May 22nd, 2016
Gearing up again to go down to Uppsala in the morning. As usual, I’m only about halfway packed and I haven’t yet decided what I plan to wear. The forecast has it looking to be fairly warm, if cloudy and occasionally rather breezy. Those are the hardest days to dress for, and I always manage somehow to get it wrong.
This will be a long trip, with me being away eight days and seven nights. Worse yet, I’ll be gone twelve of seventeen nights, including two weekends in a row. The kids, as you might imagine, are not especially happy about that and I confess that I’m not either. Needs must, however, and after that stretch and one more trip that’s down-and-back on the same day, I’ll have a little more than two solid months at home. I think we all need that.
May 21st, 2016
Despite the fact that this has been a crazy and hectic week, what with Lydia being sick and Petra’s concert and various other meetings and activities that involved everyone in the family, it seems, I have managed to get a fair bit of work done. I have a meeting in a couple of weeks with my dissertation supervisors and I need to have a text ready to send them a week in advance. I’m particularly thankful now to my past self for having made an unscheduled stop at the archives last time I was in Uppsala, because I’ve been able to make some headway on transcribing some of the letters I’m working on. To be honest, it’s going to take me many months to transcribe all of those letters, as there are a few hundred of them and in many cases I have to read individual words literally letter by letter, but I’m getting a sense of what they contain and where I might go from here.
I’ve also been reading some master’s theses and thesis proposals that will be presented at the Early Modern Studies workshop that’s taking place at the university next week. This is the same master’s program that I completed a couple of years ago, and it’s always fun to see what other people are working on and, with luck, to meet up with some old classmates that I don’t often have a chance to see. Also, there are three free meals, meaning that I don’t have to worry about food shopping and preparation for at least some of the time I’m away. That’s always a bonus.
May 20th, 2016
Petra playing with the band last night at the concert. You can’t really see her, but trust me, she’s there.
May 19th, 2016
Just when I start thinking I’ve got Sweden all figured out, I attend a music-school concert wherein a choir of junior-high girls sings “Drunken Sailor” and I realize all over again what a bizarre little country this can be.
May 18th, 2016
I took this picture of the park next-door last night at eleven o’clock. The light is so fantastic; now just to get some more leaves on the trees.
May 17th, 2016
I got a call from Lydia’s boyfriend, David, this morning just after eight, and he reported that she was still feeling poorly and wanted me to come over, just to be there with her. Not able to refuse such a plea, I finished getting the other kids off to school and drove out to visit my little sickling. I think she has some sort of stomach flu, which may have made her more susceptible to a seizure, or at least exacerbated the effects, and she’s really not feeling in top shape.
After sitting with her for a couple of hours, I convinced her to come back home with me (to be honest, it was only the thought of the car ride that made her hesitate), and she’s spent most of the day in her own bed trying to recuperate. I hope she’s feeling quite a bit better tomorrow, as the past couple of days have been pretty awful. She hasn’t been able to keep much of anything down, and she’s just all-around miserable. I don’t at all like the thought of her being sick, but I have to admit, I do like having her here at home.
May 16th, 2016
This was not the day I planned to have. This morning as I was walking home from dropping Yrsa off at pre-school, I thought to myself, Ah, 6½ glorious hours to get some work done. Alas, it was not to be.
I should probably preface this by saying that everything is okay, but it was a pretty stressful morning for sure. As soon as I walked in the door, Tage yelled down the stairs that Lydia had just called and needed something. I assumed that it was bus money or the like that she was after, but as soon as she answered the phone when I called her back, she said, “I need you to come out here and take care of me. Something is really wrong with me.” Yikes.
After I asked her a few questions, it seemed as though she’d probably had a seizure (she has epilepsy, remember), and as she was feeling bad and was home alone she was pretty freaked out. I said I’d be there as soon as I could–she lives about twenty minutes away from us–grabbed my purse and hurried out the door. She had told me that she wasn’t feeling strong enough to come open the door for me so that I’d have to go over to the landlady next-door and get her key to get in, so I made that brief stop before going in to check on my girl.
When I walked in, she was conscious and lucid, but lying on the bedroom floor and not really moving. I tried to get more information from her, but wasn’t really sure what had happened. Because she was so still, I asked her to wiggle her toes, at least, so that I’d know that she could move. That went okay, and after a couple of more minutes I told her that she probably ought to go to the hospital. Generally she balks at that, and it’s true that she usually doesn’t need to go in after a seizure, but it was testament to how bad she was feeling that she readily agreed. I didn’t think I could manage getting her to the car myself, and I still wasn’t sure what exactly was going on, so I called for an ambulance.
The EMTs arrived after twenty minutes that felt like twenty hours and, after talking to her for a bit, they got her on a gurney and loaded her into the ambulance. I grabbed some extra clothes and whatnot for her, and followed them to town in the car. Once at the hospital, it was basically a case of hurry-up-and-wait. Throughout the course of the next couple of hours, she had an EKG and a neurological exam, and had blood taken, plus got a bag of IV fluid because she had a bad headache and had been throwing up. All of the tests came back normal, but she was still feeling pretty poorly after a few hours, so the doctor offered to let her stay overnight if she wanted. She considered it briefly, but in the end she mostly just wanted to sleep in her own bed, so I drove her and David back to their place and got her settled on the couch with a blanket before heading back home just before four in the afternoon.
It seems most likely that she had a seizure while she was sleeping and somehow “woke up” in the middle of it, which has never happened. She has never been conscious during a seizure before (something the doctor confirmed is rare), and the whole experience shook her up a lot. Not ever having been an active participant in her seizures, so to speak, she really didn’t know what was going on and she was quite understandably terrified.
All’s well now, however, and she’s home with her absolutely wonderful boyfriend, who not only left work and came to the hospital shortly after we arrived there, but is also staying home from work tomorrow so that she doesn’t have to be home alone. To be completely honest, a big part of my mother’s heart would rather that she were here with me, but I know that she’s in good hands where she is.
May 15th, 2016
So I was wrong. The best part about Eurovision wasn’t in fact Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi (as wonderful as they are), it was Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw. Even Buzzfeed agrees. They were pretty spectacular.
Next best was that Ukraine won (with a political song!) over Russia, the favorite. The song wasn’t my favorite, but it was okay, and the message was a strong one. I know a lot of people aren’t happy with the results, but I’m not one of them.
May 14th, 2016
Tonight is Eurovision, something the kids usually look forward to. This year was no exception, and at starting time the whole lot of us were gathered around the TV. After the snacks were eaten and the first several songs were sung, however, the kids started peeling off and now that the last act is performing, it’s just Olof and me still tuned in. And even to say that we’re “tuned in” is an exaggeration, as both of us are sitting here with our laptops, barely glancing at the show.
Our perseverance paid off just now, though, and we were treated to a little humor clip with Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi. Definitely the high point of the night; we mighas well just pack in in now, as it can only go downhill from here.
May 13th, 2016
I have spent essentially all day working on transcribing a single letter written by a noblewoman to the archbishop in Uppsala in 1685, and I’ve just now–at 4:30 in the afternoon–got it finished. One down, 379 (give or take) to go.