Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Trauma At the Mother/Daughter Retreat

I'm in a state of bliss right now because I just came from a Thai Massage. More about the massage in a bit, but let's just say that I needed it.

My eight-year old daughter and I got to Omega late afternoon yesterday. We had a great time walking around and exploring the campus, going to dinner, taking a canoe ride on the lake, and we wound up the evening at the cafe where I got her a chocolate ice cream cone.

We went to the room and fell fast asleep after a busy day. At 1:30 in the morning, however, my daughter woke up screaming that her ear hurt. I have to say that she never mentioned once during the day that she felt any pain in her ear or that she wasn't feeling well.

I tried to calm her, hoping against all hope, that the pain would improve and she would fall back asleep until morning, when I could hopefully find a nearby doctor. Forty-five minutes later, I realized the attempt was futile. I got both of us dressed, and walked through pitch black darkness to the guest services center where I pushed the emergency button. A voice came across the box asking what the problem was and I reported I had a sick child.

Ten minutes later a young man, clearly roused from his sleep, came to guest services and took us into First Aid. After giving my daughter some Tylenol he informed me that my only option for my screaming child was to take her to the emergency room in the near-by hospital.

So off I went into the night of Dutchess County, driving back roads with deer jumping in front of the car, stopping for a possum refused to budge from the middle of the road, and encountering a family of coons crossing the road.

We finally got to the hospital where the diagnosis was as I expected, an ear infection. At this point, thank the lord, my daughter had stopped screaming because the Tylenol kicked in. The intern took pity on me, and even though the hospital was not supposed to dispense drugs, gave me enough medication so that I didn't have to run to the all-night pharmacy in a town even further away from Omega (and requiring even more back road driving at 3 in the morning.)

I had planned on taking the 7 am Tai Chi class this morning. Needless to say, I never made it. We did wake up around 8 and had breakfast and then I checked my daughter into the child's program. I then went for a long hike myself, and followed that with a lecture on flower essences, then picked my daughter up for lunch.

After the trauma of last night, I thought I deserved a good treat. So, I booked myself a Thai Massage, which was heavenly. I never had one before, but it combines traditional deep tissue massage techniques and stretching.

I got to the massage room, and the first thing I noticed was that there was no massage table. Instead, a futon and pillows law on the floor. I laid down on the futon and the masseuse used her whole body to give me a deep massage--literally kneeling and standing on top of me at various points.

More interesting was the stretching expect of the massage. Instead of the normal active stretching I'm used to in yoga, however, I was told to remain passive. The masseuse pulled me and used the weight of her own body to increase my flexibility.

In the end, it was wonderful. The lingering stress of last night melted away.

The amazing thing is that my daughter almost never gets sick. It figures that when she does finally become ill, it's in the middle of the night, in the sticks, and in an area I'm completely unfamiliar with.

I'm off to a yoga class then dinner with my daughter.


  1. Oh wow. Those are the stories that get told over and over at family gatherings.

  2. how scary for both of you - glad she's okay. I went through this with my daughter in the middle of nowhere in Eastern Washington when she was 8 years old too - and she normally was very healthy...(although in her case it was a severe migraine, causing vomiting). In any case, it's good to find good medical help and it's good to find yourself back in your cabin by morning! Good luck with the rest of your spa retreat.