepy too:) I had sent friends a text saying I wasn’t feeling good and she was sad and ‘just had to check on me’ so had left school to come see me quickly. But I was sound asleep until needed to throw up again so when I saw her it scared me out of my skin! At least a little levity was interspersed with lots of love.

And, like El Sombrero, we have another round of meds tomorrow but hopefully without so many ups and downs. The drug company asked Nancy to request that I come and take the drugs, per the protocol (rules about when to eat, water consumption, sitting up, anti nausea meds….), at the clinic. So we will see if I do better tomorrow – we have some adjustments planned and are hopeful. She’s mentioned that the drug company is anxious to see if I can tolerate it or, if not, to backfill my slot. I totally understand but … Pressure! Who knew taking 4 little pills could be so stressful?!

Needless to say, lots of ups and downs over the last 36 hours. We are praying for the next 36 to be far less eventful. And would cover your prayers that I can tolerate the medicines. Or trust Lord if this is His plan to direct me to another course of action.

Much love and many thanks, amigos💗


13 thoughts on “El Sombrero

  1. JLC- Praying for your body to take and keep the pills down……and thankful for sweet friends that surround you and SCARE you 😉 much love!

  2. Praying for you and your ability to hang onto the pills if is Gods will. Continued strength for you and your sweet family as friends.

  3. I remember those rides well at Six Flags Jen, and how the balls in the house rolled “up hill”! Praying you can take those pills and hold them down friend. You are loved.

  4. Gigi specializes in getting in your house unannounced and scaring you. Oh, don’t I know! Praying today is NOT so scary and 4 pills go down easily and stay.

  5. I will be praying that God’s presence will give you courage and endurance in whatever the day holds!
    With love,

  6. Ye, I remember all those Six Flags things all to well. Cave = first kiss!
    Praying for your body today to resist throwing up and for calm stomach. And the Lord’s grace and peace no matter what.

  7. We are Always praying and always hopeful! I love that you never lose your hilarious personality and story-telling – even when feeling yuck. Love you precious Jen!

  8. Well, just for the record , I loved the Crooked House And the Big Hat! Bet you were great at it because you are such a good speaker . I guess God was preparing you . But whatever happened to that Little Mexican Train ? I was sad to see it go . I love your analogies and perseverance through all you are having to do and go through . I’m continuing to pray my friend. Ann

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